When Nickelodeon announced that they were going to launch a new TMNT cartoon last year, fans knew that they could expect new
figures to go with the show. What they didn't expect was a line of highly articulated versions of the four Turtles base on the
original 1980's cartoon. Those figures turned out really well, which of course meant that as soon as fans got their
hands on them, they wanted more. After all, what good are the Turtles without someone to fight and April O'neil to rescue?
Well, we are going to have to keep waiting for an April O'neil figure. But Playmates did follow up the four Turtles from last
year with Rocksteady and Bebop this year. We have seen a lot of different versions of the Turtles over the years, but it has
been twenty five years since the first Bebop and Rocksteady figures came out, and there hasn't been a normal version of either
since then. So hopes are high that these figures turned out well least we have to wait for the 50th anniversary of the cartoon for
another shot at them.
Packaging - 6/10The packaging for Bebop and Rocksteady is the same packaging as the Turtles from the first series, but with Bebop and Rocksteady added both to the photo at the bottom of the card back and the drawings in the middle. They also added a paragraph describing the origin of the two mutants. I like the design of the packaging, but they could have done a better job of updating it and featuring Rocksteady and Bebop over the Turtles. Instead they left the Turtles on the inserts in the front where neither Bebop or Rocksteady are even shown. And the drawings of the characters used on the back are ridiculously bad, particularly the drawing of Bebop. For as long as we have waited for these figures, it is a bit disappointing to see them cut any corners on the final product.
Sculpting - Rocksteady 8/10, Bebop 7/10Bebop and Rocksteady don't appear to be based entirely on either the cartoon design or the original figures. Instead Playmates seems to have been trying to create a modern take on the cartoon designs. And in that, they had quite a bit of success. I really like the way that Rocksteady turned out. The head sculpt is more realistic than either the original figure or the cartoon design. The only thing missing is a sheath on his back to hold his knife. I have more mixed feelings about Bebop. His design is fairly close to that of the cartoon, but there are still several details that are missing. But there also several things about the figure which don't work well in my opinion. His face is detailed with wrinkles, but the rest of the figure's exposed skins is lacking any texture or detail work other than the muscle structure. So there is very little there to show that Bebop is a mutant other than the lack of a fourth finger on each hand. The Turtle shells on his shoulder are lacking detail and depth so that they don't look like actual turtle shells. It's not a bad sculpt by any means, but not as interesting as the figure could be. Scale is also an issue once more. Both figures ended up being just a bit shorter than the Classic Collection Turtles, this is the biggest downside of these figures.
Paint - Rocksteady 9/10, Bebop 7/10The paint work for both Bebop and Rocksteady is very well done, particularly considering how much small detail work there is. I'm particularly impressed with how well Rocksteady turned out. The only things I can think of to improve him would have been to use a lighter color for his pants as they did both with the original figure and in the cartoon and possibly add a paint wash on his skin. The color they did use for the pants blends in too well with his skin color. Bebop is not quite as impressive. My figure ahas a section of his glasses directly above the bridge of his nose that wasn't painted properly. But the real issue is that there are just too many large areas with little to no variation in color such as the arms, back and legs.
Articulation - 7/10Rocksteady and Bebop both have twenty four points of articulation:
Accessories - Rocksteady 8/10, Bebop 5/10Bebop comes with two accessories: another manhole cover stand for the figure (the same one that was included with the first series figures) and a new version of the drill/gun that was included with the original Bebop figure. The display bases are useful of course. But unlike the accessories for the first series figures, Playmates did not bother painting the bases or other accessories this time except for the decals for the names on the bases. So the manhole cover stands don't look nearly as nice as they did previously. And Bebop's drill gun is not that impressive either. Rocksteady fairs better. He comes with the stand, a rifle, a knife/sword and a removable helmet. The rifle and knife are nice, updated versions of the accessories from the original Rocksteady figure. But both would look much more impressive if they had received at least some paint work. I really liked the removable helmet at first. It allows you to choose a look similar to the original figure that had a helmet or the cartoon design where he didn't. But there is no mechanism to keep the helmet on. I've almost lost the helmet a couple of times just while I have been writing this review. If you prefer the look of the figure with the helmet, do yourself a favor and glue it on.
Value - Bebop 7/10, Rocksteady 8/10The Classic Collection figures are selling for $20 each. That is a bit pricey if you are used to the usual $9 to $15 price range for TMNT figures. But considering the extra articulation and impressive paint work, the price is not surprising. It is possible that if Rocksteady and Bebop get a wider release later, the price might drop to $15 depending on which stores carry them. But since we are not likely to see another version of these two characters anytime soon, I'm more than willing to pay an extra $5 apiece for them.
Happy Hunting:Bebop and Rocksteady are showing up at Toys R Us stores in the United States and have just begun showing up in Walmarts and other stores in Canada. I believe that they are exclusive to Toys R Us in the US, though that may be a temporary agreement. If you don't have a Toys R Us store nearby or just don't want to get near a toy store at Christmas, both figures are listed on Toys R Us' web site as well.