I've been busy and distracted from toy collecting over the summer. But that certainly didn't stop Playmates from putting out
new toys. Among those new releases was the fifth series of figures which contained two new villains, the Rat King and Cockroach
Terminator as well as the third set of Turtle variants, the Stealth Tech Turtles. I was definitely looking forward to the new
version of the Rat King. But after the lackluster Ooze Tossin' Turtles, I was a bit apprehensive to see how this set would turn
Packaging - 7/10Another series and there are no real changes to the packaging design. And that's fine, I like the current design. It is fairly attractive and shows off the figures well. The back of each card has a brief bio, an image of the character and images of most of the figures released so far. There is still an issue with the cards being easily damaged due to the thickness of the material and the large number of angles. That can be an issue for those that want a pristine card, but it doesn't harm the figures at least.
Sculpting - Cockroach T. 3/10, Rat King 6/10, Stealth Tech Turtles 7/10The sculpting tends to be one of the strongest points for Playmates' figures. Their sculptors are very good at adding small details that make the figures very interesting to look at. And they do a very good job of it with the Stealth Tech Turtles. The Stealth Tech suits are covered with details like a rope and a T-comm for each turtle. The head sculpts are on par with the Ooze Tossin' Turtles, much more show accurate than the original figures. The one significant issue I have with the Stealth Tech figures is the hands. They are quite large and extremely angular. It's a rather strange look the doesn't really fit with the rest of the figure.
The two villains did not turn out as well. Rat King is pretty close. There is a lot of detail to the wrappings on his hands, legs and eyes, the rats on his shoulders and of course, his face. But the character design means that the hat and coat cover the vast majority of the figure, including a lot of the detail work. (Though they did get the wrappings on the hands wrong. They should extend all the way to the fingers instead of ending at the wrists as they do on the figure.) While they did give the coat some detail with the folds of the cloth and some very well sculpted tears on the sleeves, the figure still looks a bit dull at first glance. The Cockroach Terminator figure is the worst of the series. It is at least accurate to the show design, with the obvious exception that the character in the show didn't have a GAPING HOLE in his torso. That would be bad enough, but the figure lacks the detail work of the other figures and what detail there is lacks depth. Things like the cables on the forearms are barely distinguishable from the organic parts of the arms. And the mechanical component on his back isn't recognizable as anything other than scrap parts.
Paint - Cockroach Terminator 7/10, others 6/10While Cockroach Terminator is the worst figure in the series in terms of the sculpting, they made up for it by giving him the best paint job. The major paint applications, the silver for the hoses on the arms, the device on his back, etc all look great and are well executed. What really impressed me though were the more subtle touches such as the shading under the ridge of each chest segment. There is certainly room for improvement though. The wings in particular could use a bit of paint to bring out the details of the sculpt. Rat King also has sparse paint work, limited primarily to the face, hands and feet. It all looks very good. And They deserve credit for correcting the error in the sculpt with the hand wrappings by only painting the fingers. But the paint work is overwhelmed by the monochrome black of the coat and hat. The paint work on the Stealth Tech Turtles is very limited. The legs of the Stealth Tech suits, the hand wraps and the details of the heads seem to be the only paint applications. The paint work that is here is well done. And the combination of the black suits, colored belts and green for the exposed skins is enough to make the figures look interesting. But there is so much sculpted detail that could look amazing if they had done a few paint applications to bring them out.
Articulation - Cockroach Terminator & Rat King 3/10, Stealth Tech Turtles 7/10The Stealth Tech Turtles each have seventeen points of articulation. They have combination rotating and hinged joints at the knees, hips, elbows and shoulders and a ball jointed neck. That gives then a decent range of motion. But they really should have included rotating wrists as well, especially since the the wrist bands provide a perfect spot to hide the joint. Rat King has a rotating neck and forearms and double joints at the hips and shoulders. He also has a rotating waist, but since the lower portion of the outfit doesn't rotate with it, that joint is rendered useless. It also restricts the movement of the hip joints to where the legs really only can have one pose thought the joints still allow you to balance the figure better. When you also consider the large collar, the only fully functional articulation on the Rat King are the shoulder joints and rotating forearms. That is to be expected given the character design. But then they should have put more effort into the articulation of the arms and included elbow joints. Cockroach Terminator has rotating and hinge joints at the hips, elbows and shoulders as well as a rotating neck. The arm articulation is pretty good. He really should have wrist joints as well, but that would not work well without making the cable along the forearm a separate piece. The bigger issue for Cockroach Terminator is the way the hip joints are designed. They connect to the torso through the crotch section between the legs instead of into the torso as with the Turtles. The result are legs that can not extend forward in a natural fashion and feet that are permanently positioned off to the sides and thus unable to help balance the weight of the figures as well as they should.
Accessories - Cockroach Terminator 3/10, Rat King & S.T. Raph 5/10, S.T. Mike, 6/10, S.T. Don & S.T. Leo 7/10Cockroach Terminator comes with a single accessory, a saw mounted to a twisted mass of tendrils. It can be feed through the hole in his chest and then use it to terrorize Raphael. The idea is good, but not worth having a gaping hole through the figure for it. And if the feature was that great, they should have gone the extra mile and made the blade a separate piece that could actually spin. I could easily do without the saw entirely in favor of a small, un-mutated version of the spy roach.
Rat King comes with a white rat and a staff. The rat has a painted tail and eyes. He looks great, it is a shame that the other rats on the figure don't look as good. It is also unfortunate that there isn't a good way for Rat King to hold the painted rat. His other accessory is an unpainted staff for him to use as a weapon. Those two accessories are alright. But I was really hoping for a removable hat/head wrap or at least more rats.
Each of the Stealth Tech Turtles comes with a new set of their signature weapon, a set of night vision goggles, a string to use as a zip line, plus and additional weapon. Donatello has my favorite bonus items, a remote drone similar to the ones used for bomb disposal and a second item which I can't identify. Michelangelo has a sound amplifying, listening device that can plug into his belt. Stealth Tech Raphael comes with a battering ram, not the most "stealthy" of weapons. But then again, it does fit Raphael's personality. Leonardo comes with a crossbow with a projectile. The arrow is comically over sized, likely as a safety precaution. But if they needed to make it larger, it would have made more sense to make it a grappling hook which would both tie into the stealth theme and work with the zip lines.
Value - Stealth Tech Turtles 7/10, Rat King 5/10, Cockroach Terminator 4/10The Stealth Tech Turtles are a nice surprise after the lackluster Ooze Tossin' Turtles earlier this year. They are well made figures, with nice accessories and a theme that makes sense for the show and characters. They aren't a replacement for the regular figures. But they are still worth the $9 price tag of the figures. The Rat King figure is a decent figure as well given the limitations of the character design. The Cockroach Terminator is not a great figure and a character that isn't likely to show up in the cartoon again which makes this a figure that you could pass up with few regrets.
Happy Hunting:The Stealth Tech Turtles have been shipping since June or July. At this point, they have fairly well saturated the market and should be fairly easy to find at retail. I bought most of my figures from the local Toys R Us store. But I have also seen them at Target and Walmart stores, as well as at most of their web stores.