Another year is coming to a close, and if Playmates' track record since 2003 is any indication, January will likely
bring with it new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toys. But in the mean time, there are still a few weeks left for
Playmates to get a final few products out in time for the holidays. And there is one line of figures that was
announced earlier this year and then delayed, the Throw N' Battle Turtles. But it appears that they have managed
to make it to store shelves in 2013 after all.
Packaging - 5/10The Throw N' Battle Turtles use much the same packaging design as the Flinger Turtles from the beginning of the year. The card design is similar to that of the basic figures, but larger and with a bit more regular shape. The insert shows the Throw N' Battle feature in action with the same images being reused on the back of the cards as well. But unlike the Flinger Turtles, the Throw N' Battle Turtles don't have unique card backs for each figure. And honestly, it just seems like the packaging is trying too hard to sell the action feature with little success.
Sculpting - Raphael 4/10, Others 3/10Each of the Throw N' Battle Turtles has a unique outfit and sculpt. The outfits are a cool idea. They went a bit overboard with the tears and battle damage, particularly with the large holes across the chest for Donatello and Michelangelo. Raphael manages to be the stand out of this line due to a couple of small details. He is the only one of the four which has somewhat normal looking knee pads. The others all have huge pads that cover their entire shins. But what really sets Raphael apart is that he is the only one of the four with his hood up. It is a small detail but very fitting for the character. While the concept is interesting, the final execution is significantly hampered for the sake of the action feature. Since the feature is activated by a button on belt, that point had to be as prominent as possible. As a result, all four figures have pot bellies. Then they needed room for the arms and legs to fold in, so the sides are actually slightly concave. Add in the larger feet so that they figures can land on their feet easily and you end up with figures with very strange proportions. And of course, you also have a huge chunk of plastic hanging off of the back of each figure that is not removable and hangs out behind them.
Paint - 6/10The paint work on the Throw N' Battle Turtles is well done and clean, but not very ambitious. The outfits are largely monochrome, with the exception of the neckline on Raphael. The eyes are at least fully painted with irises and pupils and they all turned out well. But as is often the case, there is a lot of room for improvement if Playmates wanted to put in the effort to paint all of the details.
Articulation - 0/10The Throw N' Battle Turtles have a total of one point of articulation between the four figures. Each of the figures has a rotating neck joint, but only Donatello's head can actually turn as the sculpts for the other three render the articulation worthless.
Accessories - 3/10Each of the Throw N' Battle Turtles comes with a new version of their signature weapons. Each weapon is designed with a hinge in the middle or in the case of Michelangelo's nunchuks, a spring loaded rotation feature. So when the figures are folded up, the weapons fold as well. The need for the folding feature results in weapons that are bulky and slightly silly looking. Interestingly, this should have been a perfect opportunity for Playmates to create a set of nunchuks for Michelangelo that were flexible in the middle. But instead they went with stiff plastic to connect the two ends and a rotating mechanism.
Action Feature - 4/10The Throw N' Battle Turtles' main selling point is the action feature. To start, the arms rotate down near the hips. Then the feet rotate forward and around until they are near the head. Doing that also causes the plastic frame on the back to rotate up behind the head. The weapons then need to be folded behind the feet. Then to activate the feature, you throw or drop the figure so that the belt knot/activation button hits the floor. Once activated, the figure is suppose to spring up and land on its feet. The feature seems to work surprisingly well for both Raphael and Leonardo. Getting Michelangelo or Donatello to actually land on their feet seems to take a bit more luck.
Want to see Leonardo in action? CLICK HERE
Value - 3/10The Throw N' Battle Turtles are deluxe figures and sell for $12 to $13. The action feature is interesting and works well enough. But it's not enough to justify the price. And if you have one of the Throw N' Battle figures, there is even less reason to get the others.
Happy Hunting:The Throw N' Battle Turtles are just beginning to show up in stores now. I found half of my figures at the Toys R Us store here in Madison, WI and ordered Donatello from Toys R Us' web site. If you really want them ASAP, then Toys R Us seems like your best bet. But after the first of the year they should start showing up in other stores.