The fall onslaught of new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle products
continues, this time with the return of the deluxe figure and
vehicle packs. This time around we have a new version of
Leonardo along with a three wheel, all terrain vehicle. Well,
the package calls it an all terrain vehicle. Personally, I think Leonardo is embarrassed to admit he is riding a Can Am Spyder.
Packaging - 7/10The packaging for the Ninja AT-3 set is the same as the first two figure/vehicle sets. It's a fairly standard window box with parts of the window wrapping around to the top and right side panel. It gives a nice, clear view of both the three wheeler and the included Leonardo figure. But since the AT-3 vehicle is a bit smaller than the Dragon Chopper or the Ninja Stealth Bike, it leaves quite a bit of empty space in the box. The back of the box has a large photo of Leo on the AT-3 with the features highlighted and small photos of the previous two sets. I like the overall design, I just wish that you didn't see quite so much empty space under the AT-3 in the box.
Sculpting - 8/10Playmates put a surprising amount of effort into both the AT-3 vehicle and the Leonardo figure that comes with it. With the exception of the bottom, the AT-3 is nicely detailed, particularly around the engine. The one drawback to it is that it is quite large. The new version of Leonardo is a completely new figure. He sports a brand new set of motocross style pads and armor. It has an impressive amount of detail. And I really like the baseball batter's helmet that Leonardo is wearing. But there is one small detail that struck me as odd, his shell seems to be missing from his chest. If you look across his chest at the shoulders, there is no sign of his shell and the body is too narrow to just assume it is under his clothes.
Paint - 7/10The paint work on the AT-3 vehicle is quite sparse. It seems to be limited to just the orange trim panels on the fenders, the seat and alongside of the seat. But the vehicle itself is comprised of enough pieces that just those five paint applications are enough to get by. It's the paint work on the All Terrain Leonardo figure that makes this set more impressive. At first glance, it appears to be fairly simple as well. The entire body has just three colors: black, blue and green. But the quality control is very impressive. The edges are exceptionally clean and the colors are very consistent. It's actually difficult in many cases to tell whether parts are blue with the skin painted or green with the pads/gloves painted. There is still a lot of untapped potential both with the figure and the vehicle. But what is here turned out extremely well.
Play Value - 3/10The AT-3 has just one action feature, a spring loaded projectile that launches from the front of the vehicle. To make things worse, mine seems to have some issues with the alignment so initially the projectile would get stuck in the launcher. It seems to have gotten better with a little use. But the mechanism is still quite weak. Of course there is also the benefit of the included figure and he comes with a set of swords. They are similar to the ones that come with Stealth Tech Leonardo in style. But they are also comically short. They look more like a really long combat knife than a sword. The set could really use a big feature to set it apart from all the other vehicles that Playmates has produced and make it unique. Simply having room for a second figure to ride is not going to cut it.
Value - 5/10The AT-3 set sells for $20 in most stores. (Toys R Us has it listed for $22.) It's not a bad set considering you are getting both a vehicle and a completely unique figure. The biggest drawback to the set is not that anything is wrong with it, it just fails to have anything to really make it stand out beyond the fact that it is a three wheeled bike.
Happy Hunting:The Ninja AT-3 set has been shipping for a few months already. But finding it can still be a bit difficult. The deluxe vehicle and figures sets tend to be in competition with the patrol buggy sets since they fill the same role in the line, a vehicle set with a $20 price point. So there seems to be quite a few stores that haven't stocked the new set. But as time goes by, they seem to be showing up in more and more stores. It has also begun to show up online at a number of retailer's web sites as well including both Toysrus.com and Walmart.com.