So I finally got around to opening and reviewing the basic assortment and deluxe figures for the Ninja Turtles movie.
But with those two series of figures out of the way, there aren't many more characters from the movie worth making
into figures. But the movie did give us a few scenes of the Turtles during their post-mutation developement. And
we have seen from both the 2003 toy line and current cartoon line, fans love figures of the not-quite-Teenage Mutant
Ninja Turtles almost as much as their fully developed counterparts. So it's should come as little surprise that
they have found their way into the Ninja Turtles movie toy line as well. What is a bit surprising is how Playmates
incorporated them into the line: a pair of box sets which include either Leonardo or Raphael in three forms. Each set
has a baby turtle version, a younger version (called a teen version) and figure of them in their final form. Unfortunately
only Raphael and Leonardo sets are available to start. But hopefully, if these sets turn out well and sell well,
Donatello and Michelangelo will follow.
Packaging - 8/10The Ninja Turtle Evolution sets has the three versions of the figure lined up showing the progression. There is even a decal of a spilled canister of ooze on the far left to show how it all started. (Except of course, in the movie there is no spilling of the mutagen.) What little space there is along the sides of the front window is used for images of the four Turtles on the side, the movie logo and name of the toy along the bottom. The back of the box has a large photo of the three figures and a smaller image of the other set. There is also a small write up which is the same one which has been used on all of the Ninja Turtles movie toys. Overall, the packaging looks great. I don't even mind uninspired graphics that have been used for all of the Ninja Turtles merchandise since it doesn't get much space on the Evolution sets. I will say that there is a lot of unused space in the box. The unmutated turtle gets about 40% of the box by itself. That's a lot of empty space. But I guess I can sacrifice a little extra space for the sake of athestics.
Sculpting - 6/10Both Evolution sets include three figures. The full Ninja Turtle figures are just the regular basic assortment figures which I already reviewed. So I won't waste time rehashing my thoughts on them. The unmutated turtles are cute, but not overly detailed. and the same sculpt is recycled for both Leonardo and Raphael. So the real highlight of these sets is the "teen" versions. Though given their size, pre-teen would probably be a better label. Judging by their height, I'd gues they are around eleven or twelve years old. The sculpts have a decent amount of detail. But that detail is not very well defined on Teen Raphael. The neck joint for Teen Leonardo is not well designed either. So the figure is stuck permantently looking up at least slightly. In the end, the Teen Turtles are cute, but not spectacular.
Paint - 6/10The paint work on the fully developed Leonardo and Raphael figures is identical to the basic assortment versions. I was kind of hoping that the box set versions would get a little more work put into them. The unmutated turtles have painted eyes, shell and a painted splotch on their back to identify them. Their plastrons should have been painted as well. But since you don't usually see them, I won't hold that against them. The teen versions of Leonardo and Raphael are fully painted. The paint work on Teen Raph isn't quite as sharp as I would like to see. It's not enough to call it sloppy, but the edges are not very neat. And the paint seems to be applied too thickly, muting the details of the sculpt. The paint work on Teen Leonardo is better. The paint is not applied as thickly. That actually allowed some of it to wear off of the back of my figure. But the most important paint applications, the lettering on his shirt and headband all turned up perfectly.
Articulation - 4/10As I wrote earlier, the fully size Turtles are the same as the basic assortment releases, including the articulation:
Accessories - 4/10Each Evolution set includes a set of weapons for the fully developed Turtle figures and another set for the Teen versions. Once again, the weapons for the larger figures are unchanged from the basic figure releases. (Are you tired of reading that yet?) The weapons for the Teen versions have me a bit confused. They are colored like wood and seem to have rope sculpted around them to make them look like pieces of wood tied together. But there is no wood texture nor are they sculpted to look like mutiple pieces tied together. So in the end, they just have a generic look to them.
Value - 5/10The Evolutions box sets retail for $18 each. If you were getting two full figures, that would be a decent price. But I can't reaaly call the Teen Turtles full figures either in terms of size or articulation. And the unmutated Turtles are more accessories than figures. And even at that, the score assumes that you haven't purchased the regular carded versions of either Leonardo or Raphael since the Evolution set versions have nothing additional to offer over the carded versions.
Happy Hunting:The Evolution sets are exclusive to Target. You should be able to find them at any Target store. Or if the idea of going to a retail store during the holiday shopping season is less than appealing to you, they are also available through Target's website as well.