I never quite understood why the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who live in the sewers of New York, always seem to have
some elaborate vehicle. But it's hard to deny that whether it is the Party Wagon, Battle Shell, Shellraiser or just April's
old VW van from the comics, every variation of the Turtles has to have something to cruise around town and chase down the
Foot. And now Funko's Pop vinyl Turtles' ride has arrived as a part of Funko's Pop! Rides line.
Packaging - 8/10Since the Pop! Rides is an offshoot/expansion of the regular line, so the packaging shares a similar design. It is a pretty simple design graphically. But they did atleast take advantage of the larger box to incorporate more and larger windows so you get a pretty good view of the actual vehicle. The back shows off all of the TMNT Pop! vinyls released so far. There's not a lot there to the packaging/design. But what is there works well.
Sculpting - 7/10The sculpting for the Party Wagon is loaded with detail but some of the design choices that they made are not very appealing to me. The van itself seems to have been given an overhaul at a hot rod shop. The van roof slopes down towards the front, it was given larger rear wheels and the spoiler on the roof has made it even more pronounced than it was on the original toy. (And that van had a HUGE spoiler.) They are minor changes, but put together they give the van a much more aggressive appearance. The original Party Wagon had a side door only on the passenger side. But this version replicates that on both sides. It sounds like a small detail, but the small details add up. There's also two major details that left me disappointed. The first is that the wheels are decorative only. They don't roll. That will be nice once it goes on a shelf for display since it won't roll around. But if I'm buying a vehicle, the least you could do is put real wheels on it. The other disappointment is the passenger area is just a big rectangular hole in the front of the roof. There's no seat, steering wheel or any other details. And the opening is far larger than it needed to be. Even Donatello who is holding his bo sideways across his chest will easily fit inside with almost an inch of wasted space around him. There is almost, but not quite enough room for two figures there. The Pop vinyls don't vary in size much. So it should not be hard to properly size the opening for the figures. The choice for the included figure is a bit odd as well. To start with, Michelangelo would not have been my first choice as the driver. But if you are going to create a driver figure, just sticking a slice of pizza in his hand instead of nunchuks seems a bit random.
Paint - Micehangelo 5/10, Party Wagon 8/10Funko's quality control team from the first series is evidently back for the Pop! Rides. Michelangelo has the same sloppines issues as the original Michelangelo figure did. The thickness of the paint varies quite a bit and there are several spots on the side of the mask where the paint is completely missing. There's also some orange paint on the bottom of the left knee pad. Fortunately the Turtle Van itself is much better. The detail work on the front is very well done. They even painted the creases in the roof a darker shade of green from the rest of the roof. Sadly, the effort did not extend to the sides of the van which are left fairly plain. At the very least they could have painted the side doors or included some of the graphette from the original toy.
Articulation - 0/10As with the past Funko Pop! figures, Michelangelo has only one point of articulation, a rotating neck joint. I don't mind the lack of leg joints. But there is little reason not to at least give him shoulder joints. But it is the lack of moving parts on the van that I find more disappointing.
Accessories - 0/10The Turtle Van set doesn't have any accessories. It would be nice if they had included something. But at least there is nothing specific that's missing.
Value - 5/10The Pop Rides! sets sell for $25 each. The van itself isn't worth that price. It's a nice display piece, but that's all it is. It's not a working vehicle and has no other features. The one redeeming quality is that it does include a figure which would cost $10 itself. But this version of Michelangelo isn't that much different from the original version to make it worth geting a second version.
Happy Hunting:Funko has done quite a job of getting retailer support for their Pop! vinyl line. The Pop Rides! has not gotten quite the same amount of support. I have seen them at Barnes and Noble stores. I actually ordered mine from Big Bad Toy Store. They are still available there and from a number of other web sites.