The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been around for a long time, thiry years in fact. And in that time they have spawned
television shows, movies comics and countless video games. So it is a bit odd that one thing that we don't see much as
TMNT fans are toys or action figures for the collector market. Playmates has dabbled in this area with the Classic Collection
figures. And NECA gave us a set of amazing, well articulated figures based on the original comics. But there definately seems
like there should be an untapped demand for a line of higher quality figures marketed towards adult collectors. With the Nickelodeon
cartoon now airing in Japan, at least one company is stepping up to fill that niche. Kaiyodo announced earlier this year that they
would be producing the four Turtles as part of their Revoltech line up. The first two of those figures, Leonardo and Raphael
were just released. And while they won't be shipping to the US, that certainly wasn't going to stop me from getting a set.
Packaging - 7/10Both Raphael and Leonardo come packaged in boxes with large windows on the front to show off the figures and accessories. The bottom, one side and the back are used to show off the features and the necessary legal disclosures, all on a plain white background. The only significant use of any graphics or artwork is on the left side panel which has a comic style image of the character. The boxes are collector friendly in that there is no tape or other hindrance to keep you from removing the figure and accessories and returning them all later. The packaging is decent in that it shows off the figure well enough. (The plastic insert could stand to be a different color to contrast with the toy better.) But the packaging really doesn't do much to sell it itself.
Sculpting - 8/10I suspect that people's opiions on these figures are going to be diametrically split depending upon if you are willing to accept compromises to the sculpting for the sake of articulation. If you are not, then these figures are probably going to be a non-starter for you. If you are not aware, all Revoltech figures use a particular type of joint which has a fairly large sphere in the center of the joint. The Revoltech figures I have gotten in the past have done a reasonable job of working around those joints and incorporating them into the sculpt. The Turtle figures really don't do that at all. There are obvious separations where ever there is a joint, to the point where I can see them being a complete deal breaker for some collectors.
The poorly integrated articulation is all the more lamentable because otherwise, these are amazing looking figures. The detail work is terrific. They could be almost perfect. The only issues I have with them is that the necks are far too thin, they are stuck with their shoulders permanently angled forward slightly. And both of those issues are once again getting back into the articulation issue. They may have also gone a bit over board with the angular nature of the sculpt, but it also may just stick out more due to the sections that are missing at the joints.
Paint - 8/10The paint work on both Leonardo and Raphael is impressive, but falls short of being perfect. I really love the matte finish for both figures. And all of the details are well painted as are all of the accessories. But while the overall quality is quite high, there are small imperfections all over my figures where the lines are not quite right. If these were regular, mass market retail figures, it wouldn't even be worth mentioning. But for a higher end collectible figure, I was hoping for better.
Articulation - 10/10Both figures have twenty one revoltech style joints. Each of those joints has a ratcheting hinge in the ball and can rotate around the pegs on either side. So theoretically, each figure has sixty three points of articulation. Not all of those joints are actually usable, and they can tke a bit of effort to get into just the right position since each joint you try to adjust is moving on three axises. But in the end, the figures are packed with articulation, all of which seem to hold their positions well.
Accessories - Leonardo 9/10, Raphael 6/10Each of the Revoltech TMNT figures comes with their weapons, a two piece stand, and an alternate head with a wild-take expression from the cartoon. Leo also comes with a pizza. The weapons are great. They are fully painted and made of hard plastic so there shouldn't be any issues with them warping. Each weapon has a small peg on the handle to connect it to the figures' hands as well. The alternate heads are a nice touch, but I'm slightly disappointed that you have to pull the mask tails off and switch them instead of including a second set of tails. The stands use the same base for both figures, but each has a different decorative upright portion that includes a revoltech joint that can plug into the figures back at the bottom of the shell. The stands look nice, but the lack of height and adjustability limits their usefullness. Leonardo also includes a pizza which included a tray and eight fully painted and removable slices of pizza! That is awesome. Cool additions like this are the type of things that make the high price tag of figures like this worth the cost. But it is a double edged sword. The pizza accessory is so cool that it still leaves me scratching my head as to why Raphael didn't get any added extras.
Ninja Mode Eye FeatureOne of the more noteworthy things about the Revoltech Turtles is that they are the first Turtle figures to solve the issue of whether the Turtles should have their pupils visible or the eyes should just be solid white. For the regular heads of each Turtle, there is a small cylinder inside the head which has the eyes painted on it. On the back of the head the mask tails attach through a slot to that cylinder. This allows the mask to act as a handle. Sliding it to one side will rotate the cylinder enough for both pupils to move out of view and create the whited-out, ninja mode eyes. It is a very cool touch and works well. but you have to be a bit careful how you position the tails when you want the pupils visible or the Turtles can end up looking very strange.
Value - Leonardo 8/10, Raphael 6/10The TMNT Revoltech figures are listed at 4,800 Yen for the retail price in Japan. That works out to around $43 US with the given exchange rates. You may be able to save a few dollars off of that price depending upon where you order them. But by the time you factor in the cost of shipping, you should expect to pay at least $40 to $50 each for the Revoltech Turtles. That makes the TMNT figures some of the most expensive Revoltech figures I have seen so far. And while they are great figures, the don't quite justify the extra price tag, especially Raphael who lacks any big extras. But while I would like to say you would be better off waiting for a sale or the prices to drop, this is likely one of those situations where if you wait, there is a very high chance of missing out on these entirely.
Happy Hunting:The Revoltech Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figures are only being sold in Japan. So if you want them, you are going to need to find them from an importer. I ordered Leo and Raph from Hobby Link Japan (www.hlj.com) since I have ordered from them numerous times in the past with no issues. There are plenty of sites that have these listed right now since they were just released as of the end of September. With a little leg work, you may be able to save a few dollars off of the price. Michelangelo and Donatello just starting to ship as of the posting of this review, so we will have to wait a bit longer to get the entire team together.