Playmates has produced a lot of interesting Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figures over the years. But they don't always restrain
themselves to just action figures. While in the past they have produced plush figures, radio controlled vehicles and even a
Ninja Turtle version of one of their baby doll designs. But they may have come up with one of their most surprising idea yet with a
Michelangelo figure with a helicopter backpack that actually flies. Radio control helicopters and quad copters have been fairly
popular toys for a number of years now. But this is the first time I have seen the concept adapted to an action figure line.
I have not been impressed with the RC helicopters that I've dealt with hands on in the past. But I decided to take a chance on
Ninja Control Flying Mikey and see if he can soar above and beyond my expectations.
Packaging - 8/10Ninja Control Flying Mikey is packaged in a window box which is quite similar in design to the deluxe figure and vehicle sets. The window provides an excellent view of the toy. The usual image of the four Turtles has been replaced with a large image of Michelangelo with his nunchuku whirling overhead. The back of the box has a large photo of the toy and another of the toy in action. The packaging looks good and it shows off the toy well. But as with the vehicle sets, there are a lot of edges around the window that are easily damaged.
Sculpting - 7/10Flying Mikey is sculpted in styrofoam with a hollow plastic head to save weight. For the medium, they did a pretty impressive job of adding detail to the sculpt. But there are limits. The details are not as sharp as they are on most of the TMNT action figures or even on the control for Ninja Control Flying Mikey which is made of the usual molded plastic and sculpted to look like one end of one of Michelangelo's nunchucks.
Paint - 7/10The paint work on Ninja Control Flying Mikey, much like the sculpting is better than I had expected for a flying helicopter toy. The wrappings for the handle are fully painted and look terrific. The figure itself has all of the major details painted including all of the flying harness, the pads, wrappings and shell. The detail work is not particularly sharp. but overall, the toy looks great.
Play Value - 3/10The flying feature for Ninja Control Flying Mikey is fairly simple. The control handle contains four AA batteries which are not included and a simple trigger. Pulling the trigger causes the blades to spin. The further you depress the trigger, the faster they spin. The angle of the blades makes Flying Mikey want to constantly fly forward. And there is no means of steering the toy. There may be a way of controlling it properly given enough time and practice. But for the vast majority of kids, Flying Mikey is going to become a whirring rocket on a two foot tether. That is likely to get old fast. And for those select few kids who actually do have the patience to learn how to control it, there are much better flying toys out there that are capable of more than this toy can hope for. If Playmates had managed to incorporate the flying gimmick with the rest of the toy line better, such as actually creating a backpack that a regular TMNT action figure could wear, would have made a much cooler toy.
Value - 7/10I have mixed feelings about how to assess the value of the Ninja Control Flying Mikey toy. It sells for $20 in the stores where I have sen it. That actually makes it much cheaper than most RC helicopters which typically start at $40 to $50. So for kids that may just have a passing interest in having a toy that actually flies, I suppose this is a great option. But at the same time, I suspect the more likely scenario is that spending $20 for NC Flying Mikey will only serve to make parents/kids realize that they should have spent the $50 to get a fully functional RC helicopter.
Happy Hunting:Ninja Control Flying Mikey has been shipping to stores since the beginning of the year. I have seen it in person at both Target and Toys R Us though it doesn't appear that Walmart is carrying it. Both stores also have it listed online as well.