I have a tendancy to get behind on my reviews for toys that get released in the summer due to the demands on my time from my job.
But even I try not to be as far behind as I might seems with this review given that the Grass Kicker vehicle started to ship back
in February. But I initially put off doing the review expecting the Shell Flyer to show up at anytime. Little did I know that I
would be waiting for over six months for the second vehicle to appear on shelves in my area. But my patience was eventually
rewarded and my Turtle figures now have some air support in their arsenal.
Packaging - 7/10The packaging design hasn't changed much for the fourth series of basic vehicles. The only significant change is replacement of the cardboard inner packaging with a plastic tray. But otherwise the packaging is unchanged.
Sculpting - 10/10Playmates has been producing small vehicles for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toy lines for more than a quarter of a century. And over all of those years, they have produced a wise range of different types of vehicles. Motorcycles are certainly the most common. But there have also been scooters, skateboards, inner tubes, jet skis and more. So finding something new to produce can be a tall order. So the fact that both the Grass Kicker and Shell Flyer are completely new ideas is fairly impressive. And the detail work on both is as impressive as the creativity. Both are sculpted in a more realistic style fitting for the new show. But there are some comical touches included as well such as a lawn gnome strapped to the front of the Grass Kicker and the patches on the wing and tail of the Shell Flyer.
Paint - Grass Kicker 3/10, Shell Flyer 5/10The paint work on the Grass Kicker is extremely limited, just the rear tire rims and the wrappings on the roll over bar. The situation is improved slightly by having pieces molded separately in different colors such as the exhaust pipes and control sticks. But even those parts are fairly plain looking compared to how they could have looked if they had been chromed or at least been made with a brighter color plastic like the cutting reel in the front. The Shell Flyer turned out much better, thanks in part to it being made of so many separate, small pieces. But there is still a lot of room for improvement on it as well. At the very least, there doesn't seem to be any reason why the entire frame should be the exact same color as the wing.
Play Value - Shell Flyer 5/10, Grass Kicker 6/10The Grass kicker has a mechanism built in to fire discs from the right side. It also has two law dart missiles that can be tossed at enemies, modern safety standards be darned. But it's biggest feature is that it can transport two figures. There is a platform on the back for a second figure to ride. It may seem like a simple thing, but it is the type of feature that can greatly extend the play value for a child. The Shell Flyer on the other hand, only seats one figure. And it only has a single action feature: a set of claws made from an oil drum that swing down to capture figures from above. It is cute, but not very impressive.
Value - 7/10The basic assortment vehicles sell for $10 to $12. While they are simple vehicles, you can't complain about the price. It is particularly impressive given that both of these are completely new vehicles as well.
Happy Hunting:Both the Grass Kicker and Shell Flyer are part of the basic vehicle assortment. They are carried by all of the major retailers that I have seen, including Toys R Us, Target and Walmart. However, since the Grass Kicker has been shipping for more than half of a year, it is going to be much easier to find than the Shell Flyer which is only now showing up. But given a little time, it too should be readily available.