There have been a lot of different versions of the Ninja Turtles over the last thirty years. One component which has
been a mainstay in most of those versions is the Turtle Van. The design has changed over the years. But since the first cartoon,
the Turtles have generally had a means of transportation large enough for the whole group. Setting aside the impractical
nature of having and storing a large vehicle in New York City, it has provided Playmates with a source of additional toys
to make. So it should come as no surprise that there is a new vehicle for the Turtles to go along with the new movie. While
it had only a very brief appearance in the movie, that was enough for it to get a place in the toy line. This time around
the Turtles' ride is a fairly realistic looking van, modified heavily to make it into an assault vehicle. So now it's time to
check out the new Turtle Assault Van toy. Just don't let Mikey press any buttons.
Packaging - 7/10The Turtle Assuault Van comes in a windowless box. While you can't see the actual toy inside, you do get a large photo of the toy on both the front and back panels, along with photos of some of the features. I don't care for the graphic design of the movie merchandise packaging, but here, the photos of the actual toy take up so much of the space, that it is irrelavant. So while the box won't win any awards for creative design, it does show off the toy well and seems to hold up well on shelves.
Sculpting - 8/10The basic design of the Assault Van is close to the design from the movie. But the upgrades seem to be exaggerated for effect. The tires are also slightly off model. They are mounted too high and appear to be shorter and wider in the movie. But those changes do help to make it a more interesting toy. To their credit, they even put some work into the front interior. The only change that I was disappointed about was the way the side doors are designed. In the movie, there are dual swinging doors on both sides of the van. But the toy just has a flip down ramp on the driver's side. I could understand if they were sliding doors which would be hard to replicate on a toy. But they already put hinged doors on the back. It shouldn't have been that much harder to add them to the sides.
Paint/Decals - 8/10There is very little paint work on the Assault Van, just a few details painted on the front. But they tried to more than make up for it with plenty of decals. Once they are all applied, the exterior looks great. The rear interior is fairly sparse though. Of course there is plenty more that could have been done. The rear bumper and a number of other small details are all unpainted.
Play Value - 7/10I've always thought that the biggest draw to a large vehicle like this is the ability to hold multiple figures. And it can certainly do that. There is room for two figures in the front. And there is plenty of room in the rear for additional figures, especially if you leave out the assault luge cart. But when it comes to actual action features, the Assault Van has a few of those as well. The biggest feature is the small go-cart that can be deployed out of the back by pressing the gas cap on the side of the van. There is also a projectile launcher mounted on the top and a whinch mounted to the front bumper. The quick release cart mechanism is a neat idea. But mine does not release as well as it should. But even without that, the Assault Van still has quite a bit of play value to it.
Value - 7/10The Turtle Assault Van sold for $30 at retail. There was also a version available from Target that included a "bonus" movie Leonardo figure. But the price for that set was higher, so you weren't really saving much money. Thirty is a decent price for a larger vehicle.
Happy Hunting:The Turtle Assault Van, as with the rest of the movie toy line, has been on shelves for quite a while. So at this point the issue is less a matter of being able to find them than it is finding them before stores drop the line entirely.