The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have been enjoying a huge amount of popularity over the last few years thanks to the 2012 relaunch. But in
addition to all the kids that have joined the ranks of TMNT fandom, we have also seen a large resurgence in the interest of adult collectors.
While Playmates has focused on toys for the kids market, they have made some products with the adult collector in mind. Among them were reissues of
some of the original Ninja Turtle figures. And last year, they released two more, the last two from the original series of Teenage Mutant Ninja
Turtle figures from 1988: Bebop and Rocksteady. I didn't bother with reviews of the previous releases since they were essentially the same as
the original figures. (And I didn't want to buy an additional copy of each figure.) But these two figures seem to have a few obvious differences
from the originals. So this is not going to be a traditional review, but more of a comparison of the reissue figures to the originals to see
how well they did at recreating the classic toys.
Packaging - 7/10The original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toys were unusual in a number of different ways. And the differences started on stores shelves and the packaging. Each figure had unique artwork for the cards showing the characters in multiple poses against a brick sewer background that would become iconic to an entire generation of boys. The Classic Collection reissues try to immitate the look. They did good job on the back of the cards. They have the origin story retold in a short comic and photos of all of the reissue figures released so far. It's the front of the cards that fall a bit short. The brick background lacks the personality of the originals. And have a slightly generic look to them. It certainly doesn't match the art style of the character art on the cards. That art actually looks like the originals. But it doesn't include any images of Bebop or Rocksteady.
Sculpting - 8/10The reissue figures seem to reuse the original molds for the figures. I don't think they could have recreated the figures with this much accuracy otherwise. They have removed the original licensing information from the figures' backs in favor of putting it on the bottoms of their feet. There is also a slight loss of sharpness and depth to some of the details. It isn't a big difference. But it is enough to be noticable when the figures are placed side by side.
Paint - Rocksteady 6/10, Bebop 2/10The paint work is where these figures really differ from the originals. It's also the main reason I decided that it would be worth getting a second set for comparison purposes and do this review. Rocksteady is decent. They skipped the paint work on his watch and wristband as well as the camo pattern on his pants. The missing paint apps are unfortunate, but don't hurt the overall appearance of the figure too much. Bebop is not so lucky. They left him completely unpainted from the waist down and from the shoulders down on both arms. That leaves his bracelets, belt, tail, shoes and ankles all unpainted. The bracelets I can live with. But leaving the entire bottom half of the figure as one unpainted black mass is simply unacceptable. I can appreciate Playmates' need to keep the costs down and that the paint applications is one way they could do that. But if they couldn't do better than this, then they should have raised the price or not bothered at all.
Articulation - 10/10Both Bebop and Rocksteady have seven points of articulation. That includes rotating joints at the neck, shoulders and wrists and ball jointed hips. I'm not likely to give a score like this for figures with seven points of articulation again anytime soon. But these are not meant to be modern versions of the original characters. They kept all of the original articulation and it all works well. Actually it works better than it did on the original Bebop.
Accessories - Rocksteady 8/10, Bebop 9/10Both figures come with the same accessories as the originals. Bebop's accessories turned out well. There's just a little extra flashing around the edges compared to the originals. Rocksteady must have had his belt redone, because they left off the molded grommets that were spaced around the original. The rest of his accessories are also slightly thinner. If you look at the front sight of his rifle, the new one is now completely flat. The changes are minor and not the type of thing you are likely to notice unless you have them side by side with the originals.
Value - Rocksteady 7/10, Bebop 2/10The Classic Collection Reissue figures sold for $13 each originally. That's cheaper than you are going to get originals. And for Rocksteady, who actually looks reasonably close to the original it's a reasonable price. But the lack of paintwork on Bebop ruins the figure.
Happy Hunting:The Classic Collection reissue figures were sold through Toys R Us here in the United States. I don't believe that they are technically exclusives. But Toys R Us is the only store that I am aware of that carried them. I do still see a few of them in the local Toys R Us store, but it is mostly the Turtles themselves rather than Rocksteady or Bebop.