I just finished writing my review of the first series of Mutations Mix & Match figures only
to find the series three figures in stores on the same day. So I guess I'll take that as a sign and tackle series two and three of the line as the
next review. That works well since unlike the first series which consisted of nine different figures, series two and three only had three figures
each. (Casey Jones, Bebop & Rocksteady for series two and Dogpound, Rahzar and the Robotic Foot Soldier for series three) Playmates also created
two box sets containing three figures each which bundled Dogpound and Rahzar with a pair of the Mix and Match Turtles from series one. So I guess
it is time to add some more villains to the mix, or should that be to the Mix and Match.
Packaging - 8/10The second series of Mix & Match figures uses almost the same packaging design as the first series. The cards are similar in size to the basic assortment figures, and the same background colors are used at the top of the card. But those colors are largely overshadowed by the brighter blue behind the figure and blister and the image of Mix & Match Leonardo with a bunch of random body parts in the upper right corner. The series three figures change that image to one of Michelangelo instead. So that should help make looking for the newer figures on crowded store pegs easier. The back of the cards for both series has a large photo of the figure's head with the body and limb of other Mix and Match figures and photos of all of the figures in the line on the bottom. The three packs use the graphics around a wide window box which shows off the figures inside well. The back of the boxes have the same elements as well. But with three figures to interchange parts on, they get a bit more extreme. For example, Michelangelo is shown as just Mikey's head on Dogpound's boy in place of his tail and with four other legs attached. As with series one, I like the look of the packaging and the fact that it seems to hold up to wear and tear better than the new packaging for the basic figures. But it would be nice if they showed off the whole figures more.
Sculpting - Casey 2/10, Dogpound 3/10, Rahzar 5/10, Others 8/10As with the non-Turtles from the first series, most of the series two and three figures seem to be based on the same initial sculpt, but retooled for the new articulation. The results vary a lot. Bebop and Rocksteady both turned out a little better than their basic assortment counterparts. It's not much of a difference but the details are a bit sharper and more pronounced. The Robotic Foot Soldier has a couple of small improvements over his basic assortment counterpart. His head is better proportioned to his body. And he isn't sculpted with his neck bent back, so he doesn't need to bend forward just to look straight ahead. Unfortunately he doesn't have any actual hands as all four arms have the weapons permanently sculpted onto them. Both Dogpound and Rahzar ended up the opposite of Bebop and Rocksteady and lost detail compared to the basic assortment versions of each. And Dogpound is still plagued with inaccuracies compared to the show designs. But they say if you want to look better, you should stand next to someone who is even uglier than you. So fortunately for Dogpound, they managed to have one figure that they screwed up even worse than his, Casey Jones. If this version of Casey is based on the same prototype sculpture as the basic assortment Casey, they must have fed it through a steam roller and then done a few minutes on a taffy puller before they created this version. The entire figure is wider and flattened slightly. This makes his hips look particularly strange. Much like Dogpound and Rahzar, the details on Casey are far less sharp. Then there is his head which appears to be sitting on at least two, possibily three necks based on how far up it sits. This is one ugly figure.
Paint - 6/10The paint work on all six figures is reasonably well done. They aren't all that extensive though. Each figure has at least a few missing paint applications. But the paint work is neat with no quality control issues. It is also worth noting that the three pack version of Dogpound had a paint variation as well. Some of the initial shipments of the three packs are missing the orangish brown paint applications for the fur on the head. The mouth, nose and eyebrows are painted on a plain white face. They have already corrected this issue so not even all of the initial shipments had the error. And the carded version which is now showing up has the fur painted as well.
Articulation - Robotic Foot Soldier 5/10, Others 4/10The Robotic Foot Soldier and Dogpound break the pattern established by the series one figures of just five points of articulation. They add a spot for Dogpound's tail to attach and two spots on the Robotic Foot Soldier's back for his two extra arms. Dogpound has a slight added challenge since his head attaches to the front of his body rather than having a neck that sticks up. So you can attach other heads, but almost all of them will end up looking straight down. That small issue aside, the joints do seem to be well designed. They are just tight enough to hold the limbs in any position you put them but still allow the limbs to be removed and reattached easily and repeatedly. But just like the first series figures, the five points of articulation are not enough to fully make up for all of the elbow, knee and wrist joints that were left out.
Accessories - Bebop, Rocksteady & Casey Jones 5/10 Three Packs 4/10, others 2/10The three figures in series two (Casey, Bebop and Rocksteady) all have the same accessories as their basic assortment counterparts. Bebop has a small mine and a grenade. Rocksteady has his sickle and hammer. Casey has a bat and a hockey stick. And as with the series one figures, each also has a spare limb so that you have something to swap even if you only have one Mix & Match figure. And as with series one, the spare limbs are all from Donatello. The figures in series three don't have any additional weapons since all of the Robotic Foot Soldier's weapons are sculpted onto the figure's arms. So as a trade off, each of the series three figures include both a limb and an extra head from one of the Mix and Match Ninja Turtles. (Irronically, despite all of the spare Donatello arms and legs that have been included over the three series, series three includes all of the other Turtles' heads except for Donatello.) Finally there are the three packs which include just the weapons for the two Turtles and no extra parts. That makes some sense. Since you are getting three figures, there is no need for extra parts to allow you to swap them. But it still means you are getting less with the three packs than the individual figures.
Features - 6/10The Mix and Match feature is pretty simple in concept. Each limb and head of every figure can be removed and reattached to any other joint location on any figure. The feature works well and the limbs are easy to swap. But other than feeding the natural desire of kids to mix up characters, the feature doesn't really tie in with the characters or line well or add much play value. That should have changed with the Robotic Foot Soldier. Here was a chance to be able to decide what weapon(s) you want the Foot Soldier to have and where to equip them. You can even leave off the rear arms and make a decent version of the regular, two armed Foot Soldier. The only problem is that they didn't bother to make the weapons removable or extra arms. With a pair of empty hands, he you could have created an entire army of Foot Soldiers in various combinations. Too bad they weren't included in favor of more random Donatello limbs.
Value - Rocksteady 8/10, Casey Jones 3/10 others 6/10The Mix and Match Mutations figures sell for the same price as the basic figures, about $8 to $9 each depending upon the store. And this time of the year, you can frequently find them on sale. The 3 packs sell for $25 which means you're paying the same price as you would if you bought them separately. That's fine if you don't already have the Mix and Match Turtles. But for those that spent $25 to get Dogpound or Rahzar only to have them show up as individually carded figures, it might seem like a waste of money. Otherwise the only Mix and Match which represents much of an improvement over their basic assortment counterpart is Rocksteady. By contrast, Casey Jones is such an ugly looking figure that even if you did prefer the Mix and Match line in general, I still would prefer the other version of Casey at least.
Happy Hunting:The Mix and Match Mutations figures are sold in every store that carries TMNT toys that I have seen. At the very least I have seen them at Target, Toys R Us, Walmart, Kmart and more. But the line hasn't sold as quickly as the basic figures in most places. So finding newer stock can be difficult. Series two, consisting of Bebop, Rocksteady and Casey Jones, have been shipping since early in the summer. So by now they have become fairly common. Rahzar, Dogpound and the Robotic Foot Soldier comprise the third series and are just beginning to show up in stores over the last few weeks. Given time, they should become more readily available as well. If you haven't gotten into the Mix and Match line yet and would prefer to jump in feet first with the three packs, they are available from Toys R Us. The set with Raphael, Michelangelo and Dogpound has been out for several months and is currently available from their web site as well. The set with Rahzar began showing up in stores a month or so ago. Hopefully that set will be listed online soon as well.