Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series 15 and Metal Mutants Box Set Review

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The Ninja Turtles took an interesting turn following the end of the third season of the show as the Turtles set out into the depths of space in an attempt to save the planet. And Playmates was ready for the launch of the new season with a new series of figures that includes the Turtles in their space gear, their new ally the Fugitoid, and a quartet of other mutants from the cartoon. And if that is not enough, there was also an exclusive box set of the Turtles and Fugitoid with shiney, vac-metal finish.

Packaging - 5 Pack 6/10, others 8/10

The individual figures are all packaged in the new card designs from 2015. The new design is colorful and show off the figures well. They use the space on the back to give character background and images of some of the other figures available in the assortment. They also updated the graphics for the Dimension X Turtles and Fugitoid. Which makes those figures easy to find on store pegs. The box set uses much of the same graphics but have the figures displayed in a large window box. But they didn't make great use of the space on the back of the box. There is just a simple description and drawings of each character. It would be nice if they could have at least used actual photos of the figures instead.

Sculpting - Mutant Shredders 2/10, Atilla 3/10, Dimension X Turtles 7/10, others 8/10

This series has some of the best looking figures Playmates has made in some time as well as some of their worst work. Starting on the more embarassing end of things, there are the Mutant Shredders. The small one actually looks pretty cool but the detail work on his body aren't very sharp. And it only gets worse with the larger, claw Shredder clone and the details of his outfit. Particularly annoying is that they sculpted his shoulder armor onto the sides of his helmet which just looks silly. And his legs are so thin and spindly that he can't even stand and the blades barely stand out. In the end the Mutant Shredders look like cheap accessories. Atilla the Frog is another lowlight in the series. It's unfortunate because there is a lot of nice detail to the sculpt and it actually matches the show design well. But the entire figure had to be compromised to make it fit in the existing packaging. The figure is flattened so as to not be too fat to fit and the arms are sculpted to fit flat against his chest. They also had to mold the feet up against the body permanently. The result is that the entire figure has a very cheap appearance. Thing get much better from there though. Both Savage Mikey and all of the Dimension X Turtles use the Battle Shell Turtles as a base. Savage Maikey then adds the unique Kraang hat, belts and random tendrils. The tendrils are oddly flat where they wrap around his arms and leg. But the rest looks great. The Dimension X Turtles are more of an issue as the gear doesn't fit very well. All of it is just a bit too large and sticks out too much which can restrict the movement of the limbs. And as with the larger versions, the Turtles are missing the boots/leg armor once again. The final three figures, Mondo Gecko, Dark Beaver and Fugitoid all look great. All three follow the show designs well. It's figures like these that remind me why I collect TMNT figures.

Paint - Mutant Shredders 2/10, M.M. Fugitoid 4/10, Atilla, Dimension X Turtles
& M.M. Turtles 5/10, Dark Beaver, Mondo & Savage Mikey 6/10, Fugitoid 7/10

The paint applications has been one of the weakest areas for Playmates' figures recently. And they have some issues here too. The worst figures by far are the the Mutant Shredders. They have only the absolute minimum amount of paint work. And it makes the figures look unfinished and cheap. Fortunately it gets much better from there. Interestingly, the Metal Mutants box set is an interesting case. Other than the unfinished arms on Fugitoid from that box set, I don't have any real problems with the set. But neither Fugitoid nor the Turtles have metallic finishes in the show. And honestly I prefer the regular versions over them. So they don't really serve any purpose. The regular releases of the Turtles are decent, but they don't have a great deal of detail to them. That works particularly well for Fugitoid though since he doesn't need a lot of paint work. Atilla the Frog has all of the paint work on his front. And if you only look at him from the front, it's not too bad. But as soon as you look at the sides and see the lack of black skin markings or see the completely unpainted leaves on his back and it becomes clear how limited the budget for the paint work was. The limited budget also shows up on Mondo Gecko. They did a nice job painting the head, including the skin markings. But they left his tail, pants and knee pads unpainted. He really should have gotten some paint either on the pants or knee pads. Leaving so much of the body black is quite boring. Finally there is Dark Beaver and Savage Mikey, both of which turned out well even if they only gave them the minimum amount of paint work.

Articulation - Atilla 1/10, Mutant Shredders 2/10, Dark Beaver & Mondo 5/10, D. X Turtles & Fugitoid 7/10, Savage Mikey 8/10

The Dimension X Turtles and Savage Mikey are all based on the Battle Shell Turtle bodies and retain all of the ninteen points of articulation of those figures. But as I mentioned earlier, the bulky space gear on the Dimension X Turtles does limit their range of motion slightly. For the non-Turtles, Atilla has the worst articulation with just four points of articulation, two in each shoulder. He can do a surprising amount with so little articulation. But it doesn't change the fact that there's no neck articulation or leg joints. The Mutant Shredders are only marginally better. They have four joints for the smaller one and eight on the larger figure. It works well enough for the small figure. But the large one really can't hold any pose. Actually, you're lucky if you can just get it to stand up. Both Mondo Gecko and Dark Beaver have ten points of articulation, two each at the hips and shoulders and one at the tail and neck. That is enough articulation to make the figures usable, but it isn't very impressive. Finally there is Fugitoid who has thirteen points of articulation: two each at the shoulders and hips and rotating neck, elbows and knees. It still isn't a huge amount of articulation, but it does give him a decent range of motion.

Accessories - Mondo Gecko 3/10, Savage Mikey & Dimension X Turtles 5/10, Others 0/10

Normally the figures in Playmates' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle basic assortment have at least a few accessories. But the accessories are really limited with the figures in this series. In fact, the Mutant Shredders, Atilla, Dark Beaver and Fugitoid all have no accessories at all. (I'm kind of disappointed that Dark Beaver didn't come with a "real world" sized version of himself.) Mondo has just one accessory, his skateboard. The board does have rolling wheels and a peg so he can ride it. He can also hold the board in his hand fairly well. But the board is really plain. It has no real sculpted detail or any interesting decals or paint work. And who wants a boring skateboard? Savage Mikey comes with a pair of nunchuks for his accessories. And the Kraang hat is removable as well if you wanted to count that. It's not bad, but there are a lot of other cool items from the show that he uses in Dimension X that could have been included as well. Finally there are the Dimension X Turtles. each has their space gear, most of which is removable. The only part that doesn't come off without the use of a tool are the belts which are screwed together at the front at the right side. Otherwise each Turtle has a helmet/shoulder pads, thigh armor, wrist packs and finger guards. As with the larger versions, they didn't bother to include the boots/foot armor. In addition to the armor, each Dimension X Turtle has a pair of their updated style weapons from the fourth season of the cartoon (except for Donatello who has just one bo staff.) The armor looks nice. But the weapons aren't painted which makes them look a bit cheap. And they don't fit in their hands well if they are also wearing the finger guards.

Features - Atilla 3/10, others 0/10

Atilla the Frog is the only figure in this series with an action feature. He has a lever on his back which can be used to extend his tongue out of his mouth. As a feature, it makes a lot of sense for a frog. But the tongue really doesn't extend very far and it doesn't do anything once it is extended. And incorporating it into the figure required too many other compromises for very little pay off.

Value - Mutant Shredders & Atilla 2/10, Metal Mutants Box Set 3/10, D. X Turtles & Mondo 6/10, Savage Mikey, Fugitoid & Dark Beaver 8/10

The basic series figures still sell for $9 to $10 each while the Metal Mutant five pack sold for $50 which still works out to $10 per figure. That's not a bad price for the better figures such as Savage Mikey, Fugitoid and Dark Beaver. Even the Dimension X Turtles and Mondo Gecko who have a few more issues are still decent figures. But then you come to the figures in the Metal Mutant set. Not only are they slightly more expensive, but you of course have to buy the entire set even if you only want one figure such as the shiney Fugitoid. And since none of them seem to be an improvement over the regular figures, I can't see a good reason to spend the extra money for it. And then there is the Mutant Shredder pack and Atilla the Frog. Both of these just turned out so poorly that they are really only worth buying for the most dedicated fans.

Happy Hunting:

The Metal Mutant box set was an exclusive to Target stores while the rest of the figures are part of the basic figure assortment and should be available in any store carrying the TMNT toy line. Of course this review is long over due. So the box set has already been cleared out of most Target stores on clearance and there are newer figures that have been rotated into the basic assortment. But despite that, all of the basic figures should still be relatively easy to find, even after all this time. The one exception being Atilla since it seems that Playmates understood that the figure did not turn out well and thus it has never shipped in significant quantities.

Dimension X Leonardo MOC

Dimension X Michelangelo MOC

Fugitoid MOC

Savage Mikey MOC

Atilla the Frog MOC

Mondo Gecko MOC

Metal Mutants 5 Pack

Metal Mutants box back

Series 15 figures

Metal Mutants 5 Packs

Dimension X Leonardo front and back Dimension X Leo without gear Dimension X Leo close up Dimension X Leo helmet open Dimension X Leo accessories Dimension X Leo size comparison Dimension X Donatello front and back Dimension X Don without gear Dimension X Don close up Dimension X Don helmet open Dimension X Don accessories Dimension X Don & Metal Mutant Don Dimension X Michelangelo front and back Dimension X Michelangelo without gear Dimension X Michelangelo close up Dimension X Michelangelo helmet open Dimension X Michelangelo accessories Dimension X Michelangelo & Metal Mutant Michelangelo Dimension X Raphael front and back Dimension X Raphael without gear Dimension X Raphael close up Dimension X Raphael helmet open Dimension X Raphael accessories Dimension X Raphael & Metal Mutant Raphael Fugitoid front and back Fugitoid and Metal Mutant Fugitoid Fugitoid close up Fugitoid hand close up Metal Mutant Leo front and back Metal Mutant Don front and back Metal Mutant Leo close up Metal Mutant Don close up Metal Mutant Leo helmet open Metal Mutant Don helmet open Metal Mutant Mikey front and back Metal Mutant Raph front and back Metal Mutant Mikey close up Metal Mutant Raph close up Metal Mutant Mikey helmet open Metal Mutant Raph helmet open Metal Mutants Fugitoid front and back Metal Mutants Fugitoid close up Metal Mutants accessories Metal Mutant Turtles in action Savage Mikey front and back Savage Mikey accessories Savage Mikey close up with hat Savage Mikey close up Mondo Gecko front and back Mondo Gecko close up Mondo Gecko's skateboard Mondo Gecko with board Mondo Gecko's tail Mondo Gecko, Savage Mikey & Napoleon Bonafrog Dark Beaver front and back Dark Beaver close up Dark Beaver with Mikey small Shredder Mutant front and back Shredder Mutants front and back large Shredder Mutant close up small Shredder Mutant close up Atilla the Frog front and back Atilla the Frog close up Atilla the Frog with tongue in Atilla the Frog with tongue out Atilla the Frog with Napoleon