Nickelodeon and Playmates struck quite a chord with young fans with the release of the Blast From the Past Half-Shell Heroes video special. And
I know quite a few young fans have been anxiously awaiting the release of the larger dinosaurs and they have finally begun showing up in stores. But
before I get to my review of those, there is one last, lonely small vehicle that they snuck into the assortments before the Blast From the Past dinos:
the Stunt Plane with Daredevil Mikey. So before we explore the prehistoric past, lets visit the barnstorming history aeronautics in preschool toy form.
Packaging - 8/10The Stunt Plane uses the same packaging as the first two series of small vehicles which is more or less the same style used for all of the Half-Shell Heroes toys. The open tray card puts the toy out where it is very easy for young fans to see and touch while in the store and without removing it from the packaging. The shell pattern background of the card gives it a nice green color while the plain white background and simple, colorful graphics on the rest of the packaging has a clean appearance. They are still recycling the same photo and write up for the Half-Shell Heroes line on the back. But I suppose the target demographic for these toys probably can't read the text yet anyways.
Sculpting - 7/10The Stunt Plane's design and mold is fairly down to earth for the Ninja Turtles vehicle. It has the usual shell pattern around the engine in the front. But that is as wacky or unusual as it gets. Like the Half-Shell Heroes figures, it's proportions are altered to give it a stubby, cute appearance. It would be nice if they had done a better job of hiding the screw on the tail as they did with all the other screws. And it could really use a little interior detail for the cockpit. At the very least, it would be nice to see a control stick. Of course the Stunt Plane also comes with a new Half-Shell Heroes figure, Daredevil Mikey. Daredevil Mikey has a new helmet design and a new outfit. The extra effort in producing all of these new sculpts is admirable. But there is very little about this figure that makes me think it is a pilot. The sculpt seems to have Mikey looking up slightly while the helmet is down very low above his eyes. So it looks like he is wearing a helmet that is several sizes too large and he needs to tilt his head back to keep the helmet out of his eyes. They also really should have sculpted some gloved hands. So Daredevil Mikey seems just a bit too cute for my tastes.
Paint - 5/10The paint work on the Stunt Plane is simple and focused mostly on the front end. A little extra shading on the back to bring out the details on the body of the plane would have been nice. But it is passable as it is. It's when you get to Daredevil Mikey that things fall off a bit. They wanted to give the figure gloves. But since they weren't sculpted, they just painted the arms orange all the way up to the elbow pads. And the white paint is sloppier on Daredevil Mikey than I am used to. It isn't horrrible. But little things like painting the entire interior of his mouth instead of just the teeth and a little over painting where his face meets the helmet are enough to catch your eye.
Play Value - 3/10The Stunt Plane breaks the pattern set by all of the previous small vehicles as it is the first one that doesn't split into two, even smaller vehicles. The only real feature that it has is a function to spin the propeller when you press in on the exhaust pipes on one side. I don't mind that it doesn't split into multiple vehicles. But it seems like they could have come up with more features or a more creative feature than just the spinning prop. Still, it is a plane. So most kids are just going to carry it around in their hand, waving it through the air.
Value - 4/10The Stunt Plane is part of the small vehicle assortment and carries the same $13 to $14 price tag as the previous releases. That's not a bad price for a vehicle and a figure. But the Stunt Plane feels a bit out of place in the line with no significant action feature and its much more realistic, down-to-earth design. It seems like they just needed an extra vehicle in the line to meet some odd quota. It's not bad. It's certainly better than the Tread Cycle. But it isn't terribly impressive either.
Happy Hunting:The Stunt Plane shipped as part of the small vehicle assortment for the second half of 2015. But it didn't ship in large numbers and many stores I frequent never seemed to get even one. And now that the Blast From the Past dinosaur sets are shipping, I don't expect that we will see many more of these showing up in stores if any. So if you are interested in adding one to your collection, I would do it soon.