Statues are a fairly common high end collectible for comic book fans. But surprisingly, there have only been a few statues and busts for the
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles throughout the decades. But it looks as though that drought is coming to an abrupt end in 2015 as no less than
four separate companies have statues or entire series of statues scheduled to be released this year. And now, two thirds of the way through
the year and the first of those offerings is finally making it into fans' hands. The first to be released are the offerings from the Good Smile
Company. They have produced a series of four statues, one for each of the Turtles, based on a popular piece of TMNT fan art from artist James
Jean which featured the four brothers presented in a more traditional eastern style. When all four statues are put together, you can
recreate the scene from the image, or at least most of it. Originally the four statues were meant to be released one at a time. But thanks
to delays with the first two releases, it now appears that all four are going to be hitting the market this month. In fact, I received the first
two just three days apart and have already received notice that the third will be arriving shortly. So while I wait for the second half of the
brothers to arrive at my door, I'll start by checking out Leonardo and Michelangelo.
Packaging - 8/10Statues are a bit of a luxury item, not something you expect to get very often, especially for TMNT fans. And they certainly aren't cheap. So the packaging should reflect that while also serving to protect the relatively fragile contents inside. The shoe box style boxes used here serve both of those roles well. The front panels have large images of the figure inside against a black background with the Turtle's name, and logos for both Nickelodeon and Good Smile Company. The side panels have a close up of the statue, a photo of the completed group of statues, or a copy of the original artwork from James Jean that the statues are based upon. The back panel shows the four statues through the letters "TMNT" The back panel is the one place I am a bit disappointed with the design. There is a lot of space there that could have been used to show of the completed series of figures much better than the tiny image provided on the side of the box. But most of the space is just wasted or used for the usual legal fine print, all of which could have been relegated to less valuable space such as on the bottom panel. Once the two seals holding the box closed are broken, inside you will find assembly instruction and an offer for a bonus for those that buy all four statues and the parts of the statue itself neatly packed in stiff black foam. The statues look great inside. But more importantly it give you an option for storing the statues in the future. As someone with an impending move in his future, that is something I really appreciate.
Sculpting - 9/10The sculpting for both of these figures is quite impressive. There is an incredible amount of detail not only on the figures, but on the weapons and bases as well. In fact I suspect that they may have gone just a bit overboard for some people's tastes. The original artwork upon which it was based had a fairly clean look to it. The statues have so much detail added to them that they can look a bit busy. For the most part I don't mind. But I have to admit that all of the nicks and gouges that were added to Leonardo's swords seem like they went too far. Beyond that, there is just one other issue that I noticed. The size of the weapons seems to be slightly exaggerated compared to the original artwork. The ends of Michelangelo's nunchukus look long enough for three or four hands to hold on to it. And Leonardo's swords look like they are about five feet long! It's hard to tell from the original art if the weapons were intended to be that large or if it is just a trick of the perspective, but I'm leaning towards the later.
There was some confusion with these statues as to whether they were designed to actually interlock and form a single display piece. From what I can tell, the answer is no. There is no information given in the instructions to indicate that the bases interlock. And there is no sign of any means to interlock them either. In the end, I think that I prefer it this way. The two statues look really good standing next to each other. But since they don't actually lock together, you have the freedom to adjust the positioning as space allows and depending upon how many of the statues you own.
One last issue of note is the size of these statues or "non scale painted figures" as they are labeled on the packaging. They are pretty small. In their crouching poses, both figures are around five inches tall, not including the bases. If they were standing straight up, they would be about six inches tall. With the bases, Leonardo is about seven inches tall and Michelangelo is about eight and a half inches tall. So it's not like they are tiny. But they are the smallest statues that I have. Of course if you have limited display space, that isn't the worst thing in the world. But if you are hoping for an impressive centerpiece for your collection, there are better ways to spend your money.
Paint - 8/10Much like with the sculpting, with the painting they took what was present in the original art and ran with it. But unlike with the sculpting, I have no problem saying that they went too far with the paint. In particular, they gave both of the Turtles a fairly dark wash to highlight the details of the sculpt. But in most lighting conditions it just makes them look too dark and dirty. It takes direct lighting, such as in a lighted display cabinet, for the paint washes to really look their best. (In fact, most of the photos for this review were taken with three times as many lights as normal.)
Articulation - 0/10There is no articulation since these are statues. You do have some options for how you want to display them since their weapons are separate pieces that just slide into their hands. You could even remove their weapons entirely. But you do not have the option of storing their weapons as both Leo's sheathes and the loop on Michelangelo's belt are purely decorative.
Accessories - 7/10As I just mentioned, the weapons in each Turtles' hands are removable. (The extra pair on Michelangelo's belt are not.) As are the bases themselves. So I suppose you could count all of them as accessories. But while the bases are removable, they are not optional nor interchangeable. Neither figure is capable of standing without the base. But having them removable does mean that it is relatively easy to disassemble them if you need to store or transport either statue. And there is one other little bonus included with each statue. Each includes a text code which can be entered online at Good Smile Company's web site. If you purchase all four of the statues and enter the codes online, Good Smile Company will send you an aluminum art print of the image by James Jean that inspired these statues. That seems like a pretty cool little bonus for those that buy all four of the statues.
Value - 6/10 (7/10 if you get all four)Retail price for these statues seems to be right around $130 each. That's not a bad price. But it does seem like they are slightly overpriced for their size. A quick search online showed that the price varies quite a bit depending upon the seller. Given their size, $100 each seems more in line with what I would want to pay. Fortunately there are plenty of retailers and sellers offering these figures online right now. So if you shop around you can get them for less. Of course you could also pay quite a bit more than $130 each as well. I will say that while any one of these statues is a bit small and underwhelming for the price, even with just two of them so far I can tell that as a group they will look a lot better. And if you can add the print of the original artwork that Good Smile Co. is offering for buying all four, they should make a really nice display.
Happy Hunting:The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle statues from Good Smile Company are shipping right now, or at least the first three are. Donatello is suppose to be released shortly. They are import items. But there are plenty of retailers and sellers offering them online. I purchased mine from Big Bad Toy Store. At $130 each, they don't have the best price, but their service has always been great. And since they are in the same state as I am, even regular ground shipping ends up arriving the next business day for me. But if you are looking to save money, you should shop around a bit.