In my last review I covered the initial offerings in the T-Machines line of TMNT themed toy cars. But of course a toy line needs more than just a
single type of product these days. So Playmates Toys added some electronic Talking vehicles to the line as well. There are four Talking
T-Machines, one for each of the Turtles. And when you press the air intake on their engines they say a phrase or play a sound effect. Kids these
days! In my day we had to make our own engine noise. (/grumpy old man voice)
Packaging - 7/10The Talking T-Machines use a card design that is very similar to the regular T-Machines 2 packs. They are fairly wide giving plenty of room for an image of each character on the top right half of the card. The unique artwork not only looks good, it also makes looking for a particular vehicle on a crowded peg hook much easier. But there is really no reason to justify the packaging being so wide other than trying to make it look like you are getting more than you actually are in the store. They didn't even put that space to much use on the back which just has photos of each of the Talking T-Machines and the same paragraph that has been used on all of the T-Machine cards.
Sculpting - Leo & Don 7/10, Mike & Raph 6/10The Talking T-Machines are slightly larger than the regular T-Machines to accommodate the electronics, batteries and speaker inside. They planned ahead for Donatello and Leonardo by putting them in fairly large vehicles where that extra size make sense. So Donatello is now driving a semi tow truck while Leonardo is in a hot rod version of the Party Wagon. Raphael is once again riding in (on?) a sports car and Mikey has a pickup truck. But in order to have the necessary room in Raphael's car for all of the electronics, it had to be scaled up to where the car is now longer than Don's big rig wrecker. And Raphael himself has been made noticeably larger to match the car, but that makes him larger than any of the other T-Machine figures. Both Raph and Mikey were also given much wilder expressions than any of the other T-Machine figures. They look like they are performing a Looney Toons style wild take. It should also be pointed out that the details for all of the Talking T-Machines is lacking in depth, especially for the exhaust pipes.
Paint - 4/10The paint work on the Talking T-Machines isn't very impressive. There is just enough paint work on the vehicles themselves to be passable. And there aren't any issues with quality control. But then you come to the Turtles themselves. All of them are missing paint applications. Some of them are missing fairly important paint applications such as all of their teeth. And since most of them have their mouths open and sculpted teeth visible, leaving them green is very distracting. I'd really like to see what these would look like fully painted as I suspect they would be pretty impressive.
Features - 7/10The Talking T-Machines each have an electronic sound effect feature. When you press down on the air intake on the engine of each vehicle, a short sound clip of either the engine or the Turtle shouting. They have all of the usual drawbacks that such features usually suffer from. You have no real control of what you are going to hear. There's no way for a haggard parent to turn them off other than using a screw driver to remove the batteries. And of course they didn't actually use the proper voice actors. On the positive side though, the sound is decent for such a small speaker. They are also not too loud. So they shouldn't get on the nerves of every adult within earshot too quickly. And they do have a decent selection of phrases and sound effects and they are even selected to match each vehicle. It's also nice to have a feature that is well integrated into the toy. (Though, someone should explain to them that you don't generally position the engine on the roof of a vehicle.)
Value - 4/10The Talking T-Machines sell for $8 each, the same price as one of the T-Machine two packs or two of the single vehicles. But with the exception of Donnie's big rig wrecker, there are better versions of each of the of the other Talking T-Machine vehicles in the regular T-Machines line up for half the price. The talking feature isn't bad. It's actually one of the better electronic, talking features I've seen in a while. But that isn't worth doubling the price.
Happy Hunting:The Talking T-Machines were released a the beginning of the summer. The initial shipments included just Leo, Mikey and Raph. Donnie and his big rig wrecker started showing up around a month ago. But he still is not very common on store shelves. All four are listed currently on Toys R Us' web page though. So if you don't have any luck finding them on your local store shelves, you do have that as an option.