I've said it before, but for a group of subterrainian New Yorkers the Ninja Turtles have a lot of cool vehicles. The 2012 cartoon broke with
tradition and made the main vehicle for the Turtles a tricked out subway car. But for those that missed the old school Turtle Van, it finally
made it's return when the Turtles returned to New York at the beginning of 2015. And of course, a toy version was not far behind.
Packaging - 7/10The Party Wagon comes in a full box with no window. The front has a drawn image of the Party Wagon with the four Turtles cruising down the street. The back of the box shows off the actual toy in a very similar position, but without the Turtles in it as well as a couple of photos of figures in the vehicle. The artwork is a nice touch and reminicent of the vintage line. But it could stand to be a bit more stylized. As it is, the artwork on the front is so close to the photo that they may as well have used a photo.
Sculpting - 6/10The Party Wagon is based on a reworked version of the Turtle Assault Van from the 2014 movie. And it works surprisingly well. It works so well in fact that until I grabbed my Turtle Assault Van and set them side by side to take photos, I didn't even realize it. The reuse does result in two issues. The first is the inclusion of rear doors. On this style of vehicle and in the show, that is where the engine should be. But since they did make them working doors, the minor inaccuracy is made up for by having the extra access and play value. The more obvious issue is that the sides of the van are reversed! They did so much to get the design right, but they still left the side door on the driver's side and the solid panel where the door should be. The parts reuse aside, there is also an issue with the front bumper which is suppose to be made of metal, cinder blocks and a concrete parking stop. The toy matches the show's design, but the details are not clear enough to tell just what it is suppose to be. That's a shame because it is the only place on the vehicle where that is an issue. The exterior is packed with details and most of them match how the vehicle looked in its introduction in the "Return To New York" episode quite well.
Paint/Decals - 6/10There isn't a lot of paint work on the Party Wagon. But they make up for it with plenty of decals and a variety of plastic colors. The results are far from perfect. But they are enough to dress up most of the vehicle and make it look interesting. And they do a decent job of spreading the color around. There are a few areas that are in significant need of more work, particularly the front end. The large white bumper on top of the white portion of the front end makes that one of the least interesting areas of the Party Wagon Even if they had just painted the green metal plate that hangs off the front, that would have done a lot to add some needed color there.
Play Value - 7/10I have to say that I am surprised that Playmates didn't attempt to pack more features into the Party Wagon. There are the usual spring loaded projectiles. But even they are well hidden under the giant spoiler. Beyond that, the rear doors and side doors all open. And they used the same trick as with the movie Assault Van where the entire front end will flip open to give you access to both front seats. Personally, making it work well as a vehicle gives the Party Wagon way more play value than a few extra projectiles or spring loaded tricks.
Value - 6/10The Party Wagon sold for $30. Which for a vehicle of this size isn't a bad price. And given that, aside from the door placement, they managed to be pretty faithful to the show design, this should be something every fan of the current cartoon has in their collection.
Happy Hunting:The Party Wagon was released last year. While it was widely available throughout 2015, I haven't seen much of it through January though. So if you haven't already picked one up, you may want to do so before they disappear from store shelves entirely.