Some ideas seem to be evergreen with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. And as silly as the concept is, and as often as people critise Playmates
for all of the times that they have reused the molds, the Pizza Thrower is one of the most memorable vehicles from the original toy line. They
brought it back as a heavily armored vehicle in the 2003 toy line. But when they brought it back for the 2012 toy line, they went with a
design that looks more like something a bunch of pizza obsessed teenagers in New York would actually build: a pizza delivery scooter. So let's
see how the third generation of Pizza Throwers stacks up to its predecessors.
Packaging - 8/10The Pizza Thrower was one of the first vehicles introduced with the new packaging design in 2015. The front of the box has a cute image of the Pizza Thrower, complete with Michelangelo, Raphael and Pizzaface. (Interestingly, the Turtles in the image match the designs of the first series figures instead of the show designs even years after the show began to air.) The back of the box has an actual photo of the toy, sans figures, as well as several smaller photos showing the vehicle with figures. The graphics are bright and attractive. And the box is much stronger than some of the other vehicle boxes, so they should hold up better to wear and tear.
Sculpting - 9/10This is the third interation of the Pizza Thrower in the Ninja Turtle toy lines. And it is a pretty radical redesign. Gone is the large, artillary looking piece of the first toy line and 2003 line. Instead, the new Pizza Thrower goes for a design that looks like a combination of a parade float and scrapyard creation. The top portion is a fairly down-to-earth looking pizza oven other than the pizza monster covering the launching trigger. But when you get to the vehicle portion on the bottom, the Pizza Thrower has a ton of cool detail and personality. Starting with the central mount which is shaped like a giant propane canister. Off the back there is a large engine with big exhaust pipes and a small platform for a second figure made of pizza boxes. The front has a small bench seat and the front of a vespa style scooter with a small propane tank that sits between the driver's legs. It is a fun design. It is cool and very fitting for the more whimsical nature of the current cartoon.
Paint/Decals - 8/10The Pizza Thrower has a lot more color to it than most current TMNT toys. The various parts for the toy are used well to add color to the Pizza Thrower. There is also a handful of stickers to add some nice details like the menu on one side. So what they have done looks great. But there is so much detail to the sculpt, that even with all the work that was put into it, there is still alot more that could have been done.
Play Value - 8/10The Pizza Thrower's main feature is the ability to fire the "pizza" disks of course. When you have three AA batteries installed and it is switched on, appling light pressure to the Pizza creature/firing trigger, the motor will spin up. Pressing the trigger in fully, it will push the bottom disc into the spinning mechanism and send it flying out the front. The discs travel well due to their spinning motion, but they do tend to wander a bit to the left as they sail along. But the firing feature works well and is a lot of fun. The two down sides are that the Pizza Thrower comes with ten discs, but they only bothered to make the hopper deep enough to hold eight discs. It's not a big deal, but it seems like a really stupid design oversight. It is also hard to aim without picking up the entire toy. There is some lateral movement possible, but not much. The Pizza Thrower does give you spots for two figures, one in the driver's seat or bench, and one hanging off the back. But my favorite little touch is the inclusion of three pizza oven tools and a rack to hold them. It would have been so easy to just have them as part of the sculpt so it is fairly impressive to see Playmates going the extra mile with them.
Value - 8/10The Pizza Thrower sold for $30. That is not a bad deal for a cool looking vehicle with a classic action feature that works well. And there has to be some nostalgia value when a parent is able to buy their kid almost the same toy as they played with a generation ago. Even without the nostalgia value, it is still a cool looking and fun toy.
Happy Hunting:The Pizza Thrower hit shelves in the middle of 2015. It is still on shelves now. But it is hard to say how much longer it is going to be available at retail.