Since my last review of all of the basic assortment figures for the Out of the Shadows movie line allowed me to finally open up a much needed
space in my pile of figures waiting for reviews, I decided continue with more Out of the Shadows reviews. So this time, it's the deluxe line of
Out of the Shadows figures, or Battle Sounds figures as they are called on the packaging. For long term fans of Playmates Toys, the idea of
the OOTS Battle Sounds figures should be quite familiar. The figures are slightly larger than the regular TMNT figures and each one has built
in electronic sounds. Normally I'm not all that excited for these types of deluxe figure lines. But with many of the OOTS basic figures being
less than impressive, I'm hoping that Playmates had better luck with these.
Packaging - 7/10The priorities for the packaging design for the Battle Sounds figures is instantly clear when you see them: they are all about getting little hands directly onto the figures to try them out in the stores. And they do a great job of that. The figures are attached to the cardboard card back with the figure completely open in the front plus an opening in the back to allow you to reach the activation button on the back of each figure. The graphic design for the packaging is very similar to the basic assortment figures and is pretty unambitious. They also have an issue which is only going to affect people who want to keep their figures in the packaging. The figures are attached to the card backs which then have a small base attached to the bottom. Since there is no attempt to transfer the weight of the figure to the base, if the packaging is stored standing on the base, the card back will droop forward under the weight of the figure. It did not take long for most of my figures to reach a point where they had drooped so far forward that they can no longer stand up without additional support.
Sculpting - Bebop & Rocksteady 8/10, Michelangelo 6/10, Others 7/10The sculpting for the Battle Sounds figures is much better than the basic figures. Even Bebop and Rocksteady who had decent figures in the basic assortment are improved here. They no longer have the undersized waists that the basic figures had which gives them a better overall appearance. Though you do have the slight drawback that every figure now has a backpack of some sort to serve as the activation button for the action feature. That's fine for Donatello who always has a backpack and Leonardo whose sheathes serve as his backpack. The head sculpts for all of the Turtles are much sharper than their basic assortment counterparts. The shells for Leo, Raph and Michelangelo are still too small though. And for some reason Michelangelo is way too thick. Viewed from the side he looks almost as fat as Bebop or Rocksteady. But one of the most important things about these figures is that for once, Playmates didn't change the scale completely for the deluxe figures. They are slightly taller, but only by about half an inch. So these figures actually fit in better with the basic human figures.
Paint - 6/10The paint work for these figures is slightly better than the basic assortment figures. The difference is minimal for Bebop and Rocksteady. But the Turtles actually have painted eyes which is a significant improvement and much more accurate to the movie.
Articulation - 3/10Each of the Battle Sounds figures has fifteen points of articulation. That includes a rotating neck, hinged and rotating joints at the shoulders, elbows and hips and rotating wrists. That sounds like a reasonable amount. But with no knee or ankle articulation, the legs have very limited range of motion. And each figure has one arm's shoulder connected to the action feature with only four possible neutral positions. So you have figures with one limb with normal levels of articulation and three with extremely limited articulation or range of motion.
Accessories - Leonardo, Raphael & Michelangelo 3/10, Others 0/10All six Battle Sounds figures have one weapon permanently attached to their hand. Leonardo, Raphael and Michelangelo each come with a second weapon which can be held in their other hand or stored in Leonardo's sheath. It would be nice if all the weapons were removable. But I suspect that would be too much of a safety hazard.
Action Feature - 2/10Each of the Battle Sounds figures has the same action feature. When the lever on their back is pushed downward, one arm will swing down and a random sound clip will play. The swinging arms are one of the most basic features possible and it isn't even executed very well here. The range of motion is limited to less than ninety degrees which is rather pitiful. The fact that Michelangelo doesn't have a spinning function given he's holding a three segmented version of a nunchuk is weird. But it's the sound effects where these really fall flat. When activated fully, a random sound clip will play. The clips include both random sound effects and voice clips. But they clearly did not use the actual movie actors' voices. And the voices that they did use are so bad/generic that I wondered for a while if my figures had the correct chips installed in each figure.
Value - 4/10The Out of the Shadows Battle Sounds figures sold for $12 to $14 depending upon the store. Normally I'd write them off completely in favor of the cheaper basic assortment figures. But in this case, I have to admit that these do look significantly better than those figures. If you just want decent looking figures to stand on a shelf or your work space, or for younger kids who just want a physical totem of their favorite characters to bang together while most of the play actually occurs in their imagination, then these figures should work just fine.
Happy Hunting:The Out of the Shadows Battle Sounds figures were released in the summer of 2016 just before the release of the film. Unfortunately as it is now over a year later, still finding them in stores is rather difficult at this point.