It's nice that I'm getting close to being caught up on reviews since it means I can get back to reviewing new items. Or in the case of the subject of
this review, some new old figures. Playmates has released the mini Turtles once again, this time in two packs under the Classic Collection banner.
It seems a bit odd to include them under a line which had focused on the earliest Ninja Turtle toys. But they were originally released as the
pilots for the Muta Force Turtle mechs in the original toy line. So they aren't completely out of place. But lets see how the latest release
stacks up to the previous versions.
Packaging - 5/10The Classic Collection mini Turtles use the Classic Collection artwork for the front of the cards with the two figures packaged in a small blister with their names on stickers near the bottom. They used the cartoon style artwork instead of the Mirage version though the figures look more like the Mirage designs. That's all well and good. It's when you turn them over to the back of the cards that you see where they just stopped trying. The back of the cards are black and white and they just slapped the default image of the four cartoon style Turtles onto the center of the card to use up as much of space as possible. These are made for deep discout stores, not regular retail. So the generic back isn't completely out of place. But if you have to print the back of the card anyway, why not print something interesting on there?
Sculpting - 6/10The Classic Collection TMNT minis use the same sculpt for all four Turtles. And it is the same sculpt that Playmates has used for the Muta Force figures, the 2003 Toy Fair promo keychains and the 2003 minis. So long time fans should know exactly what to expect. The mold is pretty simple, and blends the look of the Mirage and original cartoon. They lack individual designs for each Turtles' belt and they aren't all that detailed. But I have to admit that the sculpt has held up well for its age.
Paint - 7/10The paint work on the minis is not too complex. Each Turtle has a unique skin tone. The pads, belts and shells are all painted, as are the masks and teeth. Unlike the original Muta Force versions which had the entire plastron painted, these follow imitate the 2003 releases and leave the rim around the plastron unpainted. They also omit the initials on the belt like the 2003 versions as well. The paint work isn't elaborate, but it looks good. And unlike many of the recent releases, there's no obvious paint applications missing.
Articulation - 4/10The Classic Collection Mini Turtles have the same five points of articulation as the originals: rotating neck, shoulders and hips. The hips are attached at an odd angle which renders that articulation pretty worthless. They could really use wrist joints. But I won't hold that against them too harshly since this is the first time a version of these figures has included weapons. And without the weapons, they wouldn't need the wrist joints.
Accessories - 8/10Each of the mini Turtles comes with their signature weapons, a pair of swords for Leo, sais for Raph, nunchuks for Michelangelo and a bo staff for Donatello. The weapons aren't necessarily anything really impressive at first glance. But the simple fact that they made up weapons for them when none of the previous releases have had them deserves some credit. And they do have some paint work. The blades on the swords and sais are painted. So are the chains on the nunchuks and the wrappings on the bo. Other than hoping for additional accessories, these cover the basic needs better than I would have expected.
Value - 5/10The Classic Collection Minis are being sold in two packs for $5.50 each. In the past, the same figures, minus the weapons, sold for $1 each. I would expect the price to have gone up slightly since then. And the addition of the weapons adds some value. But the price tag is still a bit too steep for what you're getting. At $4 per pair, they would have been a great value.
Happy Hunting:The Classic Collection Minis have been showing up at Family Dollar stores. They may show up in similar discount retail stores, but judging by the generic card backs, they won't be sold through more traditional toy retailers such as Walmart, Target or Toys R Us unless they are sold as low cost toys for Easter.