The world can be a strange place at times. Despite its multiple decade long history, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles hasn't had in the way of
high end collectibles or figures in that time. Ironically, it seems to be the 2014 Ninja Turtles movie, which was largely panned across the board
which has brought out the interest from the collectors market. The latest example of this is the first 1:6 scale Ninja Turtle figures ever produced
coming from Threezero. Much like the the Prime 1 Studio statues, Threezero announced these 1:6 scale figures almost a year ago and planned to stagger
the releases into two parts. And the first of those two parts which includes Leonardo and Michelangelo has finally arrived. And they are getting
a free pass to the top of the queue of my pending reviews because I am quite anxious to see how they turned out. Who knows, I may even become a 1:6
Packaging - 4/10There are a few things that I look for from the packaging for a toy or collectible figure. The packaging should be robust enough to resist damage and absolutely needs to protect the product inside. From there it should show off the product and help sell it. If I see the item on a store shelf, the packaging should do as much as possible to make me want to buy it even more than I did before. And ideally, especially for a higher end collectible like this, it's nice when the packaging is collector friendly so that you can use it in the future to safely store your expensive items. The packaging for Threezero's figures fall short or utterly fail in all three of those aspects. To start with, straight out of the shipping box, the package for Leonardo had a sizable dent pushed in at the bottom of the back of the box. It wasn't enough to damage the figure, but at this level my expectations are high and finding the dent was disheartening. And overall, the material used for the box is fairly thin and easily creased or damaged. And even if the packaging is in pristine condition as Michelangelo's box was, the design is still very simple. The front has the movie's logo, the name of the figure and a single image from the movie of the character. The back just has the name of the figure and the name of the film. There isn't a single photo of the actual figure. There's no mention of what accessories are included or any other information about what it is that you are potentially buying. And since each box came shrink wrapped, it's not like you can just open the box to inspect the toy and then put it back away. If this was as basic, mass market toy, I wouldn't mind so much. But for a high end collectible like these, I was really expecting a lot more effort.
Sculpting/Outfits - Leonardo 8/10, Michelangelo 9/10I have to admit, as someone who doesn't collect 1:6 scale figures, I'm a bit out of my league in trying to assess these figures. But even without many other figures to compare them to, I can tell that they are impressive. The 2014 movie designs added so much extra clothing and accessories to each of the Turtles, I'm sure it makes them both very difficult to replicate (especially in this format) and very impressive to see done so well. Each figure is a mix of generic body and arms with rubbery covers over them and fully sculpted legs and head. The sculpting in both cases is very well done. There is a tremendous amount of detail. The skin suit arms mean that the elbow joints aren't exposed. And the tolerances on the shoulders where the arm cover and body cover meet means that joint isn't very visible either. Unfortunately the arm covers only look their best in a straight position. If you bend the elbow, the covering has to fold and bulges out making it look unnatural. Personally, I think they did well enough with the sculpting of the legs, they should have gone with sculpted arms as well. That would also eliminate the risk of the flexible arm covers degrading over time. By basing the figures off of premade bodies they also had to make Michelangelo the same height as Leonardo when in the movie, he is noticeably shorter. That's a shame because making Mikey shorter than his brothers is one of the changes I really like in the new designs and it's the only significant issue I have with his figure. Leonardo was not so lucky. They put a lot of effort into all of the things he's wearing, but some of the choices they made didn't turn out so well. Starting with the Native American style wood chest guard, the movie shows it made out of twigs that aren't quite straight and there are fairly large gaps between them. On the figure, each piece of wood is nice and straight with evenly cut ends. And they don't leave much space between them, so it looks too well crafted. But the bigger issue is with the parts hanging off of his belt. In the front he is suppose to have feudal era style armor and guards covering his thighs and hanging down in front. But the materials they used don't replicate the look of canvas and armor well. So it looks like he has a bath towel hanging off the front of his belt instead. The imitation leather hanging off the back isn't much better. It looks like Leo molted his skin and it's still hanging off of him in the back. It's a shame that these areas fell short of expectations. I know Threezero can do better because the prototype of this figure had skirt armor that looked much better. And as it it, the lackluster skirt armor just hides the thigh pads that are amazingly well done.
Paint - 10/10The paint work on these guys is amazing. They paid attention to every detail and it all looks great. Even the masks which are a mix of real cloth for the tails and paint on the faces match so well that from a foot away you don't notice that they are two different materials. And it's not just the paint work on the figures. the cloth wrappings have been aged and distressed to make them look more realistic. And the results are beautiful. (Actually they are dirty and bordering on disgusting. But in this case, that is a beautiful thing.)
Articulation - 6/10Trying to determine just how much articulation these figures actually have is difficult to tell with certainty since so much of it is under the rubbery coverings. They don't seem to be lacking in articulation. They have double jointed necks, shoulders, elbows, hips and ankles. The knees are single hinged joints and there is an ab joint under the rubber suit as well. But trying to use the articulation can be more difficult than it should be when those joints are hidden under the rubbery coverings and all of the clothing as well. The end result of all of this is that both Turtles have a decent range of motion but not enough to consider it a real selling point for them.
Accessories - Leonardo 5/10, Michelangelo 7/10Both figures come with a pair of weapons and two pairs of alternate hands. Michelangelo also has his rocket powered skateboard and two necklaces. The hands include the hands to hold their weapons which come on the figures in the packaging, a pair of fists and a pair of hands in a slightly wider grasping pose. Three pairs of hands all in almost the same position, I'll give them credit for including them. But they could have done something far more interesting with them. And Leonardo just having the hands and his two swords is enough to cover the basics. But just covering the basics just doesn't seem like enough for high end collectible figures. Michelangelo is on the right track with the addition of his skateboard. The board looks amazing. And the wheels do roll. But it is made of very brittle plastic. I would never risk placing the figure on the board as the weight of just the figure would likely snap the rockets right off. And as complex and detailed as it looks, it doesn't offer the option of folding it so it can be stored on Michelangelo's back as seen in the movie which would have been a great improvement.
Value - Leonardo 5/10, Michelangelo 6/10You can expect to pay over $200 each for each of these figures. By preordering last year directly from Threezero, I got my set for $190 each. But the listings I'm seeing now are $220 to $230 each. And as expensive as that is, the reality is that it isn't out of line for 1:6th scale figures like these. And the Ninja Turtles have never gotten the proper 1:6 scale treatment in the past and it may be quite some time before it happens again, if ever. So I can't fault them for the hefty price point. But at the same time, they are still figures of 2014 style movie figures which rank pretty low on most fan's wish lists. And even if you liked the first movie, the sequel, which should be much better, is going to be out before all four Turtles are released and their outfits change completely in that movie. Finally, for the most elaborate and expensive Ninja Turtle figures to date, neither Leonardo nor Michelangelo manage to be quite knock-your-socks-off amazing in any regard.
Happy Hunting:I ordered my two figures directly from Threezero. But they do not have any of the Turtles listed on their web site anymore. But if you check your favorite import site, they should be showing up over the next month or so as retailers receive their inventory. Then we should get a few months to save up for when the remaining two brothers are released sometime in the second quarter of the year.