Over the last two years as the Half-Shell Heroes line wound down, it seems like Playmates didn't always have enough ideas to keep the line going
which seemed to result in fairly long gaps between new releases. When they didn't have anything to follow up the T-Rex with Donatello set for the
large vehicle assortment, they fell back on a quick repaint to put something "new" on shelves. And thus the T-rex that had been Donatello's partner
found its way back into stores with a new, blue color scheme and a repainted Leonardo as his new partner.
Packaging - 8/10The packaging is the same for this set as it was for previous sets. The open design allows you easy access to the T-rex to test out its features in the store. It would have been nice if they had added this version of the T-rex to the photo of the Blast from the Past line on the back as well as the orange version that was released earlier. But that's not a major issue.
Sculpting - 7/10This version of the T-Rex is identical to the previous version and the Leonardo figure is identical to the basic assortment Blast From the Past Leonardo that was paired with a triceratops. It's disappointing that they didn't put any additional effort into this set. But Playmates' laziness aside, the sculpts aren't bad.
Paint - 3/10In terms of the painting, this is not a great looking set. To begin with, I find that the light blue body color of the T-rex doesn't contrast well with the color of the mask and knee pads. And in general I just don't find it all that appealing. The color choices on Leonardo aren't much better. The story behind Blast From the Past has the Turtles trapped in prehistoric times where they adopt scavenged armor. So you would expect a lot of muted colors taken from nature with limited use of bright colors. The basic assortment versions of the figures did this well. But this version has a lot of rich blue color for the pads, mask and belt, and the brown of vest is not a color you would expect to find in nature. Even if the color choices don't bother you, they were also quite lazy about how much paint work was done on the T-rex. Several of the stripes on the T-rex's back, the underbelly, the claws on both the hands and feet, and even the elbow pads were all left unpainted. But what really annoyed me was that they didn't paint the tongue on this version, despite the fact that the whole action feature is still the opening mouth which now showcases their lack of effort.
Play Value - 6/10The action feature for the T-rex hasn't changed. By default the dino stands up with his tail on the ground. When you tilt the toy forward with its feet on the ground, it will open its mouth until it snaps back closed. It's a decent action feature. Unfortunately it does mean that the mouth can't be posed freely otherwise. So no roaring poses. It also means that there is no neck articulation or free movement of the back legs.
Value - 5/10This set gives you a cute little figure and a big dinosaur to fight by their side and provide him with a ride if he needs it. That's a pretty good recipe for a set. It's just unfortunate that they couldn't be bothered to put a little more effort into the set to distinguish it from the T-rex with Donnie set, especially when in many stores the two sets ended up being on shelves at the same time. But if you like the color scheme or just missed out on the previous set, this isn't a bad deal for the $20 retail price.
Happy Hunting:The T-Rex with Leo set is still shipping as part of the large vehicle assortment of the Half-Shell Heroes line. So if you can find the line in stores, finding this set should be fairly easy. It's finding a store that still carries the line, especially the larger items that could be the challenge. Toys R Us still stocks the line in my local store. Walmart does as well, but how much of the line they carry varies. And the large vehicles sets like this seem to have been one of the things they dropped. If the regular channels fail you, there does still seem to be some support for the line from retailers that you may not think of for toys. I have seen a decent selection of HSH toys at both Kohls and JC Penny department stores. Even Farm and Fleet, a local agricultural supply chain that opens a temporary toy section each fall for Christmas had Half-Shell Heroes this year, and their action figure selection is tiny. So sometimes it pays to look around.