Mattel really went all out with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line when they got ahold of it in 2016. I've gone over many of the sets that they
produced based on the modern Nickelodeon cartoon. But that was just one of four different lines of sets that Mega Bloks produced. So in keeping with
my recent string of reviews of the Half-Shell Heroes action figure line, it seems logical to continue on to the Mega Bloks Half-Shell Heroes building
block sets. The entire line includes three assortments of smaller sets and several larger sets. But for today, I will be focusing on the smaller
assortment sets which includes a series of four sets each featuring a single Turtle figure with a skateboard and two sets with with a figure and a small
flight pack released in 2017, three sets each including a Turtle and a small vehicle and three small playsets each of which comes with a Turtle as well
as a small enemy figure.
Packaging - Skateboard sets 4/10, others 5/10
All of the Half-Shell Heroes Mega Bloks sets share the same packaging design with the boxes just being scaled up for the larger sets. Each box has a
small window showing off the figures that are included and a large CG image of the completed set. The back of the box shows off the completed set as well
as some of the other sets in the line and some of the features if there is enough room. The boxes for the Individual Turtles are quite small. So
just the usuaul legal small print takes up a good portion of the back of the box. That probably should have been moved to the bottom panel instead.
Overall the packaging design does a nice job of setting the Half-Shell Heroes sets apart from the other Mega Bloks Ninja Turtles lines. But the color
combination of greens, oranges and yellows used here remind me a lot of the 2003 toy line. I didn't like that color combination then, and it isn't any
better now. So the Mega Construx version of the packaging is a slight improvement since less of the background is visible.
Sculpting/Design - Pizzeria Hideout 7/10, Skateboard Leo & Don 6/10, Flight Pack Sets, Shell Cycle & Turtle
There are two factors that are important to me with the these sets, the sets themselves and the figures that are included. With small sets such as
these, it seems like the main attraction for the sets is the figures. So lets start there. The four Skateboard sets, the flight pack sets and the three small vehicle
sets each include one Half-Shell Heroes Turtles. The three playsets include a Turtle figure as well as a small, unarticulated enemy. The Turtles all
share the same sculpt. It's a slight let down that they didn't do anything to make each Turtle unique, especially when I know I'm going to end up with
a small army of them. The design is also underwhelming. Playmates' design for the Half-Shell Heroes follow a fairly basic chibi design with smaller
bodies and large hands, feet and heads. The Mega Bloks design for Half-Shell Heroes Turtles is fairly random by comparison. The heads and arms are small,
but the feet are quite large. The bodies are quite wide, but short. And then the shell is huge. And in general, the entire figure has very limited
detail to them and come off as slightly amorphous. The unarticulated Kraang, Kraang Subprime and Mouser figurines far outshine the Turtles in terms of
how well they are designed and sculpted. It's just a shame that they are limited to the playsets and each set only includes one.
Buggy & Factory Battle 5/10, Skateboard Raph & Mikey & Jet Cruiser 4/10, Cookie Factory 3/10
The sets themselves are rather interesting. To start with, I was expecting these to be designed with preschool children in mind with simpler designs
and using exclusively larger, chunkier pieces. Instead they have a mix of regular Mega Bloks pieces and larger Duplo style bloks. So I really don't
understand how these sets qualify as being safe for ages 3 and up instead of the usual 5 and up of the other Mega Bloks sets. As for the set designs,
the four skateboard sets are all the same four skateboards with some random additions attached to the sides. The wings on Leonardo's board and
jets on Donatello's are both nice ideas and well executed. But the attachments on Michelangelo's board seem quite random and the saw blades
on Raphael's board are so large that they need to practically be digging into the ground for them not to slice through the back of Raphael's legs. The
flight packs both use a chunky frame with just a few extra pieces clipped either to the sides or top. The additions are simple but they look alright.
But the frames are too chunky with so little else attached to them. The
small vehicles are all fairly underwhelming at best. At their worst with the jet cruiser, it looks like something that was assembled by a preschooler
from multiple random sets rather than designed by a professional. The Shell Cycle and Turtle Buggy are better, but still underwhelming. The playsets
are where the sets start to reach a level of complexity to be worth getting just for the playset. The Cookie Factory is the least interesting of the
three with two random swinging arms occuping most of the space without really doing much to suggest a "factory" setting. The Factory Battle set
makes a fairly cute little lab, though it doesn't leave much room for a figure in it. The Pizzeria set is the best of the three as it manages to make
a fairly complete little playset with very few parts. But it gives you the entrance to the pizzeria, a table to eat at and a street light. It's still
simple, but that seems like a complete environment.
Paint - Shell Cycle & Turtle Buggy 4/10, Jet Cruiser & Mikey Skateboard 3/10, others 5/10
The paint work for all of the figures is fairly limited, but well executed. And they did at least vary the figures a bit by giving each figure
different mouth expressions. As for the sets themselves, Mega Bloks was fairly restrained with the color choices for most of the sets. The
playsets all look fairly reasonable other than the bright green floor in front of the pizzeria. Things go downhill a bit with the Turtle Buggy and
Shell Cycle. But if they just switched the colors of the base frames to match the rest of the vehicles instead of giving a green base to the
red vehicle and a red base to the green vehicle, they would have looked better. But it is the two Michelangelo sets that really look like the
colors were selected at random. His jet cruiser is a truely ugly vehicle.
Accessories - Flight Packs & Skateboard sets 4/10, vehicles 5/10, playsets 6/10
The accessories are fairly limited for these sets. Each Turtle comes with a weapon (or two in the case of Raphael's sais) and a translucent shell
piece. The purpose of the shell piece comes up with the action features for the vehicles and playsets. But they don't serve any purpose with the
skateboard or flight pack sets. The flight pack sets at least have a spot on the flight pack to store them. The playsets are the only sets that
include any actual accessories. The pizzeria has a slice of pizza. And the cookie factory has a couple of crates of fortune cookies. That's not
all that impressive. But at least it is something.
Features - Mikey's Skateboard & Small Vehicles 4/10, Playsets 5/10, Other Skateboards & Flight Packs 2/10
The skateboard and flight pack sets don't really have any special features except for Mikey's. His skateboard does have a disc launcher that attaches
to one side of the skateboard and a pizza disc to fire out of it. The rest of the skateboards and the two flight packs just have the option of adjusting
the additions on either side but it doesn't accomplish anything. The small vehicles each has a disc launcher mounted on the front which will fit the
translucent shells which are included with each set and will fire them out when you press down on the panel on the back. It's a simple feature and
works well enough. But the shells are a bit too large to work well as a projectile. The playsets each come with a small device that looks a bit like
stapler. You can bend the included Turtle figure over and attach the translucent shell to their feet to form a rough sphere shape. You then load the
figure into the device and press down to pop the figure out as a projectile. Each of the playsets is then designed to allow the balled up Turtle to fly
straight through the playset triggering several other actions. For the factory battel set, the mechanism in the back will swing around as well as causing
the platform for the control panel to spin, throwing off the Kraang SubPrime figure. The cookie factory has two conveyor belts that will swing out
of the way or fall down as the figure crashes through the door in the back wall. The features for both playsets work, but they could have just as
easily design the parts of the playset to fall apart instead. The concept works best in the Pizzeria Hideout set. That set doesn't have any items to
block the path of the figure as it flies through. Instead, pushing open the door in the back causes the sign to swing forward. That in turn knocks
down the street light in the front, causing it to crash into the table in the front. I like that the features for this set are incorporated into
the playset in such a way that you don't know that they are there until you activate them. But if you don't want to activate them, all the parts still
work as a play environment.
Value - Skateboards 4/10, Playsets 6/10, Others 3/10
The skateboard and flight pack sets sell for $9 each. The small vehicles were $12. And the playsets were $15. Honestly, all of these sets are at
least a bit overpriced. The best option is the playsets. To start with, they are the only option for getting the Mouser, Kraang and Kraang
Subprime. And the playsets, while small, are just large enough to make a decent little play environment or display. If you only want the figures,
the skateboard and flight pack sets are the cheapest option for that. And I do appreciate that they did make all four turtles available this way.
But when you compare the blind bag figures from the modern line which sell for $3 each, it's hard to see where these are worth three times that price.
Finally there are the small vehicles which are the worst of both worlds. The vehicles are not that great or even recognizable. And the figures
don't offer anything that you can't get cheaper in one of the other sets.
The Half-Shell Heroes line of Mega Bloks didn't get a lot of support from retailers. And at this point, it is all but gone from retail stores. I do
still see some of the sets at Dollar General and other low cost stores and many are still available online through Amazon and Walmart's web site.
Though it is worth noting that the Leo and Mikey skateboard sets were not available in the United States. I had to order those sets from Amazon's