Today I'll be returning to Mega Bloks modern Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line once again. Mega Bloks seems dedicated to making a big splash
with TMNT fans in their first year. For a while, it seemed like I was finding a new set nearly every day. But for this review I'll be
focusing on the third series of blind bag figures as well as the series of four promotional Turtles that are available exclusively from
Toys R Us. Oddly, the promotional figures don't really seem to have an offical name. So I'm going to borrow the Minimates naming convention
and call them Mutagen Turtles.
Packaging - Mutagen Turtles 8/10 Blind Bags 7/10The packaging design for the series 3 blind bags is the same as the previous two series, but with a new image of the characters on the front and a new line up photo on the back. I really dislike blind bags as a concept, but the artwork used here is too cute to dislike. As with previous series, they do imprint the production code into the left edge of bag on the back. So you can identify the figure inside if you know the codes. But they are not consistent. The same figure may have a different code depending upon which store you buy it from or which production run at the factory it came from. Personally, I just found it easier to identify them by feeling for the details and parts of each figure and then just use the imprinted code to avoid duplicates. The Mutagen Turtles each have a unique image on the front with the Turtle inside featured prominently along with their signature color and the other three Turtles in the background. They look great. But I have have to say that when I first saw them, the graphics on the front didn't make it entirely clear what is inside. It would be nice if they also included a photo of the actual product on the back. At the very least they could have given the series a proper name.
Sculpting - Turtles & Leatherhead 6/10, April O'Neil 2/10, Kraang 5/10, Triceraton 8/10The Turtles from the blind bag series and the Mutagen Turtles all recycle the same generic body that we have seen throughout the Mega Bloks modern line. They're a bit pudgy for the Nickelodeon designs but otherwise they work well. Leatherhead has the bulk that he should and the head sculpt is nice. I just wish he could pull off a less upright, more hunched over stance. The triceraton has the same body as Leatherhead, but with a new tail and head. It's not quite as large as the Triceratons appear in the show, but it's enough to make the Triceraton look large and menacing. The lack of any sculpted detail on the chest of the Kraang makes it look less like a menacing alien robot, and more like he's wearing a novelty, printed tuxedo t-shirt. Once you get that image into your head, it's hard to take him seriously again. And it doesn't get any better with April O'neil. She has almost no real detail. Even her head has such an odd shape that the entire figure looks more than a little like an inflatable adult toy.
Paint - April 3/10, Kraang & Dimension X Don 4/10, Leatherhead & Triceraton 7/10, Others 5/10These figures use a mix of both printed graphics and traditional paint work. And the amount and overall result of those additions can be very hit or miss. The biggest miss is with April. She has very little actual paint work and is notably missing any paint for her hair band. But what really hurts in her case is that the printed graphics for her costume details are wearing off around her shoulders and chest pockets. That, combined with the sculpt really makes this figure look fake. The Battle Damaged Kraang figure has a different issue with the printed graphics. Having been printed onto black plastic instead of a white surface, the graphics for the chest take on an odd, slightly discolored shade. That makes it look even more like the figure is wearing a novelty T-shirt. Leatherhead and Triceraton have more decoration to them. They are not quite fully painted. Leatherhead doesn't have his claws painted and Triceraton could use some shading on his head. But both look really good with what they have. The Turtle figures have fairly limited paint/print decorations. The Mutatgen Turtles have the eyes painted white and their mouths printed on. The Translucent red Raph is the same, but adds a small printed deco for his cracked plastron on his chest. The blind bag Leo has his Dark Horizons appearance. So his mouth is printed on. The eyes were left black. But his wrist bands and knee pads are painted blue. Dimension X Donatello was left with way too many plain white areas. There's a bit of printed detail on the chest, but that's it. If you pop the helmet off he does have a printed mouth and white eyes as well. If the white areas of the costume were a bit better thought out and broken up in the case of the legs, this could have been a much better looking figure. Finally there is Mikey in his underpants who is the most fully painted/decorated of the Turtles. But they still skipped painting his elbow pads, the straps on the back of the knee pads and the ankle wrappings. He has the most complete look, but once you notice the missing paint apps, they become hard to overlook.
Articulation - April 5/10, Others 7/10The basic Mega Bloks male figure has a dozen points of articulation:
Accessories - Underpants Mikey 6/10, others 5/10With one exception, each of these figures has a building block piece for a display base and a weapon. The Mutagen Turtles have taller, color coded bases that have their names printed on them which is a nice little bonus. Leatherhead is notable as the only figure without a weapon. Instead he comes with a canister that I believe is suppose to be a Kraang power cell. Mikey in underpants is the only figure to get any sort of additional accessory in the form of a slice of pizza. That's fine for Mikey. But the lack of any extras for the rest of the figures is disappointing.
Value - 8/10The individual Mega Bloks figures sell for $4 each. As long as you take the time to pick out the actual figures that you want and don't end up having to buy duplicates, that isn't a bad price. The Mutagen Turtles were actually offered initially as promotional figures where you would receive one for free for spending $15 on Mega Bloks toys. You can't get a much better value than free! It will be interesting to see if Mega Bloks makes any sets from the fourth season of the show that they spent in space. If not, Dimension X April and Donatello will become far less interesting in my collection.
Happy Hunting:The Mutagen Turtles are exclusive to Toys R Us. They were meant as a promotional give away though. So if you missed them when they were first released at the end of October, it's unlikely that more are going to show up. The series 3 blind bags have been showing up in stores since early this fall. But their distribution can be quite spotty depending upon the amount of unsold series 1 and 2 blind bags are still around. But the blind bags are carried by all of the major toy retailers and I have seen them pop up from time to time as impulse items in some stores as well. Unfortunately, because of the blind bag packaging, buying them online isn't a great option and they are often just not offered online. So if you want them, get out there and start hunting.