The backlog of reviews for Out of the Shadows movie toys continues. This time it is the deluxe vehicle and figure sets. To coincide with the
movie, Playmates released a series of four figures with motorcycles plus an additional vehicle that featured briefly in the movie. And then they added
a sixth entry with a chromed repaint of one of the vehicles that was available as an exclusive for San Diego Comic Con in 2016. That's a decent
assortment of vehicles for the movie. But I suppose the quality of the vehicles is as important as the quantity.
Packaging - SDCC Bebop 8/10, others 7/10The packaging for the regular sets is fairly similar to the deluxe vehicle sets from the regular line overall. But they have been given a slight redesign both graphically and for the physical box shape. The design isn't all that ambitious. But it does show off the vehicles and accompaning figures well. The back of the box has a single large photo of the figure on/in the vehicle and small photos showing off any action features.
The San Diego Comic Con version of the Warthog Trike has a good idea, but then hides it almost completely unless you are willing to open it. You have a black box with black embossed graphics on it which makes it very difficult to see any of it. That is further complcated since the boxes are covered in shrink wrap. And the reflection off of the shrink wrap makes the graphics even harder to see. That's really disappointing for MIB collectors who may not be willing to remove the shrink wrap. Because once you do you can remove the outer slip case to reveal a really cool looking package within. The large front window shows off the cool chromed trike and all of the extras that are included in the set. The back of the box has a photo of the actual trike that was built for the movie by one of the former stars of American Chopper along with a quick explaination of the trike's design. The interior packaging is really cool looking. But you have to be willing to open the shrink wrap and remove the slip case to see any of it.
Sculpting - Rocksteady 4/10, Leo 5/10, Raph & Michelangelo 6/10, SDCC Bebop 7/10, Bebop 8/10Each of the Out of the Shadows vehicle sets includes a motorcycle and a new variant figure. The figures are not all that impressive. With the exception of the SDCC Bebop which is exactly the same as the basic assortment Bebop, all of the other figures use the same body sculpts as the basic assortment figures but have a new, helmeted head sculpt. I really like Bebop's head sculpt. And Raphael has a pretty cool looking helmet with a working visor. Leonardo's new head sculpt is decent. But the BMX style helmet seems out of place and a bit too small. Rocksteady has a decent helmet as well, but it is just a bit dull. And after decades of Rocksteady figures wearing a similar helmet, I barely even notice it. But the worst figure by far is Michelangelo who looks less like he is wearing a helmet and more like he has a helmet shaped growth where his head should be.
Moving on to the vehicles, I was pleasantly surprised to see that all of the vehicles are new sculpts. I had expected Leonardo and Raphael's motorcycles to be slight retools of the Dragon Chopper. Those two bikes do share the same action feature as the Dragon Chopper. And to their detrament it isn't removable once again. But aside from the action feature meachanism, the bikes look great. They have plenty of detail and are scaled to the figures reasonably well. Rocksteady's chopper on the other hand seems to be a bit too small. And while it has a fair amount of detail, there is a significant lack of depth to that sculpting which makes the entire motorcycle appear cheap and fake. When you contrast it with Bebop's Warthog Trike, the difference is striking. The trike isn't really any larger. But the trike is wider, even with relatively skinny tires on the back. And there's far more depth to the details for the engine which makes a big difference. Finally there is Michelangelo's Polaris Slingshot. They shrunk the toy down, turning it from a two seater to a single person vehicle. But then to make room for a figure they had to gut the interior of the vehicle. It's still a decent looking vehicle, but if they had made it a bit larger and able to fit two Foot Ninjas as it did in the movie, it would have been a much cooler vehicle. And it seems like there is almost always a lack of cool vehicles for the villains.
Paint - Rocksteady 3/10, Michelangelo 5/10, SDCC Bebop 9/10, others 6/10The paint work on Raphael, Leonardo and Bebop's sets is fairly solid. The vehicles aren't fully painted, or even close to it. But they have enough paint work to look decent. Things slip a bit with Michelangelo's Slingshot which has a lot of unpainted details on the front and most of the undercaridge is an unpainted grey block. But that is still better than Rocksteady's bike which is more unpainted grey plastic than anything else. They did paint some of the details on the gas tank and rear fender, but only on one side! Who thought that was acceptable?!?! I suppose it doesn't matter too much since the color used for the stripes on the fender and tank doesn't show up very well even when it is painted. The figures are all reasonaby well painted, or at least as well painted as their basic assortment counterparts.
The San Diego Comic Con version of Bebop is all about its unique paint job and chromed pieces. And the chromed parts and extra paint really make a big difference. And it's not just Bebop's trike that gets more paint work. The figure gets a full paint job including small details like painted shoe laces and fully painted studs on his outfit. All of the extra effort pays off. This is one of the best looking TMNT figures that Playmates has produced in a long time. But even with the work they put into this version, there's still details that weren't painted or that were chromed when they should have been painted instead.
Play Value - Raph & Leo 5/10, others 7/10Each of the sets comes with a small assortment of weapons for the figure and a built in action feature. For Bebop, Rocksteady and Michelangelo the action feature is a pair of projectile shooters. For Leonardo and Raphael Playmates brought back the flipping feature that they first used on the Dragon Chopper. When activated by the button on the back of the bikes, the figures will be launched upwards and forwards, ideally landing in front of the bike. It's a neat idea. But to use it requires the figure to be wearing a special harness as well as a rather obtrusive armature that is permantently attached to the bike. That's a lot of annoyance to make a figur flip forward off the bike.
Value - Rocksteady 4/10, Leo 5/10, others 6/10The deluxe vehicle/figure sets still carry the same price tag as they have had since the launch of the line in 2012 at $20 each. For both a figure and a vehicle, that is a fair price. And the fact that all of the vehicles except for Leonardo's motorcycle did appear in the movie is a nice bonus. It would be nice if the figures had a bit more to set them apart from the basic assortment figures than just a different head with a helmet. Removeable helmets would have been a nice touch as well. The San Diego Comic Con version of Bebop is a bit harder to judge. If you were lucky enough to get him for the original price of $30 or close to it, it's a steal. The only reservation I have about it for that price is that I really want a matching Rocksteady with his bike.
Happy Hunting:The vehicle and figure sets for Leonardo, Raphael, Bebop and Rocksteady all hit shelves in advance of the release of Out of the Shadows in 2016. Michelangelo and his Polaris Slingshot was added to the assortment later in the summer. Fortunately, Playmates hadn't released any more sets in this assortment until recently. So finding these five sets isn't too difficult even a year later. The SDCC version of Bebop on the other hand was a limited run of 500 sets and only sold at San Diego Comic Con in 2016. Finding one online shouldn't be too difficult though. But you may have to be patient to