After finishing reviews for the last two Turtles from the 2014 movie from Threezero
and the Mondo 1:6 Scale Collectible Figures, now seems like a perfect time to keep the
twleve inch/1:6 scale ball rolling with the Ninja Turtle themed offerings from a third company, DreamEx. Begining last year with Casey Jones and
Shredder, DreamEx has continued the line this year finally releasing all four or the Turtles as well. Not being a fan of or really having any interest
in 1:6 scale figures previously, I really have no idea what to expect from this company or with these figures.
Packaging - 9/10With a high end, collector focused figure like these, I have slightly different expectations for the packaging than I would for a mass market toy. The reality is that most people who will buy these figures will not be buying them in person. I doubt most of them will ever have a chance to see them in person before their purchase. As such, the packaging is far less about showing off the product in an effort to sell the figures to potential buyers than it is about protecting your purchase and presenting the them in a way befitting both the price and the amount of effort that went into these figures. And DreamEx's packaging does that far better than any of the other collectible TMNT figures I've purchased except for the First Gokin Cerebral figures. Each figure is packaged in a shoe box style package with a slip cover over the box providing most of the graphics and visual interest. The front of the slip cover has an image of the toy which has had a filter applied to it so they look like a water color painting set against a white background. The look is clean, simple and attractive. The back of the slip covers have the TMNT logo and the required legal small print. But most of the space is left blank. I wish they had included a photo showing everything that is included there. It's the one feature that the packaging doesn't have and it would be nice if you could see just how much is included without having to unpack everything. Once the slip covers are removed, the boxes have the TMNT logo embossed in silver on the lid. It's a simple touch but gives the boxes a stylish look, a bit like you might see with a higher end watch. Inside each box you'll find custom cut foam trays holding the figure and a few accessories on one level and the majority of the accessories on the lower level. The foam is a tight fit. So you can't really display the figures in the packaging very well as you could with the First Gokin figure. But these figures come with so much stuff, that leaving it all in the box would be a real waste in the first place. But the design is very collector friendly if you ever wish to put the figures back into their foam and cardboard prison for storage or shipping. And unlike most of the other collectible TMNT figures I've seen, very little space is wasted here. And when you have as many figures as I do, space is always at a premium. So keeping the packages as small as possible makes it much easier to hold onto it for the future. But above all, the design and execution of these packages really feel like they match the quality of the figures themselves. It just feels so much nicer after dropping hundreds of dollars on a figure to see the care and quality of these packages compared to the simple vaccuum form plastic trays of the Threezero TMNT figures.
Sculpting/Outfits - Casey 7/10, Turtles 8/10, Shredder 9/10There's two discussions to have regarding these figures. The first is the overall look and character design. The second is the quality of the sculpting and outfits and how well they executed the designs. Fortunately the second discussion is a very short one. These figures are amazing! The materials used for the outfits is top notch. I was amazed when I realized that the tiny snap clip on Donatello's shoulder strap actually works. And that is the type of quality and attention to detail that is present on all six figures. The only real complaint I have in terms of execution is with the exposed joints for the toes on the Turtles. There's a fair sized gap around those joints and that's the only place where the articulation is so obvious on any of the other joints for any of the figures. But if there is any achilles heel to these figures, it's the character designs themselves. They took the 80's cartoon designs and attempted to make them look more realistic. It works really well for Shredder. But with Casey, they needed to use a bulkier body type. This doesn't look like Casey Jones. It looks like someone who put together a really good Casey Jones cosplay. Then there are the Turtles themselves. They look like a cross between the 80's cartoon and the Next Mutation live action designs. I'm not sure if that was intentional or not. But it is disappointing that some of the best executed, high end collectible Ninja Turtle figures end up look so much like one of the worst incarnations of the Turtles from their thiry plus years of history.
Paint - 8/10DreamEx put a significant amount of effort into the paint work for these figures. The faces are all well painted. The skin and shells for the four Turtles are painted/shaded as well. And it all works well. It does create a minor issue with the elastic bands around the Turtles' knees, elbows and wrists as the material is all a single bright color which sticks out a bit from the detailed shading of the rest of the figures.
Articulation - 7/10For 1:6 scale figures, these are not particularly well articulated. They have roughly thirty points of articulation each which includes:
Accessories - 10/10DreamEx has made some impressive looking figures. But its the accessories where they really went all out. Every figure includes a figure stand with a name plate and a variety of extra hands. All but Casey come with an extra head. The Turtles each have a variety of optional pouches that can clip to their belts. Each figure has a variety of weapons, including some made of die-cast metal. And just in case you felt that the Turtles needed a little extra value since they were able to reuse so many parts and accessories for all four brothers, each one also has an interesting unique bonus accessory. For Leonardo it is a trio of metal throwing knives and a holster to store them on his hip. Raphael has a set of crossed arms and a paper pizza box. Michelangelo comes with a really cool version of the cheapskate, the powered skateboard from the cartoon. And Donatello has a fabric trenchcoat and hat. All of the accessories included make for a really impressive package overall. And what is really cool is that with the extra pouches for the Turtles and Casey's golf bag, with the exception of Shredder, each figure can actually hold/store all the accessories except for the extra hands and heads. The only minor gripe I can offer on them is that the name plate for each figure doesn't actually attach to the display stands.
Value - 7/10DreamEx has made some extremely impressive figures. But they don't come cheap. I paid close to $200 for each of these. Which means the set will cost more than a thousand dollars. For the quality of the figures you are getting and considering all of the accessories included, I can't fault the price. But the odd design style that is only inspired by the 80's cartoon instead of being the actual cartoon designs means that for all of their remarkable qualities, these figures are still going to be not quite what fans really wanted. And that may be enough reason to skip purchasing these in hopes that something even better comes along before too long.
Happy Hunting:DreamEx's Ninja Turtle figures are not licensed to be sold in the United States. In fact, the slip covers for the four Turtles all have a notice that they are intended for the "China Market Only." So outside of China, they are only going to be available from store that deal with import figures. I ordered my figures from Big Bad Toy Store (BBTS.com) since I seem to spend way too much money there already, so what's another thousand? They are also available through a variety of other, smaller toy importers as well.