My Half-Shell Heroes review blitz continues with the final vehicle set released for the line as of the end of 2017, the Safari Elephant with Raph.
According to the packaging, the Sewer Safari line was suppose to include three figure/beast packs similar to the Blast from the Past figure and dino
sets. But the Safari Lion with Leo and Safari Hippo with Mikey have yet to appear months after the first half of the series hit shelves. So
it appears that Raphael and his safari elephant may be the only large animal that will see the light of day for the line.
Packaging - 7/10The packaging for this set remains the same as the previous medium sized vehicle assortment releases. They did change the description on the back and the photos now show off only the Sewer Safari line of figures. That's a nice touch. Unfortunately it looks like half of the items pictured aren't going to be released. And that can be quite annoying if you are a parent of a child that really wants one of the unreleased toys.
Sculpting - 6/10The sculpting for both the elephant and Raphael is pretty subdued all things considered. Raphael is identical to the basic assortment release that came with a rhino. The elephant is a decent looking pachyderm. But other than the mask around its eyes, there's nothing that lets you know this is part of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toy line. Even with the saddle where they had a great opportunity to add something unique to the toy, they just recycled the same style harness as they used on all of the large dinosaurs from the Blast From the Past toys. It works. But it is a little dull.
Paint - 4/10The paint work on Raphael looks good. My figure has a little quality control issue with the eyes. And it would have been nice if they had done something to set this version apart from the basic assortment Raphael that comes with the rhino. But overall it is one of the better looking Turtle variants in the Half-Shell Heroes line. But when you get to the elephant, there is a real lack of effort. First of all, it is an elephant, so it was always going to have a lot of grey areas. They did break these up a bit with wrappings around each ankle, a mask around the elephants eyes and the strap around its body which has the mount for the figure at the top. But ALL of that is the same shade of red. Well, most of it is. They didn't even bother to paint the pouches on the sides of the elephant. Those are left the same shade of gray as the elephant's skin. Beyond that, the eyes are solid black and the tusks are molded in white plastic. And that's it for paint decoration. It's dull. There isn't a lot of details to the sculpt, but there are enough little things like the buckles on the saddle harness and the pouches on the side that if they had bothered to paint them, this could have looked a lot more interesting. As it is, it's just a big gray elephant. That's not horrible, but not very impressive either.
Play Value - 2/10Being generous, the Sewer Safari Elephant has three play features. You can stick a HSH Turtle figure onto the harness on its back. You can move the tail around in a circle. And when you press the button located behind the harness on the back of the elephant, its head will tilt a few degrees to one side and its trunk will move forward slightly. But both mechanisms only move a few degrees. And that movement isn't enough for you to do anything with it. You can't even use it to attack an enemy figure because the figure would already have to be almost under the elephant already for the trunk to reach it. I would much rather have just seen the elephant be articulated and skip the action features entirely. Instead it has such lackluster play features that you might as well just give your kid an elephant statue and let them smack their figures around with that instead.
Value - 3/10The Sewer Safari Elephant is part of the medium sized vehicle assortment that sells for $20 in most stores. I'd really like to be able to recommend it, especially if it is going to be the last vehicle released in the Half-Shell Heroes toy line. But it's an unarticulated, poorly painted brick of a vehicle. It would have been the dullest of the Sewer Safari animals even if it didn't end up being the only one released. It's one redeeming feature is the included Raphael figure. But an identical version of this figure is available at a fraction of the cost in the basic assortment line and it comes with a cute little rhino that blows the elephant away in every regard. So unless you have a personal affinity for elephants or just want to buy everything in the Half-Shell Heroes line, you'll probably want to skip this one.
Happy Hunting:The Safari Elephant with Raph 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.