Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Deluxe Assortment Series 1 Review

Group Photo
The new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoon brings with it a full range of new toys. And this being a Playmates Toys line, there is of course a set of deluxe Turtles in a slightly larger scale that feature extra built-in features. Those features are often either action features or electronic sounds. But this time around Playmates included both. Each figure has a built-in flipping action feature which also triggers an electronic, shouting sound effect. I've written repeatedly about how I find these deluxe figures to be a tremendous wasted opportunity with a license that has so many potential larger characters that could benefit from the deluxe line's larger format. But let's put that aside for now and judge the bird that is here in my hands rather than the hypothetical birds in some bush.

Packaging - 8/10

The packaging for the deluxe figures is the same as Playmates had been using throughout the 2012 line with each figure attached to a box base with a normal card back. The figures are completely out in the open. For a line that is all about selling the features, that makes a lot of sense. And I would guess that making the figures so accessible to kids probably works well to sell the figures. They gave the packaging all new graphics of course. And they fit the look of the new show well. The back of the card shows the action feature as well as the other three figures in the series. That's nice, but it does seem like they could have done just a bit more with all of that space. And unfortunately the packaging is fairly susceptible to damage. The design does give the card back more thickness than the regular assortment figures and that helps. But the design leaves a lot of exposed edges both along the card and at the top of the box near the figures' feet. Even with the figures having only been on shelves for less than two weeks, I had to look through three stores to find a set with minimal shelf wear to keep MOC.

Sculpting - Raphael 5/10, others 3/10

The Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show has some pretty unique new designs for the Turtles. These deluxe figures don't match that style well at all. In the show, Leo, Donnie and Mikey's bodies have a trim and tapered look. These figures are large and blocky to allow room for the electronic sound mechanism. They are recognizable as being based on the Rise of the TMNT designs. So they aren't completely horrible. But it's clear that the priority with the sculpting was accommodating the action features over making the figures look like they do in the show. Raphael is a little different. First of all, his design in the show is much larger and bulkier than his brothers' so the figure isn't as far off model as the other three. Plus, the larger scale sort of works for him as well. His regular figure was too small. This version is actually a bit too large for the scale of the basic figures. So hopefully we will eventually get a figure that splits the difference. But in the meantime, if you want a bigger Raph figure just to stand in a display with his brothers, this could work.

Paint - Leo & Donnie 3/10, Raph & Mikey 4/10

The paint work on all four Turtles is extremely minimal. They are slightly better than the fast food premium toys that came out from Sonic over the summer. But they aren't going to impress anyone. Michelangelo and Raphael look a little better since the few painted details that they do have stand out more than those on Donatello and Leonardo. It's not a huge difference, but it's something.

Articulation - 1/10

These figures have a total of eight points of articulation. That's not eight points each. That's eight points of articulation total for the entire series. Each figure has rotating shoulders and nothing else. Technically they also have movement at their hips. But that is exclusively for the action feature and cannot be used to pose the figures. Honestly, it's kind of pitiful.

Accessories - Michelangelo 1/10, Others 0/10

Each of the Turtles comes with their weapons either molded to their back or in their hands in the case of Michelangelo. But none of them are removable. I'll give Mikey a consolation point since he is at least holding his weapons.

Action Feature - Raphael & Leonardo 4/10, Michelangelo & Donatello 5/10

Each Turtle has a flipping feature which also activates an electronic voice clip. Raphael bends over to his left and performs a sideways flip. Donatello does the same, but in the opposite direction. Leonardo bends forward before doing a back filp. Michelangelo can be positioned on his back and curl up his legs before he will leap to his feet. All of the features can be hit or miss, particularly if you don't position their arms properly to get the balance just right. When you do get it all right, the features will work reasonably well, but certainly not flawlessly. The addition of the voice clips is a nice touch. But the clips tend to be extremely long, far too long for how long it takes for the flipping features. So often the sound clip will still be building up to a climax well after the figure as actually performed the flip.

Value - 3/10

The retail price for the deluxe figures is just under $13 at both Target and Walmart. That's $4 more than the basic assortment figures for figures that are inferior in just about every way. They might have some value for younger fans for whom the smaller accessories might be unsafe or at least quickly lost. But outside of that edge case, I'd stick to the regular figures.

Happy Hunting:

The Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle line hit stores at the beginning of October. The figures still haven't made it out onto shelves at every store. But I am finding them at most Target and Walmart stores. And as time goes by, they will only become more readily available. So if you are interested in them, you should have little problem finding them.

Raphael MOC

Leonardo MOC

Michelangeo MOC

Deluxe Raphael with Basic Assortment Leo, Michelangelo and Donatello

Raphael front and back Raphael close up Michelangelo front and back Michelangelo close up Leonardo front and back Leonardo close up Donatello front and back Donatello close up