The 2010 drought of TMNT toys continues. (As well as a drought of just about any of the other lines I collect.) But Sideshow
Collectibles is right there to insure that my wallet doesn't get to take a breather with the release of the first of their
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comiquettes, aka statues. The Sideshow Comiquettes are based on the Mirage Comics designs. But
unlike the the Playmates statues from a few years ago which were based on the earliest appearances of the Turtles, these statues
represent their modern, more refined appearance.
Packaging - 8/10Donatello is packaged in a large box with photos of the statues against a background of black and white comic panels. Each of the front, rear and side panels has a slightly different view of the statue at a different magnification. The back panel also has three paragraphs explaining the premises of the TMNT in general, a description of Donatello and an announcement of the Sideshow statue. Each box also includes a sticker on the bottom showing the the number of each statue. And the exclusive version also features a sticker on the front announcing that it is a Sideshow Exclusive, though it doesn't give any indication of what makes the exclusive version different from the regular one. Overall the packaging is attractive, the black and white background contrasts nicely with the color images of the actual statue. My one qualm is that for the cost, and for all of the effort that went into producing a statue like this, they could have used something better than recycled text for the back of the box. The descriptions of the TMNT franchise and Donatello were bad enough. But why would you recycle text "announcing" a statue that is not only in production, but is currently in the customer's hands.
Sculpting - 9/10Sideshow was shooting for a modern version of the Mirage Turtles and did a terrific job of translating it to 3D. The pose selected was a great choice with Donatello poised on an roof vent and roof ledge in a stance that works well as a static statue while still appearing as if it could move at any moment. The detail work on Donatello is nicely done, though there are a few rough spots. His left foot is too short or the transition from the ankle to the toe is too long, making the entire foot look fat. The sides of the fingers on his left hand seem a bit too flat. Perhaps the most impressive part of the statue though is the base. They went all out in sculpting the cut away roof section. They not only sculpted the brick exterior and roof ledge, but the pea gravel that is used on flat roofs and even the cut away of the rafters and plumbing within. The level of detail here is very impressive. Sadly, the base also contains the biggest flaw as well. The actual bottom of the statue is not as large as the cross section of the roof. The roof overhangs the bas by up to an inch along the back and one side. As a result the statue is no where near as stable as it could and should be had they given it the larger footprint o the entire roof area. The stability is not a huge concern, the statue is fairly well balanced. But considering the risk of damage should such a statue fall over, any improvement in the stability would be a good thing.
Paint - 9/10The paintwork on this statue is amazing. There is a tremendous amount of detail work, particularly on the base. The subtle shading on Donatello himself makes the muscle definition stand out very clearly. And the overall quality is top notch. There may be a speck or two of paint out of place. But none larger than the tip of a very, very fine tip brush. There are two things about the paint work that I don't like. The first is the use of minor silver highlights along the roof vent. They don't really improve the appearance of the vent and looks more like stray marks. If they wanted to improve the vent, they should have painted the recessed sections black to look like actual openings. But that is a very minor quibble. Far more noticeable is that while the rooftop base has a flat finish while the rest of the statue is painted with a slightly glossy finish, including the bandanna, all of the pads and his bo staff. (Though that is not quite as glossy.) There are areas where the satin finish works well enough such as the plastron (front shell) and even the skin since it gives it a slightly moist appearance. Personally I would rather that the entire statue was painted in a flat finish like the base. But being a comiquette, the satin finish on the whole thing could have worked as well. But as it stands, having the base which makes up close to a quarter of the statue not match the rest seems very out of place.
Articulation - NAThese are statues. So there is no articulation at all.
Accessories - 10/10The regular version of the Donatello Comiquette doesn't come with any accessories. But the exclusive version does come with one. Because of the way the bandanna sticks out, it would not be possible to ship the statue with the bandanna tail in place. So Sideshow took advantage of this and designed the entire top portion of the head from the bandanna up as a separate piece and then included a second one with the exclusive version which allows you to choose either the traditional red bandanna based on the Mirage comics or the exclusive version painted in the cartoon style purple. This means that if you purchase the exclusive version you get the option of either look.
Value - 9/10The Sideshow exclusive version of Donatello sold for $200 from Sideshow's website. The regular version should retail for $10 less and depending upon where you buy it, you may be able to save even more. That is a lot of money, particularly since TMNT fans are not often treated to a lot of high end collectibles. But it is also a very impressive statue that has been very well executed. And if the previous Playmates statues are any indication, these will not get cheaper in the future.
Happy Hunting:I was fortunate enough to get the Sideshow exclusive version which was only available through Sideshow's website. Unfortunately, with an addition size of just 425 pieces for the exclusive version, it sold out very quickly when it was put up for preorder. The regular version is sold out through their site now as well. They are just shipping out to other retail outlets now. But even they seem to have a lot of "sold out" notices. So if you are interested in the statue, I would act now. The same could be said for the remaining three statues that are all due out this year as well. Both Raphael and Michelangelo have already been offered up for preorder on Sideshow's website. And the exclusive versions are already sold out. But Sideshow does offer a wait list option so that if other people's preorders fall through, you can be added to the list. A lot of people were able to make it through the wait list with Donatello.