(Sorry that this review is so delayed. I wrote the whole thing up and then never got around to taking the photos until
the Shredder Comiquette arrived.)
Going into 2010, it looked like it was going to be a very poor year to be a collector of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle stuff. And when it comes to toys, it has been. But just as TMNT fans thought that their wallets would get a chance to rest, Sideshow Collectibles decided to clean out their bank accounts with a series of TMNT statues, or comiquettes as they call them. These aren't the first TMNT statues to be made. Playmates produced a set several years ago. But those came out over the course of several years. Now its December and the fourth of Sideshow's comiquettes is arriving just in time to go under the tree for a few hundred lucky collectors. (Or in my case, just in time for my birthday!)
But just in case four statues in one year was not enough, Sideshow also produced a smaller Mouser Comiquette as an exclusive for the San Diego Comic Convention. While I wasn't fortunate enough to go to the convention, I did end up finally buying one when the great folks at Sideshow gave a few fans a second chance later on.
Packaging - 8/10Neither Leonardo nor the Mouser are breaking any new ground in terms of the packaging design. You've got several glossy photos of the comiquettes against a background of black and white TMNT comic art. The rear of each box has a three paragraph explanation of the TMNT back story, the character and information about the comiquette. The wording still strikes me as being rather generic. But I guess there is something to say for being consistent.
Sculpting - Leo 9/10, Mouser 10/10Sideshow has done an amazing job with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comiquettes so far. But when the first preview images of Leonardo were shown, many were less than enthusiastic about the facial expression that he was given. Now that I have the final product in my hands, I'm still not really sold on it. Leo is the only one of the four Turtles to have a completely closed mouth as well as a slight frown. That is a very unusual look for one of the Ninja Turtles. I don't hate it, but I think that they went too far with it. The lower jaw actually has a minor, downward bend to it. Given the physical design of the Turtles' mouths, it is probably fairly accurate to how it should look. But that doesn't mean it looks good. The fact that it is such an unusual pose means that your eye is drawn to it as well. When you get past the jaw line, the rest of the statue is very impressive, but there are two areas that could use some more work. The first is the exposed edge of the roof on the front. It wasn't given any particular detail or texture. that seems like a strange oversight given how much detail is put into almost every other surface of the statue. The second issue comes where the feet meet the roof. There are a few angle from which you can see that there is a fair amount of filler material added, presumably to add support for the weight of the figure.
For the Mouser statue, you have a choice of either a head with an open or closed mouth. I prefer the open mouth as there is quite a bit of additional detail inside the mouth and the jaws look more menacing. But the closed mouth option looks good as well. Really, the only negative thing I can say about the Mouser is that the neck is probably too narrow. But that is based more on my assuption that it would be an impractical design if materials in the jaws are suppose to go into the body. It still looks great.
Paint - 9/10The quality of the paint work on both statues is top notch. And both statues look great. Leo has a speck or two out of place, but they are very small. The one issue I have with it is that there are many areas in the gaps between the plates of the rear shell that are quite a bit lighter than the darker shell plates. They did a similar treatment on the other Turtles. But Leo's shell is so much darker and the color in the gaps varies quite a bit. So on Leo, it looks like he has a problem with mold/mildew on his shell. The Mouser has only one minor quality issue. The paint for the split between the upper and lower jaw on the closed mouth head is not as dark as it should be. I also have one other issue with the Mouser which is that they painted the entire mouser in a metallic fleck finish. Now, when I think of mass produced, I envision bare steel. And every time I look at the Mouser comiquette, I want at least the legs to have a simple silver finish.
Articulation - NAThese are statues. So there is no articulation at all.
Accessories - 10/10I purchased the exclusive version of the Leonardo comiquette which comes with a second top half of the head and bandanna so you can choose either the comic version red bandanna or the cartoon blue version. It is a very nice idea and it is extremely well executed, just as it has been with Donatello and Michelangelo. The top of the head is held in place by a magnet embedded in the head. So switching between the heads is very easy. The idea has just one drawback, you have to track down the exclusive versions for at least three of the four statues if you want them all to match. The Mouser comiquette comes with a choice of heads as well. You can have either an open or closed mouth.
Value - 9/10The exclusive version of the Leonardo comiquette sold for $200. (The regular version should be $10 less.) The mouser statue sold for $90. That is quite a bit of money. But these are really nice statues. And they look great together, even with Leonardo's unusual facial expression.