Ok, I admit it. I'm a complete mark when it comes to TMNT toys. (Not that that is much
of a surprise to anyone reading this site.) I've been buying them since they first
came out in 1988. I have accumulated almost every figure or vehicle that has been released,
two in many cases. I am that guy that will buy another set of figures because they changed
the packaging. If you slap the TMNT brand on something and put it in the toy asile, I will
probably buy it. But even I have my limits. And Mighty Beans might be it.
Packaging - 6/10I don't care much for the orange and yellow background design of the new TMNT line. But despite that, I do like this packaging. The beans come in a carded five pack. It is reasonablly simple, attractive, and quite sturdy. The card itself is oblong, or bean shaped. Four of the five beans are packaged in a plastic tray behind the insert in the center of the card, behind the TMNT logo. The fifth bean is packaged loose in the area of the bubble directly below the logo card as part of the "try me" packaging. The back of the card has images of the complete set and breaks down the standard figures verses the elite (rarer) figures. The one thing that really holds this back getting a better score is the trading card aspect. I really don't care for packaging where I don't know what I'm getting. But you can at least see one of the five figures, so if you just want particular standaard figures, you actually will have some option of picking the figure you want.
Sculpting - Turtles: 0/10Its a small capsule with a ball bearing in it. That's it. there is no sculpting to judge.
Paint/Decals - 4/10Most of the details come in the form of a decal wrapped around the center of the bean. The decals are cute and fairly easy to recognise, except for characters like the purple dragons that just aren't very recognizable characters. They have a section on the back with the character, the number, and the licensing info. For some this may be a plus but I dislike it. The tiny amount of info on the label could easily have been printed along the edge of the decal rather than putting a big white label on everyone's back. There actually is a paint application or two on each bean. Each one has feet painted on and a few have painted hair.
Articulation - 0/10I believe I mentioned, but these are just plastic capsules with a ball bearing inside. There is no articulation. There's not really much to articulate, unless they could turn at the joint in the middle to simulat a neck or waist joint. They also don't stand very well. If you were thinking that these were weeble wobbles, think again. There is a small flat spot on the top and bottom of each bean so they can be balanced in a standing position. But since the ball bearing inside rolls freely, they become off balanced easily and topple over quickly.
Accessories - 0/10There are no accessories.
Value - 2/10If you are buying these, you are really buying the license, and paying through the nose for it. A five pack of beans was $5.99 at Toys R Us. You may be able to find them slightly cheaper, but they are still going to run you at least $5. There is no way that these are worth $1.25 per bean. Especially compared to the regular figures or the mini figures which were only $1 per figure. And then you have to factor in the cost of getting all of the characters you want. Each five pack has four of the eighteen standard beans and one of the elites. So if you want the complete set you are going to end up shelling out $84 minimum and will end up with 37 extra standard beans. (That is only if you don't get any repeats of the elites and get all of the standards.)
The other killer is that there really isn't anything to do with them. There is no purpose to them other than whatever games you can come up with on your own to play with a small plastic bean. They don't even display well since they don't stand very well. Their best use is actually problably to be left in the try me packaging. There they can flip over. When loose they just have a tendency to roll along their side.
Happy Hunting:I bought three packs from the west side Toys R Us in Madison, WI. I haven't seen the TMNT packs elsewhere yet, but in general Mighty Beans seems to be popping up at most toy retailers. You may have to hunt around to find them though. Toys R Us had these on a display in the middle of one of the aisles. Other stores have had the Mighty Beans located with the cheap novelty toys, the type that you might give out as party favors.
As far as finding the complete set of beans themselves; good luck and prepare to empty your wallet. Each five pack seems to have four standard beans and one elite. So plan on picking up at least 14 packs to get them all. I don't know if the assortments are completely random and I don't plan on buying more of these to find out. (Unless they hit clearance.) For those who may be curious, in the picture of the fifteen beans on the right, each line was one pack. The bean on the right was the one in the try me section.