The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle has been out for some time and was quite well received. So it has been a bit surprising
that it has taken so long for the second series of figures based on the movie to reach store shelves. But they finally
did in August. The new series adds yet another of the thirteen monsters from the movie, a movie version of the Shredder and
of course, new versions of all four turtles. If you've seen the movie, you are probably asking, "why Shredder?" No, he
never really appears in the movie save for a single still image. But it just wouldn't be a TMNT line without him. Or
perhaps Karai just wanted to have a family reunion.
Packaging - 8/10The packaging hasn't changed any for the second series of figures. Each figure is packaged in the center of the bubble with their accessories displayed around them. They did a nice job of trying to position the figures in something other than just a bland, standing pose. Of course, this works better for some figures than others. The best they could do with the Sloth Monster was positioning him at an angle. They still included small bio cards inside the packaging. I just wish they would stop glueing them to the rest of the insert so you could save just the booklet. The back of the card hasn't changed much. They replaced the images of the the Turtles with photos of the new versions and removed Karai and the Vampire Succubor to be replaced with Shredder and the Sloth Monster. A little character information on the back would be nice, but since you do get that inside in the bio booklet, I can't really fault for that.
Sculpting - 7/10Once again the turtle variants that we get are the same molds as the original carded versions that also were included with the Stunt Rider sets. They are decent sculpts, but I don't think we really need three of them. A simple switching of the head sculpts would at least add some variety. The Shredder's only appearance in the movie was a single still image that was based more on the original Mirage comic books. And this figure isn't based on that image at all. That's actually a good thing. The figure we did get fits in much better with the new animated style than the design shown in the Movie would have. The figure has the proportions of the new animated style with a exaggerated chest and tiny waist. They also went with a slightly more understated version of his blades, particularly on the arms. They got rid of the full cape in favor of a partial one that simply drapes over one shoulder. It is a nice look. Or it can be removed if you prefer. Another very nice touch was the removeable helmet. I'm not too impressed with the face though. They made the line of the jaw far too angular in my opinion. It looks like he could split wood with that thing. The Sloth Monster only showed up in the movie for a few seconds so few would notice if it were 100% accurrate or not. Despite that, they seem to have done very well to capture the design. It is not quite a detailed as the movie though. And I can't really tell how close they got for the scale since there was never anything to reference it to in the movie. But it does seem a bit short. What I really don't care for about the sculpt is that it is based on the quick glimpse we get of the creature after it has been captured where its head is lowered all the way down until it is level with the shoulders. It would have looked a lot more menacing if they had sculpted it with its head raised up as it was before being captured. It also would have made him closer in height to the Turtles and the other figures.
Paint - Michelangelo 3/10, Shredder 6/10, others 4/10Someone in the paint department really has no respect for Michelangelo. Yet again, the paint work on him turned out poorly. The paint work for the body, shells, belt and pads is fine. But they meesed up his head. The eyes are a bit better. At least the irises now point in the same direction. But his right pupil seems to be wandering off to the side. The real issue is that they put his helmet on too soon and it left several large areas of lime green paint along the top of his bandana. The other three Turtles seem to be of better quality. One of Raphael's pupils is off center, but it is still better than Michelangelo's eyes. The Sloth Monster has his claws and chest painted a darker brown which then feathers out from those areas. The areas around his neck that his "skin" exposes are painted purple as well. While not overly elaborate, the paint work for the body looks pretty good. But the head is left almost completely unpainted. Its stark contrast to the body doesn't work well. The Shredder has a very nice grey, black and metallic blue color scheme. It works quite well for the costume design. They also did a nice job of keeping the various borders between colors neat. They don't always line up perfectly with the sculpt, but the differences are minor. There is some room for improvement. A metallic finish for the blades would be nice. But the most noticeable oversight was the two Foot Clan insignias. Both are simply painted red. Had they given them a two tone, red and black paint scheme they would have looked much better.
Articulation - Sloth Monster 3/10, Shredder 6/10, Turtles 8/10The movie Turtle figures have the seventeen points of articulation that the other versions of these figures have had. As I have stated in the other reviews, they the best Turtle figures yet in terms of the range of motion provided by the articulation. By comparision, the Sloth Monster is rather lacking with just nine rotating joints at the neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists and hips. Making matters wors is the fact that the elbow and wrist joints are almost parallel which renders one of them redundant. And the hips aren't much better. Shredder is much better but still slightly less articulated than the Turtles. He has a couple of noteable shortcomings such as only having rotating joints for the elbows instead of hinged joints. The wrist joints don't allow you to adjust the blades on his hands to have them face forward. It would also have been nice if they had used a ball joint instead of a rotating joint for the neck so that Shredder could look down further.
Accessories - Jungle Leo & Sloth Monster 8/10, Shredder & Monster Capture Raph 5/10,
The Sloth Monster comes with a set of restraints including a collar, manacles and chains to bind them all together. As
accessories go, for Playmates these are quite impressive. Each piece is sculpted with ancient "writing" similar to that
shown in the movie on the stone seal. But what really impresses me is that Playmates went with real chains, albeit plastic
ones, to connect the manacles and collar. The restraints do have a somewhat glaring shortcoming, they don't even come close
to restraining anything. The chains are so long that the figure can easily move through its entire range of movement with
length to spare. Still, they look good when attached. And considering that there isn't much else that they could have done
for accessories for a character that had less than twenty seconds of screen time in the movie, it is nice to see that they
went all out on the restraints.