Playmates Toys has been in the habit of producing a line of deluxe figures to accompany the basic figures. In the original line, that
started with the Wacky Action figures and eventually gave us Talkin' Turtles, Pizza Tossin' Turtles and many other creative features.
The trend has continued for 25 years. Now Playmates is recycling two of their previous action features under the label of Flingers Turtles.
For Leonardo and Michelangelo, we have modern versions of the Pizza Tossin' Turtles from 1994 while Raphael and Donatello bring back the
weapon throwing feature from the Fast Forward Triple Strike Figures. But I have been less than impressed with Playmates recent gimmick
inspired figures like the Power Sound FX and Ooze Throwing figures. So hopefully these will turn the trend around.
Packaging - 7/10Playmates dropped the open packaging from the Power Sound FX figures in favor of a traditional blister card. The card is considerably taller than those of the basic figures inorder to fit the figures. But the basic design is the same. The insert in the bubble has a large image of the toy with the flinging feature in action. The way they did it seems to show off the figure more than the feature though. And since the actual figure is right behind it, it makes the insert image superfulious. The back of the card is mostly devoted to the instructions for the figure's action feature, but there are also images of all of the Flingers Turtles on the bottom. Overall the packaging does a nice job of showing off the figure, though it doesn't really do much to justify the Flingers concept.
Sculpting - Mikey 3/10, Leo 4/10, Raph 5/10, Don 6/10Donatello is the only one of the Flingers that would make a passable figure if the action feature was gone. The proportions are fine. There isn't a great deal of extra armor on him, but what is there is nicely detailed. And he has the best head sculpt of the four, not because it is great, it just isn't wrong. Flingers Raphael has a couple of issues. The headsculpt is a bit off model, trending a little more towards the 2003 toon design. His mask in particular is too thick and not wide enough. The diamond plate loin cloth is wierd since I've never seen that texture used on anything but metal. And then there are his legs, two great big sausages with knee pads. Seriously, where is the muscle definition for his legs? Leonardo's legs and arms are fine, though like Raph, his head is closer to the 2003 design than the 2012 appearance. But what is really off putting is his stomach. It's huge. There have been more out of shape Turtle figures. But they were the Sumo Turtles. Then there is Flinger Michelangelo whose stomach is just as big. But it is paired with a smaller head and longer arms. Put it all together and you have a figure that just looks wrong. (And his expression doesn't help either.) Scale is also an issue. The Flingers Turtles are just under six inches tall. That makes them just a bit taller than the Power Sounds FX figures and out of scale with all the other TMNT figures.
Paint - 4/10The paint work on the Flingers figures is a bit limited. A lot of the details such as the hand wrappings and the backs of the knee pads that were left unpainted. But the parts that were painted are all done fairly well. There is none of the sloppiness and inconsistency that I saw with the Ooze Throwing Turtles.
Articulation - 1/10Each Flingers Turtle has a ball jointed neck and four points of articulation in the left arm: a rotating and hinged joint at the shoulder and another at the elbow. Leo and Mike also have shoulder and elbow joints in their right arm and Raph and Don have a rotating joint at their right shoulders. But all of those joints are tied to the action features and not usable on their own. With no articulation at all in the legs and no usable articulation in the right arm, I don't know why they even bothered with articulation for the left arm. It certainly isn't enough to save the figures.
Accessories - Leo & Mike 4/10 Raph & Don 5/10Leo and Mike each comes with ten disks that they can fire vie their action feature. For Leo, it is ten small manhole covers while Mikey has ten pizzas. Raphael and Donatello have three sais and bo staffs respectively. These can either be thrown via the action feature or held in their left hand as a normal weapon. I wish they hadn't molded thier weapons in red and purple respectively. I am okay with not painting them, but they could have at least used a normal color for them so they didn't need paint.
Action Feature - 7/10Flingers Leonardo and Michelangelo both have a disk firing feature similar to the Pizza Tossing Turtles from the vintage line. However, where as the originals fired a disk each time thier arm was pulled, the Flingers activate their feature through a wheel in the bottom of their right foot. By rolling the figure to the side, the arm will make a vague frisbee tossing motion and the disks will be launched one at a time. The feature works well and the disks fire a fair distance. The one short coming is that it is hard to control exactly when the disks fire as the figure moves sideways, so aiming is quite difficult.
Donatello and Raphael have an updated version of the Triple Strike feature. But like Leo and Mike, it is now triggered through a wheel in the right foot. When it is triggered, the right arm rotates back, grabs a weapon and snaps forward tossing the weapon forward. It is a fun feature, but like the disk shooting feature, aiming is difficult, only moreso. And with Raph and Don, you only have three shots before they run out of things to throw.
Value - 3/10The Flingers Turtles retail for $13. I'm glad to see the price come down a bit from the Power Sound FX figures. But that is still quite a bit for figures that are out of scale with all the other TMNT figures and have almost no useful articulation. The weapon throwing and disk shooting gimmicks are nice, but there are much better ways to incorporate them into a toy that don't require it to be the only redeeming quality of the figure.
Happy Hunting:The Flingers Turtles are showing up in most stores right now. I have seen them locally at Target and Toys R Us. They are also listed on line at Toys R Us' web site.