There is no lack of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toys coming out since the launch of the Nickelodeon cartoon last year.
But while Playmates has been doing an impressive job of taking advantage of both the fandom of the current show and
the nostalgia of older fans with the Classic Collection releases. That hasn't deterred other companies from trying to
find their own way of getting a piece of the pie. While Playmates' contract means that it is unlikely that any other
company is going to be able to produce "action figures", that still leaves the possibility of producing things that
are not quite action figures, such as vinyl figures and bobble heads. And Funko has taken advantage of that opportunity
and this summer released six figures based on the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoon as part of their Pop
Television line of vinyl figures.
Packaging - 8/10These figures are part of the larger line of vinyl figures based on a multitude of different properties. So the packaging reflects this in that the over all design is fairly generic. It has been specialized a bit with the inclusion of the original TMNT logo and images of the Turtles subtly embedded in the background of the color borders. Partial images of the characters in the style of the vinyl figures are included on most of the panels of the boxes. The images are cute, but seem to be wasted on the front where they just serve to obstruct the view of the actual figure. The back panel has images of the six Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figures produced. The front and right side of the box have a large window to show off the figure. Overall the packaging is simplistic and fairly cute. It might be nice to see something behind the figures instead of plain cardboard or have some indication of the other licenses in the Pop! Television line on the back of the boxes. But as it stands, the design matches the aesthetic of the figures fairly well.
Sculpting - Splinter & Shredder 9/10, Turtles 8/10These are not intended to be accurate representations of the the designs from the original cartoon. They are simplified and highly stylized. The designs borders on the Super Deformed style which is popular in Japanese toy lines. But the arms and legs are proportioned to match the body. The four Turtles all share the same body, with different arms and slightly different expressions sculpted on the faces. A bit more work was put into the Shredder and Splinter figures as they are completely unique sculpts. The detail work for both is impressive while still maintaining the simple design aesthetic.
Paint - Splinter 9/10, Mike 4/10, others 6/10To Funko's credit, they were quite ambitious with the paint work on all six figures. And where it turned out well, they look great. Unfortunately the figures seem to be plagued with quality control issues. Of figures I opened, only Splinter seems to have escaped these issues. Shredder has the most ambitious paint applications, almost the entire figure is painted. But the care and skill used to paint it does not match that ambition. The metallic silver of his helmet shows of every imperfection in the finish, and there are a lot of them. The grey used for his tunic seems to have a lot of black mixed in with it. The paint work on the four Turtles is not as extensive. But they seem to have a serious problem painting the mouths where they are closed. Michelangelo, Leonardo and Donatello all have this issue. They painted the right shape, but completely missed where the end of the mouths were on the figures. Obviously they were painted by machines. I'm just not sure if the heads were not aligned properly before painting or the machines were just not programmed properly, but it is a rather egregious error to make. And things just get worse on the Michelangelo figure that I got. The paint coverage on my figure's mask is very thin. They then made the issue worse by touching up the mask in several spots. As a result, the mask still doesn't match the knot of the mask which is a separate piece and there are large spots on the mask that don't match the rest of the mask.
There are also a number of paint variations being produced for the four Turtles. All four were available with metallic green paint at San Diego Comic Con. There is also a set of Glow in the dark Turtles. There are also a few conventions where one or more of the Turtles have been offered with a black and white paint scheme.
Articulation - 1/10All of the figures have just one point of articulation, a rotating neck. Given the design of the figures and the size of the heads, that may be for the best. This way the feet are positioned to make the figures very stable. It would be nice if the arms could move. But that wouldn't actually be that useful anyways.
Accessories - 0/10All of the figures come with their weapons sculpted into their hands. So they neither have nor need any accessories.
Value - Splinter 6/10, others 5/10The Pop! Vinyl figures sell for around $10 in most places. Though I paid a couple of bucks more than that to get them at my local comic shop as a special order. Their value depends in part on your opinion of the character designs. The line also offers the added benefit that there are a multitude of licenses that are part of the line. So if you are a fan of multiple licenses, you can get figures from all of them in the same style. But if like me you only care about these six figures, that doesn't really mean much.
Happy Hunting:Funko's Pop! vinyl figures are available from a number of specialty stores. I ordered mine from Westfield Comics which has a couple of physical stores in my area. They still have them listed for sale on their website as does Big Bad Toy Store. You can also find a number of the convention exclusive versions there and on Amazon.com.