There's a saying that when it rains it pours. And while that may have started as a slogan to sell table salt, these days
the saying has come to mean that if things start to go wrong, they will go really wrong. But for the Teenage Mutant Ninja
Turtle license, 2014 saw a trickle of third party toys turn into a flood of new products that would make Noah proud. Part of
that flood was a slew of vinyl mini figures including a new series from Funko as well as both Kidrobot and Loyal Subjects
getting in on the action. I already posted a review of the Kidrobot Ooze
Action series of figures back when they were released. But now it's time to take a look at the rest of Kidrobots TMNT
offerings. Among them is the regular series of vinyl minis which includes the same six figures from the Ooze Action series and
adds Rocksteady, Bebop, Krang and a Foot Soldier. There is also a series of keychains that includes even smaller versions of
all ten figures. And the final additions are larger sized versions of Bebop and Rocksteady and a pair of repaints of those
figures which were San Diego Comic Con exclusives. So break out the umbrellas and let the flood of Kidrobot vinyls flow.
Packaging - Lg Vinyls 7/10, others 8/10Kidrobot has done a nice job of designing the packaging for all of their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle products. The keychains share the same basic package design as the Ooze Action vinyls I reviewed earlier. It is a nice throw back to the original Ninja Turtle toys with the sewer background. The back shows all ten keychains that are available. The vinyl mini figures and full size vinyls use the same type of design for their backgrounds. The blind boxes for the mini vinyls have silhouettes of Shredder on the front and one of the Turtles on the back. They also have images of all ten available vinyl minis along with thier ratios on either side. The one thing I really don't like about them is that they are blind boxes. And Kidrobot takes it serious. Unlike some companies that provide codes on the packaging to decern which figure is inside, there is no way to tell which figure is which. They even have each figure sealed in a foil bag so that even if you can sneak a peak in box, you can't see the figure. The regular sized Bebop and Rocksteady vinyls take that design and replace the silhouettes with a headshot of the character that wraps around from the front to the right side and another of the other available full size vinyl on the back. While I like the look of the boxes, it is a bit confusing that the only complete image there is on any of the box faces is of the other figure. I mistook the boxes repeatedly before I got around to opening them. They made a radical change for the packaging for the San Diego Comic Con versions. Their boxes are all black with a shell pattern in the background and the character name and face in metallic silver. It's quite a change, but it is quite attractive.
Sculpting - Splinter & Krang 4/10, Turtles & Bebop 7/10, Shredder & Rocksteady 8/10, Foot Soldier 10/10The sculpts for the Turtles, Splinter and Shredder are all the same as the Ooze Action versions. And just as with those figures, the others all have the sme generic body and unique head sculpts. The Foot Soldier looks perfect. Rocksteady is another good likeness, though his shortened nose makes him look a bit cuter than necessary. Bebop has the details right, but like Splinter, his face lacks depth. It looks like he ran face first into a wall. Krang's head sculpt is a disappointment and a bit of a mess. It looks more like a Krang shaped potato with glasses than an actual likeness of Krang. Krang also has the distinction of being the only one of the ten where the keychain has a significant difference from the vinyls. Since the keychain attaches where the antenna should be, there is one sculpted to his forehead instead. It's also worth noting that because of the differences in the materials, the keychains actually have more and sharper details despite only being an inch and a half tall.
Paint - SDCC Rocksteady 6/10, others 8/10The paint and decorations for all of these figures are a significant improvement over the glow in the dark Ooze Action vinyls. The basic body decos are the same. But the blind box versions of the Turtles all have new facial expressions and painted pupils. But more importantly, Splinter's colors have been corrected and he no longer looks like an orange cat. But if you are looking for vinyl that looks like it was dipped in Tang, there is the SDCC version of Bebop for you. While his colors are quite extreme, they do work well. His horned nosed counterpart is a little less outlandish with a baby blue skin tone. But in being more restrained with their color choices on Rockteady they created an exclusive that just isn't that different from the regular version.
Articulation - 5/10The keychains have no articulation of course. The other figures have just three points of articulation: rotating shoulders and a rotating neck joint. That's not a lot, but the figures don't really need much more than that.
Accessories - Donatello & Rocksteady 4/10, Other Turtles & Bebop 6/10, others 0/10The Turtles come with the same weapons as the Ooze Action versions. And once again Donatello gets the short end of his own stick. His bo and Rocksteady's gun are the only weapons with no paint. Rocksteady's gun doesn't really need it. But not painting the wrappings on Donatello's bo seems like an odd corner to cut. It is also worth noting that the stocks on both Bebop's and Rocksteady's make them difficult to position without them looking ackward or hitting the figures' faces. Splinter, Sherdder, Krang and the Foot Soldier all have no accessories. While the Foot Soldier could use a weapon or two, the others don't really need one.
Value - 5/10The keychain figures sell for $6 apiece. The blind box mini vinyls sell for $12 each and the larger figures were $40. While they are all cute, that's fairly expensive compared to regular action figures, though not out of line with other vinyl figures I've seen. And there is the issue of the mini vinyls being blind boxed so you can't pick which one you are buying. You can order a case as I did. That got me almost two complete sets as each case has two of each figure except Splinter, Shredder and the Foot Soldier. Splinter and Shredder are just one per case and the Foot Soldiers are four per case to take up those extra spots. On the positive side, you can save a few Dollars by buying the Ooze Action versions instead. Kidrobot also had the keychains on sale at one point for as little as $2 each. So if you are on the fence about them, it may pay to wait for the next sale.
Happy Hunting:All of the figures and keychains are Kidrobot products and all of them were available from their online store other than the Comic Con versions of Bebop and Rocksteady. The keychains and large vinyls are still available there. But the mini vinyls are currently sold out. A quick Google search did turn up quite a few sites that still have them available. Finding them locally could be tougher. Some comic shops carry mini vinyl figures. Or you may want to check Hot Topic if you have one nearby.