The Ninja Turtle movie toy reviews are finally underway. (With any luck, I may be able to work my way through all
of them before the movie is released on home video at least.) With the basic figures out of the way, this time we'll
move on to the line of deluxe figures called Combat Warriors. The Combat Warriors line gives us new, slightly
larger versions of the four Turtles, each with a built in action feature. Normally I wouldn't have a great deal of
interest in the larger scale, action feature centric, deluxe figures that Playmates has been producing for years.
But since the basic movie Turtles were a bit too small compared to the other basic movie figures, larger versions
could be useful.
Packaging - 6/10The Combat Warrior Turtles are packaged in a variation of the open front boxes that Playmates has been using for the 11" giant figures, though scaled down of course. The figure is wide open, connected to the backer, but not really enclosed in the box at the bottom at all, unlike the 11" figures. The packages have the same basic graphic design as the basic figures, with a generic looking green background and images of the four Turtles, with the image of the Turtle in question highlighted on the bottom next to the figure's name. The back is a generic card with the four Combat Warrior Turtles all pictured. Overall, the design is largely generic and prone to warping/other damage. But, it does put the figure out, center stage where any kid can hold it in their hand even while it is still on a store shelf. And I have to admit, that alone is pretty cool.
Sculpting - Raph 7/10, others 8/10The basic assortment of movie figures had decent sculpts. But the Combat Warrior figures are step up in two important ways. The first is that they are larger. They are just enough larger to make them the proper size compared to April. The details of the sculpts on the Combat Warriors is also much cleaner and easier to make out. Combat Warrior Leonardo is a particular improvement over his basic figure counterpart. His body is bulkier and the arms better proportioned. And his face sculpt is a vast improvement. Really, the one qualm I have with the four is Combat Warrior Raphael's facial expression. There is a fine line between looking mad and looking crazy. Combat Warrior Raphael's expression is right on that line and the paint applications put it slightly past that line. But the sculpting does deserve some of the blame too.
Paint - Raphael 4/10, others 6/10The paint work on the Combat Warrior Turtles, like the basic figures, is pretty simple but generally looks good. The only issue is the eyes. The Combat Warrior Turtles have visible pupils. And as is often the case, the results are hit or miss. I was fortunate that only Raphael's pupils are an issue, and they aren't horrible. But when combined with the sculpted facial expression, he does look a bit crazy.
Articulation - Leonardo 1/10, Others 3/10,The articulation on the Combat Warrior Turtles is not great, and most of the articulation is connected to the action features, often rendering it unusable. From the waist down, all four are essentially statues. All of Leonardo's articulation is linked to his action feature. Raphael's shoulders and neck are connected to his, but that still leaves the hinge joint at the shoulder and rotating wrists and elbows. Both Donatello and Michelangelo have their right arms connected to their action features, but their left arms still have some limited articulation. I'm certainly the type of collector who would favor more articulation over an action feature, so the limited articulation here is a big disappointment to me, even if I was well aware that that would be the case even before buying the figures.
Accessories - Michelangelo 5/10, Leonardo 3/10, Don & Raph 0/10The Combat Warriors don't come very well equipped, or more precisely they are lacking in optional equipment. All four Turtles have weapons permanently attached to their hands. The one slight exception is Michelangelo who does have his left hand free and comes with an optional pair of nunchucks. They are fairly plain looking, but they do have a real metal chain so they can make a decent upgrade for the basic assortment Michelangelo. Other than that, the only accessory for the four Turtles is a set of sheaths for Leonardo. They attach quite securely to his back, but they are purely decorative, even if his swords weren't glued into Leonardo's hands. I'm glad they were included, Leonardo would seem incomplete without them. But I am concerned about making them a separate accessory that can fall off and get lost.
Action Feature - 5/10I'm not a huge fan of action features. It seems that too often they do more to compromise the figures than what they add. But do still appreciate those times when a company comes up with an action feature that integrates well will the figure or is particularly creative. That is not the case with the Combat Warrior Turtles. Donatello and Michelangelo both share the same feature, squeeze the legs together and their arms flip up and their right forearm spins. Leonardo's arms don't flip up, but both of his forearms spin. Raphael's feature has his shoulders rotate when you squeeze his legs. All four also have their heads turn slightly as well. The features all work well enough. But making a limb spin or rotating the arms at the shoulders are pretty simple gimmicks. They aren't enough to impress me on a fast food premium much less be worth designing an entire deluxe figure around.
Value - 4/10The Combat Warrior Turtles sell for $13 to $15 depending upon the store. Ordinarily, I would say that that was too much for a figure with an unimpressive action feature and little else. But in the case of the Combat Warrior Turtles, I do see a purpose for them. For those that just want a set of the four movie Turtles that looks good, these could be a better choice than the basic Turtles. The sculpts are more detailed. They are closer to the correct scale to match the other movie figures. So as display only pieces, they aren't a bad choice.
Happy Hunting:The Combat Warrior Turtles are in stores, and have been for several months. So finding them should not be difficult. At this point, the bigger concern may be how long the movie merchandise will remain on retail shelves. Chances are that after the first of the year, when stores reset the toy aisles, the movie figures may disappear.