The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle license has never had a much in the way of high end collectibles. There have been very few offerings for
high end collectibles. There was the Playmates' series of cold cast statues and the Comiquettes produced by Sideshow but that was about it.
That changed in 2015. We'sve seen numerous companies pick up the TMNT license for collectible figure, vinyl figures and statues. And the
2014 live-action movie is even some of that attention with two companies, Prime 1 Studio and ThreeA planning statues and 1:6 scale figures
respectively. Both companies seem to be hitting a number of delays, but the first two statues from Prime 1 finally arrived this week. And
since these things are way to big to have them sitting around, they get to go to the top of the review pile.
Packaging - 6/10Both Leonardo and Raphael statues are packaged in two different boxes each with the base in one and the figure in the larger one. The boxes are huge at almost two feet square and a foot deep for the large box. And the thinner box which contains the base is suprisingly heavy. And for all of that real estate, they didn't do much with it. There is a large image of each character, their name and the movie logo, but that's it. And they didn't even use a photo of the actual statue. It's kind of a minor issue as it is unlikely that anyone is going to pay the high price that these statues carry an then not open and display them. But for the price, getting lazy even with just the packaging design is unacceptable. Inside, all of the parts are well protected and ready to be assembled.
Sculpting - Leonardo 8/10, Raphael 10/10The sculpting for both statues is impressive, very impressive. Given that the Turtles in the movie were computer generated and composited over motion capture actors, and thus a full scale physical version of them may never have actually existed, these may very well be the best physical represention of the 2014 movie Turtles in existence. Certainly they are the best commercially available version. The level of detail is impressive. The tails for their masks are longer than they appear in the movie. And there are some minor scale issues. Raphael's base has a couple of newspapers on the ground beneath him. But they appear to be about 25% smaller than they should be. And the manhole cover under Leonardo's feet is clearly too smalle for him to fit through. (Though the manhole cover is probably pretty accurate given how large they made the Turtles in the movie. I do have an issue with Leonardo and his swords and sheaths. The swords don't actually fit in the sheaths. I don't have a problem with that. But if you line the swords up over the sheaths, you see that they couldn't fit in them as the shape of the sheaths doesn't match the swords. That's a nit-pick, but for soemthing like this, I expect them to get the details right. But the real issue is that the swords don't fit snuggly in his hands. The sword in his right hand kept sliding out of his hand no matter which sword I used. I finally had to put a clear rubber band on the hilt under his hand so that is no longer could slide out. Not being able to hold his weapons properly is a pretty big issue to have in the final production pieces.
Paint - Leonardo 7/10, Raphael 9/10The paint work on both Leonardo and Raphael is impressive. But not quite perfect. And perfect is what I was expectign from these. To begin with, both figures use a matte finish on the skin of the Turtles, but give their shells a glossier finish. That just seems backwards. I would have been alright with either the glossier or matte finishes being use for both or a gloss finish for the skin to replicate moisture while giving the shells a matte finish. This just seems backwards. Leonardo also has a couple of additional issues. In the movie there are several kanji on his mask along the right side of his face. They are missing from the statue. My figure also has a small chip in the paint on his right cheek just under his mask. That is really disappointing.
Articulation - 4/10These are statues so you are probably expecting me to say they have no articulation. But you would be wrong. For some reason they decided to make the eyeballs articulated. You can pull the top of their heads off and adjust the position of the eyballs using the small plastic stems on the interior. It's a neat feature and it works well enough. But it is pretty much wasted on statues. Given that the rest of the figure is stuck in one pose, there is very little reason why you would want their eyes facing in anything other than the default position. So they don't have much use.
Value - 4/10These are impressive statues. They are extremely large and very detailed. So it is no surprise that they carry a hefty price. But at $700 each, just how hefty of a price is likely to be surprising. These are more than three times the price of the Sideshow TMNT comiquettes originally. The problem is that they are still statues of the 2014 movie versions of the Turtles, which is one of if not the last version of the TMNT that most fans would choose to spend that kind of money for. There is the second movie coming out this summer and if it is as well received as its trailer, it could help make the movie designs more popular. But even if that does happen, they are changing the designs slightly for the second movie. So even if that movie becomes a fan favorite, these statues are not going to be quite right anyways. But if you are one of the few fans that really loved the 2014 TMNT movie and have the money to burn, these do make very impressive display pieces.
Happy Hunting:The Prime 1 Studio statues are being distributed in the United States by Sideshow. Both the Leonardo and Raphael statues are available now from their site as well as the three remaining upcoming movie statues (Michelangelo, Donatello and Splinter). They even offer payment plans in case you don't have hundreds of Dollars of spending money left over after the holidays.