When I reviewed the T-Sprints figures, I wasn't very impressed with the vehicle shell accessories. And without them, the T-Sprints
figures themselves are left lacking a reason to exist. But there is one more item in the T-Sprints toy line that could fill that roll,
the Sewer Duel playset. Despite its name, the Sewer Duel set doesn't put two T-Sprints figures going head to head. Instead it challenges
a single T-Sprint figure to make it through a short obstacle course and exit out the other end in their vehicle. Defining what you do
with the T-Sprints toys is the thing that the figures needed most. So I'm hopeful that the Sewer Duel set can provide that.
Packaging - 6/10The Sewer Duel is packaged in a box with a small window to show off the included T-Sprint Leonardo figure, complete with a "try me" feature. The front of the box has a CGI version of the set with Leo zipping along through it. The image is fine, but it doesn't really look that much different from an actual photo. It would have been more impressive and attention getting if they had recreated the set with the fully cartoon style designs that they used in the bottom right corner of the box. The image also doesn't fill the space well. Most of the top half is left empty save for the T-Sprints logo. The back has another CG image of the set, but at a slightly different angle. There's photos of all the T-Sprints figures at the bottom and more CG images of the features. (I suspect that the entire packaging was designed before the toy was ever actually produced. Overall the packaging looks decent and does a reasonable job of selling the set as a fun addition to the T-Sprints line.
Sculpting - 3/10I'm curious as to how much time they spent developing the Sewer Duel play set. Because once I got everything out of the package and assembled, I quickly realized that there just isn't much there, both in terms of features or the level of detail. The primary structure for the playset is just a ramp sculpted to look like a roadway overpass that carries the figure up and drops it into the small structure at the end. It's a long playset. But across most of it, it is empty ramp. They added a partial sewer pipe for about a third of it. But even that section is way more empty space than pipe. The lack of structure is unfortunate. But it is the lack of personality and detail that really hurts. Other than the use of sewer components, there is very little that identifies this as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle playset.
Paint/Decals - 3/10The Sewer Duel set has very little paint work. The arches are painted on each side of the ramp and there is one painted detail on each side of the final section. They also try to dress it up a bit more with a dozen decals, all of which are meant to be applied to one side. That is no where near enough. It still leaves huge expanses of bare grey plastic. And the decals used are pretty dull considering what they could have used. They could have dressed things up with graffiti or any of the cool signage that has been designed and used in the cartoon. There is none of that here and it could really use it.
Accessories - 4/10The Sewer Duel playset comes with a Leonardo T-Sprints figure and another Shellraiser. It makes sense to include a T-Sprints figure since the set is pretty worthless without one. I just wish they had done more to distinguish the pack-in figure from the regular T-Sprints Leonardo. The only difference between this version and the regular one is the graphic for the mouth. They also included a recolored version of the Shellraiser vehicle shell, this time molded in a sickly looking green with a couple of blue details. It's nice that it was included since the set needs the figure. But it would have been so much nicer if they had included a unique character or vehicle that would add value even if you already have the regular Leonardo. And of course, it would have been even better if they had included other accessories for the T-Sprints figures to interact with. But they didn't.
Features - 2/10The Sewer Duel is over two feet long. So that should give them plenty of room to pack it with features. It has one. ONE! And it is optional, needs to be manually controlled and doesn't really do much. Mounted to the side of the second section of the track where the partial pipe enclosure is located, is a silhouette of one of the Mutant Shredders mounted to a rotating arm. If you want, you can spin it as the T-Sprint figure races up the track to see if it can avoid this single obstacle. If so it will continue on to the end of the ramp and drop into its awaiting vehicle shell and hopefully emerge from the end of the pipe behind the wheel. It works. Or to be more specific, it works just often enough to make it interesting to see if it will complete the entire trip successfully. But there is almost no variety to it. So once you get accustomed to how fast you want the figure to be going when you release it at the entrance, I doubt there will be any interest left in using the set.
Value - 2/10As I reviewed the T-Sprints figures, I said that one of the biggest drawbacks to the line was that it isn't clear exactly what you can do with them. At first, the Sewer Duel seemed tailor made to answer that question. But I don't know if they rushed it into production or just didn't put enough effort into it, but just one, optional obstacle to avoid and very little in the way of detail or personality for the playset the Sewer Duel just doesn't have much to add to the line or offer in terms of play value.
Happy Hunting:The Sewer Duel playset was released along with the general release of the T-Sprints toy line at the beginning of the year. It has shown up at Target, Walmart and Toys R Us stores in my area. Though I haven't seen it on any of their web stores yet.