Starting this year, Mattel has rebranded the Mega Bloks toy line as Mega Construx. While the name of the line and the packaging design has changed,
the line itself hasn't has remained more or less the same. And that includes continuing with a fourth series of blind bag mini figures. This time
around, the assortment includes more variations of the four Turtles, Karai, Baxter Stockman, a red Foot Ninja and Tiger Claw.
Packaging - Blind Bags 7/10The new Mega Construx brand name also comes with an overhaul to the graphical design. The change isn't very pronounced on the blind bag figures since the packaging is so small to start with. But it does include the new Mega Construx logo with some of the orange and white backgrounds in the upper left corner. Once again, they try to have a "secret" character for the assortment. But any fan of the show will recognize the black shilohette on the back as Tiger Claw. Technically these are suppose to be blind bags where you do not know which figure is inside. But you can identify most of the characters by feel if you are willing to take the time. Each package also has a code imprinted on the back just to the left of the UPC bar code. The codes will change from shipment to shipment. But at the very least you can use them to narrow down your search a bit and avoid buying duplicate figures.
Sculpting - Turtles 6/10, Karai 4/10, Tiger Claw, Red Ninja & Baxter 7/10There's not a lot of surprises with this fourth series since most of these are recycled sculpts. It's no real surprise that the Turtles reuse the same body as all of the past Turtle figures. The same is true of Tiger Claw and Baxter. But both of those are really well done figures. So it's nice that fans who didn't buy the sets have another chance at them. Karai reuses most of the same sculpt as April from Series 3, but she does have a new set of arms that include some sculpted armor. That was a nice touch. But it's her hair that is the bigger improvement. It frames her face far better than April's hair did which makes the head sculpt look much better. I was surprised when I got to the Red Foot Ninja though. I fully expected him to be a simple repaint of the regular Foot Ninjas. He does share the same arms and legs. But they created a new body and head for him. And the extra sculpted detail for chest piece is a huge improvement. I'm actually hoping to see this body used for regular Foot Ninjas in the future.
Paint - Dimension X Mikey & Tiger Claw 2/10, Mystic Raph 4/10, Baxter & Karai 6/10, Others 5/10The blind bag figures have been rather hit or miss in terms of paint and decals. And that hasn't changed here. Some of the figures simply don't have much paint work and don't really need it. Translucent Leonardo, Dark Horizons Donatello and the Red Foot Ninja all fall under this category. It's only their faces that are painted. But that is fine. They don't need more paint detail. But when you get to Mystic Raphael you start to see where they tried to recreated the look from the show by just leaving most of his leg completely white from the knee down. It doesn't replicate the look from the show well. It just make the figure look unfinished. Dimension X Michelangelo shares that problem. But my figure also has several blotches of orange paint on the inside of his helmet. With as little paint work as they gave these figures, there's no excuse for it to be sloppy. Tiger Claw is the worst figure in the series with only his face and toes being painted. Setting this version of Tiger Claw next to the one from the Sewer Lair set makes it hard to believe they are the same figures. Things do improve greatly when you get to Baxter and Karai. They aren't amazing looking figures either. But both at least have some detail work to them and it all turned out reasonably well.
Articulation - Karai 5/10, Others 7/10The articulation for these figures is the same as previous blind bag series figures. (That shouldn't be surprising since they are the same molds.) The Turtles, Tiger Claw, Baxter and Red Foot Ninja all have twelve points of articulation:
Accessories - Tiger Claw 2/10, Others 3/10The accessories were some of the best parts of the earlier series of blind bag figures. But with this series they have really scaled back to just the bare minimums when it came to the accessories. Most of the figures just have a single weapon and a display base. Leonardo and Raphael do at least have a pair of weapons. And to be fair, Dimension X Michelangelo and Mystic Raphael have additional pieces to make up their outfits. But when you get to Tiger Claw, you have a character known for having two guns and a jet pack and a figure that had all those things when it was included in the Sewer Lair set. But here, Tiger Claw only gets one gun. There's no excuse for not including them with this version as well. In the end, it feels like much of the overall sense of humor and heart that was included with earlier figures via the accessories just isn't here with any of the figures.
Value - Karai & Red Foot 8/10, Tiger Claw 4/10, others 6/10The blind bag figure sell for roughly $3 each in most stores. That's actually a pretty good deal, especially for Karai and the Red Foot Ninja that aren't currently available any other way. The Turtles are okay, but I find it a bit annoying that it is going to take four series get complete sets of Dark Horizons, translucent, Mystic and Dimension X Turtles. It also means that there isn't much suspense about what figures will be included with future series.
Happy Hunting:Series four of the blind bag figures started showing up in stores early this year. But finding them, at least locally, has taken quite some time. Many stores ordered way too many of previous series and therefore have been very slow to receive any new stock. And with Target stores in my area no longer carrying the TMNT Mega Construx sets, finding the figures at all became even more difficult. And then you still have to deal with the uneven distribution of the figures in each case. Tiger Claw is listed as a Secret Rare figure and there is only one figure per case. That's really annoying when you want that figure. But at least they made the worst figure in the series the chase. The realy issue comes with Karai who is listed as an Ultra Rare figure. So there is only one or possibly two of her in each case. On the positive side, the Red Foot is a common figure. So if you do want an army of them, it is relatively easy to do that.