Rad Review: TMNT Comic Book Raphael


Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic-styled Raph

comic-style-ninja-turtles-cowabummer-crooked-ninja-reviewThis review will be a bit different and not quite a brief as previous entries. Why? Well let’s just say there is something about this new series of turtles that deserves some attention.

One of the worst TMNT figures. Ever.

The comic styled turtles had so much promise. We had a glimpse of their mold from the SDCC exclusive black & white version earlier this year. It was an exclusive so you don’t expect a whole lot. Then the series was released in color and I picked up Raph on a whim.

Upon opening the package I was delighted to see an included trading card (you can find comics now packed in). My joy was quickly erased by disappointment as I looked upon this new Raph toy.

The sculpt

While the figures proportions are good it is the detail that absolutely kills it. They should have left the sculpt alone without detailing. What Playmates tried and failed to do was recreate the absolutely perfect NECA TMNT black & white sculpt. What they ended up with were a batch of figures that look horribly disfigured and scarred. The “hatch marks” look more like hatchet wounds and without proper coloring they just blend with the skin/shell. This is one of the worst sculpting jobs I have ever seen on what could have been a decent basic figure.

The action figurePhoto 2014-11-04 08.48.22 PM

You get basic articulation seen in many of the Nickelodeon turtle figures. Ball and socket head, shoulder and elbow swivels, and hip and knee swivels. What you don’t get is anything in the wrist or ankle. For a toy that is supposed to be wielding a weapon the lack of any sort of basic wrist swivel is a crime against toys.


Pretty damn weak. You get color in the bandana, shell, skin, and belt/pads and that’s it. It is all flat color with no detail but can be forgiven as that has been the standard for this new line. What is disappointing is that the four turtles all have the exact same bodies so a little extra effort would have went a long way for kids staring at these seemingly identical figures on the pegs.

The verdict

Overall the comic TMNT series fails to live up to expectations which I admit were set rather low to begin with. A few big failures in the design really kill what could have been a decent line. Honestly these are some of the worst figures in the new Nickelodeon TMNT era so far.

I don’t expect a $8-$9 figure to live up to the NECA line at all but unfortunately comparisons will arise. The real big issue with these is just the incredibly bad cost cutting measure of not having any sort of wrist articulation. If you make a toy that holds something guess what, it actually needs to fulfill that expectation.

  • Like you, I was also unsure about these figures & bought myself a Donatello. The paint and sculpt remind me of a claymation character. I keep expecting to see some stop-motion ninja moves!

    • Ha good point and you’re right!

  • Though I do mostly agree with your assessment, especially from the perspective of just picking this up off the shelf with no enhancement, I do think there is some merit on the figures. It’s nice to get figure variants that aren’t wacky (weird costumes, accessories) in the same new Playmates line so they’re in scale but different. I also appreciate what they were aiming for and at $8, it’s not that bad, even with the crappy lack of wrist articulation and un-black-washed hatch marks. After giving my Donny a black wash I expect to enjoy the figure much more. I’d also add that there’s no place to store the weapons on their belts, which if done correctly with the different straps and such would have gone a long way in differentiating the different characters.

    I will say that at my Toys R Us there were two sets of the four figures on the pegs in two color variants. One was the deep emerald green skin, and one was a much lighter mint green. Makes me wonder if there are army green and brownish green variants out there as well. It’d be nice to have one in each color like the original Playmates toys…

    • I get what you’re saying Shawn. I think my biggest disappoint lies in the huge oversight of the wrist swivel, it absolutely kills it for me. I do and have appreciated Playmates keeping the price on these low, it is hard to beat $8 a pop in 2014.

      Interesting about the different colors, have not seen it for myself but now I am on the lookout!

  • Ben Rollier

    That’s disappointing. I was really considering picking up a Leo. Also, am I the only one who thinks their skin is too blue/green? Would’ve liked to see them greener.

  • Pingback: WilliamBruceWest.comWest Week Ever - 11/7/14 » WilliamBruceWest.com()