There has never been a good Splinter toy ever made. This sounds harsh, but between the bucktoothed original, the scarecrow impersonator in Next Mutation and the brittle 2k3 figure, Splinter usually gets the short end of the stick.
Protective and precise, Splinter is an un-matched Ninja Master with a playful and deep spirit that probably comes in handy raising his mutant sons, Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo! Once a human known as Hamato Yoshi, Splinter continues his tradition of teaching Ninjutsu and fighting the evil Foot Clan.
With that description, it looks like Splinter is getting his classic cartoon origin (or maybe some weird version of the IDW origin), but the figure takes a lot of inspiration from all the other Splinter figures and mashes them together in what isn’t the greatest success.
Splinter looks like a rat enough I suppose thanks to his clawed hands and feet and a face that doesn’t look too much like a dog. But most of the figure you can’t see thanks to the massive, rubber robe that is permanently attached. His gray toes peek out from under it, while a pink rat tail plugs into the back. He’s five inches tall to the top of the ears, making him taller than the Turtles.
Articulation is middle of the road technically, but the design limits it. Splinter has a cut neck, swivel and hinge shoulders, cut elbows, swivel and hinge hips and a swivel tail. Of all of those, only the neck and arms are really useable.
While the lack of paint on the four Turtles wasn’t too bad, the paint on Splinter is downright weird. From the neck down, the only paint on this figure are the pink hands and black belt buckle. That’s all. The rest of the paint is applied to the head and ends up just looking weird, like someone tried to tie-dye a rat. The white face with black markings and red fur make Master Splinter just look weird.
Even worse is the fact that Splinter only comes with a single accessory: a walking stick. Cast in translucent aqua plastic, the cane looks like it has been whittled out of wood. His clawed hands can’t really hold it and it ends up just being an odd accessory. It really makes me wonder if the weapons April has were originally intended for Splinter since they make more sense.
As a figure, Splinter just feels bland. The lack of articulation hurts, the weird design feels wrong and the accessories are lacking. Of all the new TMNT figures, Splinter is clearly the worse. But if history is any indicator, Playmates isn’t going to make a second attempt. He’s an easy pass unless you really think the turtles need their sensei.
Dragon Chopper with Dragon Fang Foot Soldier