When I was first introduced to the Ninja Turtles, Leonardo was always my favorite and Raphael was my least favorite. Looking back on it though, I finally realized they are two sides of the same coin. Raphael is fueled by passion and impulse while Leonardo is controlled and calculating.
Tough, quick-to-act and hot-tempered, Raphael’s a powder keg ready to explode on unsuspecting enemies everywhere! The biggest of his mutant brothers, Raph has a “why sneak around when you can bash some heads instead?” attitude. Master of the twin sais, these three-pronged blades are the perfect reflection of their owner: sharp and to the point!
In the new line, Mikey is the small one, Don is the lanky awkward and Raph and Leo are the same size. Standing at just under 4.5 inches tall, I expected Raph to share some elements with Leo but they don’t. Instead, he’s just completely unique to the point where it feels almost excessive. The same basic design elements are present again like the elbow pads, knee pads and wrappings. He looks like a Ninja Turtle through and through.
But to set him apart, Raph has a few extra markings. His skin is very textured and looks like he’s covered in small scratches. It would make sense for the brawler to be knocked up a bit. His front shell has a jagged crack at the top and his back shell has a serious nick in it. I wonder what the story behind that will end up being.
Raphael’s face is the most aggressive by face with him barring his teeth. To further sell the look of him being more rough and tumble, Raph’s bandana is ragged as well (though not as much as The Next Mutation). Around his waist is his belt which is similar to Mikey’s but with smaller loops to hold weapons.
Articulation is the same 11 points as the other turtles with swivel and hinge joints at the shoulders, elbows, hips and knees, cut wrists and a ball jointed neck. It’s a good amount, but Raph’s wider body means his arms stick out more.
Raphael is cast in the darkest shade of green which is a shift from how he’s usually portrayed. It evokes Michelangelo’s or almost Slash’s color scheme. His stomach is dark yellow and most of his bandages are brown. The red bandana is great, but it’s odd that his teeth and hand wrappings are the same shade of off-white.
Like his brothers, Raphael comes with a wide assortment of extra weapons allowing you to equip an army. A pair of sai are included and cast in gray plastic. They fit snugly into his belt, but even better is that Raph can hold it between his fingers in the right hand! Once the weapons tree is broken down, Raphael ends up with two juttes, twin hook swords and a pair of throwing stars too! The inclusion of juttes is interesting since they are essentially 2/3rds of a sai and the hook swords look great. The throwing stars look like Mikey’s but are unique too!
Rounding out the four turtles, I am very impressed with how well each of them turned out. Giving them completely unique sculpts was entirely unexpected, especially in this era of constant reuse. Raphael is an excellent figure and just as good as his three brothers.
Dragon Chopper with Dragon Fang Foot Soldier