Heroes are often defined best by their villains. Batman wouldn’t be nearly as interesting if Joker wasn’t running around, and Spider-Man’s elaborate rogue gallery has shaped him. But the Ninja Turtles are odd because when they first debuted, they didn’t have a set group of villains to fight. In fact, The Shredder was killed off in issue #1. But the cartoon needed a big bad and Shredder has been a constant piece of the TMNT mythos ever since.
Cold, cunning and cruel, Shredder is the Turtles’ hateful arch-enemy, willing to go to any length to destroy them and their rat sensei, Splinter. With the Foot Clan and his shredding armor, there is little the Shredder can’t do. TURTLES BEWARE!
The Shredder is no stranger to getting action figures of himself made. Every Ninja Turtles line has had Shredder show up in the first wave and the newest Nickelodeon TMNT line is no exception. But what really sets this Shredder apart is the scale. For once, Playmates has finally allowed Shredder to tower over the Turtles! Standing just under 5 and half inches tall, putting him a full inch taller than Leonardo.
The newest take on Shredder feels more samurai inspired than the original iteration. His chest and thighs are coated in scale mail, while his shoulders, forearms and shins are covered in giant, spiky armor. All these pieces of armor aren’t removable. Shredder’s head is covered by his classic helmet that does a great job of drawing inspiration from multiple sources once again. But if you’re looking for a Shredder that is screen accurate, he diverges much like the Turtles. Shredder’s neutral stance is similar to a kourus, with his right foot set back like he’s stepping forward.
Shredder’s paint is pretty basic since most of the figure gets his colors from the plastic. The silvers are well done and clean, while the purple looks good for the most part. Where his bare arms are exposed, you should look out for some excess. Shredder’s eyes are solid white which looks weird, but I loved the 2k3 Shredder way too much anyway.
Articulation is a mixed bag. It’s better than I initially expected, but falls the tiniest bit short. Shredder has a cut neck, hinge and swivel shoulders and elbows, cut wrists and waist, and swivel and hinge hips. The absence of knees isn’t the end of the world, but really limits the lower half.
Shredder’s accessories are lacking as well. He comes with a very thin sword that looks out of place in his undersized hands along with two throwing stars. Unpainted, the accessories at least look decent since they are cast in dark gray plastic. Extra flourishes like a cape or real claws would have been greatly appreciated.
I think my biggest issue with Shredder is the same one that has always plagued Ninja Turtles toys: humans are boring. Shredder isn’t bad, but the love and care clearly wasn’t invested in this figure the same way. While the lack of knees is disappointing, this is still a pretty good figure. The stylized look is a bit odd, like the tiny hands and giant feet, but given some extra time I think Playmates will figure out how to really make it work.
Dragon Chopper with Dragon Fang Foot Soldier