I’ve got to hand it to Playmates; I think they’ve learned some valuable lessons about how to package figures are vehicles together. If any character should get released multiple times with minor variations, it’s a troop builder. Raphael with a helmet and gloves may not be super exciting, but taking a classic Foot Soldier and making a Dragon Fang Foot Soldier? I don’t care if he never appears in the show, that is awesome.
Obedient, silent and lethal, the soldiers of the evil Foot Clan exist for one purpose only: to serve their leader, the villainous Shredder! Armed with the best, stolen weapons and gear, everyone but the Turtles cower in fear at the sight of their bug-like eyes and red bandanas.
The Dragon Fang Foot Soldier is a straight repaint of the regular Foot Soldier. The black outfit is now a dark maroon. The forearms and shins are an odd shade of gray while the hands and feet are black. It’s a decent color contrast that reminds me of both the original comic and the old video games where rainbow Foot Soldiers were the norm.
The head is the same shade of awkward gray with bright pink eyes and a red bandana – which has omitted the Foot Clan insignia. The pink eyes seem like a very odd choice. The only other paint on the figure is the black undershirt and gray straps across the chest.
Articulation is decent but not as good as any of the Turtles. The shoulders are swivel and hinge joints with cut elbows and wrists. The hips are swivel and hinge as well, while the waist and neck are cut.
The accessories are the same two swords, one long and one short. Both are cast in black plastic along with the twin sheaths to plug into his back. The other two accessories are what make this figure a Dragon Fang Foot Soldier.
The harness is a basic attachment that goes over the shoulders and tightens in the back. The center emblem is the Foot, but it looks like the original Foot Clan symbol not the new cube one. The back of the harness goes out for an action feature and gets in the way of the sword sheaths.
The other accessory is a spiked helmet cast in bright red. Painted black, the helmet evokes a dragon’s mouth with large fangs and scales on the back. In the center is a single slit that reminds me a lot of the Eye of Sauron. The helmet doesn’t quite line up with the eyes, but it looks cool enough to not be a real issue.
Taking the Foot (and the occaisonal Turtle) from zero to battle, this Ninja Battle Boost powered predator has got a throttle to flip for! Built to trash enemies at every turn, the Dragon Chopper offers no escape. On the ground or in the air – with one flip, the enemy is toast.
Since this is a vehicle pack, the motorcycle included is the Dragon Chopper. This black bike looks badass thanks to a dragon-head front and a flying black flag. The whole vehicle evokes what an 8 year old would think is awesome. The spiked parts, the red wheels, it’s all over the top.
The Dragon Chopper looks cool and has some decent display potential thanks to the inclusion of a kickstand, but the biggest issue stems from the ninja-flipping action feature. Thanks to a giant black metal bar that plugs into the harness, this vehicle allows the rider to flip off the bike with the press of a button in the back – but this is done with an absurdly intrusive bar! And it leaves the figure attached, so it just comes off as clunky. The harness also doesn’t work that well with the Turtles, which makes the action feature very limited in use. If the bar was removable, this would be a much better vehicle.
At $20, this set still manages to feel like a deal. With the figures costing $8-10 each, getting one and a cool looking vehicle is a great option – especially with this being a troop builder. If you only end up with one of them, he’s a great elite Foot for Shredder’s army. If you have a dozen, they work great for that too! But if you want to save some money, you aren’t really missing out either. It’s a good toy, but not a must-buy.
Dragon Chopper with Dragon Fang Foot Soldier