Nickelodeon Ninja Turtles Review: Metalhead

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The second wave of the new Nickelodeon TMNT figures have finally started to show up on the east coast (being located in Boston means it takes forever for Playmates’ toys to get here). This micro wave includes a new hero and two new villains, but they are included in existing assortments so good luck hunting for them!

Built to last, built to blast, Metalhead is a “mutant” machine like no other! Created by Donatello from salvaged Kraang tech, Metalhead is one of the Turtles’ most powerful weapons against evil. The turtle-like Don Droid is practically indestructible. Cloaked in impenetrable armor and laser-lancing arm cannon, Metalhead’s a force to be reckoned with, Turtle style!

While Metalhead hasn’t appeared in the new Nickelodeon cartoon yet (which already is been signed for at least two seasons, so it isn’t going anywhere), his design is classic. The idea of him is simple: he’s a robotic Ninja Turtle! I think it’s a safe bet to say the only way to make a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle more awesome is to add the word “robot” to the end of it, right?

Taking mountains of inspiration from the 1989 toy, Metalhead stands just slightly shorter than Michelangelo. His look mimics the turtle’s down to the oversized three-toed feet. But unlike the original one which was a technological marvel, this time Metalhead looks like he was made in a sewer out of spare parts. The arms and legs look like augment air duct tubing, while his shell is a curved NYC manhole cover! It’s a small touch but really helps sell the built-from-scratch vibe.

Metalhead’s head is boxy and smug, and painted to look like he’s wearing a yellow bandana. The curve of the “mouth” makes it look like he’s smiling. In the middle of his chest is exposed wiring that gives both the appearance of a belt and a major homage to C-3PO.

The biggest issue with this figure is the articulation. His neck is a great ball joint while his legs feature four different joints each: swivel and hinge in both the hip and knees. But the arms are only swivel at the shoulders and wrists. This minor change, combined with the perpetually bent elbow and oversized shell means his arms don’t move much. Then there is the “action feature.”

Metalhead’s sole accessory is a translucent red blast missile. It looks fine, but isn’t terribly exciting. But his right arm has a hole drilled through the forearm that allows the missile to slide in and jut out the elbow. There isn’t a spring launcher or anything, just a hole. It’s weird and feels like a last minute budget cut.

The paint overall is decent but not amazing. The gray, dark gray and yellow all look fine but the absence of a wash makes the figure feel very cartoony – and plastic. It’s especially noticeable on his side where the paint just stops, but Playmates providing subpar paint applications isn’t anything new.

While the paint and articulation aren’t quite where I want them to be, I still enjoy this figure. At the end of the day, he’s a robotic Ninja Turtle and that alone is just awesome. He fits in great with the rest of the line and is a fine update on a figure who hasn’t been seen on shelves in over two decades.

Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Wave 1
Leonardo | Donatello | Michelangelo | Raphael
Splinter | April O’Neil | The Shredder | Foot Ninja | Kraang

Wave 1.5: Metalhead | Fishface | Dogpound

Vehicle Packs
Dragon Chopper with Dragon Fang Foot Soldier

Written by jestergoblin

October 25th, 2012 at 8:00 am

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