LEGO TMNT Review: Baxter Robot Rampage #79105

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With each new version of the Ninja Turtles, it is always exciting to see how classic characters get revisited. Baxter Stockman has gone from robotics genius, to mutant fly, to disemboweled scientist and now he’s… a guy who just got really lucky. Or really unlucky it hasn’t all panned out yet.

When Baxter attacks the city with his massive mech suit, it’s time to take the turtle power to the sky…and the street! Fend off that heavy-metal menace with Donatello in the glider and Raphael in the go-kart! Stop him before he can snatch April!

Exclusive to Shop.Lego.com and Toys “R” Us, Baxter Robot Rampage is a mid-sized set. At $40, it isn’t cheap. At just a fraction over the line, the set basically works out to 10 cents a brick which is the perfect price point for a LEGO set. But while the price per brick is there, the rest of this set feels like it is a couple dozen bricks short of being perfect.

Two of the turtles are included in this set: Donatello and Raphael. Donatello is basically the same figure as before, but his face detailing is new and matches the cartoon better thanks to his missing tooth. The design still looks great, especially since he’s paired up with Raphael so you can see the differences in color. The only weird thing about Don is his red eyes which feel a touch out of place.

Raphael is identical to the Stealth Shell in Pursuit set. The same dark green hide with the cracked shell, but even the face is the same with his frown. LEGO really could have made this better by including a unique face. It is nice getting Don and Raph together though since they don’t actually share any pieces..

For vehicles, the turtles come with two small builds. Donatello drives the go-kart which is a basic build but works. The yellow and green color scheme evokes the original Turtle Van, while the ride also provides Don with a weapon – a naginata! Essentially a bladed bo-staff, it looks nice but the idea of Don using blades still feels wrong to me. Also clipped to the back is a purple skateboard.

The other small vehicle is a glider. Matching the same color scheme of yellow and green (Don must have found some surplus paint when building), the glider has some weird design choices. The seat is probably supposed to look like leather, but the log bricks used look just like, well, logs. The wing span is solid and it has a pair of flick-and-fire missiles. Clipped to the sides is Raphael’s pair of sais.

While they call this a glider, I’m pretty sure it is supposed to be part of the Turtle Blimp…

Exclusive to this set is April O’Neil, the turtles’ human friend! In the new series, April is a teenage girl, but the LEGO version thankfully just made her a regular minifigure. April’s look is close to the cartoon, but thankfully doesn’t suffer from the stylistic proportions of the cartoon. Instead, she’s just a girl in jean shorts, leggings and a long sleeve yellow shirt.

The decals are pristine as always, and the 5 on her chest is a nice allusion to her effectively being the 5th turtle. The legs are amazingly done, going as far to include fasteners on the pockets. April’s face is cute with two versions, smiling and angry (which is almost identical to Tauriel’s). Her hair is new too with the revised ponytail that has a yellow headband painted on it.

The villain in the set is Baxter Stockman! While his character hasn’t been seen as much yet in the new show, the LEGO version makes me think LEGO didn’t know what to do with him either. Baxter is oddly dressed to say the least. His gray shirt has some assorted techno-junk on it, and it doesn’t really make sense.

Stockman’s head is double-sided as well.  One shows him frowning, while the other is him grimacing in anger. To round out Stockman’s outfit, he gets a special set of shoulder pads that evokes Shredder’s and a helmet.

Paired with Baxter is one of his Mousers! And yes, there is only one of them which seems like a horrible oversight on LEGO’s behalf. Instead of being a new piece, the mouser is made up of 10 bricks and looks… okay. It looks like a bipedal robot, but it doesn’t really look like a mouser to me.

The design is neat with gauntlets as feet and a helmet making up the head, but the overall look just feels off. Especially since the mouth is yellow, when all of them are now red – but that’s an easy change. What isn’t an easy change is making more of these guys. The pieces aren’t very common, so they run around $3 each on the secondary market. Would it have killed LEGO to include two more of these in the set?

The final, and biggest, part of the set is the Baxter Robot! A massive construct, it stands about 7.5 inches tall and is just as wide – it definitely has more bulk then Lex Luthor’s mech suit! Made up of mostly yellow and gray bricks, it looks like a headless Hulk.

Built like an action figure, the Baxter Bot has a lot of articulation built into it. Ratcheted swivel and hinge hips along with ball jointed ankles allow it to stand with ease. The waist rotates, but the arms are the real impressive part. Ball jointed shoulders and elbows along with four hinged fingers on each hand! The hands are especially cool, but that might just be because I love when robots have non-human styled hands.

Each hand has a different action feature as well. The right has a built in sight and when you push the elbow in, the hand launches out to grab an unsuspecting hero – but the hand doesn’t just fly away: it’s attached by a string! This allows you to pull it back and it works really, really well. The left hand fires an energy blast out of the palm.

The center section of the robot is interesting, but doesn’t quite work as well as I would like. The rounded chasis is actually a clear brick with a giant sticker on it. The inside is cramped too and it is really hard to get Baxter in and out of it – but the hinged opening works well. Mounted to the top are two flick and fire missiles.

Baxter Stockman is a character I find incredible interesting, but not because of who he is. In the original cartoon, he appeared a few times and in the 2k3 series, he was a joke that went on way too long. In the current series, he seems to be a cross of his two show appearances, but it’s the comic version of Baxter I really like – especially because of what he brought out in Donatello. As a set, this one is pretty good. The turtles look great, April is perfect and Baxter is good. But the inclusion of only one mouser is what really stops this from being perfect.

LEGO Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Reviews

Kraang Lab Escape #79100
with Michelangelo, Foot Ninja & Kraang 

Stealth Shell in Pursuit #79102
with Raphael, Foot Ninja and Fishface

Shredder’s Dragon Bike #79101
with Donatello, the Shredder and Foot Ninja

Baxter Robot Rampage #79105
with Donatello, Raphael, April O’Neil, Baxter Stockman and a Mouser 

Written by jestergoblin

January 18th, 2013 at 12:00 am

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