TMNT Mini Mutants Review: Don’s Secret Surveillance Lab with Bigfoot

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The Ninja Turtles must have such an easier life in a world with the internet. They can stop scavenging around for parts and pieces for Donny to play around with. All they need is a PayPal account and they’re good to go.

When the brutish Bigfoot bursts into Don’s Surveillance Lab it’ll take all of his scientific smarts and techno trickery to bring the beast down! Don jets into action on his security scooter, slides open the secret door, sets up a trap for the big hairy behemoth and gets ready to bushido bash the beast with his bo staff!

Donatello is just like his brothers in these playsets – identical to each other and the vehicle versions! The lanky, CGI proportions the slightly different head sculpt and the freakishly wrinkled feet and hands.

The paint is decent but unexciting without any wash for make the sculpt pop, but at least it’s clean. Donatello moves at the shoulders, wrists, hips and neck. For a weapon, Donny comes with his bo staff which is slightly taller than the figure but also comes with its own paint applications in the form of brown wrapping.

As a bonus accessory, Donatello comes with a scooter that looks like the bastard love child of a dirt bike, a tricycle and a razor scooter that has been repeatedly smashed into a wall. It’s not bad, and does look like something Donny could cobble together out of parts in the sewer, but it has some odd choices like a single handlebar. It’s not terribly exciting but given that it at least sets Don apart from the other half-dozen versions of him I have, it’s still appreciated.

To face off against Donatello is one of the thirteen mythical creatures that somehow became a plot point in the TMNT film. A mail in figure for the larger line, Bigfoot should be a massive creature of myth. Instead, he’s fallen victim to the Playmates shrink ray that prevents enemies being larger than heroes.

Stuck forever in a roar, Bigfoot is part gorilla, part wolverine and part horseshoe crab. The design is decent, but this figure feels like it should be about 40% bigger to be in scale. The sculpt is decent with the fur looking good and the face is cartoony but fits the style. Oddly though, the hands don’t seem to work. There aren’t thumbs, just large claws that look like they were sculpted later on because the wrists don’t match.

The paint is uninspired with Bigfoot being a dark bluish gray with light yellow spikes on his back. The hands and feet look good with a black wash, but make the rest of the figure look a lot worse. Articulation is a mixed bag with Bigfoot moving at the shoulders, wrists and for an unknown reason, also has cut joints at the ankles so you can… adjust his flat feet?

Like the other playsets, this one is dual leveled. The street level (West 23rd to be precise) is the front of a hardware store cleverly named “HARDWARE.” But it’s fitting that Don’s section would reside under it. The three lamps on the sign all need to be attached and have a tendency to fall off.

The lamppost includes a zip line attachment that allows it to connect to a pipe in Mikey’s playset, but the string can be wound up when not in use so it doesn’t get in the way. Next to it is a newspaper stand for the “New York News” which looks suspiciously like the New York Times.  For an action feature, the middle of the sidewalk is also a trapdoor which doesn’t really want to work.

The sewer level shows off Donny’s computer station from the movie as well, but it’s all displayed by stickers. They actually cover the massive doors on the base. The front ramp is massive; the right size for any of the vehicles and a useable weapon rack is off the side.

Oddly, the backside has another ramp too which makes putting together the combined playsets a pain because it needs six more inches in the back than any of the other ones! On the floor is a spring loaded trigger to blast vehicles down the ramp.

This set was much harder to find since Leo’s and Raph’s weren’t well received. It’s an okay one but the zip line needs another playset to work and while I’m a fan of synergy, I think the set should stand on its own. The extra scooter helps nudge it up, but like most of these toys, they just don’t wow me enough. It’s a shame to see Playmates as such a shell of the company I remember them being from my childhood.

Written by jestergoblin

May 27th, 2011 at 12:00 am

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