TMNT Mini Mutants Review: Raph’s Iron Pumpin’ Gym

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The second of the TMNT Mini Mutants playsets is a lot like the first one, a decent playset, a repacked turtle and a villain who really should be cheaper to obtain. At least Shredder got a Foot Tech Ninja and Hun to team up with because General Mono is all alone.

When Stone General Mono monkeys his way into Raph’s gym, the fightin’ mad ninja turtle gets the workout of his life! He swings up from his barbells and bashes the monstrous Mono right through a wall! And if that isn’t enough to fix this overgrown gorilla, there’s always Raph’s booby-trapped barbell!

Get it? General Mono monkeys around! Hilarious because “mono” means “monkey” in Spanish, oh those are some witty copywriters over at Playmates.

Raphael is the standard turtle figure that I’ve reviewed three different times already. There is absolutely nothing new about him. His sculpt is still lanky, his paint is passable and his twin sais are oversized. He looks like he’s made out of clay and the wrinkly feet weird me out still too. There really isn’t anything new to say about Raphael.

General Mono was one of the four major bad guys in the TMNT movie with his three stone siblings all named after animals in Spanish because they were in Central America. Three thousand years ago – a whole 2,500 years before THE SPANIARDS EVEN ARRIVED THERE! No, it doesn’t make any sense and it also doesn’t explain how Max Winters looks white when he should probably more Aztec or Mayan.

But General Mono was the bulkiest of the four generals but this figure fails to really show it off because Playmates decided to make him the same height as the turtles! So he stands about 2 and a half inches tall instead of at least three inches, and at this scale, that actually matters a lot.

Color isn’t exactly Mono’s strong suit either since his entire body is two different shades of gray: dark gray and darker gray. But since he’s made out of stone, it works well. Around his neck is a small silver pendant that animates him but it is mostly covered by his odd beard-chinstrap (I don’t know which it is).

Mono’s sculpt shows off that Playmates’ sculptors can do good work when given the chance. All of his armor is detailed and actually looks like stone, while the overall look works well with overlapping plate armor. Articulation is at the shoulders, wrists, legs and head. His head can only rotate up and down, not left and right while his legs don’t really move far, they just rotate in place.

For a weapon, he comes with a large war hammer that would put Mjolnir to shame. It’s well detailed and the fact that it’s a single shade of dark gray works for a reanimated statue.

The Playset is the same size as Leo’s Dojo, but is Raphael’s workout area. The sewer level is pretty standard with a punching bag hanging from the ceiling, a weapon rack molded into the wall and some weights strewn about the floor. The punching bag is hanging on a hook so it actually moves.

Hanging from the ceiling is a dumbbell with an action feature that flings a figure to the surface level and can kick someone through the doors on the street. The bench has more weights but also has a secret launcher that fires a missile.

The surface level is a graffiti covered sidewalk with the Power Gym storefront. The doors open to allow figures to fall through. Most of the details on the set are stickers that clash oddly with the more simple designs.

Like the Super Hero Squad playsets, the turtles’ ones connect to one another. But unlike the other ones, these actually work and manage to look good. So with Raphael’s Gym and Leo’s Dojo, the turtles have both underground training areas and a street to battle on. In that regard, they work rather well giving much more play value than just street level or just the sewer.

For collectors, these playsets are solid for displaying but they really shine for kids. Missile launching, spring-loaded traps and breakaway doors are all good fun. Throw in the fact that Raphael and General Mono get to brawl and you’ve got a playset that hits all the right notes and works even better when you’ve got another one to attach it to.

Written by jestergoblin

May 10th, 2011 at 12:00 am

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