TMNT Mini Mutants Review: Mini Moto-Cycles with Raphael & Leonardo

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The Ninja Turtle Mini Mutants first wave was a mixed bag – the villains were fantastic but the turtles made little sense given their “stealth” attire. Of course, Playmates later showed their hand by including the regularly colored turtles only with the vehicles. So if you wanted turtles that were the right colors, you had to buy a vehicle. But if you wanted a bad guy for the turtles to fight, you were stuck with a turtle wearing pajamas.

Raphael and Leonardo are identical to their first releases with one minor difference – they’re green! The more accurate coloring looks a hell of a lot better, but now that your eyes aren’t appalled by the coloring most aspects of the sculpt jump out at you. And not in a good way.

Both figures’ legs look like they could break at any moment given how thin the thighs are. The forearms look far too wide too but the biggest problem is the feet. They look like they’re supposed to be wrinkly and worn, but they just look bad. Both have identical articulation and move at the shoulders, wrists, waist and neck. The necks feel like it could break at any moment.

The paint is decent using the fourth movie’s color scheme. Raph’s skin is a dark green with a red bandana and brown pads.  Leo is similar with a lime green skin and blue bandana. It’s decent but nothing ground breaking. For accessories, Raph comes with a pair of sai that are still way too long and he was no way to store them. Leo comes with his katanas and a brown scabbard that plugs into his back shell.

The Shell Cycles in these packs is a modern update of the classic motorcycle that turtles used to ride around on. The cycles looks pretty decent with little touches like the middle chassis looking like a turtle shell and the spokes in the tires being blades. The handlebars are within reach of a figure when sitting in the seat and the foot pedals are where turtles’ feet end up being.

But instead of making the tires wider to allow this bike to stand, Playmates took a different route and gave the motorcycle training wheels! Plus the middle of the bike is very thick to accommodate the action feature. It’s a simple pull back to load a spring to release and watch the vehicle go speeding away. But to there’s a button to trigger it on the back.

It’s a decent idea, but doesn’t work well since in order to push down the button to release the trigger, you have to really push down. Which then makes it so the bike is kept in place by the force of your hand! And if you release too quickly, it springs up and falls over.

The bikes are decently painted in dark red which doesn’t match Raphael’s bandana and bright blue which does match Leo’s bandana. The rest of the bikes are just black and silver and not terribly exciting. The giant bolt holding the handlebars in place is very visible and somewhat pointless since the handlebars only move a few degrees.

To finish out the packs a ramp is included in three pieces that is easy to assemble. It’s a nice little touch, but given how hard it is to activate the speedy release, you can’t use the ramp to do sweet jumps. Also included are three small, orange road cones. One is straight while the other two look like they’ve been run over at least once. They’re a nice accessory, and I’m a sucker for everyday items like these in this scale.

The big thing to remember about these toys is the simple fact that they aren’t the Action League or Super Hero Squad. They’re something else entirely and it just doesn’t feel right. Raphael is decent and looks like his on-screen counterpart, but the bike doesn’t work like it should and Raphael has no way to store his sai when riding it. Leo is pretty much the same thing with the only difference being a coat of paint, a different head on the figure and the addition of a sheaths on his back. When the best thing I can say about a toy is it includes little road cones and the figure doesn’t look like he’s wearing pajamas, that’s not saying much.

Written by jestergoblin

February 10th, 2011 at 12:00 am

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