TMNT Week continues with a look at the Nickelodeon cartoon version of Donatello. I’ve always liked Donatello, but over the past few years he’s become one of my favorite Turtles, if not my number one favorite. The reason is pretty simple. He’s a geek.
In any team there’s always the brainy member, but Donatello always seemed a bit more than that. He was smart, sure, but he could still be funny and he could sure as hell kick your ass. I never understood the Bo Staff as a kid, but now I see it’s the perfect weapon for Donny. I never picked Donatello when I played TMNT video games, but now he’s always my first choice.
I’m excited to see the new version of Donatello, because he seems like the Turtle they’ve put the most effort into evolving. He has a crush on April (who’s the same age now), and he’s voiced by Rob Paulsen, who was Raphael in the Fred Wolf cartoon. I think Rob will give Donatello a great sense of humor but still be able to get the geeky side across.
Just take our buddy Alex Deligiannis’ word for it:
Bumped into the amazing and awesome Rob Paulsen @yakkopinky by the recording studio today. Such a nice guy (and a PERFECT Donatello).
— Alex Deligiannis (@AlexDeligiannis) July 23, 2012
Rob Paulsen is the voice of my childhood, and if anyone can make Donatello cool for the new generation of TMNT fans it’s him. But we’ll find out when the new show premiers in September. For now, how is the action figure?
I love that each Turtle in this line has a unique sculpt. Leonardo has a shorter, more compact torso when compared to Donny, who’s a bit taller and leaner. It would have been easy for Playmates to just use the same bodies for each Turtle, thrown on a different head, and call it a day. They went the extra mile to make the Turtles unique, and I’m glad they did.
Donatello is a softer shade of green than Leonardo, and his ankle and wrist wraps are dark brown instead of off-white. He comes with his signature Bo Staff (unpainted), and a rack of twist-off weapons including some cool throwing discs and a staff/knife combo thingy.
Painted weapons would have been nice, but I’m sure Playmates and Nickelodeon wanted to keep the price down. At under ten bucks for an action figure this cool, I can get past the generic plastic weapons. Donatello’s staff fits nicely in the sheath on the back of his shell.
Donny looks super serious, and has the only closed mouth of all the new Turtles. I guess that’s because they thought his new gap tooth look would seem silly in action figure form? I don’t know, but he looks awesome.
One thing I’m really loving with this line is the scale. I like that they’re under five inches, but they’re bulky and don’t feel as small as a GI Joe or Marvel action figure. They fit nicely with my GI Joe scale arcade cabinet, which means I should probably order the TMNT cab for some meta photos.
They look great next to the old figures and with the old vehicles and playsets, which is a good thing because I doubt Playmates will ever make any action figures as crazy as Monty Moose, Sergeant Bananas, or Panda Khan. We’ll get Metalhead, Leatherhead, and the new version of the Rat King though, and hopefully a whole lot of new, crazy mutants for these guys to fight.
I really have no idea how well the 2003 TMNT toys sold in the stores, but I hope the new Nickelodeon toys sell like hotcakes, because I want to keep stocking my shelves with these cool figures.
I can’t wait until I have some kids that are action figure age, because it will be a blast getting out my Turtles from when I was little, as well as these new Nickelodeon figures. I’m sure they’ll love them all, and appreciate the differences. Plus, the excuse I keep giving my wife for buying toys is that someday they’ll belong to our kids, so I’ll have to come through on that promise.
I’m sure around Christmas time I’ll be spamming all my nephews with boxes full of TMNT toys, whether they want them or not. My nephews have claimed so many of my old Turtles, I’m sure they’ll appreciate having some new ones of their own.
Also, I can’t wait to get my hands on the new Sewer Lair, it looks ridiculously large and extreme, and one can never have enough sewer lair playsets. I’m enjoying taking photos of these guys so much too that it will be nice to have a decent backdrop to put them in.
I haven’t gotten my hands on the new Foot Soldiers yet, but this Donatello looks fine battling some of the movie Foot Soldiers. Overall, these action figures are getting me even more nostalgic for TMNT than I normally am, and priming me for the new toon. I hope that it premieres and kids love it, and this Christmas parents will be searching the stores for the Donatello their kid is dying to have.
And if they can’t find one, it’s probably because I bought them all. Oops.
And if you can’t find one now, you can snag one on Amazon for a pretty good deal.