First up we’re going to look at the new Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles version of Leonardo. The new CG cartoon premieres on September 29th, and so far Nickelodeon has been doing a great job of getting us TMNT fans adequately pumped up. These toys are just starting to hit the shelves, but are much easier to find online right now.
How do these new TMNT action figures hold up to the original toys and all the versions we’ve had since? Will they help bring on a new era of Turtlemania? Why does Splinter look like a badger? I’ll hopefully be answering these questions and more all week.
Leonardo may not officially be my favorite Turtle now (let me get back to you on that one), but he definitely was when I was a kid. I think it’s just because I liked swords better than Nunchucks, Bo Staffs, and Sais. We’ll see if kids reach for Leonardo first when they finally start seeing these awesome-looking packages on toy store shelves.
I don’t know what Leonardo is going to be like in the new show (voiced by Jason Biggs? Really?) but I can tell you this: His action figure is pretty awesome. I’d been drooling over photos online for a few weeks now of these new toys, but until you have them in your hand, you don’t really realize how cool these are. They feel small, but solid and well articulated. Unlike the old school action figures, kids won’t have to spend ten minutes trying to get these guys to stand up.
You’ll see this week that each Turtle is a different shade of green, and they have slightly different sculpts. Unlike the 80s toys, these action figures actually look like their characters in the Nickelodeon show. They have bulky arms and legs, but I love the style. Nickelodeon was smart to release these early, because I’m sure there will be plenty of kids who pick these up just based on how awesome they look, and then tune in to the new show in September.
Leonardo comes with his signature Katanas and a few other accessories. Surprisingly, Playmates has gone retro with the other weapons, and they’re held together in one big piece of plastic reminiscent of the old toys. You get a third Katana and various throwing weapons that I’m sure we’ll only see Leo use on robots and other things that don’t have blood. The accessories aren’t painted, but they look fine.
Leo’s sheath snaps in his shell and holds two Katanas. One thing I like about Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures is that the belts and straps are all built in to the sculpt. With the old Turtles, I think I lost the belts about five minutes after I opened them. These guys will never look naked like those old Turtles on my shelves.
The attention to detail in the sculpt is pretty great. There are lots of little scratches and nicks in Leo’s shell, and the wrapped feet and wrists look really cool. This is the first time I’ve really gotten into a new line of TMNT action figures as an adult. I totally missed the boat on the 2003 cartoon, and I was never able to nab the NECA TMNT figures before they sold out. I’m really excited to be getting in on this new action figure line on the ground floor, and I can’t wait to see what else they come out with.
The response from geek bloggers has been great so far, and I hope it’s the same from kids who start getting these for birthdays and Christmas. I’m sure Nickelodeon backing these and promoting the hell out of their new show will help a lot, and I’d love to see this series go on for a few years.
For under $10 you can’t really go wrong with a Ninja Turtle toy that looks so great. I know I can’t wait to open the rest of the team and find them a spot on my shelves.