Tuesday, August 21, 2012

NWC Figure Fraction TURTLEMANIA: TMNT 2012 Leonardo

By Geddy Cahoon

Hey everybody, Geddy Cahoon here with another edition of the NWC Figure Fraction. Today will be the first in a gimmick-y spin I'm putting on NWC for the time being: TURTLEMANIA.

If you read NWC on a consistent basis of any kind (There's gotta be at least one of you), then you know I've recently jumped on the TMNT bandwagon. I wrote about TMNT a few times already (Check out the pieces here and here) due to my lack of a camera. But now, with a camera in my possession, it's time to go hardcore with TMNT-centric reviews.

Since getting into TMNT, I've purchased quite a few figures. How many? Check back each week until Turtlemania is over to find out!

Today I'm kicking Turtlemania off with a review of the TMNT 2012 Leonardo, so hit the jump to read on!
The Ninja Turtles are a fairly iconic property. They've gone through many iterations, from comic books to cartoons. Come September, Nickelodeon is trying to revive the TMNT once again with a revamped CGI cartoon. The cartoon looks... Okay. I'll wait until I see it to say too much. But the new toyline accompanying the cartoon? Awesome. If it weren't for these toys, I would have no interest in the cartoon at all.

Most people have a favorite Ninja Turtle. I don't really. I think they come as a package deal and I don't necessarily love one over the others. I guess I like Donatello the most if someone forced me to pick a favorite. I do however, think Leonardo has the coolest weapons of the bunch. Can't beat swords. As such, Leonardo was the first of the new TMNT figures I bought. And not to spoil anything, but he inspired me to become interested in the line as a whole. I guess that did kind of spoil the review. Read on anyways!

Packaging: 8/10

I don't have a ton to say about the packaging for these figures. It's attractive, but it's not memorable. Some people really love it and that's okay. I'm just not in love with it or anything. It does the job. It's got a little bio and a picture of Leo on the back which is nice. All of the figures have the same packaging aside from the bio on the back, so I won't be covering packaging in any future TMNT 2012 reviews.

Credit goes to miscale.wordpress.com; I threw my packaging out weeks ago when I purchased the figure.

Paint: 8/10

The paint on these figures is very minimal. For the most part, they're molded in whatever color they are. One of the few painted parts of Leonardo is his bandana.

As you can see, it's painted relatively well. There isn't really any slop on the head and it looks pretty great. There are a couple of spots where the paint is flecking off a bit, but that happened after I purchased it. I don't really know how, but it looked great in the packaging when I picked it up.

The strap around his torso is molded brown with gold buckles painted on. The buckles... Could look better. They're fairly sloppy looking, and one of them is barely painted at all because it's so sloppy.

Also as you can see, there's gold slop all over the band. It's bad, but doesn't really bother me that much. This is a mass-produced, children's figure. It could be way worse.

His entire arm is molded in his skin color, so his elbow pad is painted as well. Both elbow pads look pretty great. The top edge of the pad is unpainted and is clearly green, but that's barely noticeable and pretty much invisible if the figure's elbow is bent.

His hand/wrist bands are a pale beige color, and they're highly well-painted. Basically they're issue free. No slop or unpainted bits. Well, except for one thing...

Rather inexplicably, Playmates has decided not to paint the hand bandage all the way around. This isn't an issue specific to Leonardo - It affects all of the Turtles. I don't really understand why, but it doesn't bother me that much. Again, mass-produced figure and he's going to be holding a weapon anyways.

The color scheme on Leo's lower body is the same as his arms, but it looks a bit better. The knee-pads are painted perfectly, and there's only a tiny bit of slop from the bandages onto his feet.

Overall, the paint here is pretty decent. There a few spots where it falters a bit, but the issues are the kind you expect from a mass-produced figure like this one. There were figures in the store with issues more glaring than this one, but Playmates does a pretty good job keeping these guys looking neat for the most part.

Accessories: 9/10

These new TMNT figures come with a crap ton of accessories. First off, Leonardo has his patented dual-swords.

They're not the exact same size, which is nice. Even though they're not painted, they don't look cheap. They're decent looking, and they look great in Leo's hands.

However, Leo comes with more than just his twin blades. He also comes with an entire weapon tree. I didn't bother to break any of the weapons off except the extra sword; they just don't interest me in the least. I will however, acknowledge the fact that it's really great that Playmates stacks these guys up with accessories. It's great play value for little kids, and great value for collectors who want more bang for their buck.

The weapon tree, featuring two throwing stars, three kunai and a knife.

The extra sword.

The extra sword isn't simply a clone of Leo's big sword; this one has a different texture on the handle.

Leo also features two holsters on his back for the swords, but I forgot to actually take pictures of the swords in the holsters. Anyway, Leonardo comes with a plethora of nice looking, albeit unpainted, accessories. Even if I don't use most of them, it definitely does make me feel that I've gotten my money's worth.

Articulation: 9/10

This guy is a home-run in the articulation department. By my count, he features 17 points of articulation. That's a lot for a tiny little toy like Leo. Leonardo features:

A ball jointed neck, allowing rotation...

Hinged, rotating shoulders, hinged elbows, and cut wrists allowing his hands to be rotated...

And finally, hinged rotating thighs coupled with hinged, rotating knees.

The articulation is a tad bit limited, I will say that, but Leonardo still has a lot of range and you can get him into some pretty swell poses.

Sculpt: 9/10

One of the weird things about this toyline is that the figures of the Turtles don't really look like the Turtles from the upcoming show. But honestly, that's not a bad thing. The designs on the upcoming show are a bit... Well, lame, for lack of a better word. It's more like these figures take elements from the upcoming cartoon and tweak them. The end results are really phenomenal.

I really like Leo's headsculpt. He looks kind of manic, but that's okay. It's like an angry smile. I also like the length of his mask. I just think it looks cooler when the ends flow further past the back of his head. I'm also really glad that these Turtles have white eyes a la the original line, although that's more of a paint thing.

There is one weird thing about this headsculpt, however. His mouth is kind of going in two different directions. It's just... Odd.

This side looks like a smile...

And this end looks like an angry grimace.

The mouth issue really isn't a big one, and overall the head on Leonardo is fantastic.

Leonardo's body looks great too. I'm sure some people aren't a fan of the giant forearms/hands and giant feet, but I don't mind them. My favorite part about the body sculpt is the plastron and probably the torso itself.

The plastron (Yellow thing for those not up to date with your turtle terminology) is a separate, rubbery piece that's glued on to the torso. I really like it because it's covered in little nicks and scratches. Leo's neck and arms are covered in scratches too.

It's the little details like this that I love about this guy. Playmates could very easily have used the same exact body for all of these guys and just swapped heads/colors. But as you'll see in the coming weeks, these Turtles are all unique in their own ways. I only have one real issue with Leonardo's sculpt.

His sword holsters are a separately sculpted piece, and there's just a big chunk of brown nothingness in between the two of them, holding them together. It's unsightly, but it doesn't hold the sculpt as a whole down in the least - The holsters still do their job, and as it's on Leo's back, you're rarely even looking at it anyways.

This sculpt really is amazing. By only taking certain details from the cartoon and omitting some of the lamer ones, Playmates has crafted a sculpt that looks great on a collector's shelf or in a kid's toybox.

Overall/Value:  9/10

This figure is amazing. It looks great, the paint issues are minimal, he has a plethora of accessories, and the posing opportunities he possesses are pretty numerous. As I just stated, he looks great on a shelf, and he's a great toy for little kids.

And what an amazing value! Leonardo (And the rest of the Turtles) are only $8.99 at most stores. At Walmart, they're only $7.77! That's amazing for a figure this nice. If you're on the fence about these guys, or are looking to expand your collecting horizons into new properties, run down to Target, or Walmart or some such store and pick one of these guys up. You won't regret it. 

Leonardo is fun to play with, and a joy to own.

Oh, hai Moss Man!

Eat dirt Mikey.

That's it for today! Check back next Tuesday for another review as Turtlemania continues! Leave a comment or like the NWC Facebook page to tell us what you thought! Thanks for reading, and let's all keep collecting action figures beyond the age it's generally considered socially acceptable!

Next week, NWC Figure Fraction TurtleMania continues with a review of the TMNT 2012 Raphael!

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