Tuesday, September 4, 2012

NWC Figure Fraction TURTLEMANIA: TMNT 2012 Michelangelo

By Geddy Cahoon

Hello all, welcome to another edition of NWC Figure Fraction Turtlemania. This week, I'll be pressing on with another review of the new 2012 TMNT line - Michelangelo.

Without any further adieu, hit the jump to hear my thoughts on the TMNT's resident runt, Mikey!

I can say with little hesitation that Michelangelo is my least favorite of the Ninja Turtles. I mean sure, the Turtles as a whole are pretty ridiculous. No one's disputing that. But I've always found Michelangelo to be obnoxious and ridiculous, even by the standards of a bunch of pizza-eating, man-sized turtles.

I think it's because he's the designated "goofball" of the group, and that's always rubbed me the wrong way. Plus his weapons are freaking lame. I don't hate him or anything like that, but I bought this figure more out of necessity to own all four Turtles than a specific desire for Mikey.

Will my opinion of Michelangelo as a character have any effect on this review? Press on to find out!

Packaging: 8/10

See my Leonardo Review. All of the Turtles share the same generic packaging. It's good. Nothing insane, but nothing offensively bad either. Mikey's bio is noteworthy however, in that it states he is the "Runt of the litter" in this iteration of TMNT. This is important because it's reflected in a later aspect of the figure.

Paint: 7.5/10

Like all of the other Turtles from this line, Michelangelo is molded in his skin color, and all of the relevant bits are painted. One of the most important painted parts of these Turtles is the bandana. Mikey's look's pretty fantastic.

Actually, I might call it flawless. There's virtually no slop, the whites of his eyes are perfect, and it just looks great all around. In other areas, however, Mikey falters just a tad.

I've been saying throughout all of these reviews that with a mass-produced toyline such as this, you expect a certain degree of issues in terms of paint. Up until Michelangelo's elbow pad here, I hadn't really run into any issues that were too glaring. This one, however, bothered me a bit. The elbow pad as a whole just looks extraordinarily sloppy. On top of that one part where the brown is missing, there's another spot inward where there's TOO much brown. However, this issue isn't really enough to account for such a reduced score...

Maybe I'm just sour because of the elbow pad issue, but there's something about the paint application on his kneepads and leg bandages that strikes me as worse than the previous Turtles I reviewed. In the case of Raph and Leo, there was a bit of green on their kneepads and bandages. Here the green feels almost overpowering. Like there isn't enough paint in certain places.

Mikey also features the same issue as the other figures - No paint on the inside of his hands. I had just forgotten to take pictures of it for both he and Don. I didn't detract points from Leo and Raph for it, so Mikey gets a pass as well.

Mikey's paint issues certainly don't hold the figure back too much - It's just somewhat striking to see one of these figures with so many issues compared to the relatively clean paint jobs on Raph and Leo.

Accessories: 8/10

Just like his Turtle brethren, Mikey comes with a plethora of accessories: His default weapons as well as a tree. However, even with the added bonus of the weapon tree, Mike feels a bit lacking in this department compared to his bros.

As you can see, I didn't bother to break off ANY of Mikey's accessories. I honestly just think they're lame. He's got four throwing stars! What the hell?! And I'm not even sure what that ridiculous looking blade-nunchuk-thing is supposed to be.

Anyway, while I do usually acknowledge the value of these things in terms of variety and playability for kids, I really don't see kids or collectors getting a ton of mileage out of these things. Kids are going to lose those throwing stars, be perplexed by that hook thingy, and what collector wants to pose Michelangelo with throwing stars or a single bladed nunchuk? I recognize the fact that it's awesome Playmates can load these guys with accessories, but Mikey's are something of a miss.

Something I neglected to mention in previous reviews: All of the weapon trees feature their respective Turtle's name on them. Even if I don't necessarily love these things, a lot of thought went into them and I applaud that.

And of course, Michelangelo features his classic accessory: His dual-nunchuks!

They're... Just okay. Nunchuks clearly don't translate very well into Playmates' mantra of "Mold everything in one color and in a static position." The molds are quite nice, but they just look sort of off since they're stuck in those slightly bent positions. I also find the color they chose to mold Mikey's weapons in odd. It's like an orange-y auburn color. Weird.

While Mikey's accessories are not without their flaws, I will still acknowledge the fact that you do get a ton of crap, which is nice. And even if they look goofy and I don't exactly love them anyways, Mikey's nunchuks still do the job in terms of completing his look.

Articulation: 9/10

Here's where Mikey stacks up perfectly with his brethren: The articulation department. The articulation on these figures is basically flawless, and features 17 points by my count. They are:

A ball jointed neck, allowing rotation...

Hinged shoulders, hinged elbows and cut hands, allowing rotation, bending, etc...

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

Like I always say, the articulation can feel a tad bit limited at times, but for the most part it's amazing. You can have a ton of fun playing around with these guys, though Mikey's weapons do make it somewhat difficult to get him into poses too dynamic.

Sculpt: 9.5/10

As much as I stated earlier that Mikey is not exactly my favorite of the four Turtles, there's something about his sculpt that I just really like, a lot more than I probably should considering my opinion of the character himself.

First off, Mikey's headsculpt is top notch. It looks exactly how a Mikey head should - Ready for battle, but still a little bit manic/goofy. He definitely looks way happier than any of his brothers, and that helps make the sculpt a lot more unique.

As with the other three, Mikey's plastron features some scars and nicks to up the uniqueness of the body sculpt. They look nice here. He only has two humongous marks, but those two scars to a lot to enforce his characterization on the new show. That is, he's the runt of the litter. Naturally he wouldn't be as banged up as the other guys and would also in turn get more damaged than them whenever he did go into battle.

The sculpting on the lower body is great too.  I've said before that I'm a fan of the oversized hands/feet look. It works well and there isn't much else to say here.

Michelangelo also features two holsters for his nunchuks. These are well sculpted too, but nothing too too flashy. I also very much like the way all of the Turtles' shells look, Michelangelo included.

Now, my favorite part of Michelangelo's sculpt is definitely this:

He is by far the shortest of the new Turtles! I think that's absolutely awesome! They could've easily made all of them the same size, and nobody would've batted an eye. Instead, they chose to remain faithful to his bio and make him tiny. It really ups Mikey's uniqueness factor, and makes him stand out on the shelf.

Overall, I absolutely love Mikey's sculpt because it's extremely faithful to his characterization in the upcoming cartoon. Playmates could've easily made all four of these guys the same height, and nobody batted an eye. Instead, they opted to up the uniqueness of Mikey even more by making him a notch shorter than everyone else. This detail coupled with all of the other little unique aspects of the sculpt make Mikey a ton of fun to look at, but that shouldn't be a surprise for this line.

Overall: 8/10

Even with some of the flaws I noted, Michelangelo is an awesome figure. I wasn't exactly sold on him at first, but as I played around with him for this review, I really warmed up to him. He's pretty much essential to the collection of any Turtles fan, so be sure to pick him up even if you're on the fence. These figures are almost shamefully cheap - $8.99 at most places and $7.77 at Walmart. If you've got a spare 9 bucks lying around and you're a fan of TMNT, Mikey here will not disappoint.

That's it for this week! 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, TURTLEMANIA continues with a review of the TMNT 2012 Donatello!

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