Friday, July 26, 2013

Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Presenting Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

From left to right, Clockwise: Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello & Raphael.

To the uninitiated, these lyrics are all you need to know: 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Heroes in a half-shell
Turtle power! 

They're the world's most fearsome fighting team (We're really hip!)
They're heroes in a half-shell and they're green (Hey - get a grip!)
When the evil Shredder attacks
These Turtle boys don't cut him no slack! 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 

Splinter taught them to be ninja teens (He's a radical rat!)
Leonardo leads, Donatello does machines (That's a fact, Jack!)
Raphael is cool but crude (Gimme a break!)
Michaelangelo is a party dude (Party!) 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Heroes in a half shell
Turtle power!
All of the blister cards of the TMNT read "Mutated from the Ooze and raised in the ways of Ninjitsu by their Rat Sensei Splinter, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are ready to venture outside their sewer lair to fight evil everywhere!" Not quite sure how to go through all this.... ah.... I guess we'll go by Turtle:

What's to like about Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Leonardo?

Presenting Leonardo, the oldest of the four and the leader of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. 

Leonardo's blister card reads "Leonardo: Leader & King of the Katana Swords! Hardworking, honorable and respectful, Leonardo is the Turtle's fearless leader. Driven to be the perfect hero, Leo's inexperience and (often) rowdy brothers sometimes get in the way of his goal"

The blister card goes on to name his weapons as Niten Ryu - double Katana swords.

He actually comes with quite a number of extra weapons aside from the Niten Ryu. He come with one big-ass katana blade, three throwing knives, two shuriken, and.... a spike looking thingee. I have no idea what that is. Perhaps it's a reference to something from Nickelodeon's new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon. It looks like a scabbard for a fang-like dagger. 

Articulation is quite excellent especially in the wrist and foot portion, but overall, he's hampered by his half-shell. No Leonardo - like the rest of the Turtles cannot kneel. Still, his articulation is good enough to allow him to dual-wield his katanas. And no, he cannot carry all of this weapons at the same time - well technically I suppose he can if I use his back as well to hold things. Leonardo's waist belt is loose enough to slide in the two shuriken or two of the three throwing knives. I prefer the throwing knives. 

Here is Leonardo wielding his Katana and Niten Ryu:

But I'm really fond of his facial expression - grim determination. It captures the need to succeed, the drive never to give up.

What's to like about Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Donatello?

Presenting Donatello, the tech-guru/tinkerer/invetor of the team. The least violent and least likely to step outdoors Turtle's blister card reads "Donatello: Inventor & Weaponeer! Inventive and detail-oriented, Donatello may be the only mutant Turtle that doesn't mind a little time indoors. After all, where would the Ninja teens be without all his incredible battle creations? From the Shellraiser to the robot Metalhead. Donatello's mind is just as sharp as the blade on his Naginata Bo Staff!"

The blister card goes on to name his weapon as a Naginata - a six-foot bo staff with blade.

Which is strange because I've never seen Donatello with a blade. But sure enough, he comes with a Naginata bo-staff that has a blade aside from his standard bo-staff, a San Setsu-Kon (three piece nunchuck), and a pair of very technical looking shuriken - they look like they'll explode or something.

Articulation is as with Leonardo's - Donatello cannot kneel and has wonderful hand and foot articulation. He can dual-wield his bo-staff quite easily.

I'm actually quite disappointed at the length of his bo-staff. I know size doesn't matter, but it really doesn't feel like a bo-staff, just a long stick. I know a really long one would be a pain in his back, but he really can't fight with something this short can he?

Donatello has some difficulty holding his really big shuriken and no, he can't slide them into his belt given how big they are:

Here's Donatello with his bo-staff in action:

Donatello with his Naginata. I admit it looks really cool and makes him deadlier, but it's just so out of character to me.

And last, Donatello using his San Setsu-Kon

His face is kinda.... bleh. So dour. So serious. Donatello seems deep in thought and has the exterior look of a Shaolin monk:

What's to like about Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Michelangelo?

Presenting Michelangelo, the youngest of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - though we should probably point out that when we mean youngest, it just means that he was the last to pop out of his shell.The TMNT movie places Donatello as second oldest - and second in command. He's also the least mature of the Turtles and I do remember him once being close to tears when Leonardo and Raphael went at it in TMNT (2007). Michelangelo's blister card reads "Michelangelo: Jokerster and Hard-Hitting Nunchuck Hero! Impulsive, creative and very social, Michelangelo is the heart and soul of the Ninja Turtles. The runt of the litter, he may be the smallest of his brothers, but that doesn't make him the weakest (just harder to catch). Enemies beware! Michelangelo is a matter of the Kusarigama, nunchucks with a secret and sharp surprise.

The blister card goes on to name his weapons as the Kusarigama - "Nunchucks" - though I honestly think that the nunchuck discipline has very little to do with the Kusarigama which is a trap and stab with a sickle discipline. 

Michelangelo comes with a pair of nunchuks, a Kusarigama, and two sets of throwing stars - one set identical to the set that his brother Raphael carries which speaks upon how impressionable this Turtle is. Articulation is still pretty high as with the rest of the Turtles. 

You have to be careful with his nunchucks, the plastic is not as bendy as it should be. In fact you can see that one of the nunchucks that I have is already turning white at the chain portion. 

Here's Michelangelo with his shuriken:

Here's Michelangelo with his nunchucks:

And Mikey with his Kusarigama:

Michelangelo is indeed the shortest of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but he has one of the most expressive faces. Depending upon where you look at him, he may come across as a goof-ball, or as a complete amateur, or a tentative fighter who's not 100% sure of himself, but knows what he's doing.

What's to like about Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raphael?

Presenting Raphael, the berseker who challenges Leonardo's leadership in TMNT. Third born of the litter - black sheep. He won only out of sheer strength and brutality - and because Leonardo was dumb enough to fight someone wielding sword-breaking sais with swords. Raphael's blister card reads "Raphael: Hot-Head and Sharp Sai Expert! Tough, quick-to-act and hot-tempered, Raphael's a powder keg ready to explode on unsuspecting enemies everywhere! The biggest of his mutant brothers, Raph has a "why sneak around when you can bash some heads instead?' attitude, Master of the twin sais, these three-pronged blades are the perfect reflection of their ownerL sharp and to the point!"  The blister card goes on to mention his weapons as being Sais.

Personally I do not understand why a berserk would use sais. Sais are weapons of finesse, they're meant to disarm or break weapons. They're weapons for people who think, not go blinded with red-rage. Personally Ralph should just be armed with clubs or really big swords - though that wouldn't make him unique - or, a simple, direct solution, claws.

Raphael comes armed to the teeth, he has an extra pair of sais - but these are two pronged instead of three, a pair of shuriken and a pair of hook swords - again not a berserk's weapon but a weapon requiring balance, finesse and cunning.

Raphael is.... not quite the biggest Turtle as advertised. The tallest is Donatello. Raphael is the most... muscular, but his size is quite close to Leonardo's. He does have a unique trademark: Raphael's half-shell is the only one that has damage. There's a crack over his left-chest plate.

Here's the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Raphael with his shuriken showing the world where he would like to stick them:

There is a gap between his finger not present in the other Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The gap on his right hand is more prominent than the one on his left. The gaps allow him to hold his sais like claws:

Here is Raphael with his two-pronged sais:

And Raphael using his hook swords:

You just have to love the seething rage emanating from Raphael's face:

The new Nickeleodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are a lot smaller than their Playmates TMNT Movie counterparts. And the new gear is a wonderful addition as you can see. The only Turtle I feel should have more gear is Donatello. I think his Playmates version is better - thanks to the length of the bo-staff and the tech add ons.

Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Each of the Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was purchased from Filbars/Big Boys Toy Store in Glorietta for PhP 495 each or PhP 1,980 for all four (US$ 11.25 each, US$ 45 for all four). All four are available on Amazon for US$10.07 (Roughly PhP 433.08 plus shipping). 

Definitely not my last figure from this series. 


  1. Have you watched the new TMNT by Nickleodeon where these toys are based?

    Just a thought, since, reading your commentary, you seem to be stacking them against previous shows or versions, a lot of which do not accurately reflect what the actual characters the toys are based.

    If ever, having checked out the show due to my curiosity regarding the toys, the toys are great companion pieces to the new Nick TMNT...

    I'd recommend the series. I'm sure you'll find things to like in the show as well.

  2. By far the best iteration of TMNT action figures since the 90s.

    I have Raphael and Leonardo from the 90s. Dont know their made though.

  3. nope so far I haven't. But will definitely have a a look at it now that you've mentioned it. =D

  4. Hey I have, I really don't like it. I just can't fathom that Donatello and Mikey - especially someone like Mikey - would resort to using bladed weapons. You're right though, I re-read the review and my bias for TMNT is quite apparent. Love the animation though. Thanks for the feedback! I'll check myself next time :)


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