Thursday, June 2, 2016

Action Figure Review: Raphael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classic Collection: The Secret of the Ooze by Playmates Toys

 The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are definitely one of those teams that I can never buy just one of. Despite the fact that Raphael is my favorite, I just cannot ever buy just one turtle from a series. You collect them all or get out of Dodge when it comes to the TMNT my friends. Today I'm looking at the fourth and final figure in Playmates Toys' Wal-Mart exclusive The Secret of the Ooze figures. Overall, I'm highly impressed with this line. It's certainly not the most realistic looking or most detailed toyline but the amount of extras Playmates has included here is just incredible. These really feel like a dream toyline of sorts. I apologize that all four of these reviews have had so much reuse in them but, let's be honest, overall these figures are really quite similar. That doesn't make them any less fun, though, so check out this cool (but rude) review of Raph after the break...

 The Facts:

Height: 6 1/4 inches

Articulation: Hinged toes, swivel/hinge ankles, double hinged knees, swivel thighs, ball jointed hips, ball jointed mid-torso, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, swivel/hinge thumb, hinged fingers, and a ball jointed head.

Accessories: 2 sai, 4 interchangeable heads, 4 shuriken, a pizza, and a shield.

Non-Scalper Price: $20 dollars 
 The Positives:

* The tricky thing with the articulation on any TMNT figure is that the turtles themselves have torsos that are oversized and not necessarily designed for mobility. Mix that in with their crazy ninja antics and you have an interesting juxtaposition of two different design philosophies competing. Playmates has done an awesome job here with plentiful, useful articulation. These guys rival any figure as mass market and possibly surpass them.Wicked!

 * I love the headsculpts on these and Raph is without a doubt my favorite of all. While these aren't insanely "movie specific" they definitely have a film feel to them, particularly with the expressions chosen. I really like the use of a separate piece of plastic for the bandanna over the eyes as it gives the figure a bit more of a layered feel, as does the belt. It's also a separate piece that, while not removable, helps the figure to seem just a but more intricate.
 * Here's something I find amazing: Raphael comes with four interchangeable headsculpts. Four! That's crazy! I'm not sure I own any other figures that came packaged with four different headsculpts. They're all unique, too (not shared with his brothers). I know there isn't a ton of paint work here but they do give you a wide range of expressions and bandanna positions. Yes, some of the bandannas are hanging straight down while others are sculpted in a flowing position. They're super easy to swap, too!
 * Other than the heads and belts each turtle in this set shares the same body, which is just fine as the turtles don't really have very different builds in the film. Of course, as far as I can tell these are pretty much the exact same figures as the Classic Collection figures based on the original 1990 film which were released in 2014. Usually I'd be a bit peeved by this reuse but honestly it seems to work here. I'm sure there are differences between the costumes in the two films but it's not something I can identify easily off hand. Furthermore, these are decent sculpts. They're certainly not NECA quality or anything but they're definitely quality work for Playmates. I'm just glad that they didn't reuse the smoother cartoon based Classic Collection figures. I also like that Playmates did use different skin tones for the turtles that match their vintage toys. It might not be movie accurate but it feels right.

 * I've always loved the brown pads and belts the guys wore in the films. There's just something cool about them and they look great here. They're separate pieces that, again, give the figure a bit more layered appearance, something I love.

  * Raph comes with his signature weapon: A pair of sai! They're wicked looking little things and I love that he can wield them a few different ways. While most of the sai is simply molded in a grayish plastic, the tsuka and tsukagashira have been given a brown paint application to liven things up a bit.
 * As you would also expect, you can store Raph's sai in the loops on his belt. They stay in there nice and tight and look great.

* The shell is quite detailed. Not only is the pattern fairly intricate but there are also lots of little nicks and dents in it, too. The bulk and heft of the shell also seems appropriate for these film inspired turtles.

* Raph comes with a few extra accessories, the best of which are a pizza and four shuriken. Raph's shuriken are different from Leonardo's and they in fact look a bit more wicked. The pizza is a very simple sculpt with a sticker on the top to represent the toppings (I see pepperoni, onions, and jalapenos).

The Negatives:

* The toe isn't broken but it does tend to pop off. I haven't had this problem with any other figure in this line, so perhaps it's just a fluke, but my Raph does have a loose toe. It's annoying and not at all movie accurate.
  * Because the fingers are all individually articulated, it takes a bit of finesse to securely place weapons in Leonardo's hands. I remember this problem with the earlier cartoon inspired Classic Collection figures and I can't say I'm glad to see it return. It definitely seems to promote the idea that these are for display rather than play as the weapons and accessories can easily fall out of the hands when the figure is shifted. Just be patient and try different things out and you should make it work, though.

* I don't dislike this shield but I do find it odd that Playmates went with a hole in the front. Doesn't the hole in the front of a shield kind of negate it's purpose? This could have turned out much, much cooler.
* Perhaps the biggest negative about these figures is that they really just don't have any paint work. Don't get me wrong, I think it's amazing how much articulation and how many accessories Playmates packed into these figures, but just some things like a wash on the shell and plastron or some of the distinctive spots the characters had in the films would have elevated these. I think even if Playmates had knocked these up a couple bucks higher to cover the extra paint budget, these still would have been competitive. Playmates could have put forth a bit more effort since they were on the cusp of perfection and delivered something that really rivaled the current high end Japanese action figures we're seeing in this scale.

 Here's the thing: These may not be perfect figures but my gosh is Playmates giving you a lot for your money. Compare the number of accessories they give you (four portraits and 8 accessories, some with paint applications) and the amount of articulation here with anything else on the shelf at your local store. There's no doubt you're getting an insane deal! On the next episode of the Collection Agency Brad and I will be discussing the current trend of high end 1/12th scale lines such as S.H. Figuarts, Mafex, Figma, and others. Take a look at those lines and the typical mass market collector lines like Star Wars Black, Marvel Legends, and DC Comics Multiverse: Which of those groupings does this line more resemble? I'm really leaning towards the higher end lines simply in terms of what's offered. Playmates has given collectors and TMNT fans a pretty great gift with these and me and my little one are having a blast (she loves the TMNT)! Raph gets a Great and a 1/2 rating from me as he's quite possibly one of the best action figure values you'll find this year despite a few flaws!

I have reviewed a few other Raphel figures from the Nickelodeon inspired line such as Battle Shell Raphael, Ooze Tossin' Raph, the D&D inspired Raph the Barbarian, and Stealth Tech Raphae. From the 2014 film I also reviewed Raph in Disguise.

If you want to check out the other three figures in the line, links to the reviews are below:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classic Collection
Donatello (The Secret of the Ooze, 1991)
Leonardo (The Secret of the Ooze, 1991) 
Michelangelo (The Secret of the Ooze, 1991)


  1. Man, those articulated fingers really kill it for me. I only have a Raph from the cartoon versions, and while he is neat...he's just not play worthy, and that really does diminish a lot of the excitement, for me. All these figures have AWESOME accessories, but I just don't think I can bring myself to get any more figures that can barely hold their accessories - so long as you don't move them much. I wish Playmates would do at least a LITTLE research before doing more of these. They stick to their guns and it works - I'll give them that. They haven't been in the game this long - and still have their product fly off the shelves - by being blind to the market. They just need to reconsider the figures they aim at the collectors.

    1. Playmates considering collectors bahahahaha!

    2. Yeah, Playmates just makes some odd decisions. I do feel like they often make decisions that seem like they're completely unaware of the rest of the toy industry. Sometimes that turns out well (again, they release their basic TMNT figures in ways that every other company seems to always imply is impossible) but they also seem to have no idea what to do with collectors. Then again, these do seem to be really influenced by the high end Japanese figures like S.H. Figuarts and MaFex with the extra heads. Who knows?


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