Monday, November 9, 2020

Action Figure Review: Raphael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ultimates by Super7


   Way back near the end of September I received the entire first series of Super7's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ultimates. I've I reviewed Baxter Stockman a few weeks ago but now I'm getting read to make my way through the rest of the first series figures, starting with Raphael. Raphael has been my favorite turtle for as long as I can remember. My grandmothers bought me the first series of figures way back in 1988 and I've loved the TMNT ever since, so seeing these figures based on the vintage toys is extremely nostalgic for me, as I'm sure they are for nearly everyone else around my age (I'm in my late 30s). While we've seen turtles based on nearly every piece of media including the movies, original cartoon, comics, and video games, this is the first new product specifically based on recreating the vintage toyline Masters of the Universe Classics style. While Super7 has only released one of the four turtles in the first series they have already announced the other four, so you know you're going to complete the foursome along with the first vintage series of figures. Ready for a look at Raphael? Then join me after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 5 7/8ths inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, swivel/hinge knees, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge hips, ball jointed waist, swivel/hinge shoulders, bicep swivels, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, and a double ball jointed head.

Accessories: 2 interchangeable heads, 8 interchangeable hands, weapons rack, 6 sai, 2 kamas, 2 short daggers, 2 large punch daggers, 4 shuriken, slice of pizza, open communicator, and closed communicator.

Non-Scalper Price: $45 dollars

Designed by: Four Horsemen Studios

The Packaging:

* Super7 consistently has some of the nicest packaging in the action figure industry and this continues with the TMNT Ultimates line. Each figure comes in a window box with a cardboard sleeve over it. The heroes get a green sleeve adorned with a manhole cover with their face on top. There are actually little sai on the side as well, which is pretty cool. Inside is a window box. It's not truly collector friendly packaging but you don't have to really destroy anything to get the figure out.

The Positives:

* Raphael is truly an amazing looking action figure! Sculpted by the Four Horsemen this is an excellent updated take on the vintage toy. Raphael is a bit larger and better articulated than you remember but otherwise this is the figure you "remember" owning as a kid. The colors are spot on and it absolutely looks and feels like a toy rather than a collectible. That's a good thing, though. There really are lots of cool little details, especially on places like his plastron which is covered in nicks and dents.


* Raphael comes with two portraits, the first of which is paced on the vintage toy. The teeth are more squarish and more spaced out while the eyes are white, like a comic book characters, and are quite large. The shape is perfect and I love the violently furrowed brow.


* The second portrait is my favorite, though. I'd say it's more comic influenced with closer together teeth, a wider beak, a more angry looking expression, and smaller eyes. The heads take a little effort to pop on and off but the neck peg seems pretty durable and everything works fantastically. It's really cool to have a few different display options for Raph.

* Raph's shell is also extremely detailed. Look at the intensive work on the pattern and the various gouges and scars. Raph's a fighter and this shows that. 

* The articulation on these figures is pretty solid and really does remind me of Super7's other Ultimates lines Masters of the Universe Classics or Conan the Barbarian. The figures are kind of squat and chunky, like the original 1980s and early 1990s Playmates figures, but they're definitely more modern feeling. They feel like TMNT figures, though, and that's a good thing. They're very sturdy and most of the joints are either swivel/hinge joints or true ball joints. You can definitely get plenty of poses out of Raphael, although if you're looking for very fine and subtle posing these don't quite hit that mark. They're truly made to feel like toys, though, which I can respect.



* Raph's bands are made of a rubbery material. They're not removable but they are separate pieces and they do a nice job of hiding the joints as well.

* Raphael comes with four sets of alternate hands, although three of them are really quite similar. There are some minor differences in the shape of the space against the palm or between the fingers but overall there is little functional difference. The last set features the fingers splayed open so that Raph can hold a larger accessory like his communicator or the slice of pizza. 




* Rapahel actually comes with three pair of sai (I'll get to the third set in a minute) but he comes with two pair that look like they're made of metal. One is molded in grayish-silver plastic while the other set is painted. Why two? I don't know. They look great, though, although the painted set have the monouchi warped a bit.


 * Raph's sai can be stored in his belt, just like the vintage toy. The belt looks amazing, too, with some nice detail. It's not removable but it is a separate, rubbery piece that looks pretty cool.


* I think this is called a kama. The vintage Raphael had one (actually all of the turtles did, as well as Shredder) but this one is fully painted and looks way more wicked. This is a pretty slick looking weapon, isn't it? Those blades look truly sharp!

* What exactly do you call this little hand dagger that Raphael carries? This is another of the accessories the vintage TMNT came with and while it was my least favorite of the vintage accessories it looks pretty cool here. The silver paint on the blade makes this look pretty fierce. 

* Raphael's punch dagger is even more intimidating! This thing seems like a truly nasty close quarters weapon for sure. 

* Since he stores his sai in the loops on the front of his belt Raphael has some free space on his back. He makes use of that via a pouch for the punch dagger which fits right in, allowing Raph to deliver a nasty surprise to an unsuspecting Foot Clan member. 

* What kind of ninja isn't wielding some shuriken? Raph's are silver, shiny, and sharp looking. 

* A growing ninja's got to eat as well, so Super7 threw in a slice of pepperoni pizza for Raph to nosh on. I like the dripping cheese! 

* Even cooler is the presence of the Turtlecom from the cartoon series. It's a small communcator device and while it doesn't actually open, Super7 did include an opened device and a closed device. The paint apps are really clean especially on the tiny buttons and screen of the Turtlecom. This another cool little surprise since the vintage figures didn't have them. 

* Raphael also comes with a copy of each of his weapons attached to a weapons rack, just like the vintage figure. You get two sai, both daggers, a kama, and another pair of shuriken, plus the "wooden" weapons rack. While I thought the weapons rack accessories were a waste on Baxter Stockman, getting these weapons in the traditional color of the vintage accessories is a really nice feature.

The Negatives:

* Just like the vintage toys, the weapons rack accessories come attached on a sprue. You have to use sharp scissors or a hobby knife to cut these loose which requires a steady hand and some work. Honestly, I wish these just came loose. I guess it's clever and nostalgic but I'd rather just have a copy of the accessories in these vintage colors and not have to do extra work or risk damaging them

* Overall I really like Raph's articulation but his hip joints seem a bit oddly designed. They feel not as solidly built as the rest of the figure. The hip feels a bit wobbly and it could stand to be attached a bit more securely. 

* I don't feel too nervous about them but do exercise some care when swapping out Raphael's hands. The wrist pegs could stand to be a bit thicker for sure. 
   I love this Raphael. We've gotten some excellent TMNT figures over the past year or two from a few different companies, most prominently NECA, but Super7's efforts really set themselves apart by being based on the vintage toys and giving each figure a pile of accessories. Seriously, if you count the alternate head and extra hands I'm counting 29 accessories! There are some relatively minor first series quirks here but I really think Super7 delivered one of the best Raphael figures ever. He's definitely Epic and was well worth the premium price of this line. Now, bring on some more!

Raphael is my favorite turtle and I've reviewed quite a few other Raphael figures: Battle Shell RaphaelOoze Tossin' Raph, the D&D inspired Raph the Barbarian, and Stealth Tech Raphael
from the 2012 series, Raph in Disguise from the 2014 film, Raphael from Playmates' the Secret of the Ooze classics line, and NECA's Raphael in Disguise (Quarter Scale) and Casey Jones & Raphael (In Disguise).

For more figures from Super7's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ultimates check out the following:


  1. These look RADICAL! My LCS has one on sale for around $50. I may have to pick it up!

    1. $50 is a good buy on these as they're currently selling for around $100 on Ebay.


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