Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Action Figure Review: Raphael from Turtles of Grayskull by Mattel


   I've reviewed a few Turtles of Grayskull figures so far but I've yet to review any of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles themselves, so let's change that today by looking at Raphael, the Hard-Headed Sai Specialist. Raph has been my favorite turtle for as long as I can remember and I'm glad he's the first one I managed to get from this series. While the turtles themselves are pretty standard, they have each adopted the look of various Eternian heroes. Donatello is wearing Man-At-Arms inspired armor, both Leo and Mikey have He-Man inspired gear (Mikey even looks to have a blonde wig), and Raph is sporting armor similar to Ram Man's classic gear. That's a great fit since Raph is a bruiser and a hot head who prefers to charge straight into a fight. Let's take a look at the Turtles of Grayskull Raphael after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 5 3/4ths inches

Articulation: Swivel/ hinge ankles, calf swivels, swivel/hinge knees, balljointed hips, swivel waist, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, a barbell jointed head, and a swivel bandanna.

Accessories: Armor, belt, shoulder pad, helmet, shell shield, sai sword, sai claw, and minicomic.

Non-Scalper Price: $20 dollars

The Positives:

* Here's a look at Raphael with just the most basic gear on. You've got an Eternian take on Raph, which I really like. The body design is quite good, mixing parts from the standard MOTU Origins figures with the look of a turtle of the teenage mutant ninja variety. The torso is all new with a sculpted plastron that evokes the muscular physique most Eternians seem to be born with. For his bands, Raph has red MOTU styled boots (with the feet missing) and wrist cuffs and an armored shell-like pauldron on his left shoulder. You'll notice in the pictures that I did get Raph's belt reversed. The front of the studded belt has a longer armored loincloth (kind of like Skeletor's) with a turtle shell logo. Underneath it he has brown furry trunks, just like a good Eternian. 

* Raph's Ram Man styled chest armor is removable, too, so you can add it on whenever you want. I really like it. I just love this design for Raphael. It's quite cool. Not overly silly or gimmicky like WWE turtles, Ghostbuster turtles, or Star Trek turtles. It's pretty solid looking battle armor for Raph. 

* This is a really good Raph portrait, too. I like the shape of the head, the size, the whited out eyes, and how the bandanna is a separate piece. It just feels right to me and it works perfectly in the style of both MOTU Origins and TMNT. It's very classic looking, capturing an early vintage toyline TMNT aesthetic. 

* Here's a shot of Raph from the back so I can point out too things. First, the tails of his band swivel. They swivel at the knot, so they can move together. That's a cool feature and it makes posing Raph just a bit more exciting. Second, check out his shell. The shell is actually removable (more on that in a moment) but it attaches to the armor. Without the armor you can give Raph the larger shell, so keep that in mind. 

* Raphael can further armor up with a removable Ram Man styled helmet. It fits him really well, both personality wise and physically. it's not just going to fall off. The armored shell of the helmet also looks like... well, a shell. Wicked! 

* The Turtles of Grayskull figures use Mattel's MOTU Origins designs, so they're aesthetically similar to the vintage MOTU toys but with more modern articulation. Honestly, they're not far off from the vintage TMNT figures, either. The turtles seem a bit thinner, so their articulation is a bit better than the average MOTU Origins figure. They're quite fun to play with and pretty durable, feeling more like a toy than a strict collectible. They're also modular and can be easily separated to make your own lazy boy customs!

* Raphael comes with a sai-like sword that's pretty sharp looking. It's a nice blend between his traditional sword and a larger looking Eternian weapon. 

* There's a storage loop on the back of Raph's belt, just like the vintage TMNT Raphael figure had. It can hold the sai sword inside.

* The shell is removable and has a handle on the back, so it can function as a shield. That's pretty cool, right? I like it. It's nonsensical, but this is a TMNT/ MOTU mashup, so we've kind of left "grounded in reality" about two dimensions ago. 

* Raph's last weapon is a really cool claw/ sai/ battle fist kind of thing. Seriously, it feels like a combination of Wolverine's claws, Raphael's sai, and Fisto's fist. It fits over Raph's right forearm and definitely looks like something that would be the bane of the Foot Clan and the Evil Warriors. 

* The Turtles of Grayskull minicomic is titled "Belly of the Beast (Man)" and it's longer than your average Masters of the Universe Origins comic with 10 pages, not including the covers. I really enjoyed it and I'm kind of eager to read the first part and the upcoming third part. It's a minicomic included with a toy, yeah, but the art is fantastic and the comic reads as well as you'd expect if this were a regular comic team up of the TMNT and MOTU. Honestly, it's a shame there's not a regular series as this seems quite good. 

The Negatives:

* Underneath Raph's armor and the shield shell is a sculpted shell. It's weird because it's small and all green. TMNT figures have rarely ever followed legit turtle biology or anything, but having the shell unpainted feels weird and kind of a cheap out. I'd have rather seen it painted or just have a muscular green back.
   I kind of expected to like the MOTU releases more than the TMNT releases in Turtles of Grayskull, but so far Raphael is my favoriute figure. Now, don't get me wrong, Raphael is one of my absolutely favorite characters, so I'm not ambivalent to the TMNT or anything, but I'm definitely much more of a MOTU collector than I am a TMNT collector. This guy is Epic, though. He's a good Raphael figure and a good Masters of the Universe Origins styled figure with very cool accessories and multiple different looks. I'm loving him. Let's hope his brothers are just as good as he is. 

Raphael is my favorite turtle and I've reviewed quite a few other Raphael figures: The Super7 TMNT Ultimates RaphaelBattle 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 Turtles of Grayskull figures check out the following:


  1. Looks so odd to see a Ninja Turtle with such a thin waist and wide upper torso. :O

    1. They kind of remind me of the 2003 series turtles or those Jim Lee turtles from the mid-late 1990s.


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