Showing posts with label Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Show all posts

10/19/14

In Disguise! Turtle Titan Michaelangelo :: Countdown to Halloween 2014

Ninja Turtle in disguise!

Back in 2004 I wasn't collecting Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But there were a couple being released in conjunction with the updated toon of the time that I just couldn't resist. Usagi Yojimbo, Toddler Turtles, and this guy: Turtle Titan Michaelangelo.

Being an unabashed superhero fan and a not yet fully realized TMNT fan, I just had to pick this guy up off the toy aisle shelves.

I've never seen the episode wherein this iteration of Michaelangelo appeared, but from what I understand Mikey was inspired by a superhero called Silver Sentry, and decided to model himself into a superhero, coming up with the Turtle Titan identity.

Turtle Titan is a great action figure. His articulation is good - ball jointed shoulders and hips, neck, elbow and wrist swivels - but his sculpt and pose limits the articulation's value.

But he's such a wonderful figure visually that his pose limitations are completely forgivable.

Turtle Titan Mikey came with an arm mounted turtle shell shield and a grappling hook.

I have no idea why his left hand is sculpted like this unless part of Turtle Titans' powers was to tell everyone they are a bunch of losers.

I just love when characters go one-level-up. A mutated ninja-trained turtle isn't enough for you? How about a mutated ninja-trained turtle dressed up like a superhero?

Boss-a-nova!

I'd love to see a modern update of Turtle Titan in the new cartoon and toyline, but honestly I doubt this guy can be improved upon.

9/24/14

Napoleon Bonafrog is Dynamite!

Another TMNT figure I freed from the flea market this past weekend is Napoleon Bonafrog. What makes this acquisition extra special is that it is a COMPLETE Napoleon Bonafrog!

Including his little mutant insect buddy Flyboy!

Digging through a box of old toys I was able to gather together quite a few TMNT weapons and accessories. The only actual figure in the whole bunch was Napoleon! So I tossed him in with all the weapons I gathered and when I got home to sort through it all I discovered all his 'stuff' was there too.

Napoleon Bonafrog always looked more like a Horny Toad to me, which is neither a frog nor a toad. But hey, I'm no naturalists. If you say he's a frog, he's a frog!

"Keep on Froggin'!"
He's a part of the Punk Frogs team, which also included Ghengis Frog in action figure form and Atilla the Frog and Rasputin the Mad Frog in cartoon form. Oddly enough all four frogs looked like Ghengis Frog in the cartoon, making the Napoleon Bonafrog action figure a bit incongruous.

I don't know where such a warning would typically be posted, but it makes a good shield!

The 90s neon and OP Boardshorts make this guy a rather goofy reflection of the times he was mutated in. And ultra Caliofornian, Dude!

9/22/14

Sandstorm Camel :: Another nutty TMNT action figure for your viewing pleasure

"Who you callin 'Joe'?
I have been piecing together my original TMNT action figure collection for many years now. Most of my figures have come to me via the flea market or other second-hand resources. It's a collection that I honestly never set out to build but over time, and finding so many on the cheap, it sort of just took on a life of it's own.

I am finally at the point where there are only a couple of figures that I am actively seeking whenever I go out on a weekend morning and dig through other people's trash treasure. And thanks to a score this past weekend I can now check Cameltoe...I mean 'Sandstorm' off that list!

"I'd walk a mile for a Virginia Slim."
I actually did see Sandstorm at the flea market years and years ago, back when I had maybe five TMNT action figures and little interest in a large collection with insane mutant animals from all corners of the Earth. So when my collection took on exactly those proportions, it always bothered me that I had seen him once and didn't buy him when I had the chance.

So when I saw a table of Ninja Turtle action figures this past weekend, and THEN saw Sandstorm sitting upon said table right square between head-droppin' Leo and naked Splinter I humped on over and spat out three shekels (Camel puns aren't easy) and now he's mine! .

"BARTENDER! BARTENDER! Geez, can't a guy get a drink around here?!?!"
He's not perfect. There's play wear and some yellowing on his smock, and he lacks his accessories, but who cares. He's a fez-doffed arabian-clad mutant Camel. HOW DID I PASS HIM UP BEFORE?!?!?! What was I thinking?!?!

"Who. Bent. My. SWORD!?!?!"
Fortunately I also scored a big bag of miscellaneous TMNT accessories this past weekend, and while Sandstorm's weapons weren't a part of the pile, this sword (which originally went with a Shredder variant I believe) is a good substitute.

Also of note: Sandstorm has an action feature similar to classic Masters of the Universe figures - a spring-loaded waist. I don't know how that action is relevant to an Arabian mutant camel.

9/17/14

TMNT Casey Jones :: Another custom LEGO minifigure

Hot on the heels of my custom LEGO Metalhead and Panda Khan minifigure comes my custom LEGO minifigure of the one and only Casey Jones!

I used an old slightly play-worn 'Evil Skeleton' headpiece, and it works pretty well as a LEGO version of Casey Jones' goalie mask. I may someday get creative and just draw a more comicbook accurate face onto a clean white LEGO headpiece, but this works for now.

I used a random black hairpiece and a torso piece that has what appears to be sports padding of some sort. I know Casey didn't generally run around with any padding, but it works with the theme. To finish, I gave Casey grey 'sweatpants', flesh toned arms and ddark grey hands (to emulate gloves.)

For his 'golf bag' I used one of these ubiquitous LEGO bits, and jammed a hammer of some sort in the end which looks a bit like a putter. I also gave him LEGO Nelson Muntz's baseball bat and a hockey stick form an earlier blind bagged hockey player minifigure.

9/15/14

LEGO Metalhead :: TMNT Custom Minifigure Build

After slapping together a custom Panda Khan LEGO minifigure,  I started thinking of what other Ninja Turtle characters I could possibly cobble together. It struck me that the robotic turtle Metalhead (Classic Metalhead action figure, Modern Metalhead action figure) was do-able and would be a fun character to have in minifigure form. So I set out to make a Metalhead minifigure!

In making Metalhead, I didn't use any actual minifigure components. Instead, I built him entirely from standard LEGO bricks and bits. I based him predominantly on his modern look, but took a lot of liberties and just let my creativity lead me down a long path to this final result.

I gave him a blow torch hand, which can be switched out with other weapon types like a chainsaw or a claw or whathaveyou. I had the notion of making a rotating 'stick' ala the classic action figure's spinning nunchucku weapon, but I haven't put that one together yet.

Metalhead is a little larger than a standard minifigure. His legs don't move, but his arms can be rotated at the shoulders. After putting him together I looked around online and discovered a few other Metalhead customs, but they are generally pretty small. Essentially they are little more than micro-builds. My Metalhead has a bit more heft to him, and his weapon customizeability gives him more personality too.

9/7/14

Panda Khan Custom LEGO Minifigure

My intern has been really into Pandas lately. In addition to a few stuffed Pandas, I had given her the Panda Suit Guy LEGO minifigure when the LEGO movie minfigures were on store shelves, and I also have let her play with my TMNT Panda Khan.

Then it hit me - I could make Panda Suit Guy into a custom Panda Khan minifigure!

I don't seem to have any LEGO Samurai minifigure bits (has a LEGO Samurai minifigure been made yet?) so I did as best I could combining old Knight and Sherwood Forest character bits to get close to the original action figure colors. Which are of course not very accurate to the original Panda Khan comic book look, but whatyagonnado?

I also added a pony-tail rubber band for his head band. Unfortunately I couldn't find red, so pink will have to suffice for now.

After taking the pictures for this blog I also noticed that Panda Khan's eyes are red, so I replaced the head under the Panda 'mask' with one with red eyes. I also found a katana for him to wield.

I'm probably the only guy in the world with a Panda Khan LEGO minifigure!

9/4/14

Original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Action Figures

A few years ago I spotted a Craigslist ad selling original Star Wars and Ninja Turtles action figures. This was before my interest in Ninja Turtles, so I went thinking I would buy some of the Star Wars action figures.

When I went to the lady's house she had a bunch of her son's old toys laid out for sale. I pretty much ignored the Star Wars figures and was drawn to these four fellows and I think a couple more early TMNT figures. I even picked up the Turtle Van, but it wasn't in the best of condition so I have since moved it out of my collection.

But these guys are in excellent condition. They are missing their weapons, and Raphael's belt isn't perfect, but someday I'll be able to replace those issues.

The best part is that all these guys are the soft-head versions of the Ninja Turtles. I didn't know it at the time but the soft head versions of the TMNT figures are the first release versions.

It's near impossible to imagine that there was a time when the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were a gamble, but that was the case when Playmates released the first series of action figures they were just that.

So to cut costs and potential loss, Playmates released the Turtles and other wave one figures with soft rubber heads.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were a huge hit (no surprise there, right?) so later releases of the first few figures were made with solid plastic heads.

I have a soft headed Bebop and Rocksteady too (which may have come from this same Craigslist purchase) and I believe Shredder, Footsoldier and Splinter also each came with soft rubber heads. I'm not sure if April did too or if she didn't appear until wave two.

Other than the initials on their belts and the colored masks/pads, these first few ninja turtles are actually far more influenced by the original comic artwork than their later cartoon designs.

They are also just wonderful classic, basic action figures.

I'm glad I ignored the Star Wars stuff and instead bought up these guys!

9/1/14

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Action Figure Collection


In an attempt to win an Instagram contest showing your 'Raddest' collection, I first signed up for Instagram - hey, anything to win a Santa Cruz Skateboard! - and then I photographed almost all of my original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figures. Because fewer things are as rad as original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures!

The task was difficult enough with my intern 'helping,' so I didn't bother including weapons in most of their hands. I also forgot to include a couple, namely Panda Khan, Wyrm, and Wingnut.

I also did not include variants or alternate version of anyone, like Space Usagi, the small sized Android Body Krang, or all those wacky Turtle variants.

Quite an impressive collection, considering the fact that I wasn't into TMNT when they were originally released. Can you name them all?


8/27/14

Upcoming Original Comic Book Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from Playmates

Coming VERY soon: Original Comic Book Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from Playmates. These guys are an absolute must-have for me!

These guys look great! I am really looking forward to getting all four Turtles.

According to Turtlepedia, the Playmates versions of classic comic book styled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will be released in 2015, but chatter over at The Technodrome Forums (including an in-package picture from Playmates Toys' Facebook Page...)

...says they will be out as soon as September of this year!

NECA released a comic book styled series of action figures a few years back, and while awesome, they tend to be pretty pricey on the secondary market today. I have the NECA Leonardo but he's incomplete, so I am glad Playmates will be releasing their versions. Sure, they won't be as 'high-end' or collector aimed, but I like my Turtles as they should be: toys. In addition, these look to be scaled with the current line (and in close proximity to the original TMNT action figures) so they will look great next to the original Casey Jones and April action figures (and others!) The NECA turtles were much larger than Playmates standard TMNT action figures so they never blended well with existing figures. Of course they do work well with the new TMNT Classics figures, but that's a post for another day.

These pictures of the Original Comic Book Turtles are not of the final product, so the weapons may or may not be the same when the figures hit store shelves. EDIT: looking at the in-package pictures, it is clear the weapons are similar to the current TMNT turtle action figure weapons and cast in either solid grey (sais, katana) or solid brown (bo, nunchucks). But since articulation and paint applications appear quite basic (as they should be on these guys) I imagine they will look pretty close to these images. The only thing I could imagine them skipping out on would be black paint in the 'cross-hatching' of the sculpts. It would be a shame if they skipped that paint application, since it is part of what makes these guys look like the original artwork, but it would also be an easy fix.

Raphael was just released at SDCC in a 'black and white' exclusive version. I was tempted to pick it up but passed because I knew these 'colored' versions were coming and they look much better in my opinion. Plus, I will probably be able to get all four turtles at retail for the price of the exclusive Raphael!



They are also now listed on the Playmates website, so really hope we see them in stores soon. I will be lurking the TMNT toy aisles until I do!

8/23/14

TMNT Shadow Leonardo Bootleg LEGO Minifigure

This is the bootleg version of a LEGO Shadow Leonardo minifigure that was a comic con exclusive a few years back.

The official version is way out of my (and probably your) price range, but the Chinese LEGO bootleggers have come through for you (and me) and this guy is super cheap on eBay right now.

He comes with two bootleg LEGO katana and a bootleg LEGO shadow skateboard too!

To get him, I had to buy a lot of bootleg TMNT minifigures:

The whole lot was dirt cheap, but beyond Shadow Leonardo kind of...meh.

Other than Shadow Leo, the rest of the turtles are lame variant versions of relatively easy to get ninja turtle minifigures; divers and stealth turtles. Nothing to write home (or an entire blog post) about.

The Kraang robot and Shredder are nice to have though. And they ALL come with skateboards - that's pretty radical! Shredder is supposed to come with two claws, but one was malformed junk - the first issue I have yet had with my limited Chinese LEGO bootleg experiences.

Fun stuff I suppose, and totally worth it just to have Shadow Leo (and a pile of random minifigures) for incredibly cheap!

8/17/14

He's a Radical Rat :: Nickelodeon TMNT Splinter Action Figure

This fellow here is the Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles iteration of Splinter: father of the Teenage Mutant ninja Turtle brothers.

I found this guy at a thrift store and paid fifty cents for him, so mine is missing the walking stick he was originally released with. I replaced it with a much cooler katana (whose origins are a mystery to me) I found in a playmobil lot I picked up at a garage sale.

I didn't originally feel the need to own this guy, but for fifty cents I couldn't pass him up.

I don't know that I would pick him up if I had to pay full price. His Nickelodeon animated design is a bit on the bland side and lacks the charm of the goofy-looking original Splinter action figure. And he certainly could have benefited from the inclusion of a few weapons; the original came with a sweet hidden sword in his cane, a bow/arrow, and a couple throwing stars.

Giving him this katana does help.

Also, as a rule, a soft-goods robe would have been preferred over this molded plastic outfit. It limits the movement of his legs, although Splinter probably isn't going to be twisted into a bunch of acrobatic poses anyways.

I'm sure Splinter is still plentiful on store shelves, and a new 'Dojo Splinter' (with removeable helmet), which I think looks pretty cool, has just been released. Had I only been given the chance to own one of them, I would probably opt for Dojo Splinter as he has a little more 'oomph' than this bland Splinter. But I am also a purist and like to have 'original' versions of main characters, so if I would have owned that one first I would have probably then felt the need to track this guy down too.

So I guess the moral of the story is that I am glad to have this Splinter and any fifty cent action figure is better than no action figure at all.