The heroes in a half shell have been making quite a comeback on TV and in the comics, but it's important to remember the franchise's roots, too. Luckily for us, that's exactly what Nickelodeon and Playmates are doing. They're aiming to give fans a heavy dose of nostalgia by giving us all a trip into the past. There's plenty of awesome toys based on the new Nick show, but now, they're remaking the classic figures that were released way back in 1988 and they're only at Toys "R" Us. As of right now, they've brought back the old school figures of the four turtles (Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, Donatello), Splinter and Shredder. If you grew up with these, odds are you'll get hit with some heavy flashbacks upon seeing the packages.
The back for each of them is the identical. Instead of simply giving an individual blurb about the character in the package, each one tells you about the franchise's history, reveals their origin (which is just one of many the franchise has seen), and also shows all of the 1988 toys they've re-released so far.
Keep in mind, these are remakes of toys from the eighties, so they don't have too many points of articulation. However, what they lack in poses, they make up for with the sheer amount of nostalgia they'll give to long time fans. This holds especially true if you don't have your toys from that era or totally missed out on them back then.
Even though the friendly cartoon popularized the franchise and the design for these toys originally came out in that era, these figures are all serious business and no laughs. All of the turtles are grinding their teeth in different ways -- not even Mikey's popping a smile. As for movement, they're pretty restricted compared to modern toys. The arms, legs and heads fully rotate. Aside from that, only the arms can rotate at the elbow to allow different poses with their weapons. And, of course, each is wearing the belt they had in the original animated show. If you want them to be pacifists or instead focus on hand-to-hand poses, then you can use the belt to hold their signature weapons as well. The belts can also come off, so if you want to, you can have a bit of fun swapping their gear.
Shredder comes with a variety of weapons as well, but seeing as he's sporting his classic blades and pretty rad fighting stance, odds are you won't be using them, anyway. Splinter, on the other hand, comes with a variety of weapons, but the one that really sets him apart is a bow and arrow. Given the unique characteristics of each figure, they're a bit difficult to keep in place. It's a tad awkward Splinter's always looking slightly up, but again, that's how it was over two decades ago, so it's really cool to see they've stayed completely true to the franchise's history.
As I said above, sometimes they're a little tough to pose. That said, each does come with one of the vintage plastic weapon sets. Not only does this give each character a plethora of gear to equip, but it can also function as a stand, making them much easier to hold in place. It's pretty easy to use, too. The bottom of their feet have holes and they can be attached to the pegs (located on the rectangular frame). Regarding the weapons, you'll definitely want to use scissors to remove each item.
While they're not nearly as sophisticated as the modern TMNT toys, they're not much shorter and, if you're passionate about the franchise, the opportunity to have the old school turtles stand toe-to-toe with the new ones is a whole lot of fun. What's better than one grumpy Raph? Two, of course!
They've also remade the team's van from 1988 (dubbed "Turtle Party Wagon"). The van has plenty of room to hold all of the characters and comes with stickers already attached to the sides ("Foot Stinks"). If you don't like it as just an ordinary turtle van, you can make it armed to the teeth. You're able to attach a armored windshield visor, machine guns, a radar/blaster, a huge spoiler and -- get this -- bombs that can be held in the side door. Well, at least they'll be ready for whatever Shedder throws their way!
The franchise made a comeback in 2003 with an all-new animated show, and one year later, they sold these massive toys called M.E.C.H. Wrekkers. Well, just like with the 1988 line, they're bringing 'em back. As of right, Raphael and Leonardo have their own and we got a chance to check out the one designed for Raph. They're motorized, enabling you to make it tread forward or backwards. Additionally, you can launch the shoulder mounted missiles and manually spin the melee weapons on the arms.
Each action figure is $12.99, the van's $49.99 and the mech goes for $39.99. If you haven't spotted these at your local Toys "R" Us, you can purchase them online here.
Viners, do you plan on buying any of these?