#0396: Donatello – Comic



“Back in 1984, a single 40-page black-and-white underground comic redefined the comic book industry and created a world-wide phenomenon. For 30 years, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have entertained and thrilled legions of fans across the globe – and they’re still going strong!”

While I never seemed to get the timing right with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (all of the incarnations are well spaced enough for me to be out of the target audience every time), I still have a pretty decent appreciation for the characters. In particular, I love their early comic looks. A few years ago, NECA released a fantastic set of the main turtles in that style. Unfortunately, I only found half the team, and the aftermarket prices are far too prohibitive for me to finish the set. Thankfully, Playmates has seen fit to offer their own set of the original designs as part of their current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line, originally based on the Nickelodeon cartoon. I’ll be starting with the resident tech guy, Donatello.


“The usually calm and collected Donatello has difficulty containing his enthusiasm when encountering new technologies. Or when working on a new invention or being hot on the trail of a scientific breakthrough, plus his kick-butt mastery of the Bo staff, makes him one unique turtle.” Donatello was released in Series 12 of Playmates’ current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line. Donatello is based on his original comicbook incarnation, which is a lot less unique than later versions became. He’s about 4 ½ inches tall and he’s got 17 points of articulation. The articulation is pretty good overall, but the lack of wrist joints hurts the figure quite a bit. In this day and age, such joints should pretty much be mandatory. His left hip is also rather loose, but this is likely to vary from figure to figure. From the neck down, Donatello’s sculpt is identical to the other three turtles. It’s a good sculpt, with decent proportions and quite a bit of texture. It’s a pretty good match for the art from the comics. The head is unique to Donatello. It’s a more passive look, though not as passive as Donatello frequently is. His mouth is open on the right side, but only the slightest bit. The texturing and lines on the skin haven’t been a hit with everyone, but I think they look fine. The bandana is a separate piece, and it doesn’t sit as flat as I’d like on my figure, but it’s well sculpted and the ties hang at a dynamic angle. Paint is probably this line’s weakest point. It’s not bad, but it’s nothing all that impressive either. Donatello is mostly molded in green plastic, with red for the bandana. The actual painted details are mostly clean, but there is a bit of bleed over, and the yellow on his torso missed a few spots. Donatello’s sole accessory is his trademark Bo staff. It’s decently sculpted, but it has no paint, which is a shame. Also, due to the lack of wrist articulation, he has difficulty properly holding it.


I purchased the full set of Comic Turtles from my local TRU while killing some time waiting to pick up my brother from a rehearsal. Donatello has been my favorite turtle for a while, so that’s why I reviewed him first. I contemplated just getting him, but that’s what I did with the NECA figures, and it didn’t work out all that well in the end, so all four it was. The figure is far from perfect, but he’s also far from terrible.

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