#2761: Casey Jones & Raphael in Disguise

CASEY JONES & RAPHAEL in DISGUISE

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: THE MOVIE (NECA)

“Now you can catch America’s favorite green teens in their first live-action blockbuster film!  After wading in a puddle of radioactive waste, these radical reptiles are transformed into New York City’s greatest crime-fighting quartet.  Raphael’s a skilled sai-wielding ninja.  Beware: when he gets angry, you don’t want to be around.  Casey Jones, the masked vigilante, carries a golf bag on his back filled with clubs, bats, and sticks…makeshift weapons in his war against crime.”

Hey, how about that totally not at all troublesome or even slightly infuriating topic that is NECA’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles?  Which one in particular?  It doesn’t matter!  They’re all equally infuriating!  Yay!  Equal opportunity awfulness!  ….Okay, I’m gonna try not to let this be a review of me just complaining about distribution issues.  Those are no fun to experience, and even less fun to read about.  Let’s just skip past, shall we?  Remember back in early 2019, when I had a man on the inside a fiancee working at GameStop, which was pretty much the sole reason I was able to get a set of the GameStop-exclusive movie Turtles?  Well, NECA decided to do more of those.  And they were even harder to get than the first round, so they stopped giving them to GameStop entirely (not a bad decision, to be fair), and moved the movie-related stuff over to Walmart (a horrible decision, really).  Now, instead of single releases, they were doing two-packs, which they kicked off roughly around the middle of last year, starting with the pairing I’m looking at today, Casey Jones and Raphael in Disguise!

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

Casey and Raph were, as discussed above, a Walmart-exclusive two-pack, released as part of NECA’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie line last summer….or they were in theory, at least.  It’s not like anyone really saw them–right, trying not to dwell.

CASEY JONES

Casey here is really the main appeal of this set, since he was previously unreleased by NECA, in any scale, or any style.  We got two of them last year, and neither one was particularly easy to–right, I’m dwelling again.  Don’t do that.  This one is movie-based, as you may have guessed from him being in a line that has “Movie” in the title.  This is a kind of big deal, since we’ve not gotten any form of movie Casey from any manufacturer prior to this one.  The figure stands 7 1/4 inches tall and he has 32 points of articulation.  He’s a little bit better in the articulation department than the Turtles were, showcasing some of NECA’s steps forward in that area since doing those guys’ sculpts back when they were still 1/4 scale.  In particular, he’s got much better range on his elbows, which have the same sort of structure as Brett did earlier last year.  Casey’s sculpt is all-new, and certainly on par with NECA’s usual work.  Since they didn’t get Elias Koteas’s likeness rights, the figure is without his face, instead keeping him permanently masked.  While it’s somewhat limiting, it’s also not that weird for a Casey Jones figure, since the vintage figure’s mask was sculpted in place too.  This one does at least look as if it *could* be removed, since it is actually a separate piece.  It’s a sharply defined and very clean piece, and definitely the best part of this figure.  The body sculpt does a respectable job as well.  The level of detail is definitely up to the standards of the other figures in the set; there are some spots where the articulation could be a little better worked in, especially on the knees, but for the most part, he’s pretty strong.  Casey’s paint work honestly isn’t all that involved for the most part, largely being just large open areas of solid color.  The shirt and vest do get some impressive accenting, however, and, apart from one spot on the side of his hair, the application is pretty clean.  Casey’s accessory selection is certainly one of NECA’s most impressive.  He gets four pairs of different hands (fists, loose grip, tight grip, and open gesture/flat grip combo), as well as his golf bag mentioned in the bio, which can be filled with his included hockey stick, goalie stick, golf club, two baseball bats, and cricket bat.  It certainly gives him a lot of options in how to bring the pain.

RAPHAEL in DISGUISE

Raphael largely exists as an excuse to make a two-pack out of this whole set-up, but I guess also as a way to get Raphael out another time, after the less than stellar distribution of the first two movie releases.  This one operates on the general thematic of Raph and Casey’s first interactions with each other in the first film, which has Raph in the aforementioned disguise, which amounts to a trench coat and hat.  How does this figure manage that?  By taking the previous Raphael (which I reviewed here) and putting him in a trench coat and hat.  The coat is a cloth piece, and is decent enough for the scale.  Some of the tailoring is a little oversized, but it’s not a terrible look, and it’s a pretty close match to the one he had in the movie.  It can be removed, if you so choose, but it’s not really optimized for it.  It’ll definitely take some doing (hence why I didn’t, what with already having one sans coat and all), but it’s possible.  The coat is held in place a little more so by a sculpted back pack, which is a reasonable enough piece.  The whole disguise is topped off by the hat, another sculpted plastic piece.  It’s designed with a hole at the back, so that it can sit more properly on the head, while still allowing for the knot on the back of his mask to be left undeterred.  It’s a little janky to look at from behind, but it does stay in place pretty nicely.  In terms of accessories, Raph has the same alternate hands, alternate ties to the mask, slice of pizza, and sais as the single release, but also adds an extra set of hands which are pointing, you know, for pointing purposes.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I’ve always been a Casey Jones fan, and I’d go so far as to say he’s my favorite part of the TMNT mythos.  Despite all this, I owned no Casey Jones figures beyond the Minimate, which seemed wrong.  I’d been hoping for NECA to do some version of Casey, so I was interested in this one, but then there was the whole distribution thing.  That was a mess, wasn’t it?  Fortunately, I’m a patient man, so I just kind of avoided the whole issue for the entirety of the last year.  As luck would have it, my patience paid off, and someone happened to trade this set into All Time last month, at last giving me the opportunity to get one without having to deal with Walmart.  Yay for me!  Casey’s definitely a nice figure, worth the wait, but also not really worth the mark-up, so I’m glad I didn’t pay it.  Raph is kind of redundant for me, and I ultimately decided not to hang onto him, but he’s still as good a figure as the first release.  If someone didn’t get that one, I imagine this one would be a great alternative.  Perhaps even a better one, really.  Whatever the case, I’m just happy to have a Casey to go with my Turtles.  Now, here’s to hoping that April’s not quite as much of a nightmarish ordeal to acquire.  Man, even *I* don’t believe myself when I say that…

#0665: Casey Jones

CASEY JONES

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES MINMATES

CaseyJ1

So, my love of almost all things Minimates and my moderate interest in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles insured that I found myself a full set of the line’s first series. After the first series, my interest kind of waned a bit. Not the fault of the line or anything, I just got distracted by other stuff. I did manage to track down one of the Series 2’s figures, Karai, which I liked well enough. One of the more glaring omissions from Series 1 was long-time Turtle ally Casey Jones, who found his way into the second set.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

CaseyJ2Casey Jones was released blind-bagged, as a part of the specialty assortment of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series 2. He’s also available packed with Michelangelo in the Toys R Us assortment, for those wanting to go the non-blind-bagged option. The figure stands about 2 ½ inches in height and has the usual 14 points of articulation. Like all the others in this line, he’s based on Casey’s appearance in the current cartoon. Casey features a fair number of sculpted add-ons for his mask/hood, straps/shoulder pad, elbow pads, belt, and his padded gloves. The elbow pads are re-used from the Ghostbusters Minimates line, but aside from that everything’s all-new to Casey. Everything is exquisitely sculpted, with tons of detail work, but not so much as to make him look out of place amongst the other Turtles Minimates. The padded gloves in particular look pretty amazing, with some great texture work on the stitching and padding. Paintwork is the downfall of most of the Turtles Minimates, but it seems to have turned out a fair bit better for good ol’ Casey here. For the most part, the base color work is pretty cleanly handled. There’s a little bit of bleed over here and there, but nothing too bad. There CaseyJ7are even a few areas with purposeful slop, which are very nicely handled and add a nice extra bit of character to the figure. The detail lines are all carefully placed, so as to capture the animated style in as few lines as possible. Under the mask, there’s a full Casey face, which is a little bit goofy looking for my taste, but captures the show look pretty well. Casey, like a lot of the Turtles Minimates, is no slouch in the accessories department, featuring an extra head, hairpiece, hands, a pulled down hood, two different hockey sticks, a baseball bat, and a clear display stand. The hair and hood allow for unmasked displays of the character, and the extra head gives us the skull-ish face paint he’s sported on the show. The various sports equipment is kinda key to the character, so it’s cool to see here, and well-sculpted to boot.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

After playing the blind-bag game with Series 1 and then trying again with Series 2 and getting Karai, I decided to give up and just get an opened Casey from my favorite Minimates retailer, Luke’s Toy Store. Casey’s long been one of my favorite parts of the Turtles mythos, so I was happy to see him turn up in the Minimates line. The final figure is a little different from my preferred interpretation of the character, but he’s one of the better figures this line’s had to offer.

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