#1973: Michelangelo

MICHELANGELO

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: THE MOVIE (NECA)

Hey, did you dig yesterday’s one-armed review?  Okay, before you answer that, I’m gonna need you to clarify if you dig my two-armed reviews as well.  You know, for a more controlled study and what not.  So, what am I getting at here?  Well, I’m writing another one-armed review.  So, you know, there it is.  Please enjoy it to level you would a two-armed review.  For a controlled study and what not.

Today, I’m looking at the next piece of the Turtles puzzle, Michelangelo!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Michelangelo is the third turtle in NECA’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Movie figures, available exclusively at GameStop…until they inevitably unload the excess stock on some other retailer…because they’re GameStop.  Anyway, the figure stands 6 inches tall and he has 21 points of articulation.  Like Donnie and Raph, he’s a scaled-down version of the 1/4-scale figure from 2017.  As with that figure, this one uses the same body as his brothers, along with a new head sculpt.  Mikey’s expression is much lighter and more jovial than his brothers, with a wide-eyed expression and a light-hearted grin.  His expression is definitely my favorite of all the figures in this line-up, and is certainly a spot-on look for the character.  Mikey is also sporting his own unique belt, which, like Raph’s, is a simple across the waist affair.  It’s a nice enough piece, and while it doesn’t have specific storage for his nunchucks, there’s enough give that they can be wedged in there as they were in the film.  His paintwork matches the other two, aside, of course, from the color on his mask.  Mikey is packed with his nunchucks (which get my vote for least impressive weapons in the set.  It’s not really NECA’s fault, though; the nunchucks are always hard to adapt to toys), two sets of hands (gripping and thumbs up; I particularly love the thumbs up ones), two styles of mask ties, and a slice of pizza.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Mikey is once again a gift given to me by my Super Awesome Fiancee, just like the rest of the set.  Despite Donnie being my favorite Turtle, I think Mikey’s my favorite individual figure, because he just so clearly captures the look and spirit of the character in the movie.  And boom: two one-handed reviews.

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#1039: Raphael & Michelangelo

RAPHAEL & MICHELANGELO

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (NECA…ish)

Raph&MikeyNECA

Wait a second!  Didn’t I just say yesterday that I never found the other half of the NECA Ninja Turtles?  Fear not dear reader, this feeling indicates only that you are still sane.  No, I never did find those other two Turtles.  Well, not officially, anyway.  I’ve spoken once or twice about bootlegs, unlicensed action figures, usually produced by chinese factories as a way of making a quick buck.  They tend to be very cheaply made, and rarely can they be mistaken for any official product.  It does happen, though, especially if a factory producing figures for an American toy company decides to make use of some of the molds they have lying around to earn a little extra profit.  That’s what happened to NECA.  In 2013, it had been a fair while since NECA had lost the license to produce TMNT figures, and the main four had all shot up pretty far in price.  Slowly, more and more of these figures began showing on eBay, shipping from China, and selling at lower prices than usual.  As it turned out, these figures were clever forgeries of the real deal, created by one of NECA’s ex-factories.  While the initial bootleg Turtles were just straight recreations of the official NECA figures, the already unlicensed nature of the the figures quickly opened the door to variations of the NECA figures in the usual cartoon colors (which NECA had not legally been able to use).  Needless to say, I came into possession of the remaining two Turtles, which I’ll be looking at today.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

RaphNECA2These two are one half of the set of bootleg Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures, patterned after the NECA releases.  As noted above, the bootlegs were available in both comic and cartoon color schemes (referring to the color of the bandanas).  These two are the cartoon color versions (though the two versions of Raph are the same).  As far as anyone can tell, the bootlegs are only available in the tube style packaging, likely due to them coming from the factory that produced that run of figures for NECA.  Both figures stand 5 ¼ inches tall and have the same 30 points of articulation as the official figures.  One thing I did notice is that these two have a tendency to pop apart at some of the joints, due to the slightly softer plastic that was used.  Like their official counterparts, Raph and Mike use the same body as Don and Leo.  There aren’t any sculptural changes that I can find, apart from some of the native texturing on the skin being a bit smoother.  The official Raph and Mike had unique heads, which is true here as well.  Raph sports one with a squinting, angry scowl, perfect for his more intense nature.  Mike, meanwhile, gets a much lighter expression, wide-eyed and smiling, RaphNECA2encapsulating his role as the team’s resident goofball.  Mike’s head is probably my favorite of the four, just for sheer expressiveness.  The changes between bootleg and official are most evident in the paintwork.  Obviously, Mike gets an orange bandana instead of the usual red.  It’s a minor change, but especially noticeable if you’re like me and the other three have red.  Raph’s bandana is more or less the same shade as the official figures, though it is a bit glossier in finish.  In fact, both figures as a whole are glossier than the originals, no doubt due to cheaper paint.  The greens of their skin are also a bit yellower than the official versions, and brown pads and belts are noticeably darker.  The black details have also been made a bit less striking, especially on the shells, and the accent work on the shading is a little more heavy handed.  As they are emulating the more bare-bones releases, Raph and Mike each get just their basic weapons: a pair of sai for Raph and nunchucks for Mike.   

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When these bootlegs first started showing up, I was tempted to pick up some of them, since, as noted yesterday, my NECA Turtles were incomplete.  However, they tended to only be sold in sets of four, so I never got around to getting them.  Back in June, I was out with my brother, and we stopped by a local retro game store, who had just gotten in a set of the cartoon colored versions.  While I would have prefered the comic ones, just for the sake of matching the two I already have, I figured these two were close enough.  Perhaps one day I’ll paint Mike to match the rest.   but right now I’m happy to have all four, even if it is through questionable means.

NECATurtles

#0411: Mutagen Michelangelo

MICHELANGELO – MUTAGEN

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES MINIMATES

MikeyMutagen1

Okay, here we are. Last Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Minimates review! Coincidentally, I’m wrapping things up with Michelangelo again. But, didn’t I already review Michelangelo? Yes, but something that is quite common with toylines, especially those based on the TMNT, is the tendency to release the main characters in wacky variant form. So, without further ado, he’s Mutagen Michelangelo!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

MikeyMutagen2Mutagen Mikey is the other of the two figures exclusively available in the K-Mart assortment of Series 1 of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Minimates. Originally, this figure was slated to be the exclusive in the specialty assortment, but a mix up led to him and Mutagen Raph swapping places. Mikey is roughly 2 ½ inches tall and has 12 points of articulation. He’s sort of based on the current cartoon look, but I don’t think that Mikey’s ever been transparent green on the show, so I’d say some liberties were taken. Sculpturally, he’s exactly the same as the regular Mikey. For a breakdown of that, head over to that review. It’s interesting to see what different coloring and a lack of paint can do for a sculpt. Looking at this figure, especially the shell, it seems that any issues with “soft” details on the regular Turtles have to do with thick paint, not actual sculpt problems. Paint on this figure is much more simplified compared to the others. He’s molded in clear green, with paint on his mask, as well as detail lines for the eyes mouth, and freckles. The detail lines are quite clean, which is pretty much business as usual for Minimates. While the figure has less paint overall, it results in an overall cleaner look, which really helps the figure. Mikey includes a pair of nunchucks in clear green, a keychain attachment, and a manhole cover display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Mutagen Mikey is the last of the 11 blind bagged figures I got from K-Mart. I have to admit, I’m a sucker for clear green plastic, so this guy just really appeals to me. It’s also really great to see the turtle sculpt without the iffy paint apps. All in all, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Minimates are a fun addition to the Minimates brand. There’s definitely some room for improvement, and I wouldn’t mind a move to something other than blind bags (there’s already some good news there; seems TRU will be getting two-packs), but these Minimates have been a lot of fun.


TMNTKMart

#0408: Michelangelo

MICHELANGELO

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES MINIMATES

MikeyMini1

My reviews of the first assortment of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Minimates are in full swing. This marks the halfway point, so that’s kinda cool. Today, I’ll be looking at the Turtles’ resident plucky-comic-relief-guy who became even more plucky-comic-relief in the recent show, Michelangelo.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

MikeyMini2Michelangelo is a part of the first series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Minimates, and this particular figure hails from the K-Mart release, which comes blind bagged and includes an extra keychain piece. Aside from that, the actual figure is the same as the one released elsewhere. Mikey is about 2 ½ inches tall and he sports 12 points of articulation. His design is that of his current cartoon counterpart. The figure uses the standard Minimate body as a starting point, with non-standard head, lower arms, hands, and lower legs, as well as an add-on piece for his turtle shell. The arms and legs are shared with all of the Turtles, but they are new to this particular line. They are quite well sculpted and really help make the Turtles look different from other Minimates. The head is a three-part piece like Raph and Leo; the mask is new to Mikey and the upper and lower most pieces are shared with the previous two. Mikey’s mask is a bit more pointed and symmetrical than the others, which at the very least separates him from the others a bit. His shell is pretty well sculpted; it’s certainly in line with the other turtles, so at least he’s consistent. It seems a little soft, but it’s not horrible. It has slots in the back for storage of his nunchucks, which can be a bit difficult to use, but is otherwise a pretty cool touch. And now, the section I’ve been dreading: paint. To this figure’s credit, the paint is better here than it is on most of the others (barring the Footbot, who is something of a fluke it seems). It’s not without issue, however. The belt on the torso, in particular, has some serious bleed over. That said, the detail line work on the head is still very good. Mikey’s expression is perfect for the character, and it’s nice that they even went so far as to include his freckles. Mikey includes his nunchucks, which are thankfully done with real chains, the keychain attachment, and a display stand painted up like a manhole cover, which has yet to stop being cool.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Mikey here was part of the assortment of 11 blind bags I got from K-Mart. He’s the last one I ended up with a double of. He’s my favorite of the three turtles I’ve reviewed, mostly due to the slight improvement in paint apps, but also because the figure really seems to get the character.

MikeyMini3

#0399: Michelangelo – Comic

MICHELANGELO – COMIC

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (2012)

MikeComic1

Okay, last day of Comic Turtles. Here we are. I considered putting off the last review just to screw with everybody, but that didn’t seem very nice. So, here he is, the last member of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Michelangelo.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

MikeComic2“Among his brothers, Michelangelo possesses the most natural athletic abilities. His physical prowess, along with an enthusiastic imagination, comes in handy when action is needed to escape a dangerous predicament. Mikey displays his show-stopping persona and skills with the nunchucks.” Michelangelo is part of the 12th series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Playmates. The line was originally based on the current Nickelodeon cartoon, but it seems to have started to diversify. Mikey is based on his original appearance, back when the turtles all looked pretty much the same. The figure stands roughly 4 ½ inches tall and features 17 points of articulation. The lack of wrist joints is killer, and it’s something that really holds the figures back, but otherwise, everything is pretty good. Mikey’s sculpt is the same-old-same-old; same body with a new head. The body’s not a bad sculpt, so the re-use is perfectly fine. However, Mikey’s head seems a bit more of a disappointment than the others. He just doesn’t exhibit the jovial personality that Mikey is known for. Maybe if the eyes were a bit wider. Mikey’s paint is pretty much identical to that seen on the others, which is reasonably good. I do wish they had done something to bring out more of the sculpted details, but at least it’s clean. Mikey includes is trademark nunchucks, which are the most disappointing accessory in the series. They lack any real texture, and the sculpted pose of the chains doesn’t really allow for much creativity with the poses.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

Mikey was part of the set of comic Turtles I purchased from my local Toys R Us. If he hadn’t been part of the set, I could see myself passing on this one. He’s not terrible, and in the context of the full set, he looks fine, but as his own figure? He’s just sort of lackluster, especially when you consider that NECA’s take on Comic Mikey was probably the best in the set. But, that figure goes for an insane aftermarket price, and this one is $9, so that’s what he’s got going for him.