Mega Bloks goes (mostly) monochrome for their Mirage inspired Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Back at Toy Fair, Mega Bloks showed off a very intriguing new corner of their TMNT collection. In addition to the Nickelodeon, Out of the Shadows, and classic cartoon sets, they also revealed minifigures and building sets based on the original black and white comic book by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. Fast forward a few months later, and the Mirage Comics series made its debut at Comic-Con via Toys R Us… and these sets are a real treat for the oldest school of TMNT fans.
The Mirage Mega Bloks lineup consists of four minifigure packs– one for each brother– and two building sets, each of which is inspired by an iconic moment of those early comic books. The minifigures recast the classic cartoon bodies with new, Mirage style heads, and they’re cast in a very cool marbled plastic, mostly white but with flourishes of grey and black swirled throughout. They also sport black paint washes, dark belts, and red bandanas, which gives each figure an accurate Mirage-era aesthetic.
All four Turtles include their signature accessories, as well as a mini-build display stand consisting of sewer pipes and a manhole base, along with panels screenprinted with images from Eastman and Laird’s comic. The figures can be displayed standing on the base, or plugged into jumping poses via a clear plastic peg that can fit into the pipes. Furthermore, each display base can stand on its own, or be connected via clips to form one diorama, spreading out in any direction either vertically or horizontally.
While the figure packs are definitely neat, I think it’s the Mirage building sets that steal the show. We get two in the line– a smaller set called Street Showdown, and a larger one called Rooftop Combat. Street Showdown is a street corner build which re-creates Kirby O’Neil’s antique shop Second Time Around. This storefront was the backdrop for the first appearance of Casey Jones, as he squared off against Raphael. True to this iconic moment, the set includes minifigures of both Casey and Raph. The Turtle gets a new deco cast photo negative compared to his single release, while Jones uses the standard Mega Bloks human body with a new masked head, and a golf bag filled with his various sport-related weapons.
Overall, this set has a nice sense of scale, and a combination of paint, tampo work and decals gives it a great sense of texture that is true to the comic book artwork. There’s some fun features worked in, such as a functional hope chest (perfect for storing extra pieces), a working door and a flip-down sign… but it’s the eye catching checkered floor and street lamp outside that really make this set feel authentic to the Mirage era Turtles universe.
Our other set is the biggest and most complex of the collection, so it makes sense that Rooftop Combat would recapture one of the most notorious scenes from the book. This set builds out several rooftops as depicted during the first appearance of The Shredder, as he and Leonardo dueled for the first time in TMNT history. The set is very well designed, offering multiple levels, and even some interior environments for the fight to carry into, and the marbled black and white plastic looks great throughout, highlighted by some very nice cross-hatched shadows that lend Mirage authenticity to the appearance.
Like Street Showdown, this set includes two minifigures– Leo and Shredder– both of which are solid additions. I would have liked to see some comic-style Foot Soldiers included, as well, but for under $40 retail, this set still feels like a great bargain. A hinge connecting the two buildings offers a nice custom display option, and the working zipline connecting them is a fun play feature that doesn’t get in the way for more mature collectors.
The TMNT Mirage Mega Bloks sets made their debut at Comic-Con, but are currently available exclusively at Toys R Us. Click here or check the building section of your nearest store to find your sets now.