The new TMNT line has proven to be one of the best toy lines out there today, one that strikes all the right notes with kids and collectors alike. The figures are selling incredibly well, have featured a wide variety of characters, villains and Turtles variants… and they’re really fun toys, too!
Playmates once again merges collector nostalgia and fun playability in the latest new versions of the ninja teens with the Battle Shell series. These Turtles dust off a gimmick from the 80s line, with each Turtle’s shell opening up to reveal weapons stored inside. However modern engineering on these new figures means they maintain a great sense of proportion and poseability, despite the action feature, so gone are the days of the shells being too bulky and unwieldy compared to the rest of the figure.
Each Turtle features different weapons hidden inside their shell, a mix of daggers, throwing stars and other ninja weapons which are a welcome addition to the overall TMNT line. The shells open and close with ease, and snap shut so the action feature doesn’t get in the way of playing with these guys like action figures.
This is good, especially because the new Turtles are excellent figures. These are the second round of standard Turtles in the line, but their all new sculpts are much more accurate to the new Nickelodeon cartoon designs, with properly scaled heads and a blockiness that is very accurate to their on screen appearances. The figures retain a great amount of articulation as well, allowing for lots of cool posing options with their standard or new weapons.
The modern Turtle designs are very well realized in these sculpts, with Mikey and Raph especially looking fantastic in their new versions. If there’s one thing these figures are lacking it’s paint apps, which are clean but sparse. Most of the Turtles feature open mouths, but the inside is not painted red or black, just straight green plastic. Likewise, details such as pupils or Mikey’s freckles are once again missing, as are any painted details on their weapons. It’s not a deal breaker, and painting in some of these details would be easy enough for anyone with a paint brush, but getting them fully painted would have made these figures even better.
I loved the original Battle Shell figures as a kid, and these new versions channeled that same sense of fun with a vastly improved modern toy design aesthetic. They’re cool figures with great sculpts and a good amount of detailing for their low price tag. They sport a cool action feature that is incredibly well realized, yet does not inhibit the figures in any way. And most of all, like many of the modern TMNT figures from Playmates, these guys are totally fun to play with!