The new Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line is kind of incredible. Not only are the figures pretty awesome, but we just don’t see this kind of thing too often in the modern day of action figures– with the hit cartoon airing on Nickelodeon, the new toy line is driving kids crazy, while the figures themselves feature the neat character designs, great sculpting and overall quality that makes them a collector’s dream come true, too. The result is a toy series that’s been a consistent seller– flying off the shelves, AND being restocked like clockwork… it’s incredible!
That winning trend is certainly going to continue with the latest series, which brings two new villains and a classic Turtle ally int the fold, with Baxter Stockman, Snake Weed and Leatherhead. I’m trying to be good about this series, only picking up the classic characters that look cool in their modern incarnations. Leatherhead hits both those targets dead-on, so he’s the latest must-buy figure in the collection. The mutant alligator, once again positioned as one of the mutant brothers’ friends in this continuity, makes for a great figure. There’s an incredible amount of sculpted detail in his scaly skin, and the figure features a nice wash on his back and belly which adds depth and detail.
Leatherhead gets a good articulation pattern that works for his unique body type, with ball shoulders and hips plus a swivel neck and tail. While I would have loved to see hinged elbows and knees, or a ball neck, the moving parts he has offer a solid range of motion and work for his hulking, hunched frame. I can’t get over how cool this guy looks, with his creepy yellow eyes and snarling teeth– this is the best, most realistic Leatherhead we’ve ever seen in toy form.
Snake Weed is a new character, invented for the Nick cartoon show. I was planning to pass on him, but when I saw the figure in the store, he looked too cool to not get. The serpentine plant mutant has the look and feel of a classic, 80s TMNT villain, and when I opened him up, I was instantly transported back to the way I felt when I’d find a new figure as a kid.
The plant monster features a generous helping of articulation, with a great ball ab joint and ball hips and shoulders for plenty of posing options, plus hinged knees, swivel wrists, and a swivel neck. He sports another great sculpt, with a twisted, asymmetrical face full of menace, and lots of plant-like texture throughout. Snake Weed’s viny limbs give him a very unique look, and his large feet help ground him well. His various green and floral tones lend themselves perfectly to his mutation theme, leaving him exactly halfway between viny plant and insect monster.
Playmates’ new Turtles continue to impress, and I would say Leatherhead and Snake Weed are both must-own figures for any Turtles fan, old or new. With great sculpting and solid, well crafted figures, this line is becoming one of the most fun to collect AND play with. And if future figures have the same nostalgic charm as these two, this will be a toy line to follow for a long time to come!