For the third year in a row, Playmates Toys teamed up with Nickelodeon to offer an exclusive Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles action figure at Comic Con, and the black and white, Mirage-style Raphael is the best yet. Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Heroes on the Half Shell, this Raphael sports an all new sculpt that does a great job of capturing the original Eastman and Laird design of the mutant ninja.
Raphael packs in a lot of articulation, with a ball neck featuring a great range of motion, hinged swivel shoulders and hips, and half-ball elbows and knees. The black and white deco is very well rendered– the figure is cast in white with black detailing forming both shadows and inky cross-hatching, much like the original comic illustrations. Between that and the proportions– big clunky feet and a shorter torso– this Raph is a great likeness to his comic book counterpart.
NECA released their own Mirage style Ninja Turtles almost ten years ago, and while those figures are still way, way more detailed than Playmates’ Raphael, I’m really impressed with this guy. The sculpt is really good, the comic inspired deco is great, and, unlike the NECA figures, this guy maintains scale with Playmates’ other 4.5″ TMNT figures past and present. That’s awesome!
Raph comes packed with his twin sai weapons, which fit well in his hands, despite feeling just a tad oversized. While the figure can strike a decent number of poses, I do wish he included wrist swivels, which would have opened up what he could do a lot more. That omission on withstanding, Raph feels very poseable and he’s a lot of fun to play around with. The joints are tight and between the big feet and the wide sewer cover display stand included, you can get quite a few ninja poses with this dude.
I was hopeful this Raphael would turn out good, and Playmates definitely nailed it. Now I’m just hopeful that they’ll continue this sub-brand in some form, so we can get all four of the Turtles from them in this Mirage styling. Even if that never happens, Raph would make for a cool, fun one-off figure, and one that’s definitely earned a spot in my collection.