Thursday, May 2, 2013

Paul's Picks - TMNT Action Figures (Playmate Toys)

As comic book readers and fans, we often face the scrutiny of the "grown-ups" out there in the real world. You know, the ones who go to their jobs, watch ESPN for at least 8 hours in the day, and spend their free time doing other manly, grown-up things. The look down at us with that lumberjack stare with a judging eye. Comics are for kids. Video games are for kids. And action figures are definitely for kids.

Yeah? That so? Well here's what I have to say to that!... You're right. There are comics for kids, video games for kids, and certainly action figures and other toys for kids. But this truth does not mean that adults have no place enjoying them just the same. In fact, I would daresay that we can enjoy some of these things to an even greater extent as adults, as grown-ups who fully comprehend the value of things like these. The fact of the matter is, while I may be a 26 year old married man with responsibilities, bills, and all kinds of kinds of other grown-up goodies, I love comics. I love video games. And yes, I love toys.

Are you a toy lover? Do you yearn to fill your top shelf with beautiful, colorful figurines of your favorite fictional figures? So do I. That's why this week's pick goes to, not a comic, but a set of TOYS!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Action Figure Set (Playmate Toys)

Around Christmas time, I started seeing the new licensed toys coming out from the new TMNT cartoon on Nickelodeon (which is Amazing, by the way). Immediately I decided that these bad boys were going on my Christmas list. I was taken back to my sixth birthday, when my parents bought me all four of the Morphing Ninja Turtles. They were the ones that could transform from regular turtles into their mutated ninja forms. I wouldn't be denied such wonder and nostalgia: I had to have them.

Often times, the drive of nostalgia to try something new results in disappointment. What we thought would encapsulate the wonder of our childhood falls short of our expectations. The quality isn't as high, or it was just a cheap cash-in. But this is Not the case with these figures.

First of all, the details in the design are amazing. There is even a different skin tone for each of the four turtles. Raphael has a dark, almost hunter green color to his skin, while Michelangelo takes on more of a light, guacamole green color. There are little distinguishing details for each, determined by their personality as well. For example, Raph has some battle marks around the outside of his shell, reflected by the fact that he is the most temperamental and violent of the group. The facial features are clear and balanced. All in all, the designers took the time to create detail worthy of the most radical of fans.

Secondly, the versatility of each figure is astounding. One could imagine putting a joint or two in the limbs of these figures, but the amount of maneuverability put into each figure is incredible. They each have a joint for their wrist, elbow, and shoulder in their arms. The head turns very well, and the legs are equally as moveable. Such attention to design and detail makes these guys perfect for any child wanting to pit them against their enemies, or for any adult wanting them to be the centerpiece of his shelf.

Finally, the obvious throwbacks for long-time fans is undeniable. The most obvious and exciting thing about this is the incluision of extra weapons for each figure. In the olden days, the turtles came with a monotone grid of plastic weaponry, which had to be broken out of the little tabbed square. These new figures have the signature weapons separate for each turtle, giving them a more personalized look. But behind each figure, there is that little pack of weapons to be broken free. My six year old self was bursting at the seams as I began taking those extras apart, reliving some of the best years of my childhood.

If you're looking to collect for yourself, these figures are just what the doctor ordered. If you're looking to invest something awesome into your child's life, then they will be overcome with joy to have such awesome toys to battle with. Playmate Toys hit a home run with these guys. I couldn't recommend them more.

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