TMNT collectors: this is your golden age. It will never be better than this, and that includes when the old Playmates line was running in the late 80's/early '90s. I say that as someone who collected back then, but the quality of what is coming out right now cannot be topped. A majority of those figures that we are all going gaga for are from NECA and their animated, movie, and video game lines. All three have been incredibly well done, and collectors have responded to them with the proper fervor. Sell outs, huge aftermarket price surge, and demand that no company could possibly keep up with. TMNT fans have made their voices heard, and NECA hears them loud and clear: more, more, more. They were nice enough to send us a couple of newer releases for us to take a look at, and they prove that they are at the top of their game right now.
NECA Is Really Spoiling Us TMNT Fans
First up is the Walmart exclusive Shredder, which can be found in their Loot Crate-like box celebrating the Stern Pinball machine. The box includes all sorts of cooler TMNT stuff like a shirt and hat and such, but the main reason most want it is for this exclusive. Shredder is based on his appearance in the art of the cabinet and features some cool metallic paint on the helmet, armor, and chest. He comes with a cloth cape and is incredibly poseable. The three pairs of hands are easy to swap, but my problem with the figure is the legs. Mine was incredibly loose, especially in the hip joints. He has dancing hips, and while posing him is easy in straight-leg poses; action shots are near impossible. It's still a really cool variant for Shredder collectors, and the box is so cool that MOC collectors will love to add this one to the shelf.
Next up is one of my favorite figures of the year so far: TMNT Turtles in Time Baxter Stockman. I LOVE the colors on this figure. All the pink is really eye-catching and unique. Mix that with one of the best head sculpts that NECA has ever done, and you are already cooking with gas. Nothing will prepare you for that arm attachment, though. SO, so smart and well done. This figure would have been incomplete without it, and the inclusion of the stand, so it looks like it does in the game, is the cherry on top. He looks awesome in any pose, and his little bug arms are adorable. Look at that little bow tie! He is now forever posed on my TMNT Arcade1Up machine, and I love him. A great, great figure in every way.
Finally, the latest release in the NECA TMNT cartoon line is the first of two sets of the punk frogs. Rasputin and Genghis Frog are the first to release, and they come absolutely LOADED with accessories. It is almost too much, honestly. Right off the bat, these are some of the better releases so far in the line, as far as articulation is concerned. Most of these are pretty stiff out of the box, but these were not at all. Both feature pretty identical sculpts and outfits, with some different skin tones being how you tell them apart. The coolest part here is just how many looks you can give these guys. Snarling, goofy, ready for battle. There are so many options I can see myself switching them up every couple of months on my display. I had a ton of fun taking pics of these guys and would be in my top tier of TMNT cartoon releases so far.
Of the three, it is tough, but Baxter is going to get the nod as the best of the bunch. That is purely because of my memories attached to that version of the character. The punk frogs are also just as good; I have zero complaints. The Shredder is fine, but I would say not a must-buy if you already have the cartoon version.
All of these are in stores now. Yes, I know what joke you are going to make, but I saw all of them this weekend, so they are there. Go get 'em.