Man its a great time to be a shell head these days, on top of the pretty great TMNT figures from the new Nickelodeon cartoon we have these amazing classics figures from Playmates (long time holder of the TMNT license) gracing the aisles of comic shops and toy stores. For my first TMNT Classics review I chose my least favorite of the four brothers. Lets take a look at Leonardo.
Leo is the stalwart leader of the team and the most “grown up” of the turtles. His position as leader regularly puts him at odds with the hot headed Raph, and one of the main themes of most turtles media is Leo and Raph bickering and fighting. Leo is also the oldest of the four brothers, which is a big factor in him being a little more mature than some of his brothers. In the original TMNT comics all the turtles wore red bandannas, but in the cartoon (seemingly so kids could tell them apart) the turtles all had a different color bandanna with Leo wearing blue. Fighting with katanas and possessing a strong and confident demeanor Leo is a strong counterpoint to Raph’s anger and impulsiveness, and Mikey’s party time attitude.
These TMNT figures are( to use TMNT vernacular )totally tubular! Featuring tons of articulation and places to store their weapons. Being based off of their cartoon appearance they are not super detailed, but what detail is there looks great. Leo’s belt is molded well and has some lines making it look like leather rather than just a flat brown belt, it also has a big L (R.I.P.) on the buckle. His blue bandanna and arm/leg gear is also well sculpted and looks great. Something that strikes me as really great is that each turtles has a different shade of green for his skin tone, which is a class act move on Playmates part as it would have been really easy to make each one the same color. Leo’s face is set in a determined look that really suits the character. On his back are two sheaths attached to the belt that goes over his chest. Despite these figures using the same buck they all manage to look pretty different and they are scaled well with other 6 inch figures.
Paint on my Leo is pretty good, most of the figure is molded in whatever color it needs to be with the only paint on the eyes and belt buckle. The eyes (being based off the cartoon) have black pupils painted onto the white parts, a and on Leo these look pretty good. I would have preferred if the eyes had been all white like one of the pics from the IAT review, but what can ya do really? The belt buckle is also nice and clean . My Leo does have a small rub of paint on his nose but its only noticeable in direct light up close so its not a huge deal.
Articulation on these figures is amazing. They have swivel/hinge shoulders and wrists, a ab joint, cuts at the thighs and biceps, ball jointed head with ok movement, ball jointed hips, double jointed knees and elbows, hinges at the ankles, both toes, and each of the three fingers. Posing these guys is great fun and their range of movement is almost unmatched in the world of modern action figures. One quick note about the finger articulation, the fingers are plugged into the hand by a peg that does seem to want to pop out sometimes, not a big deal but it should be noted that your turtles fingers could just fall out sometime, they do fit right back in so its an easy fix in any case.
Leonardo comes with his two katanas that fit easily into the sheaths on his back, and a manhole cover stand with his name on it. These figures could have come with a ton of different weapons, but really what more do you need than their basic weapons anyway?
Overall I am really excited about this new line of TMNT figures, hopefully the line will continue beyond just the 4 brothers. The logical second wave of classics figures to me would be Splinter, Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady, all of which I would love to see in this format. So if you want to see this line continue speak with your wallet and buy these figures, I ordered mine off of BigBadToyStore (now sold out except the case of 12..get some friends to throw in!) but you can find them around at many places right now.