Toy Review – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shredder By Playmates

So Shredder, Skeletor, and Cobra Commander walk into a bar.

They all go, “Ouch,” because their stupid minions failed to move the bar like they were told.

I guess that probably wasn’t even funny, but it was in me and I had to let it out. If somebody else can come up with a better variation on that one feel free to post in the comments.

My Oroku Saki is a sinister crime lord that will stop at nothing to further his influence and power. He uses people and throws them away and does not honor any of the traditions that years of noble martial arts teachings should have instilled in him. He is ruthless and without remorse.

Your Oroku Saki might be a half-retarded, perpetually squatting goon who has to kowtow to a revolting pink brain that lives inside of a robot that looks like a giant baby in sunglasses.

It looks like this new Shredder is closer to my Oroku Saki, but that remains to be seen. As goofy as the clips from the new show are – not that there’s anything wrong with that – I really don’t know how severe the Turtles’ primary antagonist will be able to get. From what I understand the last cartoon series pushed the villainy about as far as a children’s program could go. We’ll find out come September 29th.

There have actually been a fair number of good Shredder figures over the years. Obviously NECA’s was excellent, the last one from Playmates was good; then you’ve got all the variations from the original line. Regular Shredder was okay other than his “Constantly Pooping” pose. Super Shredder from the movie toys would have been really awesome if only he had been bigger. And based off of a Kevin Nash figure. And I just now remembered a vastly superior Shredder that was upright instead of crouched and had silver blades. I can’t remember exactly what it was – I’m going to have to look him up.

First Glance: This is one of the good Shredders. I totally dig how he is a combination of Mirage Shredder and live-action movie Shredder with just a bit of original cartoon Shredder thrown in.

Sculpt: There is a big difference between my perception of this Shredder in the package and the reality of the figure. Firstly, like the Kraang, he is less articulated than I initially thought. He has swivels at the neck, biceps, wrists, and waist. There are ball joints at the shoulders and hips. His elbows have pivots. All pretty good, but his legs are unarticulated from the hips down. I really thought he had the swivel/pivot knees that the Turtles do, but they are just big chunks of solid plastic. What the figure has works well, but bending knees – even just a pivot – would have been nice. I will say this though; the articulation is worked into the figure so well that you have to look for a second to see where it is. That’s why the knees fooled me.

There is a blurb on Shredder’s packaging:

This suggests to me that the armor is some sort of extra or something, like that it should be removable. But it isn’t. It looks like it is and if you futz with it a little bit it feels like it could be, but it’s one of those things that you don’t want to push it too much for fear of breaking your new toy. Don’t get me wrong – I don’t want or need this armor to be removable, I just find that blurb and its phrasing to be odd.

The armor looks really bulky. To beat a dead horse, if it were removable I could understand it, but since it seems to be part of the figure I would really have preferred it if it were more like the old Shredder’s plates and just glued directly on. I don’t quite get why it needs to go all the way around the figure’s limbs. The shoulder plates are pretty great, as they are hinged and move with the figure’s arms. And the armor does look menacing. The blades have a nice form and don’t look dulled or anything. Plus, silver>blue.

The head is cool and maybe one of the most menacing Shredder heads. I dig it very much. I was initially disappointed that it wasn’t on a ball joint, but it doesn’t really need to be. The swivel is fine.

The rest of the figure is as detailed as it needs to be. He’s in the clothes that look kind of like wrappings and has a stylized humanoid form. He’s not going to fit in with my Doctor Who figures (which are actually the proper scale for these Turtles), but he looks right with the Turtles.

Design: None of the figures in this line have an overabundance of paint, but the designers have made that minimalism part of the style. They are simple, but not lacking. The colors used and the detail of the sculpts helps to cover the fact that there are no washes or complex paint applications.

Shredder’s colors are exactly what they should be – dark. No attempt was made to kid-friendly this guy up. Every app is tight and where it should be. Even the eyes underneath that helmet look solid and well-placed. The only thing I don’t like is the lack of paint on the straps holding his chest plate in place.

I dig the plastic used to make his armored parts. It’s flecked silver that has more character than if they had just used a clean, solid plastic.

Accessories:Shredder comes with a katana and two throwing stars. It looks like the villains in this line are not going to include the “weapons rack” style accessories.

The katana is a little flimsy, but is pretty much okay. The throwing stars are unique to Shredder. I’m glad for the variations in the ranged weapons. It makes everybody that little bit more different.

Packaging: The new Turtles figures come in some fairly unique, die-cut blister cards. The shape and design of the card is eye-catching and the blister has some nice sculpting and textures. Each character has a bio on the back with a cartoon-style illustration.

Overall: Just a few minor changes would have me loving this Shredder. Knee joints and armor that was a little more streamlined would have made such a huge difference in the overall look. He still looks good amongst my other Turtles figures and by no means is a bad toy.

4 out of 5

Target and Toys R Us have both received these as of this writing. Go buy some. They are so far the very best toys I’ve bought in 2012.



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