If I had to sum up Playmates’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles showing at Toy Fair in one word, it would have to be “more.” More of everything – mutants, vehicles, sublines, play patterns, targeted age-ranges, even. And, of course, more versions of the Turtles, what with the movie on the horizon and all.
But don’t worry, because most if it is actually pretty cool.
First we’ve got some new-for-2014 figures, including Dojo Splinter and a Robot Foot Ninja. There’s also a set of “LARP Turtles” with them dressed as various fantasy archetypes, the kind of thing Playmates did constantly back in the day. This was always kind of weird and dumb, but admit it, we all bought all of these crazy costumed Turtles when we were kids.
There’s also a ton of new vehicles, among them a new version of the classic Turtle Blimp, which was apparently one of the best-selling vintage items, and they’re hoping it will be again. It certainly won’t be hurt by its upcoming appearance on the show.
A new thing Playmates is trying with Ninja Turtles this year is a massive zipline system called Z-Line Ninjas. It’s pretty cool, actually. There are a few bases in two differently priced sizes and they connect to each other and to points that were set up in advance on the Sewer Lair and Pop-Up Pizza playsets. And then, obviously, the figures can slide around on ziplines that can be set up however you want.
(Sorry about the bad pic, the display was in a weird place and I couldn’t get a good shot.)
One of my favorite things Playmates showed was the new Half-Shell Heroes line. It’s a series ostensibly for younger fans that looks like it might be compatible with Imaginext and Hasbro’s Marvel Super Hero Adventures lines. I say ostensibly for younger fans, because like those other lines I can see collectors jumping all over these. They’re adorable, they’re multipacked, they have a lower pricepoint, and they have an amazing playset. Oh, and they have pupils!
We were shown the next wave of TMNT Classics figures, this time in the style of the 1990 film. They looked incredible.
Speaking of films, we were also taken into a back room to see toys from the new movie, but were not allowed to take any pictures. The figures (and the designs for the most part) I have to say, looked really nice. There are nine figures in the basic line – the four turtles (who look pretty much exactly like the leaked images), Raph in a trenchcoat (the coat is soft rubber but not removable, the sunglasses, hat and scarf are), Shredder (who doesn’t look anywhere near as bad we all thought), a Foot Soldier (emphasis on soldier, this is not a ninja), Splinter and April (the Megan Fox likeness is good, but not amazing). The figures all sport the same kind of articulation as the main Turtles from the animated line, except April, because they didn’t want to break up her sculpt.
All in all, a pretty great presentation from Playmates, and some really cool stuff on the way from a property that’s really at the best it’s been in years.