The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back, and Playmates is pulling out all the stops for a totally tubular TMNT toy line to coincide with a new cartoon set to debut on Nickelodeon in the fall. Since all the attention will undoubtedly go towards the fab four, I thought it would be great to take a look at the brand new April O’Neil figure. April has had more reinventions than Madonna, and this newest version does not disappoint.
To start off with, the new TMNT toys are in a 4.5 inch scale, close to the original line. The last time we saw a mass produced Playmates TMNT line, they were coming in at about 6 inches.
Packaging for April describes her as “Loyal Turtle Ally From Above the Sewers” and features a cutout of the four turtles to the side with the actual figure getting showcased rather well in the center. There are also some fun accessories on display too. Check out the old school “weapons rack” whereby all the weapons are connected in one piece. This is a nice nod to the original line.
Other fun things about the packaging include the use of color. The bright green behind the plastic bubble really gives the feel of mutant ooze while the uneven lines of the card give a sense of something wild and fun, not to mention all the buildings. The Turtles were never just a simple boring toy line!
Flipping the item over, we see a few different things going on. Playmates continues the long standing tradition of having a cut and clip bio card. One of the best parts of a TMNT toy was the bio card. Nothing could be cooler. (Except maybe the actual figure itself.) Below April’s bio card is the essential list of other cool items available for Turtle fans! (Kraang is back baby!)
Looking more closely at the bio, we learn a few new things about this latest version of April. Gone are the days of April being a reporter. This go around April is a teen trying to fit in at school. She is close with the Turtles and even seems to be learning some cool moves from Splinter. This version of April is more of a tomboy than previous versions, which I think is pretty cool. (How could we ever forget about the old Ravishing Reporter April O’Neil days, am I right?) She also has a dad that was kidnapped by Kraang, which makes this new story of TMNT very interesting. Her weapon of choice is a Ninja Training Bo Staff and she is Team Ninja Turtles!
A closer look also shows off the other characters released so far in the basic TMNT lineup. No sign of Casey Jones yet, but Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo look pretty cool, as does Splinter. Shredder and the Foot Soldier are always fun, but I just have to say I have long missed Kraang. Nothing says “I really want that” than an evil pink monstrous brain. That talks… and travels around in a droid exo-skeleton.
Freeing April from her plastic prison, we can see that she still has a bit of her signature yellow. I miss the jumpsuit days, but I do think Playmates did a nice job of making April into a teen. She has a few areas of articulation at the hips, shoulders, and head. Her forearms also twist. There is slight movement at her waist, though the waist doesn’t readily twist, so I am not sure if all the April figures are like that.
Weapons wise, there are a few pieces that April can hold on her own, but items like the ninja stars are basically just for show as they cannot be held in her hands. Everything else can and she does come with a wide array of weapons to help stomp out those pesky Foot Soldiers.
All in all I am fond of the new April figure and TMNT toy line. The look is different but it still retains that special charm like the original. The greatest heroes in a half shell to ever grace our nerdy lil hearts are back! Turtle power indeed! Be sure to check out the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle cartoon debuting September 29th 2012 on Nickelodeon.