Tuesday, August 05 2014 09:00

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: A look at the Basic Movie Action Figure Line #TMNTweek

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At the centerpiece of the toy world when it comes to TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, one company has been there since the beginning, and that's Playmates Toys. Starting with an initial run of figures back in 1988 (for which the original cartoon series was actually created), there have been hundreds - if not thousands - of individual figures released since then, along with some of the craziest - and coolest - vehicles and accessories to ever hit the action figure aisle. While I'd admired the figures myself, I never had any before becoming a parent, and it's all been fueled by the latest incarnations of the TMNT saga - Nickelodeon's hit animated series, and Paramount Pictures' brand-new, live-action film. A few weeks back, the folks at Playmates Toys sent us an assortment of goodies based on the new film, and they've fast-become a part of daily life here at Rock Father HQ. Today we'll take a look at the basic movie figures assortment, and the fantastic Turtle Assault Van.

The Basic Figure Assortment from the new TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES movie features nine figures in all - Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, Splinter, April O'Neil, Shredder, a Foot Soldier and Raphael "in disguise." Our initial drop from Playmates featured most of those, but was sans April and the Soldier (both of which we later purchased) and the alternate Raphael - who we still don't have.


Like the film itself, the new figures take a much more stylized approach than their Nickelodeon counterparts, but having seen them played with by the "Neighborhood Testing Panel," the kids don't seem to care, and those worlds are mix-and-match. For weeks now, our TMNT movie collection has received hours of play - both inside and out by girls and boys alike.

The new 'Turtles are bigger, more "realistic" (as much as they can be) and more detailed as well. They're also really good quality, and have a nice amount of articulation for their size. Pair them with the new version of the van, and there is much adventure to be had.


The 2014 Turtle Assault Van:

I'm a big fan of the 'Turtles ride, and while it's had many incarnations over the years (most recently the animated "Shellraiser"), there's a lot of similarities between all of it's designs, along with some notable differences as well. The 2014 live-action version borrows heavily from it's lineage, retaining the blockiness of it's animated counterpart, but taking a lower profile. The cockpit holds two figures, while the side door opens, the top hatch (complete with 70s-style clear bubble window) pops, there's a working winch on the front, a spring-loaded missile launcher up-top, and the back doors both blow open wide to reveal what may be the feature that puts the Assault Van over-the-top - the launching luge assault vehicle. Watch the video below to see it in-action here at Rock Father HQ:

An impressive ride? I think so...


The 2014 TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES Movie figures are available now at Amazon, Target, Walmart, and other retailers nationwide.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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