The world of the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES has evolved numerous times throughout the past few decades, and through countless adventures that have sometimes jumped dimensions, the Turtles have occasionally crossed paths with a Ronin rabbit called Miyamoto Usagi, perhaps better-known as Usagi Yojimbo. Created in the 1980s by Stan Sakai, the character has appeared alongside the TMNT crew in several different versions, particularly becoming a cult favorite based on the original 1987 animated series. Now, in Nickelodeon’s TALES OF THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, Usagi is back, and a recent three-part story arc found the Ninja Turtles transported to an alternate dimension in which they fight as samurai alongside the mysterious Ronin rabbit. Of course, being back on the radar for a new generation means the right time to be reintroduced to the toy line, and Playmates has stepped-up with a fantastic Samurai-themed collection of new TMNT action figures, a sampling of which arrived here at Rock Father™ HQ for review.
Samurai Leo, Samurai Don, Samurai Mikey and Samurai Raph are available now at retailers everywhere, with Usagi Yojimbo joining the fun (all figures are part of the basic assortment with a suggested retail of $8.99). Then, Walmart has an Exclusive 4.5″ Usagi in Samurai Armor ($8.99), along with an Exclusive 11″ XL Usagi ($12.99) and an Exclusive 4.5″ Samurai Usagi with Samurai Horse ($19.99). As always, please note that the suggested retail gets tossed out when third-party sellers pop-up, so the way to pay the best price is usually to look for these at your local store.
The Samurai figure assortment is a welcome addition to our ever-growing TMNT collection. These highly-poseable figures come with Samurai-era weaponry, along with removable helmets and face masks that are color-matched to their turtles. My one criticism of note is that the face masks do tend to fall off pretty easily, making them something that might get lost.
Usagi in his full armor (Walmart Exclusive) is impressive, though I remain partial to his classic blue garb. Still, the kind of copper-plated look gives him an ornate and almost Regal appearance that the kids really seem to enjoy – as if he’s just meant to lead the Turtles into their next battle against evil….
While the basic action figures tend to be the staple of the TMNT line, like many other toy lines there’s also been a movement back toward some larger figures. Our 11″ Usagi is pretty cool, articulated at the neck, shoulders, waist and wrists. Packed alongside his dual katanas, he’s a formidable opponent for similarly-sized figures and dolls, and yes – I’m pretty sure he’s been lounging in the Barbie Dream House a few times over the past week.
Look for all of these toys in-stores now, and keep checking Playmates Toys’ official site for details on the latest offerings as they’re released. Next up is a TMNT collection inspired by some classic monsters… just in-time for Halloween! Stay tuned…