Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Kraang
The first wave of the new TMNT reboot toys included all of the usual suspects (the turtles, Shredder, a Foot Soldier, Splinter, and April O’Neil) along with one newcomer to mix things up. Instead of fan-favorite Krang, the extra-dimensional, brain-like conqueror that hangs out in the stomach of a fat android body, we get the Kraang, “extra-dimensional… brain-like conquerors” that hang out in the stomachs of skinny android bodies. I wasn’t overall impressed enough with the designs of this series to buy the complete set, so I went with just one toy from this line to add to my toy wall. Kraaang fit in well enough until I heard that Metalhead is part of the second wave. Sweet!
Collector: Krang from the 1987 series was based on the Utrom, a race of aliens from the original Mirage comics (and later the 2003 series) whose canister of mutagen transformed the TMNT and Splinter. The Kraang from this series seem to take more cues from the Utroms: a race of aliens disguised as humans, instead of a single character that’s a disembodied brain in a funny-looking robot body. However, they seem to be straight up bad guys like classic Krang.
Zombiepaper: Most toy packaging has a standard rectangular cardboard backing with a smaller rectangular blister pack containing the toy and accessories. The new TMNT reboot toyline drops this tradition in favor of a hyper-stylized design that seems a bit too stylish. Then again, in the TMNT 00s toyline, each turtle had a mugshot on the top part of the cardboard, cropped to give the toyline another equally distinct package.
Z: Unboxing was not too bad. The plastic blister pack is wrapped around the cardboard backing, and there was not an easy corner or opening to remove the plastic, so I would recommend a knife with a small blade. The plastic is thin enough and soft enough to easily open this way; just remember to be careful. Once you remove the blister pack, Kraaaang is held in place by nearly indestructible elastic bands. This is better than the very annoying twist-ties used in some toylines, even though the plastic molding more than adequately holds the toy for the 30 seconds between sealed and completely out of the packaging.
Sculpt, Design and Articulation
Zombiepaper: Just looking at the toy, you can correctly assume the major flaw with this action figure: Kraaaaang is nearly impossible to stand upright. I spent a few minutes trying to position the legs correctly to get a good standing photograph before giving up. The body is top heavy, the legs are bent at awkward angles, the knees are not articulated, and while there is a peg in one foot, there is not a stand included. The arms have limited movement and since the knees don’t move, the legs only have a limited range of movement. Maybe I was spoiled on the 90s GI Joe line, where everything from the neck to the waist to the knees could move. Even so, you can hardly call this an “action figure.”
Collector: This figure is reminiscent of the Utrom figure from the 2002 line, a sort of Terminator-looking robot with a rubbery pink alien thing in the belly. The paint job gives it a nice sort of dirty metal look. There are also pink lines running down the arms, legs and spine. Whether these are supposed to be wires or the Kraang’s tentacles running throughout the robot, I’m not sure, but it’s a nice touch either way.
Z: After watching the first two episodes, I’m going to have to be completely honest and say that the bare exo-skeleton was a poor design choice. There are two main types of Kraaaaaangs: this one and one with a blue semitranslucent sort of shell around the exo-skeleton, which would have made for a more sturdy and overall better looking toy. If anything, I think having more than one shade of gray would have greatly helped, even if this metallic gray does look nice, because right now it just just looks like a cheap toy.
C: The articulation on this thing is awful, but it’s actually better than the Utrom toy, sort of. The head and shoulders are ball joints, and the legs can bend forward and back at the hips. That’s it. Since it’s a robot, it looks like it should be a lot more articulated than it is. It’s basically stuck in this specific pose with bent arms, knees and foot, and it’s just frustrating. The right foot has the same peg hole as the rest of the line, so it will work with the Classic Collection turtles’ stands.
Z: Good luck trying to prop Kraaaaaaang upright without a stand, not included.
Collector: This thing is probably a bit too big. At about 5 ¼” tall, it’s only shorter than Shredder because of the spikes on his helmet. If it wasn’t in that odd squat pose, it would tower over the rest of the figures.
Zombiepaper: Unlike the turtles, who have a variety of (semi) traditional Asian weapons, the only accessories here are two generic guns and the Kraaaaaaaang brain. When Collector and I first talked about this toy, he noticed that the brain was made of a rubbery material that doesn’t always have a good track record, and wondered how this would hold up in the future. To me, the brain feels like a regular eraser, and as a special bonus, fits almost perfectly over a pencil eraser.
Collector: The weapons include a futuristic laser gun and a futuristic laser gun that’s also a reciprocating saw. They’re a solid gray, but I suppose it works a little better than the TMNT’s unpainted weapons. Kraang also has a bit of a hard time holding onto the saw gun.
C: The alien is closer to classic Krang than the Utroms. It’s clearly brain-like, and has long tentacles. The Utrom toy was basically like those sticky hands you get from gumball machines, while this Kraang is significantly sturdier. It’s hollow underneath, so you can use it as finger puppet or stick it onto the heads of other figures. Cramming it and all those tentacles into the hole in the robot is a tight fit, so there’s a good chance you can rip the tentacles off. One of mine is already weaker than I would like.
Collector: I like the idea of this figure, always loved Krang, enjoy these characters in the new cartoon. This could’ve been a cool toy, and in some ways it is, but the execution is very lacking. I hope they eventually make a toy of the Kraang’s suited up MIB form, as long as it’s not hunched over.
Zombiepaper: I’m very disappointed with almost everything about this toy. Including a standing base along with Kraaaaaaaaang would have helped, and some major design choices such as bendable knees, weighted feet, a better paint job, or even a better sculpt would have greatly helped. I would probably not buy a blue semitranslucent shell variant unless it had significant improvements, and also think a MIB version of this toy could have potential. Regardless, if you’re creative, you can display Kraaaaaaaaaang as a paratrooper, and what isn’t cool about that?
Posted on October 17, 2012, in Reviews, Toys and tagged action figures, Kraaang, Kraang, Krang, Nickelodeon, Playmates Toys, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, TMNT, toys, Utrom. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.