Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Foot Soldier

In my review of the disappointing Kraang from the new TMNT toyline (featuring the turtles, Shredder, a Foot Soldier, Splinter, April O’Neil, and Kraa[+a]ng,) I said I wasn’t that impressed with some of the toy designs at a first glance. That changed after I jumped in and watched the first three episodes. My childhood is safely preserved in this new fangled generation of CGI. I can even appreciate the small touches, such as Leo stating a kendo term in Japanese within the first five minutes of the first episode. How’s that for multiculturalism? I also liked how Metalhead looks from the second wave of the toyline, so I went to Walmart for some ‘field research’ on the matter. I browsed their selection as I had very much enjoyed in my youth, and found a healthy showing of the first wave. No Metalhead, though, so I figured ‘why not?’ to the Foot Soldier toy. Well, how did that turn out?

Packaging

The packaging is the same as Kraang. The Foot Soldier, who I’ll nickname ‘Chuck’ for sake of convenience, (what? would you rather it be ‘Sushikarateninjakaraoke’?,) is held into the vacuum-formed plastic without the hindrance of nearly indestructible elastic bands. Instead, the vacuum-forming actually does its job of lightly holding in ‘Chuck’ until you lift him out of his plastic prison. One of the shuriken mysteriously jumped out while I opened the packaging, while the other remained firmly in tact. Odd. The sword sheaths were easy enough to remove. The swords were held in rather brilliantly, with a cut in the plastic to securely hold the swords, like they were held in a sword sheath. Ah, the small pleasures in life.


“Break free from thy plastic prison!”

Sculpt and Design

Ninja are always cool and ‘Chuck’ is no exception. The first thing I noticed was that the eyes look like insect eyes. There are many other little details that look great: the headband, the outline of a shoulder strap for the sword shealths, and a high level of detail on the hands and feet.

Articulation

After the complete disappointment that was Kraang, I was surprised by the articulation on this toy. ‘Chuck’ can do the splits. The arms and legs move around like an action figure should. The arms swivel at the elbow, so you can change the striking angle with either a sword or shuriken. The waist twists and boogies like Elvis. The legs don’t swivel, which make sense because it’s not really needed. ‘Chuck’ can actually stand on his own! Shocking! The head doesn’t move without major arthritis. The hands are sculpted to firmly hold either sword with the right hand, and hold a shuriken with the left hand. It would have been cool to have the arms come together for a kendo stance, as seen in the swordfight between Musashi and Kojiro in Samurai III, but that’s OK. ‘Chuck’ ain’t no samurai.

Collector: This figure has pretty much the same articulation as Shredder other than the elbows. They’re permanently bent, and the arms articulate by rotating at the elbow instead of bending as most figures do. Funny thing, I noticed this figure has almost exactly the same articulation as the 2002 Foot Soldier, including the unusual elbows. The legs on the new figure are a lot more mobile though. The lack of knee articulation is still annoying, but he’s an improvement over Shredder just because the legs aren’t so big and heavy.

Scale

Collector: The figure stands about 5” tall. He’s as tall as Splinter at the ears, stands up to Shredder’s eyes, and April comes up to his eyes. Mike comes up to his chest, Leo and Raph reach his neck or chin, and Don comes up to his eyes.

Zombiepaper: Pinecones are bigger.


“Chuck! Attack its weakpoint using peanut butter!”

Accessories

Zombiepaper: ‘Chuck’ has a solid assortment of Japanese weaponry. Initially, I thought the two swords were the longer katana (easy enough to pronounce as kah-tah-nah) and the shorter wakizashi (a little trickier: wahkey zahshe) that were traditionally worn by the samurai of feudal Japan. However, as I did research on the matter, I remembered that this is 2012 and the days of Nun Chuck‘s are behind us. The longer sword looks much closer to a ninjato (ninjahtoe) and I might further assume that the shorter sword is a tanto (tahnntoe). The shuriken are a modernized version of the concealed weapon called hira shuriken (herah shoe-ri-ken) or shaken (shaken). So, yeah, a solid assortment.


Ninniku Seishin

Wrap Up

The TMNT toys are widely available as of October 2012 at Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, Walgreens, or online retailers such as eBay or Amazon.

Collector: I like this guy, probably my favorite non-turtle figure of the first wave.

Zombiepaper: I am quite pleased with this toy, especially in comparison with Kraang (which looks cool in the packaging and did have some potential). It looks cool for a ninja, the articulation is good enough to where it can actually stand upright, and the weapons are slick.


“When you see it…”

About Zombiepaper

My interests are very specific and sometimes esoteric: writing, videogames (EarthBound), movies (zombie, martial arts, and animated), music (listening and bass guitar), thrift stores, philosophy, and toys. Also, Cowabunga!

Posted on October 20, 2012, in Reviews, Toys and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

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