Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Dogpound
In this latest generation of TMNT, we don’t have Bebop and Rocksteady or even Tokka and Rahzar, but I think Dogpound and Fishface have the potential to be equally good villains. The complete lineup so far features the turtles, Shredder, a Foot Soldier, Splinter, April O’Neil, Kraang, Metalhead, Fishface and Dogpound. They will be joined by evil scientist Baxter Stockman, early opponent Snakeweed, and another set of the Turtles in early 2013. Until then, we have plenty of toys from the new TMNT show to dig into, including Dogpound.
Dogpound is only held in by two twist-ties. His “back hair piece” and tail aren’t held in at all, which is a strange considering some of the toys in this series are held in with an army of twist ties or plastic bands.
Sculpt and Deco
Dogpound’s toy design is much simpler than his cartoon counterpart and I, for one, like the toy design more. (Except maybe for the less pronounced dog mustache.) The dog side of Dogpound is based on the Japanese Akita dog breed, popularized by the heartwarming (or heart-rendering?) story of Hachiko. The fur is painted brightly and the gradient from brown to white is subtle, except for the back hair piece that’s a single unpainted coat of white plastic.
The unpainted fur stands out quite a bit once you notice it, along with the two belts he wears over his torso are also unpainted. Dogpound’s pants are painted purple, and his knee pads and modified bogu (my best guess) are painted gray, but the wrappings covering his ankles aren’t painted a different color. This is an issue I’ve noticed with the line in general: the overall paint job is great, and the little paint jobs that need to be there (eyes, eyebrows, teeth) are there, yet the little details that kids might not notice or care about are quite visible to adult toy collectors or artists seeking drawing references.
His paws are painted white, with three toes on each foot, and a dot representing a toenail on each toe. The feet are hollow, and not weighted at all, which initially made me worried that he’d have trouble standing, like Kraang.
Fortunately, Dogpound’s heavy frame pushes enough weight down to make weighted feet unnecessary. He can even bend like he’s looking down without falling over. Plus, his tail is quite cable of supporting Dogpound’s heavy frame, with the added bonus of a tail peg that is very firm. Whereas with Splinter, his tail was either dead on arrival broken or could frequently pop out, Dogpound’s tail is simple. Pop it in and forget it, like dentures. His back hair piece is, to continue that analogy, like a permanent set of dentures. I don’t even know why this piece of plastic even exists. Interactive toy building for kids? I bet it was a cost saving measure, but even so, it’s cool to see the inside of a toy. There’s a little screw I could barely photograph holding Dogpound’s face firmly in place so that it can rotate in a smooth 360º motion. Then once you attach the back hair piece, it’s on there for good.
Dogpound is right around the same height as Metalhead, but shorter than the one that is known as the Kraang. All three are smaller than a growler. Don’t worry, parents! This growler from the Rogue Brewery contained water during the shooting of this photograph.
I was worried most about Dogpound’s articulation. Most of the toys have great articulation like Metalhead and the turtles, but Kraang might just be the worst toy I’ve ever owned, so despite my complete confidence in the cartoon and my overall enjoyment of the toys so far, I did have some trepidation. As you’ve seen, he has a great range of motion. Shoulders move like they should, his arms twist slightly awkwardly close to theoretical and unbendable elbows. Unbendable knees also add to the appearance that the articulation might be poor. However, his waist twists smoothly, his legs have a great range of motion, and his tail rotates without issue.
INCLUDES NINJA ARSENAL?
Nope. His only accessories are his back hair piece and tail, if you will.
I honestly went into this review fully expecting to be disappointed. I thought that the sheer size of this toy would cause the articulation to be a major issue. Instead, we have a very cool toy with great articulation. Lazy on the the finer details, but that’s not Dogpound exclusive, so let’s hope he and Fishface get some cool scenes and great dialogue in the show and are as memorable as Bebop and Rocksteady or even Tokka and Rahzar.
The TMNT toys are widely available as of November 2012 at Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, Walgreens, or online retailers such as eBay or Amazon. Specialty toy and comics stores may be slow to pick them up. Dogpound isn’t as common as any of the turtles, but I imagine he along with the rest of the toyline will be around for a while.
Special thanks to the Marymoor Off-Leash Dog Park in Redmond, WA for hosting a majority of the rainy day photo shoot.