Bandai's New TMNT Figures Are The Heroes In A Halfshell We Deserve

Even with only half of the brothers available so far, it's clear that Bandai's S.H. Figuarts versions of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are the best action figures based off the classic animation yet. The secret's in the soft shell.

It may seem puzzling that an action figure company would release only two of the four turtles at a time, saving Raphael and party dude Michelangelo for a later date, but with the folks at Bluefin offering the Japanese imports at $US63 ($83) a pop, perhaps a staggered release is best. I'm fine as long as Donatello makes first cut, and would you look at that.

Box Turtles.

S.H. Figuarts (Simple Style, Heroic Action) are a far cry from the sort of toys you see on shelves in the states. Each figure in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line features unparalleled articulation, a bunch of extra bits and some very cool special features to help them rise above the rest.

Both Donatello and Leonardo come with eight different fists, two different heads, their signature weapons and a special accessory -- Donnie has a slice, and Leo gets a manhole cover.

There is another piece of plastic in each box that helps implement one of the series' more clever ideas. Rather than have a permanent moulded piece to act as a weapon sheath, both turtles feature a removable belt section that can be swapped out for a smooth version.

Removable bo holder.

Taking off the smooth belt piece.

In another smart move meant to keep small parts from getting lost, each head treatment has a peg in the back for the bandanna tie.

The two figures are ridiculously poseable, especially for turtles with shells on their backs and chests. This is thanks to a combination of two special features. One is a special ball-within-a-ball shoulder joint, with extended construction to help clear the shell.

The other is that only the back half of the shell is rigid. They have got a soft, pliant underbelly that allows for more dynamic movement and posing. Neat!

Also, feet!

The bendy toes are sturdy enough for the figures to stand on, so those looking to get into some serious ninja business will be very pleased.

Me, I'm more about the hijinks.

All that's missing are a couple more brothers, maybe one that's all about partying, and another that's cool but rude. I look forward to collecting the whole set once Bluefin has them.

I leave you with a couple of super close-ups of those turtle mugs. Right click and open in a new window for the best results.


    I dunno...they look cool and all but they are based off that original cartoon which...while awesome, changed so much from the original comics and really kiddified it. Raphael is not meant to be "cool but rude". He's meant to be the angsty emo teen. Splinter a human that changed into a rat? Nope, supposed to be the other way around. Krang and the whole Dimension X subplot? Nope. Rocksteady and Bebop? Nope. The foot clan being robots? Nope. Baxter Stockman being a nerdy white guy? Nope. Perhaps the biggest change of all was that those original comics were dark. They contained adult themes - violence, death, drugs. They were not aimed at children. But then that 80's cartoon came along and changed all that. I loved the show as a kid, when I didn't know the comics existed, but then when I discovered them and went back, I was blown away by how far removed that original cartoon was from them.

    I'd actually like it if they released a toy line based more around the original comics...or...failing that, one of the more recent animated series. A big reason being that these turtles look identical...take away their bandanas and weapon belts and you wouldn't know which one is which.

    Last edited 11/11/16 6:14 pm

    Damn, those look awesome. Much better-hidden joints than the Playmates ones.

    Found these in a Zing store not too long ago... Their price: $149.95 each!

      Woooow. Just looked them up, 158 on the site.

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