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NECA: Loot Crate Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles In Time Shell-Shock Turtle Review

Ah! Shell shock! After a bit of a shipping delay, the penultimate 2020 TMNT Loot Crates have started hitting porches across the land. Turtles in Time is the theme for this set, and NECA has offered up a fun and on-the-nose exclusive for the set – a shell shocked Turtle!

I know I have mentioned this before, but prior to these TMNT-themed releases, I had never gotten a Loot Crate before. Grodd knows I get enough stuff without inviting the unknown to arrive at my house, but being assured an exclusive NECA TMNT figure was enough to get me onboard with the original Spirit of Splinter, and I have not looked back. That is cool, though, because I enjoy getting these figures, and they are worth the price of admission alone to me, so that makes all of the other inclusions icing on the proverbial cake. So far, LC has had a good run covering off both the movie and comic universes with meaningful figures, and fun extras.

The video games get their due this time around, and like the rest of the VG releases in 2020, Turtles in Time is the theme for this set. While I am here to mostly talk about the figure, I want to say that I enjoy the other items in this Crate, even though I probably don’t hold this one quite as high as the Mirage set. Pins are fun, and the token is a pretty great idea for this theme, too. I like the concept of the shirt, but I am not really a long-sleeve tee kinda guy, so my oldest daughter already has designs to make it a night shirt, so that works out. The “word bubbles” are great, though, and they will be perfect for photography work, and the surprise inclusion of the lenticular TV is much appreciated, and it will find a fun spot in my display.

Like I said, the figure is highlight for me, and it follows the trend of being a cool addition for a hardcore TMNT fan (like me), but not something that is essential to a collection of someone not quite as willing to go all-in. Not gonna lie, I had thought about the possibility of an electrocuted Turtle for the video game collection before, but NECA has given us something a lot more creative than what I was originally imagining. It makes good use of the existing VG/cartoon Turtle base, but the new head and glow-in-the-dark effect are what really sell this guy.

As I said, the casual TMNT fan won’t be breaking down any doors to get this figure, but the shocked Turtle is an important part of both of the classic arcade games, and pretty memorable at that. The instance of being caught be the Roadkill Rodney’s is very specific to the original game, but the expression portrayed here is undoubtably from Turtles in Time. The head sculpt is crazy, both in form and accuracy to the source material, so that alone makes for a very unique look to stand out on your shelf. Yes, it is specific to getting hit by lots of volts in the game, but I could see it also being used for a “my toes! my toys!” release. NECA is going into some crazy awesome and deep cuts in their lines, so I wouldn’t call that being outside the realm of possibility. 

The other big draw for this figure is the glow-in-the-dark effect that is used to portray the electrocution. It is an interesting way to go about it, but I like it quite a bit. Admittedly, I am a bit of a mark for GITD figures, so it is right up my alley, but it pulls off the effect nicely. Oh, and it is REALLY bright. Most of the GITD figures I have gotten from various companies in the past year have been very strong in terms of the glowing effect. I don’t know if technology has improved, but I am here for it, and my collection space can pretty much light itself now, even without the lights.

The paint applications are clean, but are effective to continue the pixelation effect of the video game figures. The figure is cast in the GITD plastic, so black paint is all that is needed to create the accents to highlight the “skeleton” that becomes visible mid-shock. This looks good under normal light, but really comes out to shine when the GITD effect kicks in. Simple but effective is the best solution in most cases with action figure designs, so credit to NECA as they could have achieved the electrocution effect in a variety of ways, but kept it convincing and straightforward.    

Like the repainted Mirage Shredder and Spirit of Splinter (and the upcoming bunny suit Bebop and Rocksteady), this Shell Shock Turtle is the perfect video game figure entrant to the Loot Crate program. If you are a hardcore TMNT fan, or of video games in general, this is a slick addition to your collection. Hopefully you didn’t get shell-shocked and missed him because now we need some game-based Rodneys to complete the effect. Hopefully the last Crate will ship before the end of the year (its getting close!), but look for the TMTN Loot Crate program to continue in 2021.