It’s #TurtleTuesday again! I have been jonesing for a new NECA TMNT release for several weeks now. As it usually goes, while it has been a minute since the Rat King and Vernon hit the shelves, when it rains, it pours. It seems like we have been waiting on these guys for a long time now, but the new Giant-Sized Raphael is now here, and he brings a lot to the table, and in a big way!
We have been getting teases that 2021 was going to be a big year for NECA’s TMNT lines, and if this release is any indication, that is true in more ways than one. The quarter-scale impression has been a part of NECA’s Ninja Turtles line for a long time now, and as a happy owner of all six of their movie figures, I have been looking forward to this release for some time. I get it, these take up a lot of space, are obviously more expensive, and the scale isn’t for everyone, but if you are a total mark for TMNT stuff like me, these are pretty fantastic releases.
This scale has the ability to show off the details and flourishes like none other, and like the movie counterparts, the smaller scale is about to follow in the footsteps of these big boys. Sure, Raph might be the only one out ahead of the Turtles in Disguise set that will be hitting Target soon, but the new sculpting and engineering on these will be carried over to that new four-pack. If you have been wanting more varied expressions, and portraits that are based more on the cartoon seasons after the initial five episodes, these figures, large or small, are gonna speak to you for sure.
The main draw, aside from the shear size of these, is the new Turtle head sculpts that feature swappable masks. Essentially, these heads can pop from the neck and separate where the mask meets the top of the nose. Raph features two sets of eyes and two sets of masks, so you are able to change these up to give you a total of four unique expressions. I love the ingenuity here, and the looks range from happy to worried to ornery to angry, so there is surely an expression that will fit Raph for you. Plus, from the looks of it, future Turtles will feature a closed mouth face to help add to the variety. I personally like the “ornery” one the best (angry eyes with tongue out mouth) as it fits cartoon Raph the best for me, but the world is your oyster, er, pizza. Oh, and the bandana tie is articulated so you are move and arrange in various positions to best fit your pose of choice. As I said, this new feature will be carried over to the the 1:12 scale figures soon, so that will be a lot of fun with those, too.
Raph also features several accessories, and while some of them look familiar to their smaller counterparts, there are some all-new pieces as well. This set features three sets of hands: grip, pointing, and thumbs-up, and these should all be familiar at this point. The hands are cast in a softer plastic to make holding the accessories a snap, so I really like the material choice here. Raph also get gets his require pair of sai, the pizza slice that can fit over the sai point, as well as two new slices of pizza and a new Turtle Comm. The two pizza slices function independently, but can also snap together so I am going to bet that when all four Turtles are released, you will be able to form a whole pizza. The Comm is also new as it is actually opens and closes, and the antennae can move up and out as well. I REALLY like this feature as it matches the functionality of the actual Turtle Comms, and I wonder if it can be replicated at the smaller scale, too. That is a lot of accessories when you count the head pieces, especially for a release of this size.
The articulation engineering on the figure is good, too, and that is really important for this scale. Raph features the scheme you would probably expect, but not everything is ported directly from the 1:12 figures. The neck articulation, well as the rocker ankles have a great amount of range. The hips and double knees feature some strong detents, and while that makes you have to work a bit to pose, those help hold the pose so this big boy does go toppling off of your shelf. This Giant-Sized Raph also feature double elbow joints, which is a noticeable departure from the standard scale’s theme. I am not going to lie: this helps a LOT of with posing, especially action stances with the weapons, so I am a big fan. Looking at pictures of the Disguise set, I don’t think these will be carried over there, but I would LOVE it if they were.
I want to comment on the size here just a bit because while these are meant to match the movie versions in terms of being larger-scale figures, they are not the same size. These new cartoon version are smaller than the movie counterparts (see the picture), BUT, there are a couple of things about that. First, the Turtles in the cartoon as smaller in stature to the human characters than they are in the movie, so to me, that lines up. Past that though, I think I prefer this size as it is still large, but seems like a better size for a toy. I feel like my big movie figures are more conversation pieces, and these are a bit more, well, playable. That might just be me, but it is worth noting if you were expecting this Raph and his surly movie partner to be the same height.
This figure is a LOT of fun. Like I said, I know this scale won’t be for everyone, but I am very happy with this Raphael, and I am looking forward to having all four Turtles together. Randy recently said that Donatello will be next and should be up for pre-order soon (yay! best Turtle!). So, while it took a minute to start, I think these will be out in rapid succession now, and if the bottom of the box is an indicator, Mikey will follow Don, with Leo closing out the team. But we will see. If you want one, you can get Raphael at Dorkside and BBTS right now.