It’s #TurtleTuesday again, and this time we are going to turn it on its head because it is now time to… “Terminate the Turtles!”
So far this year, NECA has served up helpings of TMNT cartoon and movie offerings, but have not yet gotten back around to the video game figures, until now. Think of it as the Big Apple at 3am, because Baxter Stockman is here and he brings his unique look from Turtles in Time. I gotta admit, I HATED Baxter in that game. He still stands as one of the more annoying stage bosses from any of the TMNT games, and now he is here to pester my video game Turtles. Regardless, he is essential to the plastic support of that game, so I am really glad to have him, and like always, NECA has done this flyboy justice.
The cartoon Baxter from last year stands as one of the best cartoon figures we have gotten so far (in my opinion) and with this release, the trend of good human fly figures certainly continues. Unlike his short and squat animated counterpart, video game Baxter is tall and lanky, but often stays bunched up while hovering above you as you try to fight him. Thus, it is strange to the eye that this figure is one of the tallest in the VG line if you have him just standing there, but once he goes on his included flight stand, he really starts to come to life.
This Baxter actually barrows MORE from the recent Vernon figure (legs and arms) than it does the cartoon Baxter. Unless I am misjudging, I think only feet are carried over from that figure, but that clever combination makes him feel like he is all new. That isn’t to say that there are not the required new pieces to do the design proper justice, because everything else is new, and are very uniquely Time Baxter. He has plenty of swappable hands to facilitated holding his weapons, and his shaggy-haired likeness has been handled wonderfully in all of its goofiness. It is especially effective in profile as that is the angle you most often see in the game. I love the single tooth being prominent and the hinged jaw makes it so he can mock you, just like he does in the game.
I am overall pleased with the production quality if this figure, both in the construction and paint. I know there have been some struggles in the past with stuck or floppy joints, but this Baxter doesn’t seem to have any of those issues. I did not have to heat the figure up to get any of the joints moving, and even with his awkward build, key spots like the knees and ankles are strong to keep him in his desired poses. I wish the hips were slightly tighter, but they are certainly not bad. The paint is very clean as well, and the bright neon colors really make Baxter stand out on the shelf, even amongst the other colorful game figures. Turtles in Time has a very eclectic group in the collection at this point, and the upcoming pirate Bebop and Rocksteady are only going to add to the wackiness.
Now, I mentioned that Baxter comes with both of his guns, and the are all-new and rendered faithfully. They are also the reason for me finding him so damned annoying in the actual game. Yep, NECA went and gave him his guns, but also the giant “grabber” ray effect that makes me curse his name. I don’t know, for some reason, I am able to dispatch most of the level bosses in this game without issue, but to this day, Baxter still makes me smash the buttons. Anyway, the effect piece is huge, and it even has a ball joint where the “hand” meets the “wrist” so it can be altered a bit to fit the posing you require. There is also a small clear stand that is included to help support this piece, so I appreciate the forethought there.
Speaking of stands, this release has a second stand for Baxter himself and it comes in the form of a standard NECA flight stand. Baxter likes to hover over you as you attempt to dispatch him in the game, so the stand is essential to achieve that. At the same time, NECA didn’t have to include it here, so it almost feels like a bonus piece.
The TMNT arcade games were a big part of my youth, so these figures deliver a good deal of nostalgia, and they continue to be rendered in a very creative way. I get that the game figures are not as popular as the cartoon, movie, or even comic figures, but this corner is a major piece of TMNT for me, so I am glad they are continuing. You can get your Baxter from BBTS right now. Be ready, ye scurvy dogs, because the pirate versions of Bebop and Rocksteady from the Turtles In Time home port are up next, and then Armaggon will be landing via Loot Crate later this year. Hopefully we will get more announcements soon, but for now, enjoy this annoying little fly boy.