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NECA: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Dirtbag and Groundchuck

We are continuing our early looks at upcoming NECA 1987 Animated Ninja Turtle figures with the odd couple of Dirtbag and Groundchuck. These two were mutated by the Shredder but rebelled against his authority and were subsequently kidnapped by Kerma and transported to the Turtle planet Shell-ri-la along with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to fight a two-headed dragon. That’s a heck of a day. I honestly can’t blame them for turning to space piracy. Let’s take a look at Dirtbag and Groundchuck!

The box is the gets the job done with a big window that shows off the toy, some slick illustrations on the front and nice photography on the sides and back. I do appreciate the cross-sell with other figures on the back, you don’t see that too much these days.

The set comes with quite a few accessories including a ring of dirt, a drill, two blasters, a tracking device, a shovel, and three sets of hands (fist, grip, and open) for each figure.

The tracking device is one of Donatello’s gadgets and has some nice tiny details and clean paint. It fits in the grip hands of these figures well.

The shovel is something I remember Dirtbag fighting with in one of the episodes but I don’t remember the drill and tend to think of Dirtbag mostly digging with his hands. They are both really solid looking accessories with clean paint that fit in his hands well and fit his mining theme perfectly.

The pistols are straight out of the show and Groundchuck’s gun has a really strong cow theme to it with horns on the end. Dirtbag has a more straightforward sci-fi pistol and I wonder if he covets the exquisitely themed pistol of his co-hort.

While not removeable, Dirtbag also has a functional pack cast in soft plastic that can be opened and has space for some smaller accessories. This is not something they had to do, but a fun inclusion.

My favorite accessory is the ring of dirt for Dirtbag so you can simulate his digging ability. In the show Dirtbag is an exceptional digger, to the point of basically swimming through the dirt, Bugs Bunny style, and popping up to attack his enemies from below or swimming away to make a quick escape. The figure can separate at the waist, so you can pose Dirtbag in the ring of dirt as if he’s popping out of the ground. He’s definitely going on my shelf like this.

Sculpting on these two is just wonderful. They both have a great bulky tank feel and capture the vibe of the animated series to perfection. I especially like how the subtle fur sculpting contrasts with the more simplified shapes of their animated outfits.

Groundchuck is a riot of ‘colors and 90s design cliche excesses that I would normally despise and absolutely should not work for me, but I love it in figure form here.

Both figures have appropriately aggressive leers that look great as is, but they both have hinged jaws that add a little variety to their expressions.

The articulation is pretty standard for these figures and it all moves well, though they don’t look up as well as I’d like. Groundchuck and Dirtbag have:

  • Swivel/hinge shoulders, wrists, hips, and ankles
  • Double hinged elbows and knees
  • Hinged jaw
  • Ball and socket mid-torso, head, and tail (Dirtbag only)
  • Thigh and bicep swivels

The paint is great here with super clean application and a smooth matte finish. The colors are especially vibrant on this pair and really highlights their cartoon origins. I’m especially impressed by all the clean line work on Groundchuck’s cybernetic leg and leg armor.

Overall, these are two excellent figures that add some brilliant color and variety to your Ninja Turtle villain section. Both this set and the Wingnut and Screwloose set are due to hit Targets sometime in November (oversea shipping delays notwithstanding), but NECA will have a small selection up for pre-order this upcoming Tuesday morning.

Thanks again to the team at NECA for making these guys and sending them along for an early look.