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NECA: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Usagi Yojimbo Review

It was like Christmas in June when this box showed up at my house last week. Usagi Yojimbo is one of my favorite comics, I love his team-ups with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and the prototype looked so killer, making this guy my most anticipated figure of the year. Let’s take a look at Miyamoto Usagi!

The box is pretty epic with some sick photos and great illustrations that capture the vibe of the Usagi episodes of the ’87 toon without specifically copying frames from it. Usagi shows up in season 3, so the Turtles’ concept of disguise has morphed into leather jackets and sunglasses for Usagi’s debut episode, a look I enjoyed seeing here. I’m glad I have another one on the way from the NECA store because this is a box I want to keep.

Speaking of disguises, Usagi comes with a hooded robe with a loose piece of elastic to tie it closed along with two heads (stern and extra stern), two sets of ears (up or down) three sets of hands (fist, grip, and open) Katar (triangular knife), Kunai (throwing knife), two swords (Wakizashi and Katana), sword sheathes, a loop of elastic for the sheathes, a hat, and a Tokage (lizard).

The swords are two different lengths and fit securely into the sheathes. They have a good amount of detail in the hilt and I like how there is a cutting edge sculpted in to the blade instead of just a flat sword. The swords vary in length in the show depending on the scene, so part of me wishes they were a bit longer and thinner, but these look good proportionally with Usagi. The sheathes are one piece and attach to the belt with a loop of elastic that you can slide under the ab joint. You can also place it just under his sculpted belt for a tighter fit. I did that for the first two photos below, but I do like the look of the elastic hidden under the upper torso piece better, so that’s what I did for the rest of the pictures in this review. The advantage of this set up is you can move the sheathes around during posing and get them on the side of the figure or more around the front if you like.

The alternate weapons are fun additions to the ninja arsenal and are similarly detailed to the swords and fit well in Usagi’s hands.

The cloak is nice for soft goods in this scale with a wire in the hood that helps you pose it. It’s a good match for his disguise in the show and as a bonus, he looks like a little Jedi. There is a longer piece of elastic you need to tie around the waist to close the cloak.

The hat is one plastic piece with a thin plastic strap to hold it on. It works well on the alternate flattened ears for a traveling look and I’m impressed at how crisp the black painted detail lines are on this accessory.

The Tokage lizard is my favorite little slug accessory. These little guys are from the Usagi Yojimbo comic and are basically like the wild dogs of that world, so it’s great to get one here even though I don’t think it shows up on the show. Back when the 2012 TMNT show was airing, Playmates released an exclusive Usagi Yojimbo figure at SDCC with an exlusive hat and Tokage and it was pretty rare and expensive to get now, so I’m so happy to have those two things for this version of the samurai rabbit.

The sculpting on this figure is lovely and captures the feel of the character with aplomb. I personally really like the extra bit of detailed fur sculpting in these figures even though you don’t really see that level in detail on the show. It feels more polished and complete and I don’t think it takes away from the likeness at all.

Both heads capture Usagi’s moods well and the ears can be swapped between them. I do wish there was a third, happy face, but if there are only two I think serious face and angry face are good choices. The down ears are meant for the hat and hood, but I suppose they could work as a wet look. The hand options are perfect for Usagi, though they do attach somewhat loosely.

Articulation is good with:

  • Ball and socket neck, head, and waist
  • Swivel/hinge shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles
  • Swivel ears

The elbows get a 90 degree bend and the knees get about 45 degrees, probably due to the thickness of the outfit and the shortness of the limbs in question. The chest overlay is soft plastic as is the crotch piece and the soft plastic allows for great hip movement, but Usagi can’t quite hit a two-handed sword holding pose even with the soft chest overlay. I do wish he had some butterfly hinges under that torso overlay to help with that.

Usagi has crisp clean paint work as per usual with the TMNT cartoon line.

Overall, I’m extremely happy with this little dude. The sculpting is top notch and the figure is a wonderful representation of the cartoon version of Usagi. I just wish I had some more Usagi-verse characters for him to battle. He battles some samurai pigs in his first episode, so maybe they are a possibility? Probably not, but a guy can dream about an ’87 toon version of Gen and Zato Ino, right? Thanks again to the good folks at NECA for sending this guy along!