Phil heads into the sewers with the INCREDIBLE Raphael action figure from NECA’s TMNT 1990 collection
I have been a long-time collector of NECA’s superb Predator action figures and have found them to be some of the finest action figures produced anywhere in the world. NECA’s quality is more than enough to rival that of market leaders Medicom Toys and Tamashii Nations who are currently leading the charge given their respective Star Wars, Marvel and DC assortments.
Now, anyone who knows me can tell you that I’m a TMNT nut. Being a kid of the eighties, I was exposed to the very best Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s creations had to offer. I owned every single action figure from the original animated series, played the original Nintendo computer game religiously and sat in a packed cinema auditorium on opening night for the original 1990 movie. To this day, despite numerous attempts at a reboot the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is still unsurpassed. It’s a classic.
And now, NECA has turned its manufacturing expertise to six-inch scale versions of Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo from the movie.
The figures have finally begun to roll off the assembly line and have been made available as GameStop exclusives in the United States. Sadly, this means UK fans have been made to wait until October/November for a general release. However, whilst performing my Future of the Force duties at London Film & Comic-Con, I stumbled upon a vendor selling the GameStop exclusive versions and found myself powerless to resist the urge to purchase my all-time favourite hero in a half shell.
Let me just start this review by saying…I adore this figure. It is INCREDIBLE. Make no mistake, it was worth paying the extortionate price for. When the Turtles hit retail this autumn, they will be priced at a reasonable £25. Being the GameStop exclusive version, the asking price was £55 and despite scoffing at the price, the figure is worth EVERY SINGLE PENNY.
From the outset, the figure comes presented in a glorious box which features the iconic poster art from the original movie. Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Donatello are depicted emerging from the sewers set against the backdrop of the illuminated New York City skyscrapers. The reverse reveals the action figure presented in various poses from the movie and has an extensive bio explaining the inspiration behind its manufacture and rounding off the packaging is an image of all four Turtles posed in their traditional assembly. But it isn’t until you open the packaging that the figure is revealed in all its glory.
Being a seasoned action figure collector, my initial approach was to leave the figure in its box for posterity. This is traditionally the case with my collection, but the inner twelve-year-old inside me won out and I carefully removed the figure from the packaging…and I HAVE NOT REGRETTED IT. This is a figure you NEED to open to take in its true beauty.
The figure itself comes complete with a set of changeable hands, a changeable bandana, a slice of pizza, and Raphael’s traditional weapons, the Sai. As for the figure itself, and the first thing that strikes you is the screen realistic scale. It is perfect. The figure has been moulded with a rubberised finish which gives the skin a pleasingly realistic reptilian effect. The elbow, wrist and knew pads have been manufactured using a similar rubberised plastic giving them a subtle real-feel and this is only accentuated by the belt and bandana. Again, the Ninja Turtles’ traditional head garb has been recreated using a flexible plastic, but it comes with enough rigidity to attain any pose you could ask for.
Moving onto the torso, and the scale is perfect. The shell has been crafted using another form of hardened rubber-like plastic which feels like a genuine turtle shell and the attention to detail is incredible. Every ridge, groove and scale has been lovingly sculpted to perfection giving Raphael the best sculpt I have ever seen applied to an action figure. The skin is glorious, much in the same vein as the shell, every blemish and spot has been replicated to perfection which accentuates the beautiful green pigmentation of the skin perfectly.
I’m sorry if I keep saying perfect…but it is that good!
The face is breath-taking. He looks exactly as he does in the movie. However, when selecting my figure from the several that were available, I had to do a little quality control when it came to the eyes. Some were not as good as the others so if you can, source yours from the shelf to get the best results. Regarding the teeth and again they are incredible and have been painstakingly replicated to attain a photorealistic quality. And finally, rounding off the figure is the Sai. Raphael’s traditional ninja weapons are great if a little basic. However, they are as realistic as you would expect and do not detract from what otherwise is an absolute triumph of an action figure.
In regards to articulation, and once again Raphael excels. The NECA Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles collection boasts a whopping 30 points of articulation making this figure once of the most versatile action figures in my entire collection.
I may have lost count of how many times I have used either perfect or perfection in this review, but I will not be apologising for their usage. This figure is remarkable. It feels like you’re holding a miniature version of the character in your hand and this has only cemented its status as the BEST action figure incarnation of the character I have ever seen. As a devoted TMNT fan, I can finally say in all honesty that I have found the action figure of my dreams, and if Raphael is this good, I can only wonder what awaits me when the other three arrive in my collection.
If you’re a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan and have been waiting for the definitive action figures to hit the market, your wait is finally over. If you’re fortunate enough to live in the United States, I urge you to make the pilgrimage to GameStop and secure yours fast. Failing that, UK readers can pre-order theirs from several import outlets and have them in your collection by Christmas. Thankfully, mine are already secured, and I cannot wait to complete my set and scream Cowabunga from the rooftops.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles deserve no less.
Kudos NECA, you have outdone yourselves and made the twelve-year-old in me scream with delight!
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Phil Roberts is the Owner, Daily Content Manager and Editor of Future of the Force. He is passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, Batman, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, King Kong, and the Ray Harryhausen movies. Follow him on Twitter @philthecool where he uses the force frequently!