Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Quick Crappy Review: Kidrobot Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles SDCC 2016 Exclusive Triceraton*

My San Diego Comic Con 2016 exclusive items have begun turning up, I’m excited even if one of them is for a line that’s already been cancelled. Today that’s not relevant though so I can just be excited, in this case about Kidrobot’s exclusive for their 8-inch vinyl range, which was a shared exclusive with Toys R Us; it’s only a fucking Triceraton innit?

I mentioned more than once in my Top 30 TMNT Stories post that I’m pretty sure the Triceratons are my favourite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles villains, there’s a lot of reasons for that including the fact that I just really like dinosaurs but the only one we need to focus on now is how much kid me loved the Triceraton action figure from Playmates. I adored this figure, a triceratops man dressed like something from a Care Bears production of Mad Max who was also the same colour as processed cheese, I respect that may not be selling him the best but his colours, his outfit and his dinosaurness was the three things that endeared him to me and I like being honest. I treated him like his own character rather than the random army builder he was supposed to be (effectively I treated him the same as the character who became Mohzar) and he was a major villain in my play, equal to the Shredder and Krang, and this was before I read the Mirage comics. My affection has never really abated and Playmates’ Triceraton remains amongst my favourite action figures. This gushing has a point: Kidrobot’s exclusive is the Playmates version of the Triceraton, metal bra and all!

So getting to the point: the review itself – these 8-inch Vinyl figures are just blown-up versions of Kidrobot’s blind box vinyls and work the exact same way, a common body with a unique head sculpt and three points of articulation – swivels at the neck and shoulders – the only real difference other than size is that the larger figures’ arms don’t pop out so easy, they must have longer pegs or something. I am all for this, it keeps a visual consistency but more so I just get this tiny thrill out of seeing something exactly the same but in a different size, I have had this weirdness for as long as I can remember (those vintage Thundercats mini-figures are like E to me), I have no way of explaining why I’m so fascinated by this but I’m sure it’s linked to why I like repaints so much. So there’s not really much to review right? OR IS THERE? First up is headsculpt - which is fantastic, though obviously stylized to keep with the look of the line they’ve got all the beats down, the ridged beak and eyebrows, the segmented head frill and the look of being completely pissed off about your very presence, they’ve even put the little bandage on his left horn, significant because it means Kidrobot can’t use this head sculpt for a generic Triceraton later on (if they wanted to). They could have easily have left the bandage off and saved some money in the future but instead they decided to throw it in and I appreciate it, they put accuracy over money and it makes the figure feel that much more to me. He comes with a gun but it’s reused from Rocksteady, a bit of a let-down as the Triceraton had his own unique blaster in the toyline and the Tirceratons have their own signature gun in other media, I’d much preferred to have seen either Kidrobotosized but I’m guess it was a budgetary thing and they win praise for making the gun blue-grey (the original figures’ weapons were cast in blue plastic). As with all Kidrobot figures you can’t have him actually point the thing though because his heads in the way, still at least his arm doesn’t pop out when you try I guess (yes this is a stupid design element and one they should bloody well have thought of, it’s just I’m mostly over caring about it now).   

We can also be anal and compare him to the original figure, yeah let’s do that. His body is virtually perfect, they’ve added some silver pouches to his belt but I prefer it, it helps to make his trousers look more military issue and less like he stole them off a builder from ‘Jersey on the way to fight the Turtles. They’ve painted him a tail on the back too, this is where I wish Kidrobot had more than one body, they could really do with one that they could attach unique tails too. Most off-model are his gauntlets, not only are they no longer asymmetrical (about 84% of the vintage Playmates line was asymmetrical, the Mirage staff even make a joke about in, I think, the Turtle Power documentary) but they’re just completely a different design, they remind me of arm socks. I like arm socks, but the amount I like arm socks is really directly proportional to how adorable the girl wearing them is, as the Triceraton is not adorable, and not a girl for that matter, I wish they’d kept the original badass gauntlet design, I wonder why they didn’t? But honestly the change that’s taking me the longest to adjust to? He has no pupils. Sure this makes him look way, way more threatening and it works better with the art style Kidrobot uses (Rocksteady has pupils and it looks a little dopey, especially on the small figure) but I still haven’t quite got used to seeing this design without pupils. The only other discrepancy if that the beige on his head frill should be grey according to my figure but I’m looking on Google Images and seeing that the greyness fluctuates from figure to figure, so I think I’ll let ‘em off.
All in all I am very happy, I shan’t lie and say that the random lack of accuracy on his arms doesn’t bring the figure down a notch or two from ‘perfect item’ to ‘really great item’ but that still means I like it better than most modern collector’s toys put out including most Kidrobot products and a whole bunch of NECA products, so that still means I must think this Triceraton’s pretty fucking good. Would I like him as much if I didn’t have an emotional attachment to the original toy he’s based on? No probably not but a) people who had the original toy are clearly the target audience of this figure and be) he’d still be a triceratops man dressed like something from a Care Bears production of Mad Max who is also the same colour as processed cheese.  

* I couldn't find my Cave Turtles Leo for this photo so it's not quite as good as I imagined it.       

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