The original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade Game remains one of the greatest arcade games released by Konami. When it was released in 1989, it helped to reinvigorate the side scrolling brawler genre. Using impressive cartoon quality graphics, a stellar soundtrack and addictive 4-player gameplay, TMNT had kids lined up at every arcade when it hit. The game spawned ports and variations on the NES, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Atari ST and more. Not only that, but it paved the way for more fantastic licensed brawlers from Konami and other companies. Over 25 years later, the TMNT Arcade Game, and its equally popular sequel Turtles in Time, remain huge fan favorites of retro gamers. That longevity has paid off for long time fans in many ways. The game has been included as a bonus on newer TMNT games and has even seen a re-release on Xbox Live Arcade.
Action figure fans now have their own homage to the classic game. For San Diego Comic-Con 2016, NECA shocked TMNT fans with their exclusive Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classic Video Game Appearance Box Sets. Not only were they producing a box set with the four Turtles, they also had a second companion set that included Shredder and three variations of the Foot Soldiers from the game. Our own Tony Bacala was able to grab a set while at SDCC 2016, and was kind enough to let me do the review.
After the jump, you can find my thoughts on the set. I also have over 200 high resolution photos to check out.
SDCC 2016 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classic Video Game Appearance Box Sets by NECA
- All new Turtles sculpts are excellent
- Fans finally have access to the unused Shredder and Foot soldier molds
- Some of the best Video Game styled paint apps yet
- Every figure has great articulation
- Lots of accessories
- Turtle hands are interchangeable among all four figures
- Perfect presentation
- License only allows for sale at SDCC
I was ecstatic when I first saw that NECA was releasing a set of figures based on one of my personal favorite games of all time. Due to the strictness of the TMNT master toy license, I had no hope for figures of this nature. With these releases, fans get, essentially, a full line of figures. You get all four Turtles, Shredder and three Foot Soldiers.
TMNT Arcade – The Turtles Box Set
The four Turtles come in a large scale flapped window box featuring artwork from the original arcade cabinet. The flap folds down to reveal the Turtles, as well as an arcade cabinet style layout for the inner flap. The figures themselves sit in a plastic tray along with their swappable hands and weapons. Included with the Turtles is a cardboard backdrop with art from the second stage of the game.
The Turtles are all new molds created by NECA that feature about 30 points of articulation. The bodies appear to be the same across all four figures, with each having their own head sculpts. Each Turtle includes their weapons and a set of interchangeable hands. Leonardo includes two katana and a set of “pointing” hands. Michelangelo includes two nunchucks, a spinning nunchaku attachment and two “thumbs up” hands. Donatello includes his bow staff and a set of flat hands. Raphael has his two Sai and a set of hands allowing them to be held with the blades between his fingers. Leo and Donny can store their weapons in their belts, while Raph and Mikey cannot. Also included with the set is a pizza power-up.
The Turtles are pretty fantastic. The new sculpts have a strong nod to the original cartoon, and the paint apps mimic the arcades pixel shading wuite well. The articulation allows for a ton of fun poses. The joints are all solid, with no paint locking issues. They do have a bit of wait articulation under the shell as well. The knees are double jointed, while the elbows are not. One fun hidden feature is the fact that their bandana ties swivel, allowing you to move them for a more dynamic “wind blown” effect. The shells are a little heavy, so it can take a second to find the right balance. The bottoms of the feet do include peg holes if you choose to use a figure stand. The hands can be shared among the four figures, which adds more display options. Raph’s extra hands are particularly useful for holding the pizza box. Of the weapons, only Donatello’s is really soft. Leo’s sword, Raph’s sais and Mikey’s chucks all feature harder plastic.
There’s a lot to love with the Turtles. The sculpts are top notch, there’s plenty of articulation, and they do a good job of emulating the arcade games look.
TMNT Arcade – The Foor Clan Box Set
The Foot Clan box set uses the same packaging at the Turtles box set, with a few small changes. The box has a pixelized version of the Foot clan logo stamped in multiple spot. The inner flap contains the same arcade cabinet joystick layout. The backdrop included here features the final stage inside the Technodrome, right at the portal to Dimension-X.
Shredder and the Foot Soldiers differ a bit from the Turtles. Instead of being completely new sculpts, they are mostly based on the older NECA TMNT sculpts, which never saw a release. They appear to have tweaked them a bit to fit more in line with the 80’s toon, but for the most part are those highly coveted Mirage style figures that looked to never see a release. Like the Turtles, each figure includes character specific accessories and interchangeable hands. Shredder includes a sword and swappable hands to clutch the weapon. The foot soldier army includes a sword, a throwing star, a naginata, a giant hammer, a rifle, and dynamite.
The Shredder is a superb figure. The added cape transforms this from a Mirage era comic figure to the more recognizable toon style appearance. The detailing throughout is intricate and looks great in hand. The mask isn’t quite accurate to the toon, but it works. The articulation on Shredder is near perfect. Double jointed knees and elbows, rotating waist, multiple swivel points on the arms and legs. He can hold his sword easily with one or both hands. The Foot Soldiers are handled equally as well. They have newly painted chest overlays to bring them in line with their toon look. They also include the same articulation as Shredder, allowing for a range of dynamic poses. That articulation comes in handy with the weapon assortment included here. Each of the different colored robot ninjas has their game specific weapons. While the Purple Foot Soldier wielded more of these weapons than the other color version, you can swap weapons between them if you desire.
This is a fantastic companion set to the Turtles. It gives long time NECA Ninja Turtles fans access to molds that many thought would never be released. The assortment of weapons and great overall figures make this a must own.
In the end, this is one of NECA’s best ever exclusive offerings. The figures turned out really well, and the sets are each jam packed with accessories. As a fan who would like to see as many people as possible get access to these molds, I hope we see them again for other con exclusive TMNT variations in the near future. If not, then these will be some of the most sought after NECA figures.
Check out some select images below, with over 200 photos i nthe gallery after that.