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Figures and Speech: Teenage Mutant WWE Ninja Turtles Gimme a “Shell Yeah!”

Figures and Speech: Teenage Mutant WWE Ninja Turtles Gimme a “Shell Yeah!”

Welcome to Figures & Speech, Nerdist’s regular column by, for, and about grown-ups who still play with their toys but might want to know more before they buy. From product reviews to informed editorials, these are most definitely the articles that’ll make you want to strike a pose.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have a long history of crossing over with other properties; in their first heyday, it became clear the Turtles themselves sold better than any supporting characters, so Playmates tried every variant they could think of, including Star Trek Turtles and Universal Monsters Turtles. And while Star Trek was easier to do because Playmates had those toy rights as well at the time, cross-company variants were possible–Trolls, owned by Hasbro, gave the TMNT a big-haired makeover for one series.

That kind of hybrid hasn’t been a thing lately, but now they’ve done it again for a Walmart exclusive line [PLEASE NOTE: Walmart.com is an aggregator site and uses third-parties like Amazon, so right now, they’re up there for $60 a pop via scalper sites. Don’t buy them there. They’ll be in Walmarts everywhere soon at a more Walmarty price.] This time, Playmates is using the popularity of Mattel’s WWE line to male Turtle Wrestlers, er, sorry, “Ninja Superstars.” (WWE doesn’t actually like the word “wrestler,” as they’re convinced their talents are multi-faceted entertainers who should transcend such a label.)

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Ninja Turtles and pro-wrestling actually go way back: Kevin Nash played the Super Shredder in The Secret of the Ooze, and Sheamus played Rocksteady in Out of the Shadows, though neither character is represented here, as more iconic figures represent. They come in oversized boxes that really emphasize the packaging styles of both toy properties, complete with photos of the real wrestlers superstars. The boxes are much bigger than the usual TMNT or WWE boxes, and in fact have a lot of empty space inside. It is, however, mostly collector-friendly–the “Dondertaker” (not his name on the package, but it should have been) has his taller accessories held in with plastic twist ties, but aside from that everything pops in and out of the plastic tray easily.

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“Dondertaker” comes with a scythe and shovel, along with a world title belt. The plates on it are stickers. His trenchcoat make sit difficult to put on, but at least two of the others can wear it.

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“Leo Cena” has the U.S. title, a folding chair that’s permanently stuck in the closed position, and a Thuganomics padlock and chain. As his T-shirt depicts human John Cena, we must assume they are cosplaying and not actual mutant hybrids of human and wrestler. I mean superstar, damn!

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“Macho Mikey” has the most accessories, with removable sunglasses, fire extinguisher, trash can, and step-ladder. Though the step-ladder’s way too small for turtle boots, and it doesn’t close up to be really used as a weapon properly.

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It looks like a ladder made for a little person…and, it turns out, works as one too.

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“Stinger Raph” has a kendo stick, baseball bat, and the lid to Macho Mikey’s trash can. But I’m putting that title on him since he wore that particular belt first.

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Articulation on these guys isn’t super-creative, but it’s more than you might expect if you don’t collect TMNT at the moment. Their necks are true ball joints, often impeded by the hair sculpts. Elbows, shoulders, knees, and hips are “swivel and cut” ball-style joints, which work except on the hips, where it’s a straight back and forth hinge that also rotates; it restricts leg poses more than a basic ball would. There’s no wrist movement, because hey, shells.

There’s enough to cheat the basic wrestling superstarring moves, anyway.

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I expected a lot of shared parts, but they seem to be mostly unique sculpts, with the Randy Savage stars etched in Mikey’s boots, and even different trenchcoats for Sting and Taker; and different T-shirt sculpts for Leo and Mikey. It’s weird that only one of the figures is based on an active performer, with Sting retired, Macho Man dead, and Undertaker doing one match a year, but then that may be a symptom of no new stars having been properly groomed to replace Cena yet. If they made Kevin Owens or AJ Styles Turtles, I’m not sure the general public would recognize them.

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If you’re curious how they scale to other figures, well, it depends which Turtle canon you’re drawing from.

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But if they are going to step into the ring, they can’t be afraid of a little competition.

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“Business is about to pick up!”

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“From Sewer Sh***y to Suplex City!”

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So yeah, your kids can play with them and their inspirations together. If you’re only looking to get one, I recommend Raphael as Sting. The darker green body color somehow clashes less with the outfit, and it also looks like a costume Raph might actually wear in-canon.

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Wanna talk toys? Let me know who you think would win these wrestling matches in comments, or hit me up on Twitter @LYTrules.

Images: LYT for Nerdist

 

 

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