Hello and thanks for checking out today's post! I've been working on this one for a long time. I'm a huge fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and when I heard NECA was shipping sets of these figures previously only available at SDCC exclusively to Target I knew I had to get them for myself. They were released in late February and I spent a good chunk of time driving to the local Targets and even started calling to see if they had any of the turtles in stock. I don't know if it's just that there's a bunch of other toy collectors in the Seattle area or if my local stores just didn't really get many of them to begin with, but I didn't see these things in person for almost 2 months.
Keep that in mind if you're still looking for them. It’s going to take some time. One day I went into a Target and talked to an employee to ask if they had any of the turtles in stock. He was nice but he also had a sly smile as he asked if I was the guy who was calling every day. I asked if he meant literally every day, because I'd called once before but I hadn’t been calling daily (I swear!). He laughed as he told me there was a guy who had been calling every morning. At that point I didn't have any of the turtles in hand and I just kind of gave up. I thought, if this was my competition I'm not getting these turtles. It was a bummer because I had put so much time into the hunt and I didn't want to just post a blog that said well, two months later nothing, thanks for reading, but at a certain point, I had to admit, the hunt became a little more frustrating than anything else. So it was about mid-April when I put it aside and told myself, if I happen to be at a Target and they are there, awesome, but I can't keep spending all this time looking for these things.
So a couple weeks after that I was on a little road trip and on the way back to Seattle I noticed a couple of Targets on the side of the road. I was making good time and thought I’d give the TMNT hunt one more shot and I’m so glad I did! I walked into what looked like the nicest NECA section I've ever seen in a Target, in Vancouver, Washington of all places. This was more well stocked than anything in my area, not just with the turtles but with everything NECA makes. I saw the packed shelves and in the corner I couldn’t believe it, three of the four sets! Leo, Mikey and Ralph along with two foot soldiers and The Shredder! I picked them up without a second thought and went for the register. The man at the register said the usual, “Hello, did you find everything you were looking for today?” and I put down the toys and told him I was so glad I finally found these. He looked down and laughed and said, “I'm glad too because you're never going to see these things again.” I guess they had just gotten the shipment and I finally got my lucky day.
I still needed Donatello but after two months of searching it was good to finally be able to show something for it and I knew this post was back on track. so I called around to a couple more of the Seattle area targets and, of course, there was no sign of Donatello. I know I like to check out the hunt in-person but in this case I also set up an eBay alert. Thankfully I found the one person on eBay who didn't care about making a profit. For 50 bucks and free shipping I saw a brand new Donatello and Krang set. That's cheaper than retail so I knew I had to jump on it and wrap up this particular hunt. I'm so happy to have a complete set and 3 months later can finally present some pictures and a little review of these awesome figures.
First up, Donatello! He comes with his bo staff and the turtle comm. The turtles all come with some form of the turtle comm, some closed others open, and they’re fun accessories. The background you see is the same sewer scene for each of the different two-packs. It makes a great addition when taking photos of these figures. As far as I can tell these are the best renditions of the turtles from the original Saturday morning cartoon that have ever been made. NECA’s attention to detail has never left me unimpressed and we have another set of winners here.
Raphael is next and he might be my favorite. I often say that Michelangelo is my favorite turtle overall, and when collecting he’s the one I try and track down first, but what I love about this version of Raph is that he is the only one of these turtles from the Target sets that comes with a slice of pizza. Throw in the fact that he can carry it with his sai and you’ve got one awesome display piece.
Michelangelo comes with his signature nunchucks and I love the spinning accessory that you can attach to one end. Another thing I really like about these figures is that they all have an expression on their face as if they’re ready to fight, as opposed to the smiling turtles that S.H.Figuarts released a few years back. More angry turtles, please!
Last up for the turtles, the leader, Leonardo. Maybe you’re the kind of collector who doesn’t need the whole set, so if you’re only going to pick up one of these two-packs I think Leo might be the way to go since he is packed with Shredder!
If it wasn’t for that pizza slice on the end of the sai I might just have to pick Shredder as my favorite of the bunch. They all look great but I’ve never seen a Shredder quite as cool as this one. He’s perfect. I also think he has one of the funniest accessories of the bunch with Krang on his communicator screen.
Speaking of Krang, he’s packaged with Donatello and his little tentacles can be removed so he can fit in his bubble walker. Krang looks ugly and I think that’s what makes him so funny. I laugh when I think about this angry brain-like alien bossing Shredder and the foot soldiers around. Let’s hope we get his android suit in an upcoming series of these figures.
From what I can tell, the foot soldiers that come with Raphael and Michelangelo are identical except for their weapons. That’s fine since the same was true on the cartoon. They’re great additions to the set and another two-pack later down the line would be cool for building a small foot soldier army of your own.
If you’re a fan of the cartoon you will love these figures. If you didn’t get them at SDCC now’s your chance to pick them up. As I said at the beginning of this post this took a long time but don’t get discouraged if you have been looking and you haven’t found them yet. When I talked to a lot of Target employees they said they hadn’t seen them at all, which means they could still be on the way. Let me know how your search is going in the comments. Good luck to you when you’re out looking for them!
Thanks for reading the latest post. I didn’t mean to take another long break from the blog. I should have worked on something while looking for these guys instead of waiting to update until I had them all. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to make up for lost time!