When it comes to action figures, I love them all, but none are as important to me as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. That's why Toy Fair 2013 and a trip into the Playmates Toys booth to see dream figures has been unforgettable.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles haven't big this big since the early '90s. Between the success of the Nickelodeon show on the air and with the figures in stores, the turtle craze has returned in full force. Outside the Playmates booth, various members of the press and I were discussing the line's wild success before the holidays, when it was practically impossible to find a turtle anywhere in stores. The Classic Collection may not have had the same broad appeal, but it was even harder to track down that line at retail and online for reasonable prices.
It was evident that Playmates Toys was just as surprised as everyone else by the rampant success of the line, and they really blew things out for Toy Fair this year. Between holding a special press-only event, creating video footage to complement the line, and staging elaborate diorama displays, they had one of the most impressive booth experiences of the entire show.
I could probably go into detail for every single figure you'll see in the following images, and I'd enjoy every second of it. But I'll let you enjoy them in peace, and chime in with my general thoughts near the end. Up first are all the various Nickolodeon figures, including the basic figures and the various deluxe lines with action features.
Don't ask me how I missed Raphael with the cute little turtles, but it seems I did. If you look closely, you can see him in the wide shot at the beginning of the photos.
It's really pretty amazing just how deep into this brand Playmates Toys is willing to go. They're pumping out tons of figures in different styles and multiple price points. They have more vehicles than you can count. There are enormous and absurdly creative playsets. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles feels like a toy line from 20 years ago, not a thin and predictable like most lines of the last 10 years. Seeing it all in one little room really put that into perspective for me, and certainly restored those feelings I had as a kid any time a new turtle joined my toy box. I dearly hope this line continues to exceed expectations and we see more like it in the near future.
Of course it's not all about the kids' figures. Sometimes the picky collector adults need a little fun too, and that's where the Classic Collection comes into view. Playmates Toys only had two new Classic Collection figures on display, and Bebop and Rocksteady might be all that we see for the entirety of 2013 according to an employee. But I sure loved seeing all six of the line's figures together, even if it takes years to add to the group.
I couldn't help but shake the feeling that Bebop and Rocksteady were a little on the small side, or more accurately that the turtles themselves were just too big as many people had feared since their release. I do love their design and execution, so I can forgive the size for now. When human characters begin to make their way into the line I'll be able to better assess the scale. But for now I'll take anything I can get.
And when it comes to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles these days, that's been my mentality. I'll take anything and everything I can get, because it's all fantastic. Toy Fair 2013's reveals were more solid figures in a line I already adore, making it the perfect time to be a TMNT fan.