Tuesday, 4 September 2012

TMNT 2012 Foot Soldier Review

TMNT Foot Soldier

Any nerd worth their salt knows that when the Turtles get released, so should the cadre that follows them.  With the announcement of the new Turtles cartoon for 2012, we see a new toy line of Turtles and bad guys as well.  Here I am going to have a look at the faithful little Foot Soldier.

 

 

I’ve always liked the foot soldier, not only the pun on their name, a foot soldier just being a grunt and them actually being part of the foot clan, but they are fairly handy little army building dudes too.  The 2012 version of the foot soldier is probably the most human ninja looking version in my opinion.  Not that I have had much experience with TMNT over the years, I remember the original toys but that’s about as far as it goes.

 

TMNT Foot SoldierTMNT Foot Soldier

TMNT Foot SoldierTMNT Foot Soldier

This guy comes on a blister card.  On the back is his bio, well an exposition about the Foot anyway and a checklist of the other toys.  You can see all the weapons that F.S comes with.  A katana, a Tanto (short sword) and two shuriken.  Actually I am not sure it’s a Tanto, as that is what a Samurai’s small sword is called.  Oh and a sheath for the swords that plugs into his back.

 

TMNT Foot SoldierTMNT Foot Soldier

 

The front piece of card that has his name has the generic pic of the Turtles on the left side.  Really it’s a fairly standard blister package.

 

Once I had him out of the package, my first impressions were what I expected.  It’s a nicely sculpted figure that look appropriately ninja-esque with his tabi style feet and puffy sleeves, although I thought a ninja would find close fitting clothes more efficient.  I digress however.

 

TMNT Foot SoldierTMNT Foot Soldier

As you can see, it’s fairly action orientated, however there are a few flaws that hinder the action posing options with this guy.  Normally I hate using blu-tac to stick feet down but I had to with this one and it’s mainly due to the jointing.  Joint wise the Foot Soldier has a swivel on the neck for Left/right, hinged-swivel on the shoulders and hips and a swivel at the elbows and a swivel at the waist.

 

TMNT Foot SoldierTMNT Foot Soldier

No ankle movement and no knees.  His feet are posed in a slight action stance, one foot is meant to stand on the toes, but it’s not so action posed to be dynamic and not casual enough to be a normal stance.

 

TMNT Foot SoldierTMNT Foot Soldier

TMNT Foot Soldier

Essentially, the placement of the feet lock his legs into a certain pose making the hip joints redundant.  The two pictures above are the default pose and trying to get him to stand some other way is an exercise in futility.  Unless you use blu-tac or something like that to stick him down.  Moving one leg will upset the balance enough to make him fall over, so while it’s nice to see that he has joints at the hips, they aren’t much good.

 

From the back, you see the sheath for his weapons.  It can only plug in one way, due to part of the circle being shaved off.

TMNT Foot SoldierTMNT Foot Soldier

 

The sheath works well for the most part, well by most part I mean the longer of his swords, but the smaller one just falls out on mine.  Maybe I just got a dud with this, but the sheath is just a tad too loose to hold the blade.  The angle it hangs at as well only adds to the um, fally-outy-ness.

 

TMNT Foot SoldierTMNT Foot Soldier

 

There is nowhere to stash his ninja stars either, which I find a little annoying as they are the smallest and thereby the easiest  item to misplace.

 

Since I am on the subject of his weapons, let’s have a little look at his hands which are integral to his wielding the weapons. 

 

TMNT Foot SoldierTMNT Foot Soldier

 

While the swords have some nice sculpting on them, it seems that the hands were designed more for the holding of the ninja stars than the swords.  For some odd reason once the handles are in his hands, they never actually sit right.  The short sword in particular is tricky, at first I thought that perhaps one sword was designed for a particular hand so I swapped them over, but they still don’t fit right, I always found the katana seems to sit in a slight angle.  He does manage to hold the ninja stars quite well though.

 

As I said before, the sculpting isn’t bad.  His face has a nice bit of detail and there is enough familiarity to associate him with other Foot Soldier toys.  I do like the look of his head, but if I were going to join a ninja group, I’m not sure I’d choose one whose symbol is a foot print smack bang in the middle of the fore-head.  Looks a bit like a target to me.  It is crisply applied.  Shame I can’t say the same about the red on his goggles which actually look like the have had a bit rubbed off somewhere.  This can only have happened in factory or package, there was no evidence of it on the blister, so factory it must have been.

 

TMNT Foot Soldier

 

 

Finally we get to the posing issue.  With a bit of extra aid, he can pose ok, his arms can’t reach his weapons on his back but once he has them in his hands, you can make him look ninja enough.

 

TMNT Foot SoldierTMNT Foot Soldier

I needed to stick one of his feet down for that picture.

 

It’s a shame about this line, but poor articulation is what one expects with Playmates figures I think.  The shame is the Turtles themselves are actually pretty good with a surprising amount of well thought out joints.  It’s just that everybody else in this wave sucks a bit.  The Classic Turtles are a definite surprise as well, so it’s not like Playmates can’t make well articulated toys, it’s like they choose not to make well articulated toys. 

 

That is the major down fall of this figure, his articulation is just not that useful.  What is there is ok, but the choice of a swivel at the elbows is strange and the lack of knees and the sculpting of ‘battle pose’ feet really ruin the joints they have made for the hips.  It really baffles my mind that it is 2012 and we still get toys with such poor articulation as this.

 

That poor articulation kind of puts me off army building with this guy as well.  Although it would be easy to have them all standing in the same pose, but still….  If you are ok with sticking his feet down and improvising on the posing side of things then this figure is ok.  If not, then it’s not OK. 

 

I guess, from a kid’s point of view, the Foot Soldier is an entirely capable figure, after all, most of the Transformers I played with as a kid had less articulation than this guy and I was fine with it, so I think that pretty much summarises this figure well.

 

“Perfectly capable for a toy.”

 

Sadly though Old Mr Footy here isn’t the worst in the line.

 

Final pic.

TMNT Foot Soldier

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