Saturday, December 14, 2013

Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series 7



Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Series 7
Playmates Toys
2014

2014 starts off with a bang for the hot, hot, hot, Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line.  A total of five new figures are hitting store shelves - Four of which are out now, and one which is yet to be released.


Kirby Bat

Squirrelanoid

Casey Jones

Mutagen Man

See our post on Series 8 for more about Rahzar, and all the new 2014 figures available now!



As you can see from this particular card back, it would appear that some figures have been discontinued - Mainly the four original first series Turtles.  It looks like Playmates Toys is phasing them out in hopes of making the more cartoon accurate Battle Shell figures the only way to nab the Fab Four.  The other figure which appears to have been phased out is the original series one Shredder, which we're absolutely fine with as the second release with the removable helmet is far superior.

The other benefit to this card back is a sneak peak at the yet undisclosed upcoming figure, Rahzar.  You'll notice though that despite Rahzar coming as a figure, Dogpound seems to still be available for now.  How long that will last is anyone's guess.

***UPDATE***

Playmates Toys confirmed at Toy Fair 2014 that Rahzar will NOT be a part of this wave of figures, but instead the next which will also include Splinter 2 (Dojo Gear), Slash and Newtralizer. In addition, it appears that the vehicle, the Shell Flyer, will also be a part of this upcoming series.

***UPDATE***

We received quite a few questions from readers asking, "When will new TMNT toys be coming out in 2014?" After reaching out to Playmates Toys, we received the following response from Paula Billingsley;

"All the new TMNT Figures and TMNT products are being distributed to the retail stores around the first part of July or August which is the Spring release. Any older figures will also be coming back out in limited amounts."

So, there you have it. Look for all the new items starting in July of 2014.

***UPDATE***

We're beginning to really question the information that comes out of Playmates Toys. Despite being told that figures would start to show up in July and August, the new waves are starting to show up on store shelves as of June. We've been able to get our hands on Dojo Splinter and Newtralizer, and though we've seen Slash and Rahzar on eBay, we have yet to see him at retail. Still, it's clear cut to say that these figures are out now.

What's interesting is that there's still no sign of the new Splinter figure which was showcased in 2013 at one of Playmates Toys booths, and which was originally slatted for a fall 2013 release.  This newly sculpted figure would have featured the Turtles mentor and father dawning dojo gear, much like the design of the recently released 14 inch Dojo Turtle figures.  Will this figure see the light of day?  Only time will tell.

It was also revealed to us that the recent photos of vehicles we categorized as series six, are actually being released with these figures, making them officially part of series seven.

Grass Kicker

The Grass Kicker was particularly disappointing as all of the painted detail shown in the production photo above is gone from the actual retail release.  You won't find the gold bits on the muffler or around the back loop where the missiles are.  You also won't find any of the black paint beyond what's on the wheels.  Incredibly disappointingly is that the Garden Gnome on the front of the vehicle is painted all red.  All of that beautiful detail missing from the version you get in the box really kills what could have been an incredible vehicle to add to your collection.  Without it, the vehicle is rather boring, and quite honestly really being sold under false pretense by Playmates Toys.



Shell Flyer


Turtle Sub with Diver Donnie

The Turtle Sub with Diver Donnie is disappointing in that it's far from the size it should be.  Many fans of the new animated series have voiced their opinion on the fact that many of the figures and vehicles being released aren't to scale as seen in the show.  The Turtle Sub is no exception to that unfortunate rule.  In the show, all four Turtles fit rather comfortably inside.  Sadly, when it comes to the toy, the packed in Donnie figure barely fits without a little contortion and cramming.
  
The Grass Kicker and Shell Flyer vehicles fall into the category of the "small" vehicles, so expect to see them for about ten dollars each.  The Turtle Sub with Diver Donnie will be a "medium" sized vehicle, so you can expect to see that ranging between $25.00 and $30.00.

In addition, Playmates Toys returns to Playsets with the all new Z-Line Ninjas concept.  These four playsets are designed to be hung on a wall, and have various lines that connect from one to the other, or to any other surface, and basically create a zip line type playability.  Those familiar with the 80's line of Sky Commanders are already familiar with this concept.

The playsets include the; Fire Escape Free Fall, Window Wipeout, and slightly larger Billboard Breakout and Water Tower Washout.  The smaller ones range between $20.00 and $25.00, while the larger are between $30.00 and $35.00.  All of which are way too expensive for what you get.

Window Wipe Out


Fire Escape Free Fall

Billboard Breakout

Water Tower Washout

Each playset includes little strips of adhesive which you put on the back of clips, and attach to walls.  We personally just went the simpler route and put a couple nails in the wall for each one as there are plenty of places to hang the toys with nails that won't damage it in the long run.  Our personal preference was to combine these with the Stealth Tech Turtle figures which we feel look amazing against these backdrops.

For you catalog collectors, it's worth noting that none of these new toys actually appear in the packed in catalogs.

All of these items are hitting store shelves now with the exception of Rahzar and the Shell Flyer which have yet to be spotted.

***UPDATE***

Variant hunters rejoice!...Or cringe.

There appears to have been a slight production run change to three of the four figures.



As you can see from the side by side comparison of Squirrelanoid, the first production run, as shown on the left, is lacking the additional paint detail on the back portion of the mouth as seen in the second production run, as shown on the right.

The second, and biggest change to these figures is to Mutagen Man. The original release of the figure had no pupils. This newly released version has big round black ones added in.



Last is the subtle change to Kirby Bat. The original release had white pupils that were painted towards the top of the eyes. The second run appears to have centered the white pupils, which honestly looks much better than the original version.





All of these changes are very subtle, and easily missed for those not constantly looking for the slightest changes to their figures. We looked over Casey Jones numerous times, and couldn't see any changes from the first to second production runs.

The first production runs seemed to have seen very limited releases about a month ago, so we think it's a safe bet to say that they're going to be the rarer batch to come by, especially now with the new run hitting mass markets. Many people on eBay selling the first run of the figures don't seem to know about these changes just yet, so if you're looking to grab them, sooner is better than later.

In addition, it appears that this second production run of figures also features a change across the board for all four of the new figures. As we mentioned above, our first batch of the figures didn't feature an updated catalog, but rather was packed in with the one as produced for the prior batch of figures (Shredder 2, Ninjas in Training, Etc.).
With this second production run of the new figures it appears that Playmates Toys has also updated the catalogs, and with it comes a whole new level of variant hunting. Not only are these four new figures updated with the new catalog, but so too are all the re-released figures in the case.
 

What's a nice added touch to the catalog is that it doesn't only include the current new wave of figures, but also figures to come such as; Newtralizer, Splinter #2, Slash and Rahzar.
The photo above is only a portion of the catalog which we scanned and cropped, but other items are showcased as well such as the upcoming Shell Flyer and the individually packed Patrol Buggies. All and all it's a really fun catalog to peruse.
 
Now the hard part - How to tell which figures are packed with this updated catalog. For starters, the cover of the catalog has changed. While it still features the four Turtles, it's a different image from that of the prior catalogs. In addition, while the prior catalogs are folded over from back to front, meaning the back cover is folded over top the front cover, these new catalogs are folded the opposite way, front to back.
 
If you look in the first production run of these new figures you'll see the back side of the catalog which features the action figures. These new catalogs are inserted so that you see the top half of the front cover. However, this is difficult to see on some of the larger figures such as Leatherhead, Mutagen Man, Shredder 2 and to an extent, Splinter. You may look odd to folks passing by, but we recommend bringing a small flashlight with you if you're going to stand in the isles and inspect every figure. Unfortunately, there's doesn't appear to be any other way to tell which version you're getting without angling the package and looking inside.
 
Happy hunting!

***VARIANT CASEY JONES FOUND***

While this isn't part of the production run change, we have found variants to Casey Jones. Most of the figures being released come with a black hoodie, but it is possible (and difficult) to find the figure with also a grey hoodie.


As you cans see in the side by side comparison, the chest portion of the hoodie is where the change occurs.

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8 comments:

  1. It's not the "Shell Raiser" is the Shell Flyer.

    "These vehicle releases will also include the Shell Raiser, which will fall into the smaller class vehicle size, and is even showcased on the back of the box for the Grass Kicker."

    ReplyDelete
  2. We already have the grass kicker and it was just red and grey. I got some model paint and now it looks like the pic on the box

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, Playmates Toys is really selling this one under a lot of false pretenses. Out of all the items they've produced, this is by far the worst ones in terms of what it looks like coming out of the box vs. what it looks like on the box. Let's just say a whole lot of paint detail is drastically missing from what's being advertised.

      Delete
    2. Well, duh. When I got Slash, his paint was WAY off. I had to do the same.

      Delete
  3. What am I supposed to believe? The figures coming out in July And August? Or this month?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. According to Playmates Toys they were coming out in July and August. We have personally found them already. Check eBay if you need photographic conformation that they're out.

      Delete

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