Last week, our friends at The Loyal Subjects sent us a box of Series 1 TMNT toys, and in addition to a few blind boxes, we received a Jumbo Action Vinyl of a black-and-white, battle-damaged Leonardo. Like with their blind box Action Vinyls, these TMNT toys have a very unique look to them, which is derived from the original Mirage comics and designed by Joe Allard.
Starting with the packaging, the toy came in a nice big window box with panels of the original TMNT comic as the backdrop on both the inside and outside of the box. It nicely displays the toy and the inspiration behind it.
The sculpt for Leonardo is the same as the smaller version, just blown up to eight inches. It actually seems much larger than eight inches though, due to the massive head. The toy has good weight to it, still hollow of course, but it feels substantial. The only real changes I can see between the small and larger versions are to the ankle and wrist joints. The ankle ball joint was traded for a straight swivel, which seems like a wise move in order to make the over-sized toy more stable. The wrist joint has a peg which holds the arm and hand on opposite ends, much like the shoulder joints do on the smaller versions. This actually is my only complaint about the sculpt, as the peg seems a bit long, making the joint very conspicuous, though it does give it a wider range of motion than the smaller version. The stout little body gives this set it’s very distinct look and Leo’s head sculpt is great. He has the classic TMNT gritted-teeth look and serious eyes, nicely capturing his original comic book persona.
The paint is excellent. The large version is nicely done with great attention to detail, including black around the eyes and accent lines for his brow. He is colored in a light gray with near-black arm bands and belt. The front of the shell is nearly white and the back is the same near-black as the bands. The only color is the red bandana and red scratches for the battle damage. As this line is based on the original comic, I am particularly thrilled with having the red mask version of this toy. Though the public at large is more familiar with the four colors of the Turtles, I personally appreciate the all red masks, especially when the look of the original comics is the inspiration. I do have one note about the paint/coloring, which is not so much a complaint, just more so a comment on the technique. I don’t believe the gray coloring completely captures the duo-tone look of the original Eastman and Laird comic books as well as others have done it. Referring specifically to Neca’s black and white TMNT toys from several years ago, and Mondo’s “First Turtle” figure, where both had the toys a bright white color, and accented details with black. Granted, the smooth vinyl, with less places to detail, would likely not capture this look as well, I believe the sharp contrast of those early comics is better represented by the other approach.
The accessories for this toy are great, two katana, two shuriken, as well as Leo’s scabbard. The katana look great, but are a little hard to get into Leo’s hand. The shuriken were made nice and thick, so that the large version wouldn’t bend. The scabbard presents the only issue for me. It has a bit of brownish coloring, which I feel is inconsistent with the black and white. Also, the scabbard attaches to Leo via a peg, and a hole in Leo’s shell, which I found to be very hard to keep together. You can display it with the scabbard attached, but even a light tap causes it to fall out.
Overall, I recommend this toy whole-heartedly and was thrilled when I saw it in our care package from The Loyal Subjects. The red mask paint job is a big deal for me as it relates to the source material, which I far prefer over the color-coded versions which were much more widely available. Leo was the only Turtle to receive the Jumbo treatment on Series 1, and even though I’m a Donatello fan, I’m hoping Michelangelo gets it next, as the Series 2 Mikey, which has been on the back cover of several of Clutter’s recent print issues, looks amazing.
The Jumbo Battle Damaged Leonardo goes from about $40 to $80 online and Series 2 of the Loyal Subjects TMNT line will be out this Spring.
Friday, November 4, 2016 - 1:26pmDespite Hollywood's best efforts, the TMNT franchise is still standing. And the designer toy world is definitely getting their fill. Kidrobot, The Loyal Subjects, and now Unbox Industry have all put their own twists on the iconic reptiles.
Friday, October 14, 2016 - 2:01pmI don't often venture outside of The Block. But when I do, I make my way to Bandai's booth.
Thursday, October 13, 2016 - 1:46pmWhile Toy Tokyo mostly clogged The Block with lines for the latest cookie cutter Fuko Pop! figure, they did at least bring four amazing pieces to NYCC.