Posted by Brian April 08, 2016

Our friends at The Loyal Subjects recently sent us a box of Series 1 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Action Vinyls, which included a few blind boxes of the ‘Metallic’ versions of their toys. We ended up with Donatello, Michelangelo and Shredder which are inspired by the original Mirage TMNT comics and designed by Joe Allard.

First off, let me say that the overall look for this series is very cool. Sometimes the oversized head look makes things very hard to look ‘cool’ but The Loyal Subjects nailed it. It works very well for toys inspired by the classic TMNT cartoon, but to get cool, interesting-looking vinyl toys based on the original comics is quite an achievement. The blind box design for these is very cool, with a shiny, metallic recoloring of the standard box. It features the distinct look of these toys and has the original Eastman and Laird comic pages as a backdrop. So, without further ado, let’s get to the reviews!

TLS Don.jpg


My favorite Turtle is up first. The sculpt for Donnie is great, the stout little body features a surprising amount of articulation, and gives the line it’s very distinct look. The oversized, dome-like head is very different from the vast majority of TMNT designs, but it translates extremely well. Donnie’s face is serious, with the mouth closed, which is very appropriate for his Mirage incarnation.

The paint is also very good. I think the metallic effect works fairly well. The Loyal Subjects painted these toys a bunch of different ways, and the metallic version isn’t my favorite for the Turtles themselves.  The Turtles’ flesh being shiny and metallic is a bit odd, but, that being said, the effect is not overly pronounced and really just adds a light sheen to the toys. The colors are well chosen for Donnie. He is a brownish-green, which has been associated with Donatello since the first Playmates line, and they chose a nice dark purple for his mask.

As for accessories, he comes with his signature bo staff and a wrench. I think the wrench was a clever little addition for the handiest of the Turtles and the bo looks good, except for the fact that it being in a bag within the blind box seems to have resulted in it being permanently bent.

I definitely recommend this Donatello vinyl as it’s a very cool-looking and fun to pose toy. I could take or leave the ‘Metallic’ feature for him, but it certainly isn’t bad at all.

TLS Mikey.jpg


Mikey’s up next. The fun-loving turtle has the same body as the rest of his brothers which is more than fine for most TMNT toys. I personally am not crazy about the head sculpt for Michelangelo; I think the toothy grin looks more like a grimace and that his eyes look more worried than they do excited. I feel like I see what they tried to do, but I don’t think it was completely pulled off here. I think it looks better in profile, but still isn’t great.

The paint looks good on Mikey, though I do think there are small issues. The lime green has not been his traditional shade of green, but has been seen in the Nickelodeon series and looks very good on him. The only issue I have with the paint is I believe the mask could have used another coat of orange. The green skin bleeds through a bit and the bandana tie looks like a much brighter orange as a result.

The accessories for Michelangelo are great. He comes with a pair of nunchucks, a pizza pie and pizza slice, quite a bit for a little vinyl. 

Overall, I think the Michelangelo vinyl is less successful than Donatello and, from what I have seen of Raph and Leo, he falls behind them as well. But, the good news is, the Series 2 Michelangelo looks awesome, sporting a big smile and with a skateboard accessory. This fun-looking Michelangelo has graced several recent back covers of Clutter magazine’s print version.

TLS Shredder.jpg


Shredder looks awesome all around. His sculpt looks menacing and is covered with cool little blades all over.  The stout little legs and body are simple and nicely match the style of the Turtles. The arms are very nicely detailed with shoulder blades, forearm blades as well as blades on the hands, yet it never seems like “too much” in a Super Shredder kind of way. The head sculpt is definitely the strongest part of the toy. It looks like it’s straight off the Mirage pages with a simple, slick-looking helmet over mean-looking eyes.

The paint is equally cool. Whereas the metallic effect is ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ for the Turtles, for Shredder, it’s exceptionally cool and appropriate. For this version, they ditched the classic Mirage red clothing for straight black, which makes him look even cooler. The metallic silver gives the toy a nice pop and the simplicity overall of just a few colors makes the whole toy look really memorable. The metallic look doesn’t translate great to his skin-tone, which seem more orange, but it’s just the hands and hardly affects the overall look.

Shredder comes with two shuriken and a naginata, very cool little accessories for this toy.

For a line of vinyls that are very cool as a whole, I believe Shredder is the best of the bunch. It nicely marries the looks of the original comics with this very stylized series by The Loyal Subjects.

The Loyal Subjects TMNT blind boxes can be found online and in stores for about $10 to $15 and Series 2 will be out this Spring!

For more TMNT vinyl stuff, go here and here! Also, check out our interview with Kevin Eastman here.


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