Monday, May 1, 2006

TMNT Leatherhead toy

The latest batches of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toys have been met with mixed reactions and varying degrees of critical acclaim and commercial success.  There’s no precise scientific formula to give an accurate ratio, but let’s say the odds of getting laid in high school with the name Walter roughly equates to the number of good to bad toys.  For every Turtle Bot (featured prominently previously in an action figure story about sex) there’s a lame Stone Biter or valueless Foot Fire Mystic on store shelves giving this line a bad name.

There are various different origins for the original Leatherhead from yesteryear, the most widely accepted in the comic books being he was either mutated or transformed by witchcraft into his new leathery form, later becoming a wrestling champion amongst other things.  In the legendary cartoon, we remember him as a villain with a southern accent, and a penchant for getting miraculously nailed in the face by our hero’s kicks every time their paths crossed.  This Leatherhead is completely different though, as they’ve tweaked his origin, giving him the luxury of being the only other creature to share the same origin as the turtles themselves.  Flushed down a toilet (hopefully a ride free of fecal matter) he encountered the mysterious ooze that mutated our favorite pizza eating ninjas.  He’s got brains now, too, spending most of his life in the TCRI building with the Utroms.  Separated from his friends, he now desperately is trying to reunite with them by building a Transmat device – think interstellar elevator.

I think the best possible way to judge if this action figure works on the most basic of levels is if it’s a functioning ass-stomping crocodile.  After watching this video clip, I’d have to say this is a pretty accurate depiction of what it’d be like to cross Leatherhead in a dark alley.

How’s it rate as far as being a toy?  I’d have to say pretty well, all things considered.  He looks great, as evident by the picture above, and is a great representation of his animated counterpart.  His accessories including tendon-tenderizing teeth, slashing tail, tail armor with mace, and apparently his eyes switch from “human to reptilian” according to the package, although I can’t say there’s any truth to that statement as I’ve seen no discernable switching of the eyes.

My toy was packaged with a DVD containing an episode of the awesome cartoon series.  I won’t go into too many details, but here’s an idea of how crazy this episode was.  The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles find a group of Foot Ninja stealing a Japanese ceremonial sword from an art museum, that’s later found to hold incredible powers, like creating powerful “vibrational soundwaves”.  If that’s not crazy enough, the Foot are somehow hooking said sword up to a cannon apparatus for some “nefarious purpose” which threatens to topple most of lower-Manhattan.  Whoever they’ve got writing this shit is either a genius or deserves a stint in a psychiatric ward – either way, I commend them on a job well done.

In conclusion, this action figure would make a great addition to anyone’s collection.  If you’ve seen Leatherhead in the new cartoon, especially his origin episode, he’s been re-tooled as a very cool character hard not to like.  His toy corresponds with his size and stature well, as he’s bulky and boisterous, not entirely unlike the lunch lady that will be serving your future children.  He earned himself a spot on my desk, safeguarding my last remaining can of Luigi Berry, and as evidenced by the earlier video clip, is ready to smack a ho if needed.

Overall Grade: A- 

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