June 28, 2013 | By More



I do remember the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles craze from the late 80’s and early 90’s. In fact, even though I was certainly not in the target age bracket for the toys, I still ended up buying some action figures of them.


Donatello TMNT (2)When Playmates revealed their plans to re-launch the toy line in 2012 (to go with the newly-aired Nickelodeon TV show), I was not particularly curious about what they’d do with the license, given the company’s rather spotty record with movie tie-in collectables in the past few years, but the pictures shown in the 2012 San Diego Comic Con really piqued my interest.


What attracted me to this line was the character design. While a lot of people I know prefer the larger Classic versions of the Turtles, I liked better the design on the smaller scale because it is a mix of the animated Nickelodeon style and the Eastman & Laird comics.


Still, almost a year later, these toys are finally getting a wide release, and the first one I picked up was the 5inch version of Donatello, the Turtles’ resident gadgeteer.


Donatello TMNT (7)Donatello struck me as an interesting first figure to get because, unlike his brothers, he doesn’t have a teeth-baring grimace on his face, but rather a look of grim determination not unlike what you’d expect to see on a Batman figure.


The sculpture is very stylized, but it incorporates quite a lot of details that convey a sense of realism not usually found on figures based on animated shows. There are clearly defined muscles under the skin, wrinkles and scuff marks on the protective gear and a good amount of textures sculpted onto the skin, turtle shell and wrappings around the wrists and ankles.


While the 2011 NECA TMNT figures showed a very impressive amount of articulation, Playmates settled for a less extensive, but still functional design that incorporates:


Donatello TMNT (3)• Ball jointed neck.

• Pegged hinge shoulders.

• Pegged hinge elbows.

• Swivel wrists.

• Pegged hinge hips.

• Pegged hinge knees.


All these joints are very simple and work quite well for the format. In fact, I was expecting a fairly reduced movement range at the hips, but as it happens, the front shell piece is made of a pliable rubber, so Donatello (and arguably his brothers) can sit without a problem.


Donatello sports very few paint applications, basically only the mask, eyes, knee and elbow pads, and the bandages around wrists and ankles are painted with solid colors, and the rest of the figure is left in the color of the plastic it is made of.

 Donatello TMNT (13)

Although the paint job is decent all around, the real trick to make Donatello look as good as he does lies in the selection of colored plastics used for the different elements that conform the figure.


Donatello TMNT (8)For example, the whole body was cast in a pale, muted pea green, the back shell was made from a rigid plastic in a light olive color and the front shell piece was molded in a brown/gold hue.


I found the overall scheme to be fairly appealing, and the non-removable rubber straps that form his belt and webgear were cast in a brown plastic that matches the color of his weapons.


And speaking of which, Donatello comes armed with his trusty Bo staff, which he can carry in a loop at his back, but also included is a plastic sprue with a few more weapons, namely a naginata spear, a thrice-segmented baton and a couple of chakram discs. I don’t think I’ll be cutting the sprue anytime soon, but it is certainly nice to have the extra hardware.


To be honest, I don’t see myself buying heavily into this line, although I’d certainly go for the four turtles and maybe the odd supporting cast member (judging on a case-by-case basis), but Donatello turned out to be a fun, great looking figure.

 Donatello TMNT

Errex Score: 90/100

 Donatello TMNT (12)

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Featured, Other Television, Toy Reviews

About the Author ()

I've been collecting action figures since the original Kenner Star Wars days. Nowadays, I still collect pretty much anything that catches my eye.

Comments (2)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Mauro says:

    Hi! Since you have both a Leonardo and a Ronin figure…does the Ronin Katana fit in Leo’s hands?


  2. Errex says:

    Actually, Ronin’s swords are way too thin for Leo to hold.