Sunday, April 19, 2020

NECA TMNT Splinter 7-Inch 1990 Movie Action Figure Review

Today we have the review of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle's father Splinter the rat. A pivotal character in the TMNT universe wasn't going to be left out of their 1990 adventures in cinema and this is NECA's 7-inch version of that character.

Splinter is the adopted father of the four ninja turtles in all version of their origin but in the official story Splinter was a human ninja master named Hamato Yoshi who was mutated with a rat, by OOZE, into the human/rat mutant called Splinter  In the movie this was changed and instead, Splinter was a rat who was the pet of Hamato Yoshi that learned Ninjitsu by mimicking his master's moves while watching him practice in his rat cage. After Hamato Yoshi was killed by the Shredder, Splinter moved into the sewers to live and once exposed to the OOZE it turned him into a humanoid rat. The OOZE in the movie worked differently than in other depictions. Regularly mutagen would combine two creatures into one, a human exposed to a rat would become a human/rat hybrid, turtles exposed to a human would create a turtle/human hybrids. In the movies, the mutagen would humanize and jack up all traits. Rats became human-sized rats with enhanced intelligence and physical abilities and the same with the turtles. In the second movie, the Shredder mutated himself into a larger human with superhuman strength, his actions in the movie lead me to believe that it had a negative impact on his intelligence.

Now that we have all the backstory behind our action figure out of the way we can talk about the toy. Splinter, I must say, is a strange toy. Like everyone else in this line Splinter looks great. While Splinter's fur is molded in plastic instead of being actual fur, which is understandable, it looks really good. When you move real close you can tell that he is plastic but from a few steps back he looks lifelike. The one thing wrong with Splinter is that he doesn't have his whiskers which again at this scale I understand that.

His clothing is great, the robe is real cloth and looks very good. The ends are frayed and it is stained perfectly to really give it a look of authenticity. The biggest regret with his clothing is the black belt wrapped around his robe. It looks fake, wrong, and betrays its scale. A rubber belt could have been attached that would have looked more realistic.

Splinter comes with some good accessories including two that make sense and one that's a bit weird. First off Splinter comes with a replica of the canister of ooze that transformed them all. It looks like it came right off the screen. The only thing that would have made this canister even better would be if they included a second one that was broken with some ooze leaking out.

Splinter also comes with the pair of nunchucks that he uses at the end of the movie against the Shredder. These nunchucks are way better than the original chucks that came with Michaelangelo. Splinter's new version looks great and is made of wood with a rubber string holding the two pieces of wood together. The problem with the first version was the strings easily came unattached from the wood. This nunchuck that Splinter comes with is all plastic, both the wood and the rope connecting the two. It looks less realistic and is harder to manipulate into the position you want because the plastic rope isn't very bendable but you no longer have to worry about the string coming apart so I would rate this an upgrade over the nunchucks in the first wave of figures.

The last accessory Splinter comes with is a slice of pizza and its a bit weak. Splinter makes it clear he doesn't like to eat pizza at all. The only time he even interacts with pizza in the movie is in the beginning when Leonardo is cutting the pizza into slices and a piece lands on Splinter's head. This is the only reason I can think of for him coming with a slice of pizza but it's kind of lame to pose Splinter with a slice of pizza on his head, for one thing, unless you tape it or glue it in place it is going to fall off.

The one big problem I have with Splinter is his tale. It looks fine but it is not made of soft rubber but is made of thick plastic that does not bend. Because of this, you can't stand Splinter up without a hole where ever he is standing. The tail also comes equipped with holes down the one side of the tail. I have no idea why, I did a quick look online and I found nothing so I'm stumped, if anyone knows let me know.

The tail basically ruins Splinter from being possible. It's to the point that I'm thinking about cutting it off. I thought that it was detachable but I couldn't find a way to. I'm totally stumped but maybe there is a reason for the holes to be there and I'm just not getting it, I don't know.

Like the other figures in this line, Splinter can only be purchased at Gamestop, the full 1/4 scale Splinter is available elsewhere. He is 25 dollars retail and out of the three Gamestops I had to go to in order to track all four down two had him available.

In conclusion, we have a 7-Inch Splinter from the 1990 TMNT movie that looks every part of his movie counterpart, his clothing and accessories are good, and he's fairly possible but it's all ruined for me by the tail. If the tail wasn't an issue I'd give this Splinter a solid 8 but the tail brings it down in my eyes to a 5. If they release a dancing Splinter action figure from TMNT 3 I'm sure they'll have it all ironed out by then.

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