Toy Review: Fishface and Metalhead (Playmates TMNT 2012)


I'm really impressed by the new Ninja Turtles cartoon and after experiencing the awesomeness of its figures I've been eagerly awaiting the next wave. Wave 2 includes three new figures: Dogpound, Fishface, and Metalhead. I opted to skip Dogpound, who looks like a Street Sharks reject, and just get Fishface and Metalhead. Do they continue the awesomeness established by the first wave? Let's take a look!

We'll start with Fishface, a character that's new to the TMNT universe. As an anthropomorphic mutant fish with robo-legs, he certainly looks like something that Peter Laird would design, so much so that I browsed through Peter's Playmates toy concepts to make sure he didn't. Nope... looks like he's an all-new character. We haven't seen him in the cartoon as of this published date, but you can catch a brief glimpse of him in the intro:



Here's the action figure:



As with the Turtles, I actually like the action figure's design more than the cartoon's. The figure is more realistic and sinister with detailed skin textures, a more robust skull, more humanoid musculature, and reptilian eyes. The paint detailing is sparse, and some washes would have really made the sculpt come alive. But I dig Fishface's look regardless.



Fishface has limited movement: swivel-hinge shoulders, swivel wrists, swivel waist, swivel hips, and swivel tail. The character's design doesn't lend itself well to lots of articulation, but I would have loved for his jaw to be able to open so that he could munch on the Turtles with his weird teeth.

Fishy comes with a sword and a dagger. The sword is awkwardly huge... and what's the deal with that handle? The dagger works better, if only because I think he looks creepy enough that he would prefer to use a dagger a la Chucky.

Switching gears (so to speak), we also have Metalhead! You might remember Metalhead from the original cartoon, which inspired both the classic action figure and his appearance in the TMNT arcade game. We've also seen Metalhead in the new cartoon, as shown in the following screenshot:



And this is the action figure:



Unlike many of the TMNT figures, Metalhead looks very much like his cartoon counterpart. Playmates captured the look perfectly in the sculpt with lots of nifty little detailing like the tummy wiring and the manhole cover shell.

Unfortunately, the paint apps are tragically limited. The flatness of the gray plastic really needs some color variation to make the figure look interesting. Silver brush swipes like those on Kraang would do a lot to make him look less flat. But even more egregious is the fact that there's no paint detailing on the side of the head and torso, which means that his yellow bandana and tummy wiring aren't completely painted. It's just plain lazy.



Let's not forget that the cartoon Metalhead is significantly smaller than the Turtles, whereas the figure is more or less the same size. I don't mind all that much because this scale interacts better with the other Turtle figures, but it would have been nice for Metalhead to be more show-accurate. Maybe if he was smaller, he could have come with more accessories to offset his reduced size.

Speaking of accessories, Metalhead only comes with a "projectile" flame blast for his right arm. I put that in quotes because there isn't any firing mechanism in his arm, so don't expect any sort of projectile action here. The Turtles came with an entire tree of accessories, while Metalhead only has that non-projectiling flame. This is especially disappointing considering the character's accessory potential shown in the episode. I mean, look at this:



Any of those weapons would have made great snap-on accessories. (My favorite is the toaster.) At least he should have come with a controller for Don. With the lack of cool accessories and a non-functional missile arm, a lot of coolness potential was wasted.

Fortunately, the figure moves pretty well with a ball-socket neck, hinge shoulders, hinge forearms, swivel-hinge hips and swivel-hinge knees. As with the Turtles, the articulation is enough to make the figure fun to pose, but not so hyper-articulated that it ruins his playability.

One other thing: at a little under $8 each at Wal-mart, both figures are reasonably priced.

I didn't think I would have said this before I had the figures in hand, but Fishface is the winner in this wave. Even though his articulation and accessories could have been better, I really dig his sculpt and design.

Unfortunately, Metalhead is a disappointment with lazy paint apps and seriously lacking accessories. At least his sculpt is cool and his articulation works well. But as with MOTUC Scareglow, the problem with Metalhead is less what the figure is and more what he could have been.

After the home-run of the first wave, this wave seems less inspired. It just seems like Playmates didn't try as much here as it did on the hero Turtles. Hopefully the next wave will have more of the Turtle Power that made the first one so awesome.





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DISCLAIMER: All items reviewed on Dork Dimension were purchased by the reviewer unless otherwise noted. The opinions expressed on Dork Dimension are solely those of the author and are presented for entertainment purposes only.