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Retro Movie Star TMNT Out of Their Packaging

Several weeks ago, I posted about getting my set of the Retro Movie Star TMNT figures from Target. That post merely showed off the figures and collector’s box packaging.

I’m following up now to show the figures out of said packaging, actually opened and loose!

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Starting off, here’s the new Donatello side-by-side with my actual vintage figure that I still have all these years later from the early 1990s! (The vintage one is on the left).

One of the first things to note is that the coloring is slightly off, as are the weird dots marking the character. While having them present fits, the exact (or nearly-exact) placement is off.

The biggest disappointment to me, though, is that Playmates did NOT use the softer/rubbery plastic this time around that they did with the originals. These new ones move easily at the joints…but lack that rubbery texture that was so unique and cool about the originals!

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The new figures are slightly taller than the originals. I first thought it was the camera angle but on closer inspection I found that these new versions are indeed slightly larger pieces. Not significantly so, and not really noticeable without having them literally, physically side-by-side, but…there ya go.

I continue to be quite a fan of the shells on the turtles…I’m not sure why, but I really dig ’em!

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Here’s the Super Shredder…the only real difference that I noticed myself is where the original is stamped with a copyright year and the 2021 edition lacks that on its back. This figure is definitely the star for me, being the closest, full recreation…enough so that it’s actually pretty redundant. But as a guy interested in having the figures for the characters, this is exactly the sort of thing I want from Playmates: new "printings" of classic figures, virtually indistinguishable from the originals. Since I just want to be able to own a copy, and be able to look at it and have it appear as the original, I’m good with having a recreation, and leaving genuine vintage originals to die-hard collectors overall!

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Here’s the entire 2021 edition of the Retro Movie Star TMNT out of their packaging (minus accessories…holding the accessories would make these stick out big-time from the rest of the figures they’ll be displayed with!

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Going a bit further beyond merely opening the figures and comparing them to the two "originals" I have…here are the two genuine Playmates-produced figures side-by-side with a knockoff edition Donatello.

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And here’s the full Turtles + Splinter genuine 2021 edition with their knockoff counterparts.

The difference is much more telling with the side-by-side comparison. The knockoffs aren’t great, but they weren’t…horrible, either. For what they are.

That being said…being able to get actual, genuine articles for a reasonable price was something I was morrrrrrre than willing to do!


While I have no idea what sort of legal/licensing issues there may be with creator-owned characters and such that were produced as part of the original iteration of the TMNT figures line…for whatever tooling still exists, it’d be great to see MORE THAN just a handful of figures recreated multiple times over (with mere repaints)…and to see them just simply available as individual pieces. As otherwise rare, out-of-print vintage things…I’d more or less be willing to (at least grudgingly so) pay $15-$20 apiece for re-issued figures, just for the sake of having them. From Mirage characters and such that transferred to Viacom when Laird sold the property to various creator-owned characters like Ray Fillet, Usagi Yojimbo (Miyamoto Usagi), or Panda Khan.

To say nothing of some army-builder pack of say, 5 classic-style Foot Soldiers. The 5" Krang in Android Body. Non-turtle Toon characters like Burns, Vernon, and Irma. The Neutrinos.

And of course, a new re-issue of the Party Wagon would be amazing.

But I suppose time will tell…

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A Wave of GI Joe

I actually (finally) completed the first wave of the Walmart-exclusive(?) "retro" GI Joe line!

I’m a total sucker for these, as I never really got "into" the brand as a kid. I consider my "official" intro to be September 2001 when (thanks to my friend Lonnie) I checked out the first issue of Devil’s Due‘s GI Joe comic series. I lapsed pretty quickly–initially–but wound up getting back into the series a couple years later, thanks in large part to Lonnie‘s purchase of Master & Apprentice #1 which I should have "picked up on" as I knew he already had it. As we walked outta the comic shop, he pulled it out of his bag and handed it to me.

I then followed the new (from Devil’s Due) stuff for years, and was definitely keen on the IDW continuation (by Larry Hama himself!) of the Marvel series–including original numbering.

I’ve long been much more interested in the story–and the idea of the story–than the toys; particularly given the relative lack of toys for me as an "adult collector" while wielding "adult money."

I bowed out on the GI Joe Classified line due to frustrations with Target-exclusives, price point, and all the crap around that.

These Walmart-exclusive figures have actually been attainable! AND they’re 1/3 cheaper than the larger figures, and hit more of a nostalgia button for me.

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Now, before anyone jumps on me for it–the Cobra Commander figure is–I believe–from a 25th anniversary line of retro-style figures; I bought it last summer because it was there and looked cool and, as it turns out, was a mere $2 more than these brand-new figures.

I believe there’s already a second wave of these, but it’s taken me months just to track these down–and I’ve had to "settle" for damaged packaging, both from the store and their online shipping, just to get these at all.

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I’m not overly impressed with the A.W.E. Striker…but I am with the H.I.S.S. Tank! I’m usually not really one for "vehicles" anymore, especially with lack of space to display ’em properly (a large part of so many toys remaining packaged lately is that I flat-out lack the open space/surface area to display stuff). But the retro packaging absolutely "sold" me on the tank. The Striker is more for the "completionist" in me.

It seems a shame that Playmates doesn’t have a "retro" TMNT line out right now. They’ve been putting out some limited box sets of the oldest base figures, but I’d be all over a bunch of the post-original-first-wave of TMNT same as I’m all over all these GI Joe figures…and vehicles. Let alone the Masters of the Universe line! (Which will, itself, be another post sometime).

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