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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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Retro Movie Star TMNT 2021

Playmates sure seems to be milking stuff on the TMNT front lately. There’ve been several re-releases of the "original" TMNT figures. Unfortunately, primarily just the turtles themselves, and maybe Splinter and/or Shredder. But other early figures–Slash, the Triceraton, April, Casey, Metalhead–early characters that I would not imagine would have any creator tie-ups (that a number of other early figures might) have not been re-released.

That said, there IS some sort of "villains" set upcoming–but it’s more "limited release" stuff that has to be bought well in advance and in bulk…and not hitting the shelves of any mass retail. And I suppose that’s a matter for some other post or rant.

Something I was not expecting was a set of the "Movie Star" figures. Of all the "turtles variants" from the Days of Old, these were probably the ones I was most interested in tracking down. (and a couple years ago, I had a heckuva time deciding between a loose Movie Star turtle and Hothead…went with Hothead since I couldn’t afford multiple figures at the prices).

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So Playmates did this box set–the third I’m aware of (one previous was the originals, a more recent was a re-release of the "original Mirage" turtles and variants of the original Shredder and Splinter, and now this).

This Movie Star set is apparently a Target exclusive…and a "mere" $44 or so…probably for the leverage a big-box store can bring to the table.

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Like those other 6-pack sets referenced earlier, these figures come tightly packed into a box with cool art–this time based on the subway car from the second ’90s film.

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And we see images of all four turtles as we look around the box.

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The bottom of the box tells you what’s IN the box…

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My original vintage Movie Star turtle that I had back in the day was Donatello. I’d just had the figure handy in the not-too-distant past but couldn’t locate it to include a photo in this post, so that’ll likely be something for a future post with these, and out of the packages.

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Raphael has become my "new favorite" as an adult–exceeding (matching?) Leonardo. I’m pretty sure I’d wound up with a second Movie Star turtle…but while I’m quite certain that it was not Michelangelo, I don’t recall if it was Raph or Leo.

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OF these four turtles, Leonardo’s maybe the weirdest-looking to me with the dots all over standing out more than most of the others. They seem to have more contrast…and maybe I notice it more on this one than Donatello because of the nostalgia factor of my original vintage figure lasting in my possession to present day.

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A glaring thing about this iteration of these figures–and where Playmates is "milking" the stuff–rather than re-do the original "Movie Star" weapons, they’re reusing these classic "weapons racks." Better than nothing, sure, but a bit of an anachronism.

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Super Shredder looks quite good, and I suppose these accessories are a better fit. I did not remember him being part of the "Movie Star" set…ditto for Tokka and Rahzar (and adding them to this would have really made a bit of an "ultimate" Movie Star set!)

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The weirdest one–and even more an anachronism–is this repainted ’88 Splinter posing as a "Movie Star." I’d’ve been great even with them using the 2007 film’s Splinter mold…even drop this one and Super Shredder to include Tokka and Rahzar for the set of 6. Whatever…

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And here’s the cardback. Another drawback to this particular release is that these were put on generic cards. And it’s the individualized cards that (to me) really helped set the classic figures apart, and one of the greater nostalgic things for me of older toys vs. modern. This just reeks of the "modern" rather than having individual turtle profiles (even if they’d skimp and put Splinter and Shredder on a shared semi-generic).


But hey…for a $44 or so set; we’re under $8 per figure in a world where figures half the size of these (in bulk) cost upwards of $20 apiece, so there’s that.

And as someone who is mostly content and glad for "re-issued"’ figures over modern prices of vintage figures…getting a figure for $8 that looks and feels more or less like an original, and is a "genuine" product…I’m pretty ok with it not having travelled through time for the past 30 or so years.

I referenced a villains set earlier, so tucking a link to a local-ish (to me) toy store’s page showing it: TMNT Retro Villains Mutant Module 6-pack. Unfortunately, those weigh in at more than double the price of this set, which makes this set all the more appealing just for value. But the price seems to be all around…it’s the same price as the big bad toy store many think of for online stuff.

While I can’t guarantee I won’t get sidetracked…I will hopefully in the next couple weeks get a post up showing the "retro" movie figures with the modern NECA movie figures. Time will tell for sure, though!

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