Thursday, 2 January 2014

Cockroach Terminator Review (TMNT)

A Short note before we begin...

I haven't posted in a while, but largely due to an overseas trip in late November/early December. Combine that with frantic deadlines at work over the last couple of weeks, then Christmas, then New Year and you'll probably understand why. But don't worry - I haven't been idling, and there's plenty of reviews to come, hopefully in the next week or so. Thanks for your patience, everyone!

Figure: Cockroach Terminator

Series: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Year: 2013

Scale: 4”

Company: Playmates


I’m a bit of a sucker for the new Ninja Turtles. Figures that I passed over, or thought looked lame at first glance, often become essential purchases further down the line. I’m currently umm-ing and ahh-ing on Snakeweed – I don’t think much of his characterisation in the show, but he is a cool-looking toy. Where to draw the line?  (EDIT: I found him cheap and bought him just before Christmas)

However, as soon as I saw Cockroach Terminator, I thought looked pretty good – but as I mentioned here, I’d never actually seen him in-store in Australia! Still, I was in Scotland with my wife recently and I came across it in a GAME store (they still have them in the UK), so I snapped it up immediately. Was he worth the journey to the misty lands of Alba? Read on!

Opening him, I quickly discovered that he’s actually a bit discoloured in spots, presumably as a result of the moulding process. It wasn’t a huge issue, but my initial reaction was one of annoyance – I had paid about 10 pounds (almost $18AUD) for this guy, making him one of the more expensive Turtle figs I’ve bought.  

But now that I’ve had him for a while, my irritation has faded, and I think the sculpt looks really cool – he definitely looks like an oversized, cybernetic cockroach. I think it’s pretty awesome, but your own mileage will vary according to how revolting or endearing you find cockroaches.  I haven’t yet seen the episode that Cockroach Terminator appears in, but I have read elsewhere that the scale on this guy is actually pretty spot-on.
In terms of articulation, he’s got the following:
*cut neck (quite stiff initially)
*peg and hinge shoulders
*peg and hinge elbows
*swivel mini-limb on right side of torso
*peg and hinge hips
Not a great deal, but it was actually more than I expected. After all, his body type differs from the standard humanoid shape. All of it moves pretty well, though the neck was initially a little stiff and as might be expected, the nature of the sculpt means that the articulation in his legs is very restricted. It’s nice to have it, but this is actually one occasion where I don’t think it would have been a problem if they’d just left it as one solid piece. I would have happily sacrificed it for cut wrists, which would have given his arms a little more poseability.

There’s very little paint on Cockroach Terminator, with most of him moulded in the appropriate shade of brown. What is picked out is his cybernetic parts, which are painted in a shade that resembles the 1990s Mithril Silver paint from Games Workshop. His robo-eye is also picked out in red. No major issues to report, just a tiny bit of slop here and there.

Cockroach Terminator comes with one accessory – a “spinning” blade. I put the word “spinning” in quotation marks as it doesn’t actually spin at all – it’s moulded in one piece. This blade is attached to a rod, which is inserted through the hole in the stomach, and can be kind of puppeteered from the back. The effect is not dissimilar to the missile/fireball thing that came with Metalhead, which may well have been an action feature that was cut from the final version – I can’t help but wonder if the same thing happened with CT here.

It’s not a bad accessory, and I don’t know what else he could have been given (though one reviewer suggested a pre-ooze mini-cockroach) but it does seem a little cheap. I think it might have been better if it was included as an interchangeable limb, and the stomach left intact. Display him with it in, and it looks weird hanging out the back. Display him with it out and the hole spoils the look of the figure a little.  

Best buds

Nothing major to report – as I noted above, he has quite a bit of discolouration on him, but it wasn’t something I had spotted until I opened him. Maybe just take a closer look at yours before purchase, if possible.

Worst enemies

The interesting thing about the new Turtles range is that I often see the figures being reviewed quite negatively – but then yet I find myself buying them anyway. Though there have been a number of issues with the line, I think that Playmates has for the most part delivered a really cool series of toys, if not great collector’s pieces – and really, that’s what they were aiming for, wasn’t it?

On this basis, Cockroach Terminator is a really cool toy, if not a collector’s item that you’ll boast about owning. He’s one of the more appealing enemies in the line, and I’m overall very happy with this purchase.  I wouldn’t suggest travelling as far as Scotland to get him, but if you can find him closer to home, he comes highly recommended.

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