Sunday, 8 March 2015

Mikey TurtFLYtle -- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Series: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Company: Playmates
Year: 2015

Mikey TurFLYtle begins his buzz around the city to lure in Kirby Bat. Buzz! Buzz! With a homemade fly costume created from pizza boxes, etra tube arms, and glove hands, he flies around the city skyline. Buzz! Buzz! Attached to Raph's Glider, Mikey really puts himself out there to help the team, but he could be a sitting duck... or in this case, flying bat bait? Buzz! Buzz!

I love all four of the turtles, and Raphael has been my favourite since I was a little kid. So sometimes I forget how cool Mikey can be – it’s easy to write him off as the comic relief in a show that’s already fairly heavily based around humour, but he gets up to some genuinely strange stuff. Back in the ’03 series he spent some time as the Turtle Titan, which was one of my favourite episodes of that incarnation. And now he’s appeared as the TurFLYtle, an inspired piece of weirdness is apparently based on an episode of the current series, and is pretty darn cool as a toy on its own.  


Mikey looks more like his Battle Shell incarnation than his original fig, which gives him a closer resemblance to the cartoon.He’s sculpted with a big goofy smile on his face, which is very Mikey. The base body looks to be the same as the Battle Shell toys, but I haven’t invested in them myself so I can’t confirm it. 

However, to befit his new status as TurFLYtle, the back of his belt has been cut off, and replaced with a yellow piece which attaches his four extra fly hands. His wings are detached in the box, and aren’t held in particularly tightly; but careful popping them off though, as you don’t want to damage the wings or the tabs that hold them in.  

Articulation is as follows:

*ball-jointed neck
*swivel-hinged shoulders
*swivel-hinged elbows
*cut wrists
*swivel-hinged hips
*swivel-hinged knees

It's standard for a regular turtles, really, though it’s a little more restricted given the giant wings and extra arms.  

While my figure didn’t have any issues, a friend of mine also bought his and the legs were super wonky, similar to the LARP Turtles that came out late last year. He also suspected that Mikey had been misassembled, with two left legs. You can’t check this in the store unfortunately, as both of his legs are concealed behind cardboard in the box.  


Mikey comes with a headpiece (cool design, but a little small and prone to popping off), his four extra arms (all moulded in soft, Monsters in My Pocket-style plastic and unarticulated) and pizza-box wings. He also comes with two sets of his regular nunchaku, which is a nice bonus.  


Playmates performs better in this category than usual, though it’s more so by absence than by brilliance. Playmates have made the wise decision to have the bandanna moulded as a separate piece, just like they did on the ’03 series. This means they don’t have to paint it, which cuts down on a lot of slop potential. As another plus, the wing decos are stickers, so they’re nice and crisp—you don’t even have to apply them yourself! Hooray!  
On the minus side, the prototype pic on the back of the box indicates that a couple of apps were cut from the final production piece, which is a shame – the hand bandages are the most obvious ones. However, it doesn’t affect the overall enjoyment of the figure; the design is fun enough to do the heavy lifting.


I got the four turtles for my birthday back in 2013 and loved them, but while most of the accompanying figures have been perfectly adequate as kid’s toys, they really haven’t served too well as collector’s pieces. Good sculpts with crap articulation and crap paint have really frustrated me, and Rustin Parr from over at had a few words to say on the subject back in February. I definitely share his frustrations with the line, though often about different figures.   

Fortunately, Mikey TurFLYtle is easily one of the most fun figures I’ve bought since those original four – it’s a huge pleasure to add him to the collection. He’s not perfect, but I would definitely suggest buying him. He seems to be packed one per case, so snap him up whenever you come across one.     

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