Well, whaddaya know? We are in the final weeks of 2021 and it is #TurtleTuesday! I cannot think of a better way of spending it than with the BEST Turtle – so let’s take a look at the ULTIMATES! Donatello. Cowabunga, gang – the team is complete!
I am sure you know this by now because I talk about it a lot, but Donatello is a REALLY important character to me. Along with Mer-Man, he is my favorite character from my tied-with-MOTU favorite action figure line of my youth. It is crazy and wonderful that those two lines have been given the modern treatment by the same design house (Four Horsemen Studios) across two companies (Super7 and Mattel) to become two of my favorite lines now. I count myself lucky in that regard because I never would have thought it possible, but damn if I am not having a ton of fun with these collections. Whereas MOTU is pretty much done now, TMNT really is only getting started, and with the release of this fourth wave, the Turtle boys are complete.
That feels like such a significant milestone for this line. We are only four waves in, but due to the business model of this line, it runs more like a marathon rather than a sprint. That is just fine, and now that the Turtles are here and together, I think it will help promote more accessibility to the line overall. Plus – DONATELLO! I realize that all of the brothers are based on the same basic base body, and even though the wait has been KILLING me, I am glad for the “saved the best for last” approach because I think things have actually hit best overall on Donnie, and Super7 have worked out some of the inconsistencies and kinks from before. But hey, even if you are out of our gourd and Donatello isn’t your favorite Turtle, there is no denying how wonderful the full team looks together. It is amping the best part of 1987 in the very best way.
So yes, if you are familiar with the Raphael, Leonardo, and/or Michelangelo figures, you have the basic idea of what Donnie brings. I will say that I like the materials used here the best, particularly with the hands as they are a little more pliable than the previous Turtles, so holding weapons works well here. Donatello is, of course, his distinctive brownish-green color with his signature purple mask and pads, but if I had to match the painting style of Don to Raph and Leo as there is a lot of subtle airbrushing throughout, something there is less of with Mike. His belt style DOES match Mike more closely though, as there are not the silver highlights present like with the other two. Now, Kyle from Super7 mentioned in a conversation with him awhile back that the reissues should have matching style belts (like Mike and Don), so we will see how that turns out in the end. Either way, I thought my OCD sirens would be blaring over the differences, but having them all together, it doesn’t get me much at all.
Donnie also carries over the rack sprue and weapons, along with two new bo staffs, all in unpainted and painted versions. I like that we get two of each when it comes to the bo, but I wish they were ever so slightly longer. Just a touch. He gets the pizza slice, too, as well open and closed Turtle Comms. I wish the latter had the purple highlights in the same way Raph had reds, but that is getting picky. Donnie’s harness belt has the classic straps, and it holds the bo well, and just like you remember. I DO wish the little pocket on the left side to hold a throwing star was present (I LOVED that little feature in the vintage), but again, that is sweating some of the small stuff.
The two new heads are both FANTASTIC and my favorites since Raph. Sure, I am a little biased, but that classic Donnie head with the symmetrical teeth gnashing just looks fantastic. I am a vintage homer with this line, but damn if I am not getting second figures to display these newly designed heads, and as I mentioned, Don’s is probably the best, or at least tied with Raph. The fully closed mouth just gives you a calm and stoic look that is perfect for Donatello – I really love it. The new head might be seated a little high on the neck, but you can post the long post in a variety of ways to be expressive and bring it down just a bit. So, no matter your preference here, you can’t go wrong with your choice.
So, as you can tell, overall, I adore this figure. I DO want to take a moment to say that I still hope that we can get some updates to the joint pegs in these figures. I have personally never had any breakage but those thin pegs still worry me. The hips and wrists are the two spots where I notice this the most, so I tend to treat them carefully. I just got some new ThunderCats U! figures and those pegs are wider and solid, so I would love to see that brought into the Turtle figures, too. Like I said, I have not had issues, but if there is a chance to remove a spot of concern, I would love to see it happen. This line keeps getting better and better with many different improvements, so I think this one will come, too.
I am so excited! Donatello! BEST TURTLE! The team is COMPLETE! There is so much to process with this release, I am kind of glad he arrived ahead of the rest of the pack. The group looks so great together, so I could not hesitate once Don hit my BBTS Pile of Loot, and he makes a great way to cap the year. Everything else is just gravy at this point. Now, Casey Jones, Mondo Gecko, and Muckman should follow in short order, and I really, REALLY looking forward to Muckman, so I hope he will still get here before the close of 2021. This line is really flowing now, and with all four Turtles, I ready for my Ray Fillet, Ace Duck, and Scratch, as well all of those yet to be announced join the ranks. It’s gonna be fun, so – COWABUNGA!