To say I have been anxiously awaiting this new series of TMNT ULTIMATES! would be an understatement. Ray Fillet is my favorite non-Donatello TMNT character, so this was a big one for me. This series 5 is getting ready to ship now, and series 6 is already hot on its heels. We are gonna have quite the turtle-y fall.
Joining Ray Fillet in this assortment is Sewer Samurai Leo, Krang, and Leatherhead. All together, this might be the most colorful and dynamic series of TMNT ULTIMATES! yet. This is the series when the character selection really started to get into the wilder array of personalities in the TMNT-verse, and for me, the weirdos on both sides of the battle have always been my favorites. It has been a minute since we have added to our TMNT ranks, but these guys make an instant and colorful impact. The good news is that people should start seeing those shipping notifications any day now, so the wait is almost over.
I took a lot of pictures, so that is the primary focus of this First Look. However, I do want to point out some of the overall pros and cons of this series, so we will touch on that below. For the most part, I think the photos speak for themselves, and all of these figures are really beautiful in their mutated way.
Like I said, there is a lot to really like about this way. Overall, the sculpting work is absolutely beautiful, so if a stoic samurai is your bag, you are just as well covered as those who are more into disembodied warlord brains. All four of these figures have been translated from their vintage forms to these modern incarnations in pretty fantastic fashion, and I keep finding new details every time I look at them. Krang’s bubble walker is loaded with mechanical embellishments. Also, you can swap the Krang arms between the two portraits.
Additionally, the paint work is pretty stellar here, and some of, if not THE best ULTIMATES! has offered yet. All of the lines are crispy clean and the color choices are, for the most part very faithful to the originals. Leatherhead is one of those guys who has so much going on here that I never noticed before due to the vintage figure being short of paint applications. Ray Fillet’s back patter is lifted EXACTLY from the vintage figure, and for the first time EVER Fish Stix and Scar Fish have paint!
Now, there are also a few paint decisions that will likely be divisive. It’s not the quality, just some choices, so your milage may vary in considering these. First, I think the silver on Krang’s walker will split opinions. I personally think the metallic quality overall is really striking, but I think some will miss the more subtle grey to this new silver. Conversely, I wish the gold on Leo was a little more metallic as I think it would have made the figure pop even more.
The variety of this assortment is also a big plus, and every figure has a very unique shape and size. Ray is broad, Leatherhead is long, but he can be posed in his vintage stance, or upright. Leo has more accessories than I can count, and his new alternate mask head is one of the best original additions to this line yet. Heck, you essentially get two Krang figures here, and with the roller stand, two ways to display them.
This is such a great looking assortment and it adds so much to an already vibrant collection.
That said, there are some bummers here, so I want to be sure to point those out, too.
A small thing I want to call attention to is that Leo’s hands are REALLY difficult to swap out. Like, I heated up the arms (NOT the hands, you don’t want to tear the joints) to get them to change out, and you might want to do the same. Also, I needed some heat to swap the alternate head as well, so again, you might want to be ready.
Finally, and this is the big one – the weak hips persist in this assortment, and it is pretty noticeable on Ray, Leatherhead, and Krang especially. This has been pretty common in this series, and a point I have been hoping for improvement. It is not so much as the hips are loose as they are weak, so the more top-heavy characters can start to buckle if not posed in a strong stance. You CAN get them to where they need to be, but action posing will likely be limited here. It’s a bummer for sure, and I am positive this will be the most discussed point about this wave, but I hope that Super7 will be taking the needed steps to make the hips in this line better.
It does not seem to be a problem facing most of their other U! figures, so TMNT deserves to be as good. I am keeping my fingers crossed that series 6 will be better because this recurring issue aside, this line has been pretty fantastic. I am going to try some of the common tricks to strengthen the hips joints, so we will see. Maybe others will be better and it is just these particular figures.
Past those issues, I really love these figures. They are beautiful and really loaded with accessories. Ray is obviously my favorite from this series (I am biased), but I think he will end up being a sleeper figure for a lot of people, even with hip issue. The TMNT U! collection continues to grow, and I am excited for the future. Again, I hope the hips can be fixed so that issue can be put to bed. This series would be an absolute home run if the hips were just stronger.
These should start shipping any day now, so be on the lookout!
SEWER SAMURAI LEO
Thanks to Super7 for sending these along for a First Look.