NECA Toys is offering a new line of 1/4″ scale Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures inspired from the classic Cartoon, and this is in addition to the movie figures that they’ve been offering. Donatello is the second figure is this new cartoon line, and Leonardo and Michelangelo will probably be up next, as those haven’t been solicited yet, we’re confident they are finishing off the Turtles before offering other characters as we’ve seen with the 1/4″ movie figures.
This new line of 1/4″ scale turtles are inspired from the 1987 cartoon series, which many of us consider our turtle show and toys, even though the brand started out as a black and white comic book in 1984.
Thank you to NECA Toys for providing their eenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classic Cartoon – 1/4″ Scale Donatello figure for review.
Availability: October 2021
Donatello comes packaged in a window box, with artwork, including the logo’s inspired from the cartoon series on the packaging. The sides include images of Raphael, and the back gives you a closer look at the accessories, as well as a description.
By now, you may have already picked up their 1/4″ TMNT Movie figures that were inspired from the 1990 film, so for the most part you may have a pretty good idea of what to expect here. NECA has offered 7 figures (the four Turtles, Raphael in disguise, Shredder and the Foot Soldier) in that line, and we can all agree how awesome those have came out. So for this new cartoon line, you can bet if you own those figures, you’ll probably be picking these up as well.
Donatello and the rest of the turtles have different likenesses from the 1990 Movie as you are probably aware of that as well, and these figures really bring out that likeness extremely well. This scale has the ability to dig deeper into the likeness and really show off the details that you won’t get in the 7″ scale line, and the new sculpting and interchangeable head engineering have been carried over to that Turtles in Disguise 4-pack in the 7″ scale line. The head sculpt can be split apart at the top of the nose/bottom of the bandana so you can swap these out in four different ways as shown. This allows you the ability for several different expressions as you’ve always wanted for your Turtles figures, which makes better for display or photography. It would be a great idea to use a hair dryer to loosen up the neck before swapping it on the body for the other mouth piece, as the peg joint feels like it has a breakage issue. At least on Donatello, I had a heck of a time trying to get one of the eyes and one of the mouths to connect, but the other parts with this feature were no problem.
For me, the open mouth out and either one of the eyes make a great choice to pose Donatello with, but it’s nice to have the option to swap it out. The bandana piece around the back can also be removed, and is on a hinged-swivel joint. The belly and belt buckle are also nicely done, especially the sculpted detail and paint applications applied here. There are even black lines giving it definition here, and various other places on the sculpt, which brings out a better likeness.
The skin also has several shades of green, and the crisp line in-between these shades are also nicely done. The bandana also has several shades of red with the black line detail in various places as well.
Donatello includes several accessories that you’re going to be familiar with, including the T-Phone, or Turtle Comm as seen in the series, which opens and closes like it did as well. The antenna’s on top can also lift up, and out as well. The T-Phone works like a modern day cell phone, and back in the 80’s and 90’s the Turtles can FaceTime each other and talk. This phone was ahead of it’s time, and we even saw Krang and Shredder use their own Communication Device as previously seen in the 7″ scale line. He also includes his bo staff, two slices of pizza, three sets of interchangeable hands to hold the accessories and for various poses, a pizza box that can store the pizza, an extra head with another mouth piece (3x mouth pieces, 2x eyes total), and a magazine sealed in a wrapper.
He is also given a lot of articulation just as we’ve seen with the 7″ scale and 1/4″ scale figures, which includes a ball jointed head, ball hinged shoulders, double elbow joints, ball jointed hips, double-hinged knees, ball jointed ankles, and swivel-hinged wrists.
In the cartoon, the turtles are depicted as small than most humans (Irma being an exception), and that carries over nicely in the 1/4″ scale figure as he too is shorter, especially compared him to the 1990 Movie release. Interestingly enough, the Turtles were depicted the same size as humans, so there’s a size difference in the cartoon and movie that is carried over in this line. This size feels like it’s more playable for some reason compared to the slightly taller 1990 Movie Donatello figure, which looks like a conversation piece or even a statue.
Overall, Donatello is an excellent figure that you need to add to your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles collection now. The likeness and interchangeable head pieces make this a lot of fun to play with, especially if you have also been buying the 7″ and 1/4″ scale Movie and cartoon figures. Donatello is currently shipping, and you can find him at the stores listed below. It sounds like Michelangelo is up next, and Leonardo afterwards.