Toy Review: WWE Ninja Superstars – Raphael as Sting (Playmates Toys)

If there is one action figure line that can get away with ridiculous variants and theme mashups it would have to be Playmate Toys’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line.  The latest genre mashup was a result of a partnership with WWE which transformed our favorite foursome into new versions of some of the most iconic WWE Superstars ever to grace the squared circle.


  • Leonardo as WWE Superstar John Cena
  •  Raphael as WWE Hall of Famer Sting
  •  Donatello as WWE Superstar Undertaker
  •  Michelangelo as WWE Hall of Famer “Macho Man” Randy Savage

Playmates Toys has been the master license holder for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for well … forever (1988 to be exact).  And when I was offered a chance to get an early look look at one of the Walmart Exclusive Ninja Superstar figures I couldn’t say no.

Once the package arrived I was greeted by Raphael as Sting, which in my opinion could be the truest Turtle-to-WWE Superstar translation of the series.  At the 6-inch scale, Raphael has 12 points of articulation and is capable of some really great poses despite his duster, which is more flexible than your would think just by looking at it.


img_3366As far as accessories go, Raphael comes with Sting’s iconic bat, a kendo stick and a trash can lid.  The paint applications are spot on and my review sample was free of any smudges or smears.  I imagine that this figure in particular will appeal to wrestling fans of a certain age as the height of Sting’s career was in the now defunct WCW (which was purchased by WWE in 2001).  I fully believe that the Leonardo as John Cena will sell because … John Cena.

Sting returned to the WWE Universe to much acclaim in 2014 with appearances in SummerSlam and Wrestlemania 31 and was enshrined in the WWE Hall of Fame in 2016.  In the grand scheme of things, this really isn’t the weirdest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle mashup we have seen in the near 30 year old line.  The WWE Ninja Superstars are a fun combination of two of the more popular boys action figure lines right now.



(L-R) Grand Slammin’ Raph (1991), WWE Ninja Superstar Raphael (2016), Classic Collection Raphael (2013)


As stated earlier, this limited series is a Walmart exclusive and has a MSRP of $19.99.  Now my toy hunting days are somewhat behind me, but I can tell you that I have yet to see any of these at the two Wally Worlds that I frequent.  If you can track one down, this would make an excellent gift for the 10 year old boy or the 34 year old man in your life.  Good luck and Happy hunting!


*Note – This figure was provided by Playmates’ Toys for review.  


The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 Trailer Will Give You All of the 90s Nostalgia Feels

The 2014 live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a blockbuster hit, grossing nearly $500 million worldwide.  While it may not have hit all the right chords with fans, next summer’s installment, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of The Shadows, looks like it may have captured the right balance of comedy and action.

teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-2-out-shadowsAs someone who was the target demographic during the absolute peak of the TMNT craze in the early 1990s, this trailer is giving me some strong nostalgia feels.

Bebop. Rocksteady. Casey Jones. Baxter Stockman. And is that Dimension X?!?!?

The 2014 Turtles movie kind of fell flat for me and kind of forgot that it was based on a property that was supposed to be fun.  Between everything I’ve seen in that trailer, combined with the prodigious use of Run-D.M.C’s Tricky, I think I am all in for this go around.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of the Shadows will be in theaters June 2016.

Arm Chair SDCC ’15 – Hall H Line Chaos, Transformers Combiner Wars, Mondo’s Mutant Turtles and More!

ArmchairSDCC15The dust has settled on the first day of San Diego Comic Con as attendees are hurrying back to their hotel rooms to try and flip exclusives on eBay or sneak into industry after parties.

While the big panels in Hall H are gearing up for Friday afternoon, there still was a fair bit of awesome stuff coming out today.  Read on for some of the highlights from day one!

The Hall H Line Almost Descended into Chaos!

Apparently some unscrupulous Hall H line waiters exploited a weakness in the crowd control barriers and were able to sneak through an area that was intended for ADA use.  their victory was short lived as the Internet outed them and the SDCC Sheriffs sent them packing.

[via Comics Beat]

AutobotTF_SDCC Combiner Wars Seriess … COMBINE & ROLL OUT! 

Hasbro announced that a “grown up”  animated Transformers series will be debuting later this year on Machinima.  It will be based on the current theme of Combiner Wars, so expect lots of gigantic robot on robot action with none of the Micheal Bay!

The Autobot combiner Superion is featured on the key art which was unveiled at the Hasbro panel, so I imagine that he will be playing a big part along with Devastator, Bruticus along with the all-new, all-female combiner Victorion   [via io9]

Mondo Goes Mutant

SDCC TMNT MondoThe Austin-based purveyors of limited edition posters, vinyl records and t-shirts quietly got into the collectibles game last year.  One of the biggest surprises in their booth was that they acquired the license to produce 1/6th scale Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures.

These fully articulated action figures will have interchangeable heads for their comic and cartoon appearance along with a smattering of other accessories.

The word is that each of these figures will go for roughly $150 and Mondo is committed to producing the core characters.  The display was littered with teasers like Krang, Mousers and a 1:1 scaled Casey Jones mask.  These really do look fantastic but are WAY out of my discretionary spending budget.

[via Awesome Toy Blog]

Ben Affleck Will Direct the Solo ‘Batman’ Film

Everyone assumes at this point that part of getting Ben Affleck to sign on as the Caped Crusader was to guarantee that he’d get to direct himself in the planned stand alone Batflick.

Ben-Affleck-Batman-The biggest news is that Geoff Johns, DC Entertainment’s Chief Creative Officer will cowriting the film with Affleck also.  It will be a while before Batman starts production as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League are all ahead of the project.

[via Comics Alliance]

Arm Chair Toy Fair 2015 – TMNT LEGO No More, NECA’s Power Loader, Diamond Select Takes on “Ghostbusters” & More

ArmchairSDCC14Toy Fair International is running throughout off the weekend at the Jacob Javitts Center in New York City and lots of press releases and photographs of the latest and greatest in nerd culture is hitting the Interwebz.

The collector’s event for Hasbro is taking place Saturday afternoon with Mattel’s big event scheduled for early Sunday morning.  Until then, I have gathered some of the biggest surprises and reveals to date.  Keep an eye out here all weekend for the latest and greatest from Toy Fair 2015!

TMNTlegonomoreTMNT LEGO NO MORE!!! — Mattel and Nickelodeon announced in a press release that beginning in 2016 Mega Bloks will be producing construction sets based on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  LEGO will obviously sell out their remaining stock based on the current animated series as well as the lackluster sets based on the 2014 live action movie.

I fully expect the first wave of TMNT LEGO sets will see their secondary market prices increase in the coming months. [via The Brick Fan]

“Get away from her you bitch!” — After much anticipation NECA revealed the prototype for of Lt. Ellen Ripley and her Power Loader from the science fiction classics Aliens.

Image via Toy News International

Image via Toy News International

The folks at Toy News International have a really good look at everything NECA has in the works, including their continuing Pacific Rim, 8-bit tribute figures and a 12″ Christopher Reeves as Superman.   [via Toy News International]

Diamond Select Ain’t Afraid of No Ghost! — It looks as though the good people at Diamond Select Toys quietly picked up the license to make action figures based on Ghostbusters!  In their booth they had prototypes of Ray Stanz and Winston Zedmore on display and from the initial look it appears they learned from Mattel’s  bungling of the license are doing everything right. [via The Fwoosh]

Gordon’s Alive!?! — Bif Bang Pow is rolling out a line of 3.75″ scale action figures based on the characters of the 1980 cult classic Flash Gordon.  The first wave will include: Flash Gordon, Prince Vultan, Prince Baron, Ming the Merciless and Princess Aura.



As a youth my GI Joes would have done unspeakable things to a 3.75″ Princess Aura … just saying.

[via Action Figure Insider]

These 80’s Villains Took A Break From Evil & Went Pop!

I stumbled upon the work of Rocky Davies late last year when his Predator / Guns N’ Roses mashup “Welcome to the Jungle” ended up on TeeFury.  Since then Davies has expanded his lineup to include the likes of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, The Baroness, Shredder, Freddy Kreuger and even Skeletor.

I’m a huge fan of Rocky’s work, which you can follow on Deviant Art, Instagram or you could snap up some of his latest designs over at Age of Nerd.  You can also nag him incessantly on Twitter @Rocky_Davies … because I’m sure he takes requests.

Throw Away Your Cassette Tapes, ‘Coming Out of Their Shells’ is on iTunes

Twenty four years after the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles traded in their signature weapons for keytars and drum machines you can now relive the unholy terror that was the “Coming Out of Their Shell” tour, in its entirety, thanks to the magic of iTunes.


The long out of print soundtrack features ten tracks including the over the top “Pizza Power” to the Splinter slow-jam “Skipping Stones” and can be had for a bargain at $9.90. Many of you may be too young to remember the living nightmare that was “Coming Out of Their Shells” but thanks to the magic of the Internet the entire concert film is available on YouTube.


It Appears That ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ May Not Be Very Good

The live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot is presently sitting at a 38% rating over at Rotten Tomatoes.  The reviews that I have read so far have been anywhere from a middling summer action flick akin to Amazing Spider-Man 2 to the equivalent of a steaming pile of mutagen.

TMNT_rev1For those of you who may not have been following this film’s production, it was beset with much nerd rage and several WTF moments, particularly the last minute casting of Johnny Knoxville as the voice of Leonardo whose dialogue had been performed on set by another actor during filming.  Luke Y. Thompson from Topless Robot made effort to note in his review that,

“The last-minute stunt-casting doesn’t really work: Johnny Knoxville sounds notably out of place as the only overdubbed turtle … “

And let us not forget that the mere presence of Micheal Bay as a producer on the film sparked much outrage because well … he’s Micheal Bay.  Seven years after he put flames on Optimus Prime pop culture fans have refused to forgive him and continue to make claims that he has in fact raped their childhoods.

I for one will reserve judgment until I get a chance to catch this in theaters, but let’s be honest it can’t be as bad as Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation.


Armchair SDCC ’14: Life-Size Pizza Throwers, Batman Merch, and Star Wars: Rebels

armchairSDCC14It’s the calm before the storm as nerds from across the nation begin to converge upon the city known whose Germanic origin is quite literally “Whale’s Vagina”.

The flow of information has slowed a bit as most of the media outlets are traveling today to get ready for the non-stop onslaught of all things pop culture.


Pizza Hut commissioned a real-life Pizza Thrower based on the truly awesome vehicle from the classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle line from Playmates Toys.  It will be on display at San Diego Comic Con and will most assuredly be throwing pizzas. [via Jalopnik]


8-Bit_Batman__scaled_600NECA is making a 7″ scale Michael Keaton Batman action figure based on his appearance as Batman in the official video game for the 1989 Tim Burton film.  It should be noted that the video game was truly awful. The cell shading and endless jumping made for a very poor gaming experience, even by 8-bit standards.

Regardless of my video game prejudice this prototype looks great and should be in stores in October.

[via ToyNewsI]


In more Batman news, LEGO unveiled another exclusive set for San Diego Comic Con, a midi-style 1966 Batmobile with Batman and Robin minifigures.  The set will retail for $39.99 and only 250 will be available each day beginning Thursday.


Fans are upset that this set is being released as a convention exclusive and not a mass market release. Ultimately I’m hoping that we will see a full size ’66 Batmobile sooner rather than later.  Until then I guess there’s always eBay?  [via FBTB]


A full trailer for Star Wars: Rebels was released upon the Interwebz today and gives us a better look at this new animated series that will bridge the prequel trilogy to the trilogy that everyone actually likes.  I’m digging the McQuarrie-inspired designs and Freddie Prinze Jr. as a Jedi.  Let’s hope this isn’t as forced as that whole Shadows of the Empire thing from the mid 1990s.


Arm Chair SDCC ’14: The Exclusives That I Want, But Will Certainly Never Have

armchairSDCC14While I will not be in attendance for next week’s San Diego Comic Con, I will be sure to do my damnedest to keep up with the latest and greatest from the city whose Germanic translation is “Whale’s Vagina”.

San Diego Comic Con kicks off Wednesday, July 23rd with a Preview Night which will surely gobble up a significant portion of all those exclusive toys, statues, and t-shirts that the rest of us nerds will never have a chance at owning.

While my good buddy Matt Guzy from AwesomeToyBlog has published a rather exhaustive list of exclusives that will be available at the show, I’ve narrowed down my want list rather substantially.

Transformers Knights of Cybertron Set – [Hasbro Toy Shop]


I’ve already documented the inherit awesomeness of this exclusive, I never thought I’d see that day where Optimus Prime would be channeling Steven Tyler in a leopard print deco accented by fur.  The packaging really sells this exclusive and I’m truly hoping that I will be able to make this happen.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles “Original Comic” Rapheal –  [Playmates Toys] 


Several years ago NECA took a turn at doing the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as they appeared in the original Mirage Comics.  While the line was cancelled, their popularity has remained strong.  Now, Playmates Toys is giving fans another chance with Rapheal (who has always been my personal favorite).  This figure will be available for purchase at the Nickelodeon Booth (no word if he’ll be available online after the show).

ROM: The Space Knight Mighty Mugg – [Hasbro Toy Shop]


As documented here last week, this announcement came out of nowhere and delighted me to no end.  I have a feeling that this may be the most accessible Hasbro exclusive once SDCC is over.  He’s a niche character that may wind up lost on a good number of the speculators that seem to be over taking the pop culture world.

Pulp Fiction’s Gimp In a Box [Super7/Funko]


When Funko announced that they had licensed Pulp Fiction for their ReAction line of throw back action figures, never in a million years would I have expected this release.  Of all things Tarantino the concept of a submissive living in a box in the basement of a pawn shop is probably the most terrifying.  This is easily one of the most fun exclusives we have had for San Diego Comic Con in years.


What San Diego Comic Con exclusives are you looking to score? Sound off in the comments below!.

Appetite for Pizza is The Guns N Roses/TMNT Mash Up You Never Knew You Needed

There are a lot of genre mash-ups that fall short in execution, but this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles themed take on Guns N Roses’ iconic album art for Appetite for Destruction is awesome.


Thanks goes out to CobraShadowJoes on who shared this on Twitter a couple of days back.  If anyone knows the artist(s) who created this piece let me know, I’d love to give proper credit where it is due.

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