Life In Plastic: GUEST REVIEW: Unmasked Shredder (TMNT)

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Greetings to those of you infected with Nerditis! I’m Nathan from the Dork Dimension here to do a guest toy review. My review style is a little differentthan what you normally see here on Nerditis, so hopefully you don’t experience too much culture shock. If you’re familiar with my site, you’ll know that I’m a huge Ninja Turtles fan from the good ol’ Mirage days. But I admit that although I love collecting Ninja Turtles toys I’ve never gotten a Shredder. (I’ve blocked this one out of my memory, for obvious reasons.)

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Shredder is one of the most iconic villains of all time but his plastic counterparts just seem to come up short. The vintage figure has weird coloration (corrected in the Toon Turtles wave which I’m trying to track down), the 200X series Shredder  has an uninspired sculpt, and the first Nickelodeon Shredder seems blocky, cheap, and boring. You might bring up Super Shredder and I grant you that it’s a cool figure, but it’s not what I would consider a standard version of the character. I’ve always thought that my collection has been lacking without a decent Shredder, so what’s a TMNT fan to do? Fortunately, Playmates decided to upgrade its first Nickelodeon-style Shredder with this new 2.0 version.

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So what does this Shredder have that the first Nick one doesn’t? For one, it’s a much more dynamic-looking figure. Shredder 2.0 has a cooler pose, better proportions, long and ferocious-looking hand blades, and a much-improved helmet. The coloration of the armor is flat and makes me wish it was vacuum metallized, but other than that, the figure looks really cool.

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Speaking of which, the helmet is removable so you can take it off and reveal Shredder’s scarred face! I just think that figures with removable helmets are the bee’s knees. I remember how much fun vintage Leia Boushh was when I was a kid, and how amazing POTF2 Removable Helmet Vader was when it was first released, so it’s a nice bonus that they decided to make this Shredder’s helmet removable, too.

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The articulation is improved (arguably) with a swivel neck, swivel-hinge shoulders, swivel wrists, a swivel waist, swivel-hinge hips, and hinge knees. Hinged shoulder armor keeps the arms from being restricted, too. It’s pretty much the same as the first figure except with joints at the knees instead of the elbows, but I’d say that moveable knees are more important because they help put Shredder in more interesting poses. This figure is obviously far from being hyper-articulated, but I’m not a big fan of hyper-articulation anyway so it’s about right for me.

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The one area in which Shredder 2.0 fails to live up to the original is in the accessory department. He comes with the previously-mentioned removable helmet as well as a plastic cape that can be popped off, but that’s it… no extra weapons or anything. If you’re into getting lots of extra gear (like all that cool stuff that came with the Turtles from the first Nick wave), you’ll be disappointed.

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Shredder 2.0 clocks in at around $9 retail: good for a figure of this size, but not priced as bargain-basement as I’d like. I’ve been loving the recent $6 figure trend which is more in-line with what I’d like to pay for action figures these days, but this is a substantially larger and more complex figure than those bargain toys.

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RATING: *** (out of four stars)

So is this the ultimate Shredder? I’m not sure if I’d say that this is the best Shredder to date considering the vintage Toon Shredder might give it a run for its money, but it’s certainly the best we’ve gotten in recent years. At least it can stand up to the quality of that incredible first wave of Nick Turtles, whereas the first one didn’t even come close. We can make it perfect with an extra sword accessory and vac-metallized armor, but this will do… at least until Playmates makes a Classic Collection Shredder.

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