Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Squirrelanoid (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)


Back when I reviewed Mutagen Man, I thought I would never pick up another Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figure. Well, since then I’ve grabbed the Mousers (Scattered somewhere. I might review them eventually), and the Squirrelanoid. Wait, what’s a Squirrelanoid? Oh. It’s a Xenomorph. Wait no, it’s a squirrel. Squirrel!


When a squirrel came into contact with some leaked mutagen, it transformed into one of these babies. The Squirrelanoid soonr eproduced – no, not that way – by shoving itself down people’s throats and dividing into two, then burting out of them (non-lethally, this is a kid’s cartoon). They gave the turtles a pretty good fight, but were eventually flushed down a deep sewer drain… which doesn’t sound like a permanent solution at all.


With their long tongues and fangs, these giant mutated squirrels put up quite a fight. Quick and agile, they move quickly around the Turtles, climbing up walls and hanging off pipes in the sewer. By mutating and reproducing, using any host they can find, they continue to grow in number. This ever-growing pack of Squirrelanoids soon becomes a deadly challenge for the Turtles!
WEAPONS: Fangs, Spiky Tail
TEAM: Kraang


At first glance, Squirrelanoids seem like a pretty blatant Aliens pastiche… well, they are. They even reproduce afte rclimbing down a guy’s throat!. But there’s more than that. An early episode of the ’80s-’90s cartoon, The Case of the Killer Pizzas, also featured some really blatant Alien knockoffs. The Pizza Monsters looked sort of like Giger Xenomorphs, albeit without the exoskeleton. They hatched from meatball-shaped eggs, multiplied in the sewers, and had a fairly similar episode arc to the Squirrelanoids. A few of them even appear in one of the video games, Turtles In Time. So yes, the Squirrelanoids are clearly based on H. R. Giger’s famous monster, but they are also a stealthy reference to classic TMNT, as well!



TMNT packaging is in a bright, friendly blister pack – sure, it isn’t super-duper collector-focused, but it looks great, and helps the figures look nice on the shelves.


SCULPT: ****

The Squirrelanoid benefits greatly from the show’s format. The new TMNT cartoon is CGI, with intentionaly low-polygon models. And so, the Squirrelanoid is a smooth, CGI monster, which translates nicely into a smooth plastic toy.


And yes. It really is a Zenomorph, more or less. The creature is thin and skeletal, with little hints of its suirrel self in the eyes, ears, snout and tail. Its secondary jaws also look like a squirrel fae, just for strangeness’ sake.


The toy stands a little over five inches tall, making it smaller than most non-tiny action figures. This actually works, considering the type of creature it is.


PAINT: ****

The TMNT line is not known for its paint schemes. In fact, it has one of the largest variances between paint master and production figure of any current line. Playmates has always done things that way, though, especially if you look at the classic Ninja Turtles figures.


But this guy? The original color scheme on gthe CGI model is very simplistic, and Playmates had no problem replicating it. The eyes are the wrong shade, though – they should be greener – and its second jaws lack paint aps for the other set of eyes. But other than those missing pieces, this figure’s paint job is just fine.


There is very little slop, if any on this figure, though anything bleeding from the eye would stand out more than its torso paint.



The Squirrelanoid has a ball-jointed head, torso, hips, and ankles, ball-and-socket shoulders, swivel wrists and tail, and an articulated inner jaw.


This line is not known for its articulation, and the Squirrelanoid is no different – note the lack of elbows and knees, for example. Its tail joint is also midway down, and not at the base. And yet, it works. The ball joints have a very wide range of motion, and you can pose the Squirrelanoid in a lot of ways – not everything, mind you, but it’s better than most of the figures in this line. The inner jaw is very loose, and falls forward easily, but the control (it sticks out the back) is intuitive, and thus alost counts as an action feature.



Nothing. Although most figure in this line come with accessories, the Squirrelanoid has none.


VALUE: ****

At about $10, this figure actually feels like it isn’t overpriced.



The Squirrelanoid is durable, but I would make sure that its inner jaws are not warped or bent.



You can find this figure anywhere. TMNT figures aren’t rare.



The new Ninja Turtles line tends to suffer in the paint and articulation department, but the Squirrelanoid’s design seems to account for that. Its paint almost matches its show appearance, and the limited articulation is good for more poses than it first seems. The toy itself is unique, and the kind of thing that you could slip into an Aliens display if you wanted – it sort of reminds me of the old Kenner toys, with their ___-Alien format (Bull, Mantis, Snake, Rhino, Scorpion, Panther, etc.).


So, will I buy more figures from this line? Maybe. This guy’s good, though, so I’ve got to give it credit for that. And besides, where else will you find a Squirrel Alien?


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