Life In Plastic: TOY REVIEW: Kraang (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows)


I have an interesting relationship with the upcoming TMNT movie. Like, I remember how terrible the last one was, but… Bebop & Rocksteady


Ah, Krang.  Based on the Utrom race from the comics and made into his own character, jokingly referenced when Utroms were incorporated into the early-2000s cartoon, and then reimagined as an entire race (still an Utrom ripoff) for the newest series. But then there’s the movie. Kraang (he gained an “a” in the new cartoon, probably for copyright reasons of some sort) is back, and now he’s both a race and a villain!


Krang/Kraang has had a few toys over the years – a vintage figure in a walker, two versions of his cartoon robot body (both of which are insanely expensive on the secondary market), a generic Utrom in the mid-’00s, a Kraang/Utrom in 2012, an unlicensed third-party figure that costs an insane amount, and now this. Krang/Kraang has actually been pretty poorly-represented, come to think of it. So, when an actual, honest-to-goodness, not-expensive toy of him in his android body came out, I had to give it a look-see, even though my collection is really TMNT-lite. Let’s take a look!



I’ve got nothing against this blister pack, though it really needs more info on the character.



This isn’t the old cartoon. Make no mistake, Kraang’s new body is very firmly a 2010 movie thing, with all the extraneous details and metal ridges one would expect. With that in mind, he’s got plenty of callbacks to the old design. Gone are the red briefs and strange, strange skin flaps on his chest, but he’s still got the bald head and visor, and you can even see the chest design reflected in metal. The robot body almost looks like it’s undergoing a bit of Terminator battle damage, as its fake flesh is in various stages of wear and tear over the arms and hands. Not that naybody would be fooled by this body, what with the brain monster in its belly… but hey, that’s life.


As for the brain itself, I must say that I’m surprised at Kraang’s shape. He’s more like a slug than a traditional brain now, and is somewhat elongated. He’s also made of the same ultra-soft rubber as the 2012 figure, which makes him prone to tearing, damage, and paint loss. Kraang is much bigger than the cavity in his robot body, and is thus not only hard to squeeze into the figure, but also likely to suffer damage. Don’t leave Kraang in the robot unless you want his tentacles to naturally tear off just from being folded, trust me. The holes in his back are not enough to allow him breathing room.



Bad paint is a hallmark of this line. Not necessarily sloppy paint apps, and not strickly a low number of applications, but figures always feel like there’s something missing from their paint job. The old TMNT toys had that issue to a small extent, albeit mostly because their sculpts were insanely detailed for the time, but these new ones just look like something went wrong at the factory. And sadly, Kraang is no different.


Kraang has as few colors as possible for the figure to function – really only flesh, black, and silver for the body and a face for the brain. The brain’s paint does not bond well to the rubber and flakes off easily, wereas the robot body’s is durable. It just feels like it’s lacking, and that simplicity costs the figure tremendously. It’s not as bad as some others in the line (Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady all got the shor end of the stick), but it’s definitely not the best ever.


They say a paint job can make or break even a good scupt, and although Kraang’s paint isn’t atrocious, it is unfortunately bland. Yes, budget limitations exist, but some lines make do with limits and put out excellent product, whereas this line cheapens itself far too often.



Another thing this line is not known for is great articulation, though Kraang fades better than some. Swivel neck and shoulders, hinged left elbow and knees, ball-jointed right elbow, and… that’s it.


The ball joints on his hips are a welcome surprise, although not much more flexible than the older vintage figures. In fact, Kraang’s limitations bring those toys to mind, although his elbow articulation does make him more advanced than most of them.


So, Kraang moves stiffly. He can be put in a few poses, though – mostly gabbing ones. And although the arms are limited, they function, with differing elboesbased on the sculpt.


And so, once again, we’re left with mediocrity. It’s not outright bad, but the articulation jus isn’t very good, either.



Except for the brain, this toy comes with nothing.  Feels like a waste, to be honest.



The brain is fragile. Take good care of the brain, especially when stuffing it intot he robot body, or even leaving it there for any length of time. It’s almost better to buy two, and then trim one Kraang down to fit properly in that body cavity.


VALUE: ***

Roughly $10-$15 for a toy is fairly decent, though this figure does seem cheap in a few ways.



Everywhere. And not hard to find, either!


OVERALL: **1/2

Not perfect. Not terrible, but not perfect. Kraang is just a mediocre toy with some good parts and some glaring problems. I really wish that they had fixed the durbaility issue, as the previous brain toy had the same problems, but now it’s a little worse with the brain size problems. But all the same, this is a better Krang/Kraang than what we have already gotten.


I suppose it’s like the movie, then. Not very good at all, but coasting on character nostalgia for the win. I bought Kraang knowing about his issues just as I will probably see he movie to cheer on all those returning favorites. Sure, this isn’t the worst toy ever, but it could have been so much better even in-budget.


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