Welcome back to Dan's ToyBox and thanks for coming in for another Retro Review! We are looking at the Gamestop Exclusive Neca TMNT 1990: The Shredder Action Figure. Want to thank Stephen from "Between a Pod and a Hard Place" for the hook up. The short version of the story is that I was able to find some figures he was looking for and we worked out a trade that mutually benefitted each of us. Now, he has a complete set of the 90's TMNT turtles to go with his Splinter and Shredder and I have their number one foe to go with mine. If you've never listened to Between a Pod and a Hard Place, I highly recommend jumping on to one of their livestreams. Stephen and Chris have some great guests and really awesome topics!
The Shredder, evil leader of the infamous Foot Ninja Clan is the main villain of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! "A pair of ninja members of the Foot Clan, Oroku Nagi and Hamato Yoshi, had both competed for the love of a woman named Tang Shen. However, Shen only loved Yoshi, which enraged Nagi. Nagi attacked Shen, and in her defense, Yoshi attacked and killed Nagi.
Disgraced for killing another member of the Foot Clan, Hamato Yoshi fled from Japan to the United States with Tang Shen and his pet rat, Splinter. However, Nagi's younger brother, Saki, swore revenge on his older brother's murderer.
He eventually tracked down and killed both Hamato Yoshi and Tang Shen. Joining the Foot Clan himself and trained to be a ninja, Saki quickly rose through the ranks, and was put in charge of the American branch of the Clan. Under Saki's leadership, The Foot participated in a variety of criminal activities, including drug smuggling, arms running, and assassination. This also allowed him to finally move to New York City to avenge his brother’s death by killing Yoshi and Shen; however, Yoshi’s pet rat Splinter escaped and later mutated into an
anthropomorphic form and spent years training the four turtles to avenge Yoshi and Shen.
Fifteen years later when Splinter felt the Turtles were ready, he asked them to challenge and kill Oroku Saki. This first fight took place at night on a rooftop in New York City. After a bloody rooftop battle, Leonardo managed to run him through with his sword. Allowing Shredder to commit seppuku, thus dying an honorable death, he instead opted to throw a thermite grenade at them, in an attempt to take them with him to his death, which Donatello would bat back at his face. The explosion as well as Shredder falling off the rooftops would be the end of him. With their leader dead, the Foot would continue to hunt for Splinter and his turtles in revenge." The Shredder was created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird and first appeared in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1, in May 1984. Origin and history courtesy of Oroku Saki (Mirage) | TMNTPedia | Fandom
I anticipate this will be a fairly short review, because honestly, though I have some good things to say, I also have some issues with the figure, so let's get into our categories and see what the overall toybox rating is that The Shredder earns.
The Shredder comes with three pairs of hands. His left hand(s) are wearing his trademark clawed weapon and the three sets are: weapon holding, open palm, and fists. He also comes with a spear and a dagger with sheath. The faceplate on his mask is removable and the cape also has a clasp to connect in under his chin, making the cape a removable piece as well. I was impressed that the cape was actually "see through" even with the amazing silvery shimmer design. I will confess ignorance as to how to store the sheath. I assume it can tuck under his waist obi (sash) but have not been able to actually get it to stay in place. The dagger does fit nicely in it though, but unfortunately, the handle is a bit small, making it fit loosely in his weapon grasping hands. Thankfully, unlike with my Raphael figure, I have had no trouble swapping his hands out. (When I first cracked open the Michaelangelo/Raphael two pack I managed to break one of the pegs on Raph's left fist while trying to swap hands out.) The design of Shredder's weapons is excellent, and the hands are all done very well but the inability to properly attach his dagger sheath to Shredder drops the accessory grade to an A- for me.
Images © Dan's ToyBox 2022
Neca really does shine when it comes to recreating the look of these beloved characters. I absolutely love how movie accurate all four turtles are, and the Shredder is no exception. The figure conveys the same aura of menace that the character does in the movie and looks great when posed with the four brothers. The helmet is highly detailed and the sculpt is really stellar when you think of the fact that the artist responsible had to replicate a design that is over 30 years old (likely from photographs)! The costume elements, blades on his shoulders, arms, and shins and even facial scars are so insanely detailed. The cape, is quite possibly, the best part of this figure. It contains bendy wires to increase posing, is pleated to allow us to fold it back over his shoulders, as in the movie, and is relatively see through as I mentioned earlier. The clasp is secured nicely and is easy to manipulate for adding and removing the cape from the figure. I really like the detail in his costume as well. The sculpt and paint designs give the look that makes you think it's almost real cloth. The sash is beautifully sculpted and even his boots have the ninja split-toe tabi design to them. I was also pleased with the clean paint on his greaves and shin guards as well as the fact that all the flesh tone pieces match nicely. As a display piece, this figure looks fantastic with the rest of the TMNT from the movie and easily earns an A for Appearance.
Images © Dan's ToyBox 2022
Into everybody's life a little rain must fall. Unfortunately for Oroku Saki, the rain on his parade is centered on the articulation (or lack thereof) that this figure has. His head will turn side to side easy enough but is hindered from looking up and down very well. I could raise his arms out to his sides to just below a T pose and though the arms can rotate a full 360, there will be some rub on the shoulder pieces, so be careful. The swivel is located at the elbow, which is single jointed and doesn't bend past 90 degrees. The hands will rotate and can hinge, but again, be careful with the pegs. I believe there is a ball joint at the waist, which allows for rotation and minimal crunch and side tilt (very minimal.) His legs will kick forward but rotate out and sadly are limited by the design of his crotch diaper. There is no thigh swivel. The knees are double jointed, but I had to heat and carefully work the bottom joint to get a decent knee bend. The ankles do have nice hinge action to them though. As you can tell from the brevity, articulation is definitely NOT The Shredder's strong suit for this figure. Which is honestly, quite a shame, as we've seen Neca produce some amazing articulation on other offerings. No grade for Oroku Saki.
As I mentioned at the start, I received this figure in trade. Some might say the fact that I traded a $60 two pack for a single $35 figure meant that I got the worse end of the deal. Truth is that my goal is and has always been to help fellow collectors. Stephen was in need of the Leonardo/Donatello two pack, and I had access to them where I live. I was going to have him pay me retail plus shipping because I knew it would help him out. When I saw his pictures and noticed that he had both this Shredder and the Shredder from the two pack with Splinter, I proposed the trade. In my mind, this worked out for both of us and thus, we both got the better end of the deal. So, with that being said, when this figure hit GameStop if I recall correctly, it retailed at about $34.99. After searching for this figure on the secondary market, I'm blown away by the disparity in prices. Pricing ranges from $28 to $70 on ebay making this a bit more expensive figure to add. Honestly though, unless you are an absolute diehard TMNT fan and missed out on this when it first hit stores, if you can find it on the lower end do that. I'm not fully convinced that it's worth the higher pricing. Better articulation, in my opinion, would make this worth more. So, at the original retail price, I'd say the figure is worth it, but at the inflated secondary market... naaah, you can still find the two pack with Splinter in retail stores for $60, do yourself a favor and grab that one instead. No grade for pricing.
While I do like the look of the figure, I'm so bummed by the limitations on posing. I'd like to have him in some really cool fight stances with the turtles, but I just don't think it's going to happen. Perhaps someone better at posing than I could make it look realistic and convincing, but not me. Overall, the figure is decent, but not a home run. So, with that, I'll give the Neca TMNT 1990 Movie: The Shredder a grade of:
2.5 Toyboxes out of 5
He looks great but is an average figure at best. Chances are he'll remain static on my display and I'm ok with that, because he does look solid with the four turtles. So, there you have it, another Retro Review from Dan's ToyBox. As always, thank you for stopping by and until our next article... GEEK OUT!!!