Holy bejeebus, this thing is freaking huge. I thought it would be big, but my god! This is big, and heavy!
I've been, at best, a sporadic viewer of the "modern" TMNT cartoon since the first season. I basically am just not able to get up Saturday mornings to watch the show, too lazy to tape, and only got Tivo last month. However, when I would catch the show I'd see things that I particularly dug, one of which was the Triceraton Fighter Ship. It had a cool look and just an all-around great design. Looking at it on the show caused me to lament to discontinuation of the TMNT not-Micro-Machines from a year or two back because it would be an awesome vehicle to do, plus, I figured due to a) its size and b) its non-Turtle-ness, it had no chance getting made by Playmates. Thus, imagine my surprise when it was announced and pictures were shown!
When the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were prisoners of the space-storming Triceratons, they seized the only opportunity they saw of escape - kidnapping the Triceraton Prime Leader Zanramon and warp-driving his space cruiser out of the Tri-Sports Arena up, up and away to the safety of the stars! Of course it didn't take long (3 parsecs, to be exact) before Donatello started tinkering with Zanramon's Cruiser, tricking it out and turning it into the new Turtle Space Cruiser!
Sadly, the ship is off-model, but then again, it wouldn't be Playmates if it was on... the hull is bulkier and shorter than I remember, as are the "nacelles" closer to the hull. The thing is just not as angular as the ship on the show, which was a very nice design thing. There is no side door, as I believe there was on the show, no are there any windows... Well, there are windows, but nothing closing them in, that is, they are simply open-air – not a good feature for interstellar space travel, I'd imagine. As this is clearly a "kid's toy" I can't really fault them for that.
The landing gear are permanently extended and hold blue wheels. Again, I'd prefer retractable, but all things considered, not really a problem. There are two cannons on the cock-pit portion of the ship that are design to be sort of balljointed lasers (not unlike what is on the Star Wars Republic Gunship), however, the balls are sculpted (tee-hee!) and the cannons are fairly permanent, though they can swing side-to-side, going from straight ahead to straight out to the side: no up and down movement.
This is the only legitimate qualm I have the toy. I think playability would be greatly enhanced if the "balls" were at least rotatable hemispheres that be turned in clockwise/counter-clockwise manner. Ultimately, it's still not much of a problem, but would definitely be a nice feature. Other than the missile launchers, the only play feature on the vehicle are two buttons on either sides of the rear hull that, when pushed, eject the nacelle they are closest to. A decent play feature no doubt... a nice touch is the slightly sculpted damage around the nacelles revealed when the piece shoots off – however a hint of paint would definitely enhance the detail/concept.
To access the interior, the top of the hull actually splits in two. There is a hinged joint at the base of the cockpit windows that allow that portion to swing forward while a hinge at the back of the hull allows the majority of the "hold area" ceiling to swing back. The cockpit surprisingly has two chairs; not only that, but the chairs plug onto pegs that run in opposite crucifix-tracks that actually allow for a decent amount of positioning. Of course, none the figures can actually sit in the chairs, and god help you if you want two figures up there side-by-side. The best I could do was to get Donatello to fly solo while leaning back against the chair.
The cargo hold area is nice big area, but sadly, the singly angled walls make it a tight fit for multiple figures, it would have been nice for the designers to have not gone with the thick walls so that they could maximize the amount of room for figures. There is also a trap door back there – a cheap way to add play value. The best part of the interior, though, is that all of the stickers in there come pre-applied! A great relief to all of us who grew up with the "do it yourself" stickers of the '80s and '90s...
Speaking of stickers, a huge, huge, huge relief for me was that all of the turtle-graffiti pictured on the box and in advertising are just self-applicable stickers! That was my main concern, that this thing would be irretrievably be covered in stupid crap. Fortunately, Playmates doesn't hate us that much, and all graffiti comes on a separate sheet to be applied at the owner's discretion!
The paint on this beast is, while limited, both appropriate and decent. Again, for what this is (a "kid's toy") I have no complaints. Like with anything done for kids (by Playmates) there is a fair share of stuff we collectors can complain about, but honestly, I can overlook all of that. This is a vehicle I want and am simply happy to own. Overall, it's pretty good, and it's huge, which make it definitely worth the money. In fact, the cost is a probably a big part of why I like this thing so much. I paid (on February 3, 2005) $19.73 (+ tax, of course) for this at Wal-Mart. Are you kidding me!? Something this big and heavy for just $20!? I'd feel good about the purchase at $30, but for $20, everyone should go out and buy this! If you're a TMNT/Triceraton fan, you need to own this!
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