Why does it feel like we should have reviewed this last month?
Also following the city's unprecedented crime wave is intrepid
Channel 3 reporter April O'Neil, who eventually finds herself face-to-face with the Turtles when Raphael rescues her from Foot Clan ninjas.
Remember the year 2020? When people were stuck at home and looking for whatever entertainment they could find? (Almost any; nobody wanted that "Imagine" video.) One of the things that became popular was viewing parties of favorite old movies. Fans gathered via Zoom to all watch this cinematic comfort food at the same time, often with artists involved in the making of the movie. May 23 of that year saw a "TMNT 30th Anniversary Virtual Pizza Party," hosted by Judith Hoag. NECA had been trying to get her likeness rights for an April O'Neil figure for a while, but she hadn't been interested; however, seeing the enduring popularity of the movie and her character thanks to the viewing party evidently convinced her that she was in demand, and so now, just shy of two years later, we get the Turtles' best human friend.
April was sculpted by Adrienne Smith and Trevor Grove, so you know the likeness is going to be good. we actually get two heads: one serious, one smiling. Since the movie came out in 1990, she still has some impressively big '80s hair, the same on both heads - it takes a while for fashions to drift, and a wavy perm like this would have still seemed professional.
Movie April did not report the news while wearing
a day-glo yellow jumpsuit, opting instead to dress like a television news reporter. She has high heels, dark hose (such a quaint idea!), a skirt, blouse with the sleeves rolled up, and a vest over top. Hoag was more involved in the process than just signing over permission for NECA to use her face: she also provided them with lots of reference for the clothing patterns and textures, and even gave notes on how the garments fit. Even the earrings she's wearing are straight out of the film, because she still owned a pair and could send the team hi-res photos of them! All the clothes have warm, dark earthtones, to help set her apart from the green of the turtles and the blue of the Foots.
Her articulation is great. We're talking barbell neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, double-swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists,
a balljointed waist, balljointed hips, double-swivel/hinge knees, and swivel/hinge ankles. The pantyhose are painted rather than molded in color, so moving her knees makes the paint scrape off, leaving bright flashes of pink skin visible. You're supposed to replace your stockings when they get a run in them, April. She balances well, despite her heels, though the toy does include a small disc base to give her extra stability.
The accessories are cool. She's got her giant purse (another piece detailed exactly like it was in the movie) and a copy of Raphael's sai to fit inside it. You know, the thing that basically kicked off the plot. There's a Channel 3 microphone with a poseable cord hanging off the bottom,
and a stack of frozen pizzas: "Smellio's" and "Josh" brand, neither of which sound like things you would want to eat. Those are parodies of Ellio's and... Tony's pizza, I guess? Or maybe Mama Celeste, judging by the box design? There's also a third brand that's too blurry to read ("Brad Bites," maybe? [but that's a candy! --ed.]). Either way, add those to the "Tile Game Pizza" we got before, and there's a whole imaginary-pizza-company war brewing! NECA offered an exclusive version of this figure on their web store that included a yellow vinyl raincoat (the movie's only nod to her cartoon appearance), but that cost extra and also sold out before I even knew it was for sale. I'm not too broken up to have missed it. Finally, she gets six hands: two relaxed, two holding, one fist, one pointing.
The figure's packaging has a lenticular cover, but it makes more sense than the one on the Ultimate Nightmare Demon: it's a stack of TVs, and as you turn the box, they flicker between static and images of April.
I ordered this from NECA's site because I didn't trust my local stockperson to actually get it into Walmart the way they're supposed to. Turned out I was wrong, because I did actually see her in person there! There's apparently a two-pack coming, with April and an unmasked Casey Jones from the scenes on her family farm, but after what it took for me to get the Casey I already have, I don't need another.