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Business Suit Casey Jones and Foot Soldier (Split)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987)
by yo go re

Me: "You know, now that NECA is doing Archie Comics TMNT figures, I'm really not collecting the cartoon ones anymore. So I think I'll find a box that will perfectly fit all the ones I have, with no room to spare, and pack all those up and put them away."

A Target store shelf, later that very same day: "Surprise, dumdum!"

Despite being generally accepted as one of the major TMNT characters (maybe not A-ranked, but definitely at least a B+), Casey Jones only appeared in five episodes of the TV show, and then only because the movie had made him popular. Fortunately for the release of this figure, "Corporate Raiders From Dimension X" was one of them. When a gang of white-collar criminals gives a whole new meaning to the term "hostile takeover," the Turtles need a human ally to go undercover at Octopus, Inc. Realizing that a television news reporter would be too recognizable, they called on the only other human they knew.

There was a standard Casey Jones released at some point, but it was back when you could count on NECA product to never show up anywhere at all - you know, the same time as Bobblehead April O'Neil, back in the early days of the cartoon line no longer being convention exclusives. (I did eventually see it in stores, like, last year? But by that point I already had the Super7 version, so it held a lot less appeal.) This one is different, and it's beautifully ridiculous.

You can tell "Corporate Raiders From Dimension X" was written by Boomers, because the way Casey gets a job at the company is by walking in the door and asking for one. He's wearing a suit and tie, but also still has his hockey mask on. It's so dumb! I love it! And even better, no one he meets in the office ever reacts to it at all, they just take it at face value. In fact, he gets praised for his "ruthless, violent attitude" and "take-charge aggressiveness," proving yet again that the best advice for workers is that your boss should be at least a little afraid of you.

Additionally, the figure comes with something we've been waiting for since 1989: an unmasked head! We never saw Casey unmasked on the cartoon, so this is something wholly invented by NECA. They did a great job of running the Mirage Comics face through the "toonifier," creating something that looks exactly like he would have looked if he was ever seen. He's got bandages on his cheek and the bridge of his nose, and is missing a tooth. And if you are one of the 19 or so people, max, who ever found the earlier Casey set, this head is backwards compatible, so you can have him unmasked and casual if you like.

If wearing his mask to work weren't enough, Casey also carried his golf bag full of weapons with him. So this set includes the bag, plus some traditional sporting equipment: a couple baseball bats, a hockey stick, a goalie's stick, and a sledgehammer. "A sledgehammer's not sports equipment," you say? Tell that to Triple H. On top of all that, you can remove the figure's arms and replace them with a second pair so you can have him just in his shirt, not his jacket. Finally, the set also includes a basket of mail for him to carry around, and a spritzer of seltzer water (it's plot-relevant in the episode).

Casey isn't large/complex enough to be sold by himself, so this is a two-pack. And the figure sharing space in the tray with him is a Foot Soldier. NECA is doing their Foot Soldiers in a really clever way: in the comics, the Foot Clan were just normal human ninjas; that would never get past standards and practices for the cartoon, so there they were turned into surprisingly lifelife robots; after all, the Turtles already had enough trouble even using their weapons against computers and fire hydrants in the show, so using them against humans would be an utter no-no. Hell, in England they couldn't even use the name "Ninja" and had to be the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles. [it is a deeply unserious island --ed.] Anyway, it's much more acceptable to the censors when the things getting shopped up are robots, and so robots the Foot became.

Rather than just load our collections down with repeats of the same plain Foot Soldiers over and over again, NECA had the idea to really lean into the "robot" thing and pairing the heroes with severely battle-damaged bots. So for instance, the original Casey Jones came with a Foot that had been slashed diagonally across the middle, and so looked like it was in the process of falling into two halves. This one comes with a Foot that has instead been bifurcated from the top down. Now, that does mean we lose some articulation (no neck/head), but the tradeoff is worth it, because the interior is a bunch of flat chunks of gray "machinery" with several colorful tubes and wires and whatnot sticking out and looking like they would line up from side to side if only you could push the two halves back together. (You cannot.) Otherwise the figure is the same as before, and includes several alternate hands and a standard laser pistol, as seen from Season 3 onward in the cartoon.

No Foot Soldiers appeared in "Corporate Raiders from Dimension X," but does that really matter? Business Suit Casey Jones is stupid as hell, in the best way, and the weird Foot Soldier is just a bonus. Yeah, obviously we wish there'd been some way to retain articulation in the broken part of the Foot's body, but how realistic is that expectation? This set was part of the 2024 spring Haulathon, meaning it was supposed to be available in mid-April, but because the individual stock people don't really care that much, I managed to find it before Easter. Even if I was "done" with cartoon figures, this set was too hilarious to pass up.

-- 06/13/24

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