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Foot Soldier Tommy & Morphed Raphael

Power Rangers x Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
by yo go re

It's still wild to think there's an entire set of toys based on a comicbook from Boom Studios, aka "the poor man's Dark Horse".

The idea that Joseph Campbell's "hero's journey" cycle is some kind of universal truth is utter hogwash, but it is a handy way of referring to parts of (some) stories. The inciting incident in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/​Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles isn't even shown in the story proper: the Power Rangers leave Angel Grove and head to New York because their pal Tommy had been out of contact for a few weeks; he went to New York because his childhood friend had joined the Foot Clan, and friend's dad was worried enough to call Tommy. A simple phonecall causes one of the most anticipated crossovers possible, and all it merits is a single word balloon.

In order to rescue his buddy Tyler, Tommy joined the Foot, so here we have a plain Foot Soldier. (In keeping with the story's mash-up style, there were Putty Patrol Foot Soldiers - the "Putty Soldier Elite" - but we don't get a toy of that.) The Foot in this story wear grey uniforms with purple on the skins, forearms, belt, and mask/shawl combo. They have silver armor on the forearms and the back of the hands, with small blades on the bracers pointing back instead of forward, setting the troops apart from their master. What the Soldier doesn't have, though? Any kind of Foot symbol anywhere on them. Yes, it's dumb for ninjas to worry about branding, but even the movie ones had their bandana logo.

The Foot Soldier's head can be removed, replacing it with one depicting Tommy Oliver. Or "Tommy Marshall," the alias he was using. He has a purple headband (still no logo), which isn't something from the comic, but references the way he looked in his first appearances on the TV show. Since this head is just reused from the Lightning Collection Green Ranger, that makes sense.

This figure's body is similarly reused, coming from the Lightning Collection Putty Patroller with a few new pieces. That means it still has really good articulation: a balljointed head, hinged neck, pec hinges, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, a balljointed chest, hinged abs, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, swivel shins, and swivel/hinge ankles. You get either closed fists or hands open to hold accessories - specifically, a sword that can slide into his belt when he's not holding it. We also get translucent orange lightning that can fit around the sword's blade, and a translucent blue punching effect that can go on his hand. After being unmasked by Raphael, Tommy never bothered concealing his identity again: he got promoted to Foot Elite, and they apparently just wear cloth over their mouth and nose, not their full head. For maximum display versatility, you can either have his mask up, or replace it with a version hanging down against his throat. Too bad they didn't include the poncho he wore, as well.

It's implied, in the story, that the Turtles picked their own Power Coins, meaning they picked their own colors - at least to the extent that they had to pick from the existing choices. There's a scene where Donnie points out that Raphael "wanted red so badly..." and that claiming that color puts him in at least somewhat of a leadership position. You can just imagine Leonardo smirking under his mask, relishing the chance to, for once, get the weight off his own shoulders. Big mood!

Red Ranger Raph reuses the rame rulpt ras-- sorry, the same sculpt as his three brothers, because you have to make up costs wherever you can. There's a funny bit where the other boys are poking fun at him because although he claims nothing about being a human would interest him, he wears clothes more than the rest of them, but that's obviously not the case with the Ranger suits. But hey, three reviews in and we still haven't mentioned this mold's articulation! [wow, it's almost like someone knew you'd still need things to talk about on your fourth Turtle review --ed.] The Turtle Rangers all have swivel/hinge ankles, swivel boots, double-hinged knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, a balljointed waist hidden under the shell and belt, swivel/hinge wrists, bouble-hinged elbows, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge shoulders mounted on a balljoint in the chest, and barbell joints at both the top and bottom of the neck.

You can remove Raph's T-Rex helmet, revealing his Turtle face. Or, well, swap out two different heads to simulate that change, at least. Raphael's face is designed perfectly for his character: seething with barely contained anger. All four Turtles have had their own likenesses here, rather than just sharing one mold in different colors - that money saved on the bodies was put to good use!

Like we said in the Leonardo review, it would have made more sense for him to be the Red Ranger, since he's the leader and uses swords. As it is, Jason's Power Sword had to be reimagined as "Power Sais" here, which is a weird half-step compromise. The set includes a single yellow swoosh that can fit onto the blade of a sai, but can fit onto Tommy's katana just as well. Like all the other Turtles, you get your choice of gripping hand, open hands, or fists.

Just having Tommy dressed up as a Foot Soldier makes it hard to see the "Power Rangers" half of his crossover design, just like having April fully masked in her set made it hard to see the "TMNT" half of hers. But his toy is fun, and Raphael maintains the level of quality we've come to expect from the other three.

-- 11/03/22

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