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Morphed Donatello & Morphed Leonardo

Power Rangers x Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
by yo go re

This set confirms what we've all long believed: which Power Ranger you become is based 100% on the clothes you wear beforehand.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have four colors: blue, purple, red, and orange. The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers have five colors (or at least started out with that many): red, blue, black, pink, and yellow. The Red Power Ranger is the team leader; Leonardo is the team leader; therefore, Leonardo should become the Red Ranger; but Leonardo wears the blue mask, so he becomes the blue ranger. The Blue Power Ranger is the science guy; Donatello is the science guy; therefore, Donatello should become the Blue Ranger; but Donatello wears the purple mask, so he becomes... the Black Ranger? Guess they figured that was just the closest to purple. Because purple is darker than blue?

(We don't know for sure, but during the creation of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles miniseries, it's almost a certainty that the creators at some point experimented with just having the Teenage Morphin Power Turtles get uniforms that matched their usual colors; and while that would have been neat for the TMNT fans, it would have been shortchanging the MMPR side of the deal, wouldn't it? And this isn't "the Turtles dressed up like the Rangers, this is "the Turtles as the Rangers," so they inherit the Rangers' colors. If you want a Purple Ranger or an Orange Ranger, you'll have to wait for Jungle Fury and... nothing. Or for Bulk and Skull to become unlockly heroes)

Unlike the first set we reviewed, this one features two Turtles - and that means two identical sculpts. All four TMNT in this line have the same bodies, with the differences
being created by paint and accessories. That does mean we don't get the kind of physical variety the IDW designs had, but it does serve as a throwback to the earliest days, when all four brothers were just the same mold with different heads. This is an appropriately muscular frame, still a little chunky because it's a turtle and not a human, but with nicely defined arms and legs. The bands around the biceps are sculpted on, as are the diamond patterns on the boots and gloves. There are angled slashes raised above the surface of their front shell, referencing the Green Ranger's Dragon Shield. Did you know the golden armor Green wore had a name? Now you do!

The helmets are a bit more stylized than the originals were - the silver mouthplates no longer have molded lips, the black visors are more angled, and we can see small red pupils within. They've still got the Ranger-specific details (triceratops horns for blue, tusks and a trunk for black) that I was too dense to notice as a child. Hey, what d'you want? It was right after school, I was usually falling asleep. The helmets can be removed, and replaced with unmasked Turtle heads. Leonardo's makes an effort to portray the unusual masks the bros wore in the comic, and Donatello gets a pair of goggles pushed up onto his forehead.

Both Turtles get your choice of open hands, closed fists, or hands to grip their weapons. Just like the Morphin Grid changes your clothes into a Power Rangers uniform, it also Morphetizes the TMNT's weapons, creating blends between what they usually wield and their Power Ranger's counterpart. So Donatello, who usually uses the bo staff, gets crossed with the Black Ranger, who has the Power Axe, and we're left with what's basically a halberd. The Blue Ranger carried the Power Lance, a staff weapon that could split into two sais, basically, so naturally Leonardo can now join his two katanas together to form a staff.

The set also includes the standard Lightning Collection Power Axe, for some reason, and a couple of translucent energy effects to fit on the weapons: light blue lightning for the sword, and some teal flames for the axe. They both fit on nicely, once you figure out how they're supposed to go, and look really cool in place. Both these figures get unique belts, too, with a sash running up over their shoulder - right shoulder for Donny, left shoulder for Leo.

In a sane world, Leonardo would have been the Red Ranger (leads the team, uses a sword) and Donatello would have been the Blue Ranger (does machines, uses a staff weapon). Or maybe just use all their mask colors, and make April the Yellow Ranger, since that's the color she's most identified with. Took a while for my orders to ship, but I'm glad I'm finally building the rest of the team.

-- 09/08/22

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