NECA Arcade Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Heroes Set – SDCC 2016 Exclusive

I love me some Ninja Turtles! I have some figures still in my collection, but I had so many of the vintage figures until I sold them all in 1990/91 when I was in Gr. 7.  Video games and girls became more my thing, so I had to grow up a bit more and get sell my toys in a garage sale. Little did I know that in my mid-20s and 30s I’d be kicking myself in the ass for selling them.

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Thankfully NECA and other companies (like Playmates) have carried on the Ninja Turtles action figure lines in different capacities and different scales. I’ll state right off the bat I am NOT a fan of any of the designs of the Turtles after the classic cartoon. The Eastman and Laird classic look, the late 80s/early 90s cartoon, and the first live action movie are where it’s at for me. I hate the anime look they’ve had and Michael Bay’s Turtles are horrendous looking.

Imagine my (and the collecting world’s) surprise when NECA announced that they were taking the Turtles they released in the past and changing the paint scheme to turn them into the pixelated Turtles from the classic Arcade game! NECA has been kicking ass with their video game style line, so it’s fitting that they do something with the Ninja Turtles.

In 1989, Konami put out the TMNT Arcade game. Up to four people could play at the same time and fight many different foes from Turtles lore in various familiar environments. I LOVED this game and would sink money into that game whenever possible. Later on, the game was released on the NES with additional stages, and more basic graphics.

Below is a video of the full game. Hell, just watch the first two-three minutes for the song, intro and some of the gameplay.

This set from NECA that features the four Ninja Turtles was an exclusive for this year’s San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) and wasn’t even available on NECA’s web store. The same goes for the Villains/Foot Clan set I’ll also be looking at in another article. I guess the reason for this is due to Playmates having the rights to do figures in this scale at retail. So, the plus here is that NECA got to release Ninja Turtles figures to coincide with their current video game line and create two jaw dropping SDCC releases. The con is if you weren’t going to SDCC, you were going to pay BIG time to get these sets.

Both sets were limited runs of 3000 only AND were $100 US a set. That’s $200 US for a total of eight figures. Some people can justify it and some people can’t. I think $25 a figure, plus the accessories AND the amazing packaging is worth it. Unfortunately for me, and others that didn’t attend SDCC, we paid more. A lot more. I’m not going to say how much I did pay for both sets, but looking at Ebay now, I got both well under their usual going price AND free shipping and no import fees to boot. Whew!

*Quick note before I look at the box and figures: with the Canadian dollar about 25% lower than the American one, these are pricey for me. As well, as I say in the video below and in some of my other Mint In Box/Package reviews/features, with figures being pretty pricey after our currency conversion and my limited space in my man-cave, I choose to display and collect many thing in the packaging. So don’t be so hard on me that I don’t have them out to review. If anyone would like to SEND me them, I’ll gladly do it! HA!

With that being said, the packaging mimics the top of the old arcade cabinet. I always found the graphics and design to be really cool, but man, that person they got to model as April wasn’t the best choice. I always found her not to match April, but then again, that’s just my opinion.

The back of the package shows the figures that are in the box almost in the same pose as the character select screen and it features full health bars at the top.

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When you open the package, it’s like Christmas has come early. The figures and their accessories are displayed clearly and I thank NECA for that so people like me who what to keep these Mint (or have to for lack of room) can clearly see them and enjoy them without posing them.

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On the inside of the flap (which is held by Velcro), is a representation of the arcade cabinet controls. I haven’t seen these in person in like 25 years, so the nostalgia factor is high. I saw pictures and reviews of these before I got my hands on the sets, but to have and see them in person is a whole other feeling.

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Little things, like the background behind the Turtles, show great attention to detail from NECA. I think it’s so cool that they have a large backdrop of a section of the second level (the streets) of the game. It’ll be a great backdrop for photos and to display when/if I ever take these out of the package.

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Each Turtle has their own weapons and an additional set of hands. One set of hands can hold their particular weapon while the other set of hands are used for a fun pose. The Turtles also have similar paint decos that give the figures a pixelated look. I think it’s done quite well and really gives the figures a video game appearance. I really appreciate they added the same effect to their belts.

It was also wise to keep the same deco on all four Turtles for consistency and to provide a uniform look. Don’t worry, they’re all still distinguishable from each other as they still have their specific colours on their masks, armbands, wristbands and kneepads.

As you can see from Leonardo here, he has his index fingers out on his second set. He also comes with his trusty katana blades.

Michelangelo comes with his nunchucks (featuring a metal chain!!!) and a set of hands that allow you to pose him giving thumbs up! Behind Mikey, although it’s hard to see, is a bonus accessory – a translucent disc that has an effect to make it look like Michelangelo is twirling his nunchuck.

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Nun-chuck effect – Pic Source: necaonline.com

Donatello comes with his bo staff and an extra set of hands in an open pose.  Don’s facial sculpt looks like he wants to get right down to business.

Raphael comes with his Sai weapons and half open set of hands.

Overall, this set is simply amazing. I love the look/sculpt of the figures, the paint job, the head sculpts, the packaging AND the extras. I didn’t even mention that there’s a power-up pizza accessory that’s included that’s packaged behind Raphael! Even more goodness!

Yes, this was a lot of money, especially with the rate conversion AND the aftermarket price jump, but you only live once and when I saw this set, I KNEW I had to get it no matter what. Sometimes you can wait on some exclusives to come out later without the fancy packaging or minus an accessory or two (see: the Star Wars Black Series), but with this set being limited and restrictions being placed on it, I had no choice but to splurge.  Thanks, NECA, for making this happen as I’m proud of tracking down this set!

I’ll be looking at the Foot Clan set next, so make sure you take a look at that one, too!  Watch the video below for some more thoughts on this set and some more close ups.

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