Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990 Movie) 1/4 Scale Donatello Figure by NECA


Welcome to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle week here on Electrified Porcupine! I’m late to the party with this amazing 1/4 scale Donatello figure from NECA Toys but it’s better to be late than never, right?

I knew my Leonardo figure would be arriving sometime mid-July, so I figured I’d wait until he arrived and do all three turtles at once – and that’s what I’m featuring this week, along with other TMNT goodness!  I only got my Donatello and Raphael figures in May anyway, so what was another month and a half?

I’d like to thank Dave at Mad Rush Media (who sponsors my New Music Showcase features) because without him, I would have paid a hell of a lot more for these. Thanks, man!

This 16.5″ figure is based on the way Donatello (and his fellow brothers) looked in the 1990 live action movie and started arriving for some in late December, 2016 and January, 2017.

The live action movie was something that blew me away as a kid.  I think I was in Gr. 7 (so 12/13) when it came out and I was a big fan of the cartoon, comics, and action figures already.  When I saw what the creators delivered on the big screen, I was in awe. I even had the soundtrack on CD. HEY, DJ!!! SPIN THAT WHEEL!

We’ve gotten some movie-based figures before in a smaller scale but those came nowhere close to representing the characters from the movie.  This figure (and the others) absolutely encompass and represent the foam/latex costumes.  I was sending preview pics to friends that I took with my phone and some didn’t even know they were figures. I was asked why I was showing movie stills.

The packaging is really attractive. It blends the large window showcasing the figure with the movie poster that was used to promote it.  The sides and the back of the packaging remind me of the old VHS case for the movie when it was released to purchase for the home market.  I think I almost wore my copy out.  There’s also one additional thing about the packaging but I didn’t take a picture of it.  You’ll have to watch the video at the end of this feature to see it.

The figure has 30 points of articulation but I have to warn you about them – you will probably need a hairdryer to warm up the majority of the joints before moving them too much.  They are TIGHT.  I’ve seen pictures of other collector’s figures where they were trying to pose the figure as soon as they took it out of the box and the joints snapped.  I wasn’t even attempting it without adding heat.

If you watch the video at the end of this feature I did on the figure, I run down all the articulation there.  You’ll see some of the articulated joints are still pretty stiff even after applying hot air and working them in. While I can move the ratchet joints to make the legs move horizontally, I still don’t get and forward or backward motion to them.  I have to double check some other people’s reviews again to see the range of motion on theirs.

The front of the shell is a softer plastic, but it’s not too soft.  I has some give but I don’t think it’ll be susceptible to warping.  The front blends to the back of the shell pretty seamlessly as you can see from the picture below and I like how to paint work goes from clean in the front to a more scuffed up and dirty looking back of the shell (and on the side).

What’s really cool (and you can see it shown in the video) is how the torso inside the shell has movement side to side and can move a bit front and back.  It’s a neat way to add a bit more articulation to the figure for extra posing options.

Donatello has a leather-like material for his strap/harness to hold his Bo Staff.  It can be held on his back tightly with the ribbon strips.  I’m not sure why NECA decided to use ribbon material for the straps instead of the material they were already using for the belt/harness.  You can actually find people online that sell a better looking material for them to swap out.  I may actually do that.

The shell is made of a hard plastic and I really like the work along the edge of it and the detailing using black paint/wash over it.  It’s great they spent as much focus and attention on the shell/torso area as the rest of the figure.

More excellent detailing can be found on the figure’s skin.  The plastic NECA used, combined with the textures on it and the various spotting give the figure a true reptilian look and feel.  I’m sure there was a lot of trial and error in trying to make this look just right.  There’s even muscle tone and various popped veins that appear throughout the body of the figure.  This guy is pretty damn ripped!

I also really like the effort put into the elbow and knee pads as well as the wristbands.  There’s some wear and tear sculpted into them and the use of the black paint really makes them pop in the right areas.

I won’t be doing this shot for the other TMNT figs I’ll be showcasing because they all look the same, but I just had to show the detailing on the calves, ankles and feet.  It’s so cool to see the little veins popping out of the calves.  The ankles also have articulation (seems like a ball joint) to help aid keeping this heavy figure upright.

It is truly hard to express just how amazing this head sculpt is.  It is absolutely surreal..  It’s almost like NECA took the costumes used for the film and found a machine to shrink them down and just mass produce them.  All the texturing and paint apps on the body transfer seamlessly onto the head.

I really like the expression on Donatello.  It’s like he’s a little miffed but could also be in deep thought.  I really like how there is the slight expression in the brow and how it actually works down into the bandana around his eyes.

Speaking of eyes, I like the paint work on them but my figure’s left eye could be centred just a bit more to match the right eye.  In the pictures, you can also appreciate the sculpting done in the neck area, too.

The bandana is sculpted on to the head but the back tails of it are made of cloth.  It looks pretty good and works well but as you can see in the picture, my figure’s right tail of the bandana has some discolouring.

One thing I would have liked to have seen with this figure is more of a range of motion for the head.  I can turn my figure’s head to the left and the right a bit, but there’s barely any movement up and down.  That was a tad disappointing.

Other people have showed their figures’ flaws on certain groups and forums and beside the slightly off pupil and the discolouring on the bandana tail, there is a little white smudging (or lack of paint) on the back of the right leg and some weird slop around the top left of the shell.  I’m sure I can fix the leg problem if I can find what others are using the touch up their figures.  I understand every figure can’t be 100% when mass produced and I’m not ticked about the small flaws.

For extras, Donatello comes with his signature Bo Staff weapon, six additional hands, and a piece of pizza.  I don’t think the extra hands are overkill at all and it gives you the option to have the figure give one or two thumbs up, hold the pizza or canister I’ll show below, or use them for more expression in your poses.

The Bo staff is quite basic – it’s hard plastic with some sculpted and painted gripping material in the middle.

The pizza? Well, it’s a slice of pizza made of hard plastic.  It also has olives sculpted on it.  I hate olives.  I can’t even walk past an olive cart in a grocery store without wanting to vomit.

The last extra accessory the figure comes with is the TCRI canister that held the mutagen that transformed the Turtles into their current form.  I think the detail on the canister really makes it look authentic and the tear in the container is a great touch.  Now we just need some fake slime to come out of it.

Donatello looks quite happy pondering about how many pieces of pizza he’s going to have or just giving you or his bros thumbs-up.  (Remember, click the pictures for larger images).

With his Bo Staff securely in place, Donatello looks quite intimidating when staring down an enemy and waiting for him/her to make the first move.

The figure looks so good with the Bo in hand.  I’m so happy that NECA made damn sure we could pose Donatello with his Bo in both his hands (and with it not being a pain in the ass to position).

If you want your figure (or any of the Turtles) to do the splits while dancing or play air-guitar, you can! I need to get a guitar for them now!

Bottom line is NECA nailed this figure (and the others you’ll see coming up this week).  I said it in my video feature (below this picture) that I saw other people’s pictures, features, and videos on the figures and thought this figure (and the other Turtles) was awesome. It still wasn’t until I got this figure out of the box and in hand, there is no way I could truly know how amazing it is.

Hell, I had two out of the three of them on display in the box for about two months while waiting for Leonardo to arrive and I thought they were just fine and appealing IN the packaging. This is one figure I am glad I didn’t keep in the box because I am still in awe.  Totally worth the $100-110 US (depending where you get em). Well done, NECA.  Well done.  Stay tuned for Raphael and Leonardo!


Enjoy the vid!!