Friday, November 7, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Krang (Classic Collection)

First off, let's get this out of the way: Yes, The Barracks are back online and yes I hope to be writing reviews again with quite a bit of regularity. Where have I been? None of your beeswax, nosey-parker!

Ahem, anyways...

Today, I'm going to talk about a figure a great deal of you probably have fond memories of (unless you aren't male/didn't grow up in the mid to late 80's), the mighty Krang!

Playmates has been reissuing classic Ninja Turtles figures as Toys 'R' Us exclusives for awhile now, but I am not so big a fan of the series that I felt the need to own any. With Krang, that changed. As a kid, my tastes in Turtles skewed more towards the villains and more outrageous looking characters than the heroes in some percentage of shell themselves. Obviously, a giant talking brain from another dimension with a voice like rubbing your finger on the side of a balloon was right up my alley. Krang fast became a childhood favorite, dethroned only by the later released version of him in his better known "half-naked, progressive-rock front man" android body typically seen on the show.

Though I (and quite a few other collectors out there) would love to see Krang's android body on shelves again, this version of him in his simpler robotic walker was the first form he saw release in and the first one I owned as a little guy, so it holds a bit of nostalgia for me.

I forgot to take any pictures because I'm a savage, but Playmates recreated the look of the original line's packaging pretty faithfully with classic artwork, logos and more to give it the feel of vintage without being a perfect copy. In fact, the only bits that would give it away as not being vintage at first glance are the nickelodeon (it annoys me more than it should that they don't capitalize their own network's name, BTW) logo and a small call out on the front and back of the card informing you that Krang was originally released in 1988.

Krang takes the slightest bit of assembly when taken out of his package; the arms must be popped on to the body of the walker and a hose linking his brain-draining gun attached, but this takes roughly two seconds and everything fits as snugly as it did in 88'. Once his walker is assembled, Krang is ready for action!

I've was always a big fan of toys with "companion" figures (think Target/Head/Powermasters,etc) where a larger figure came with a smaller buddy of some sort and I think this is half of why I liked Krang so much as you get both the main brain himself and his robot walker in the same package. True, his walker isn't really a character on it's own (and should probably be considered the companion in this scenario), but it still feels like you're getting more with this pair than you would with a "normal" figure. Plus being able to actually remove him from the walker adds so much more play value, can you imagine if he was glued or (God-forbid!) molded as part of the walker? Shudder

Both Krang and his walker show the trademark features of the Ninja Turtles line; bright colors and intricate sculpting. The walker is primarily a light grey-green in the main body with lighter gray arms, turquoise hips, and light purple lower legs/feet. A bit of red, yellow and purple is used for detailing and to highlight some of the sculpt, such as tech designs on the back and hips. A clear canopy piece folds down to cover Krang when he's piloting the walker and his brain-drain gun is the same light grey of the walker's arms.

Krang himself is an impressive collection of creases, wrinkles and veins cast in a wonderfully bright bubblegum pink. Touches of blue highlight some of his veins, his eyes are yellow and his sharp teeth are white. One of the things this version of Krang beat the android body version on is the veins; if I remember correctly (and I could very well not), android body Krang skimped on the vein detailing and was slightly more plain because of this.

You get a total of eight points of articulation between machine and brain with the walker having hinged shoulders and both hip and knee joints. The arms are a bit long and stiff to be of much use (an elbow joint would have really helped out here) but until I finish my time machine and go back to warn the Playmates designers of 1988, they'll have to do. The leg joints are ratchets to better support the weigh of the body and only swing back and forth, limiting your posing options.

Krang sans walker has only two points of articulation at the bases of his tentacles, allowing them to rotate but I'm fine with this. Mainly because you can pose him to look like he's doing his best impression of Meatwad dancing. Look at that picture and tell there isn't a little bit'o Krang somewhere in Meatwad's family tree.

Meatwad make the money, see?
Of course, in the show, Krang's walker didn't have arms and he just used his tentacles to manipulate things. This is easy enough to achieve by just popping the arms and gun cable off the body and voila! Show accuracy! Almost.

Overall, Krang is a pretty big hit. I forgot how much I used to love this guy until I had him in hand again and I feel like he is just as strong a figure now as he was then. The Classic Collection is a great way to get old school figures back into the hands of both collectors who miss them and kids who may know the Turtles, but not this exact form of the Turtles. Seeing as most of them are pretty cheap as well (I snagged Krang for nine bucks), I can't recommend the line enough if it is your kind of thing. I will be grabbing Slash as soon as I can find a decently priced one and I am sincerely hoping that Baxter Stockman gets the Classic Collection treatment as well, to complete my favorite Turtles enemies mini-collection.

Bonus points for Krang's hollow body allowing him to act as a boss finger puppet. I always assumed I was the only one to do this when I was kid, but Matt (of Dinosaur Dracula!) showed me I was not alone in his review of old brainface. Also, he remembered to take a picture of him still on card. You know what, just go read Dino Drac. ALL OF IT.


  1. Great review! I would have nabbed this guy had I not already had an almost complete original - just incomplete enough to not warrant a whole new one!

    I'm also lucky enough to own the android body version and you are correct, the 'brain' portion from that set lacks the vein paint applications.

  2. Thanks for reading and reassuring me that my memory isn't that shot! I definitely owned both versions as a kid, but I distinctly remember popping the walker version of him into the android body just because the blue veins made it look that much better.

  3. I had this one as a kid but annoyingly one of the legs broke off somewhow and no ammount of glue seemed to fix it! I often used a blue plastic cone game piece to act as his tripod walker. I never in all my days saw his more familiar android body toy in teh shops. I guess some of the toys just never made it to my neck of the woods as I never saw any Baxter Stockmans either.