Saturday, April 4, 2009

Donatello (TMNT)

Why did I buy this?

I still remember when I got my first Ninja Turtles figure in 1988. My mom took my older brother and I to KB Toys, where she promised to buy us something. We had some Galoob Star Trek: The Next Generation toys in our hands ready to go when we noticed the display for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures. Holy crap! We didn't even know there were toys! My brother got Leonardo while I got Donatello. I don't even remember why I chose Donatello; I'm a fan of the character now, but I don't recall if I had a special attachment to him back then. That day began a four-year stretch of assembling a ridiculous amount of Turtles figures and vehicles with whatever money I could get my hands on. It was the first toyline I truly collected. Still, one thing that got to me was that the Turtles didn't really look like they did on TV. I think that's the first time I noticed action figures not adhering to character models from the media that spawned them.

Around 2003, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise made a comeback, which included a new cartoon series and a new toyline from stalwart Turtles toy manufacturer Playmates. I still had several of my old figures, so I only got a few from the new line. This is not include Donatello; I had replaced my original broken figure with a new one in 1992, and that one was still in pretty good shape.

Things changed when the CGI-animated TMNT film came out. These figures basically looked the way I always wanted Turtles figures to look. This figure is tall and lithe, recalling the design model from the 1980s cartoon, and is loaded with more articulation than even the originals had. I knew I had to get Donatello. Don here comes with his bo staff, of course, but also comes with tech gadget (because he's a nerd, see?) and some other junk that I put somewhere that I can't remember. But really, you don't need it. It's just a great figure, either standing in a neutral pose, brandishing the bo staff, or kicking and punching. The accessories are just icing on the cake.

Any regrets?

Unlike most Turtles figures, the four protagonists do not get their own unique body sculpts in the TMNT line. So if you own one figure, you pretty much don't need to get any others. Isn't it insane that Playmates actually gave their original figures of Leo, Raph, Mike, and Don (characters who share the exact same body and are only differentiated by their bandana colors and weapons) unique molds?

Am I happy with my purchase?

Yes. This might be my favorite Turtles figure ever.


  1. The first turtle I got is Donatello as well. It is still with me today. I blog about it here.

  2. Don is my favorite turtle! I have this one and he was the first purchased back in the day.