They say that you can’t go wrong with the classics and Playmates Toys is proving the old adage correct with its modern re-envisioning of the classic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle vehicle, the Turtle Party Wagon. After all, every superhero team worth its salt needs a mobile headquarters to help champion the cause of justice, and for the Turtles, it’s the Shellraiser.
This update of the Turtles’ old reliable van features more realistic colors and detailing than the 90’s version. Like the Turtles themselves, it has matured nicely. Right off the bat you will notice that there is very little assembly required and no tree spruces or twisty ties to keep you busy from taking the Shellraiser for a spin. (Once you pop the wheels on, however, don’t expect for the vehicle to fit back in the box.)
Labels are there and kids will enjoy applying them. Adult collectors might prefer to have the Shellraiser go au natural since the vehicle benefits from a nice design reminiscent of the Jawa Sandcrawler. It opens up on three different sides and provides plenty of space for the Turtles and their friends to party hardy. There are two action features: A spring loaded missile shooter for clearing the way of any Foot Clan gatecrashers and a “wind and load” 360 degree flip ‘n kick where you crank up a figure hanging from a sewer pipe five or six times, press the figure inside the van and close the side door. Then, press the button on the van’s roof and watch the “Foot-bustin’ ninja attack” goodness happen. Both action features work nicely if you follow the instructions properly, but if you need more pointers, go to www.playmatestoys.com for assistance. (I can see kids putting the toy together and raring to go within minutes as it really is that easy.)
There aren’t any major factors that detract from the vehicle’s appeal. The box states that the roof’s battle hatch “bursts open” but I was disappointed to find out that this wasn’t the case. You have to open the side door and flip the hatch from the inside of the van with your fingers. Also, the hatch doors are molded into a single piece, which seems a bit of a cop-out, design wise. I wouldn’t have minded a driver’s seat tossed in there as well.
Overall this is a great addition to the toy line and something that kids will want to include in their adventures with the amphibious brothers. Adult collectors will appreciate its bronze and green color scheme, which lends itself easily for customization, or as we used to say in the toy biz, “compatible with most other figure lines.” Either way, the Shellraiser is a worthwhile addition to your sewer motor pool.
Check back soon when I take a look at the new, oversized Battle Shell Turtles. Until then, what else can be said except… Cowabunga!
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