In my searches for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles items on ebay, I kept stumbling upon listings for Ninja Turtles 6 piece Classic Collection sets. These sets looked just like the Playmates TMNT Movie figures that were released in 1992, but the price was only around $13 for the 6 figures! Obviously these had to be knockoffs, but the quality in the pictures looked so good. Finally, out of curiosity I pulled the trigger and bought these Turtle boys from China!
So, obviously you can see the differences in the side by side pictures. The knock off Turtles seem to only have 2 head sculpts. Raph and Don are styled after the Playmates Donatello and Mike and Leo look to be styled after the original Playmates Leonardo figure. The belts also come in two varieties Mike's and Don's. Those differences don't bother me too much, but some of the quality control issues seem common with these types of toys. You have extra plastic around the heads and the paint applications are less than perfect and they are made from hard plastic instead of the rubbery feeling stuff used to make the green teens in 1991. But one cool thing about these toys is the weapons! They are painted to look like the real thing and are not the standard brown color that came with the Playmates movie Turtles. Pretty cool, except Leo's swords are significantly warped. I'll have to figure out a way to correct that.
Here is where these knockoffs get a little cray-cray! Master Splinter looks nothing like his Playmates counterpart. He looks more like a ninja raccoon with his gray fur and black coloring around his eyes. His fur is definitely not flocked and he is missing his robe. He does come with his bow and arrow though. I gotta say, I kind of like this take on the mutant master.
Here is the rare example of how I actually think the knockoff figure improves on the original. I like the black coloring of the Foot Soldier over the gray of the Playmates version and the gray around the arms, legs and belt really pop against the dark of the body sculpt. Kind of reminds me of the Foot Ninja from the For Kids series. One not so cool thing is how they packaged him with the Foot Bopper weapon that was originally included with Movie Star Leonardo. Overall, I am pretty impressed with this set. I didn't pay all that much for it and they seem to be some of the better knockoff TMNT toys that I have seen around. Now take a look back at the commercial from 1991 promoting these awesome new toys featuring the movie likenesses of our favorite Turtle Teens!