When we last looked at a wave 5 release in Super7’s line of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ultimates! it didn’t go that well. Sewer Samurai Leonardo wasn’t an abysmal failure, but it had some problems that really took some of the shine off of the release. It was the type of thing that really shouldn’t occur at this price point when it comes to action figures, so I approached my next Wave 5 release with some trepidation, but I’m happy to say that this one is a better, overall, experience. It’s not without it’s flaws, but they’re more acceptable than what we saw with Leonardo.
When Wave 5 went up for sale, I initially only pre-ordered Leonardo. Some time later I put in for Ray Fillet, but as time went on I fell out of love with that decision. The one I was on the fence about from day one though was Leatherhead. When it comes to this line, I’m finding the attraction for me is either a love of the original figure from Playmates, or I’m just blown away by the larger scale. With Leatherhead, I never had that old figure and it wasn’t some giant hole in my collection. I’m pretty sure I wanted it, as when I had a friend over that brought the figure with him I remember being happy he forgot it as he was getting ready to leave, only for his mom to remind him not to forget his toys. Damn! When the Super7 solicitation came out though it was clear Leatherhead was going to be the big boy of Wave 5, but I wanted to see the final product before putting in an order. When they started to trickle out, I decided to take the plunge, though I was a bit afraid I was going to get burned. It was a daily decision, do I keep my preorder or drop it? Then it came in stock and the decision was made, so lets check it out!
Leatherhead comes in a massive version of Super7’s standard Ultimates! packaging. It has an extra 2″ of depth which really makes a difference. By height, it’s basically the same, but they must have found themselves in no man’s land when it came to the figure. I’m surprised they didn’t package him with a profile view instead, but the box is certainly an attention grabber as a result. The figure itself isn’t massive in the same way that Bebop or Muckman is. By height, he’s about 6.25″ to the top of his head and approaches 7″ when you factor in the hat. He doesn’t really stand fully upright, so his height is deceiving. Where the size comes in is from his depth. He’s a gator, so he has a massive snout plus a tail, though that comes disassembled form the figure in the box. In the same stance as I took the heigh measurement, his length is approximately 9.5″ which can actually be made longer if you crouch him down into a pose more resembling the vintage figure.
Leatherhead is a uniquely sized beast for this line, but he’s still fundamentally a Super7 release. Most of the figure features sculpted plastic done in a base color that negates a need for paint. Or at least, that’s the thinking. The scaled texture of his green flesh looks nice and his belly is less scaled, though still green unlike a real alligator. There is a hint of a wash on his hands and maybe a touch on the neck, chest, and tail. What’s there is extremely subtle and I wish there was more of it since this guy came out of a swamp. He should be grimy and gross. His vest is sculpted in a marigold color and that has a wash applied to add some texture to it. Parts of the pants and boots are painted, but the right leg is a little off. He has a torn knee in his jeans on that side so they sculpted it in green and painted the blue onto it, but it doesn’t match the thigh. A wash to make those jeans look dirty might have helped to conceal that, but oh well. The painted parts of the boots also don’t match the colored portions, and it seems to stand out even more in pictures than it does in reality. On the face, his eyes are painted well and his blonde eyebrows look okay. The teeth are a bit of a mixed bag. They’re painted an off-white color and in some places that ended up covering the gums, namely right on the front of his muzzle, which sucks. The hat is rather well-painted as are the various bits and bobs on his belt. There’s a dagger sculpted onto the arm that is also well-painted, but I wish it had been made an accessory instead. Isn’t that part of the point of this line to make some of those sculpted bits more realistic and functional?
The paint is acceptable. It’s not exactly praise worthy, but I can forgive some of the sloppiness. There is an odd scuff on the right side of my figure’s face. I can’t tell if it’s just some glue-like residue from the factory or actual damage. I’ll probably hit it with something later, but I don’t know if it shows in pictures. From a presentation perspective, how much you like this figure will largely depend on the overall look and that’s a good thing. It has some of the oddities of that vintage figure like the big, buck, teeth on the front of it. I know a lot of people find that part of the sculpt off-putting and it’s something that stands out more at this scale, but it was on the old figure. There’s no alternate portrait, unfortunately, so if you don’t like the look there’s nothing in the box that’s going to remedy that.
Let’s just jump right to the articulation since that was a major problem with Leonardo. Leatherhead is definitely better, though not perfect. He is going to suffer because of his form factor. Some of that couldn’t be helped, some of it could have been, but Super7 declined to address it. His head is on a big ball-peg and he can rotate all around and has some room for nuance posing. He can also look up, but he can’t really look down. The jaw is articulated and as long as you don’t have his head all the way down it can open reasonably far. The shoulders are simple ball-hinges and he can raise his arms out to the side past horizontal, so that’s nice. There’s no biceps swivel as he has that at the elbow instead. It’s not ideal, but it works okay. The wrists rotate and hinge and all hinges are of the horizontal variety including his trigger finger hands, which is unfortunate. The waist is a bit of a trouble spot. It just swivels, but it’s very loose. Just flicking him will make him turn. The hips are okay though so he stands up fine. The range at the legs isn’t very good though, and the knee is even worse. They’re practically useless for the hinge, though the swivel is okay. The ankles have a hinge and a rocker and they’re fine. He can be positioned forward into his vintage pose which was low to the ground like a normal alligator. The balance is tough though as he wants to tip forward. I never planned to display him like this so I’m not bothered, but anyone who prefers the vintage look you have been warned. Lastly, the tail is on a big ball peg, but it doesn’t do much since that’s the only joint on it. And do yourself a favor and just heat that sucker up before trying to put it on.
Leatherhead is a figure of limited pose ability, but that was expected just by looking at him. The hips being fine are what makes him for me. If those had been terribly loose then it would have ruined him. Instead, it’s just the waist, which since it just twists, isn’t a huge posing issue. It still sucks that it’s as loose as it is and it really shouldn’t be, but he’s not falling over so I’m not angry about it. The hinges for the hands are a bit loose too, but his accessories are staying put so I guess it’s not a big deal. Swapping his hands is also much easier than it was with Leo. The plastic used for Leo feels a lot more rubbery and the ridges they put on the pegs seem more pronounced. I still don’t know why they put those on them when the hands have been fine up until now, but it is what it is.
When it comes to accessories, Leatherhead has a mix of old and new. For hands, he comes with gripping hands attached in the box and he also has a set of trigger hands and fists. As mentioned previously, the trigger hands have the wrong hinge. I’d even liked the standard gripping hands to have a vertical hinge as they would work better with his other accessories. His main one is a shotgun and it’s cast in orange plastic with some brown wood grain added and a silver barrel. The pump action on it works, but mine was kind of warped and hard to manipulate out of the box. I heated it up to straighten it out some to get it moving, but be careful as the silver portion of the gun is all paint and it can rub off. It kind of sucks that the weapon came with the pump in the wrong place so most will want to move it at least once. Maybe they should have just cast it in a gun-metal gray like Rocksteady’s machine gun? There’s also almost no indentation at all in at the end of the barrel, or black paint to create the illusion it’s an actual barrel, which looks weird.
Leatherhead’s other vintage accessories include a giant claw trap. It has a metallic finish, almost bronze, and it too works in that it hinges. It’s pretty menacing looking too. He also has his belt fixtures from the old toy: a crayfish, turtle, and flock of feathers. Unfortunately, they’re unpainted and just case in red plastic. The crayfish looks fine, but the turtle and feathers look pretty stupid all in red. All three key into his belt and they all do so in a different manner so they can’t be put in the wrong place. They stay on okay, but in order for these to work well the factory had to cast the belt in some fairly rigid plastic which doesn’t work as well for the shotgun holster. It has to really be squeezed in there and I worry about paint rub, which is why I’ll probably just keep it in his hand anyway.
New for this release is a fly-fishing rod. Like the gun, it was a little warped out of the box so I tried to straighten it as best I could. It’s painted rather well, but the wheel on it doesn’t spin or anything which would have been cool. I like it though and I think it adds to this hillbilly persona the character has. Lastly, he has a weapon sprue which features the shotgun, claw trap, and rod which is used as the frame of the sprue. Apparently it snaps together, but I don’t know if that painted one is supposed to come apart. If you like that look though, it’s here, only they did it in brown and not the red of the vintage toy so it feels kind of pointless, more so than usual.
Leatherhead is an overall better release than Sewer Samurai Leonardo. He is more in-line with the level of quality and functionality of past releases in this line and the shortcomings are more acceptable as a result. He’s still not perfect, and I feel like the Wave 6 Slash is a higher quality figure so I’m eager to look at some more of that wave. At $55, it’s the type of release that warrants consideration, but isn’t a slam dunk either. It’s expensive for what it is, and I don’t know that it compares too favorably with other figures in that price range. As has been the case with this line, the main selling point is the sculpt and inherent nostalgia involved in remaking a classic figure from a memorable toyline. And for many, Leatherhead was a pretty important release for that vintage line so I suspect this is a figure a lot of folks have been looking forward to. I think if you know what you’re in for, this one can be a winner. As always, value is subjective and it’s hard to overlook how a lot of retailers have gone all-in on this line which has lead to discounts down the road. If you’re unsure about $55, maybe wait for a sale. As for me, I’m content and I think this figure is a fine addition to the collection. I don’t plan on getting the other Wave 5 releases, but I have a couple of Wave 6 figures left to talk about so stick around for that and plan for a few more Turtle Tuesdays in the near future.