Tag Archives: leatherhead

Super7 TMNT Ultimates! Leatherhead

Time to meet the good old boy, or gator, or whatever.

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.

Leatherhead is another big boy, but not necessarily when it comes to height.

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!

This box is stupid big. On the left is the slipcase and on the right is the actual box with a standard sized one in the middle.

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.

And this is why the box had to be made so deep. Granted, the tail isn’t on in the box.

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 on the gumline could certainly be better. And you can also see a faint scuff, or some kind of residue, on the upper jaw if you look closely.

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.

Articulation wise, the joints are better here than they were with Samurai Leo, though functionally there isn’t much for Leatherhead to do since his legs basically need to be in this pose in order to keep him standing.

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.

He does have some weapon storage, though I can’t imagine posing him without the shotgun in-hand.

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.

He somehow manages to look intimidating and like a doofus all at the same time.

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.

The red accessories on his belt are all removable. They look fine, but would have looked better with some paint.

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.

Maybe we have this guy figured all wrong and he’s just a fisherman that wants to be left alone?

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.

“Hahahahaha – dumb turtle stepped in the trap!”

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.

I figured I’d give you all a comparison to another big, green, guy from the line.

NECA TMNT Cartoon Slash and Leatherhead

You’re gonna like this one, I guarantee!

NECA’s incredibly popular and white hot action figure line based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series of the late 80s/early 90s has slowly rolled out its third wave. The wave consists of three two-packs and a single-packed deluxe figure, but perhaps to increase the numbers of individual items it can ship at once, NECA opted to roll them out one-by-one starting in late July and finishing by the end of August. The first two-pack was the Casey Jones and Slashed Foot Soldier, and now we’re onto the second which is the villains pack of the wave: Slash and Leatherhead.

In the case of both characters, this is the second attempt at both of these characters from NECA as both have been featured in the Turtles in Time line of figures. Slash was released back in the spring, and Leatherhead was part of the more recently released second wave. Leatherhead is basically a straight re-paint of that release, or that release is a re-paint of this one depending on which you consider “first.” Slash, on the other hand, is a little more involved. This is the first action figure of Slash based on his appearance in the cartoon series. The Playmates action figure was based on his comic appearance where he was actually a good guy and part of the Mighty Mutanimals (along with Leatherhead, it should be noted). His Turtles in Time sprite was also based on that source so cartoon Slash has received very little love in the ensuing years. As such, I get the sense this version of Slash isn’t remembered fondly by a large part of the fanbase, though I like him well enough. The Slash of the cartoon was more of a tragic figure, a contented pet turtle mutated and turned into a tool by those who held power over him. The cartoon wasn’t really equipped to truly explore the complexity of the character though, so they just sent him into Dimension X and when he came back he’s basically a typical villain.

If you thought a lack of enthusiasm towards Slash was going to make this two-pack easier to find, think again. This set is proving just as hard to find as any other in this line. Target at least was a bit more stealthy about the release on target.com which allowed online orders for this set to last a whopping ten minutes! Perhaps that will be the model for future releases.

Slash may be quite different in appearance from his Turtles in Time self, but the figure should still be fairly familiar. He uses the same body as the previously released Slash, which also used the same body shared by the turtles. The only difference is in the paint, head, and other embellishments on Slash’s person, most notably the spiky shell. The head is the most striking part as the cartoon Slash was an ugly, soft-bodied, turtle. He has full cheeks and pockmarked skin with ugly teeth reminding me of a jack-o-lantern. This Slash wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer and his face captures that. It also features that metal headband that covers his eyes. It’s a perfect representation of the character from the source material.

Slash’s body only differs from the past Slash release in that he has metal fixtures on his body where the previous one had cloth and wood. He has a bright purple belt with a skull logo on it that’s really cool. I love how NECA’s belt has the extra part flapping off of the front, a nice attention to detail. The gloves and kneepads are a steel gray in color with a single, purple, spike on each. About the only thing he shares with his other self are the black elbow pads which are traditional in design. His skin-tone is basically a match for NECA’s Wave 1 turtles, an olive green, as opposed to the deep green of the video game figure. He also gets to have painted claws on his hands and toes where the video game one did not. He also has a large backpack strapped to his shell and across his chest. This backpack is not intended to be removable, though mine arrived damaged and I had to superglue the bottom “clasp” back onto it. It’s held so far, but it’s also only been a day.

Lots of accessories with this guy.

Since Slash is the same base figure as the other turtles, he has the same articulation. There’s a ball-joint at the head that provides mostly for side-to-side motion, but the shell prevents much up and down motion. The neck has a joint at the base, but it doesn’t seem to offer much. The shoulders are on ball-joints with bicep swivels, single-jointed elbows, wrist swivels, and a wrist hinge. There’s a torso joint inside the shell, but again, the shell removes most of the function. It allows the hips to move a little left to right, with some slight twist. It’s subtle, but it’s not nothing. The legs are on ball-joints and rotate at the thigh as opposed to a true thigh-cut. The knees are double-jointed and the feet are on ball-pegs. They can rotate just fine, but have little up and down motion and minimal side-to-side. It’s all pretty basic, but it feels like NECA’s base turtle design could use another look, especially at the elbows, wrists, and feet.

In the accessory department, Slash is a curious case as his accessories are both abundant and lacking. As a surprise, he only has the one set of hands. Every figure in this line so far, excepting Krang who doesn’t have hands, has had multiple sets of hands for punching, gripping, trigger fingers, etc. Slash just has gripping hands, which is certainly better than having closed fists, but it’s odd he doesn’t have trigger hands or something more expressive. On the other hand, he’s able to wield the accessories he does come with just fine: twin katanas, a Dimension X rifle, a pistol, half-eaten pizza, baby Slash, and his precious “binky” which is a tiny palm tree. I love the design of the new rifle and I appreciate that the included pizza resembles the actual pies he munches on from his episode as opposed to just being the same pizza packed in with the turtles. And as stated, he can hold all of his weapons, and the only thing he can’t really grip is the palm tree, but you can finagle it into his hand. The swords he comes with are quite striking, and are my favorite swords this line has produced so far. He can store them in his purple belt too, which is certainly appreciated since he has so much stuff.

It’s great to finally have a cartoon-accurate version of Slash. Even though he only has the one pair of hands, it’s not a huge loss since he does have a ton of accessories likely to occupy both hands in a display. He does possess one other area for criticism though, and it is again with that base turtle body. Slash in the cartoon was pretty chunky compared to his fellow turtles while this figure is definitely quite lean and trim. It’s most apparent when comparing his head to the rest of his body. The width of his head basically reaches his shoulders on the figure, while in the show it sat inside the yellow “pectorals” of his shell because he was so squat. I’m fine with NECA reusing the limbs from the past figures, but I wish they had at least given him a wider shell. And in terms of scale, he was shown to be the same height as Rocksteady, but if anything NECA’s Rocksteady is a little taller than necessary. I also don’t hold that against either figure since the cartoon tended to be all over the place with scale. He also has some issues with paint to go along with the backpack issue I had. The paint on the hinges of his hands will rub off almost immediately out of the box. One hand on my Slash is still hanging onto it, while the other is not. There’s also a little bit of paint slop on the right knee pad, and I’ve heard from a lot of people their figure had really tight, stuck, joints out of the box, so beware. Mine was tight, but not too bad. I was able to get all of his weapons in and out of his hands okay, though with some paint flaking. Only the elbows gave me any trouble, but I was able to get them to move with plain old force as opposed to heat.

Slash’s box-mate, Leatherhead, had a figure in the Playmates line a bit more like his cartoon self, but this is still the first Leatherhead to truly go after that cartoon look. He’s a big boy, standing at about 7″ with a little extra thanks to his hat. He’s about the same height as Bebop, coming in at about 7 1/4″. His color scheme is also very much in-line with the cartoon version as his skin-tone is this odd blue-green with darker green used for the shading. It looks off at first glance, but go check out the old cartoon and you’ll see this color scheme is basically dead-on. The same is true for Leatherhead’s legs. I believe he’s wearing hip-waiters for trudging through a swamp, which means his pants and boots are one, uniform, color. In this case that’s blue, though with black used as the shaded part on the back. It makes the character look odd and it’s a knock against the character’s cartoon design, not the figure. Did they do this just so they could paint his legs all one color? Probably, because cartoons tried to be made as cheaply as possible. As a result, I can see why some might prefer the Turtles in Time version of the character which opted for a brighter green and gave him jeans with traditional boots on his feet.

The basic construction of this figure shares a lot in common with Bebop and Rocksteady, and might even share some of the parts. The chest is probably the same, but where Rocksteady has a rubbery shirt, Leatherhead has a plastic addition to simulate his scaled belly/chest. He also has his vest which is done up in soft plastic and is part of the same piece as the chest. There’s a lot of paint on this guy so take care when first messing around with him as some joints might be stuck. Mine was pretty loose though, much to my surprise. Unfortunately, he shares the same paint issues as Casey Jones where the ankles were cast in a neutral color as opposed to blue, so when bending his feet some white plastic can be exposed. It’s especially striking on Leatherhead since his legs and feet are all supposed to be one color. I heard there was a running change made to Leatherhead to eliminate this issue, but I haven’t had that confirmed for me. It’s rather mind-boggling that his legs were done this way, since it looks like his torso was cast in blue plastic so I don’t know why the ankle/feet weren’t as well. He also sports a rubbery belt over a sculpted belt, which is a bit odd. That rubbery belt has a hook on it for one of his accessories and I’ve seen several reviews already where that hook broke off, so again, beware.

Since Leatherhead appears to be some mix of Bebop and Rocksteady parts it’s probably not surprising to hear he’s about as well articulated as both. His head is a bit hunched forward so the ball-joint doesn’t afford much motion. He does though have a hinged jaw which is really important for a gator to possess. I don’t know if it’s just mine, but it doesn’t like to stay open and will basically slowly close after I pry it open. He has ball-jointed shoulders with bicep swivels, double-jointed elbows, and wrist rotation. His hands are big and possess hinges, but the range of motion on those hinges is limited to a degree. Any torso articulation that might be present underneath that plastic chest-piece is rendered virtually useless as a result of that piece. He does have waist articulation with ball-joints at the legs, thigh swivels, double-jointed knees, and ankle ball-joints with a little side-to-side range. The main difference for Leatherhead is the added tail functionality. It even comes packed separately and getting it onto the ball peg can be a bit tricky so don’t fret if you need to heat him up to get it on snug. It mostly just swivels as the ball is set back rather deep so he can’t do much with it. It still looks good, at least.

NECA got creative with some of Leatherhead’s accessories.

Since Leatherhead is a pretty massive chunk of plastic, his accessories are a bit sparse compared with Slash. He does come with extra hands so he has fists, open hands, and a single trigger hand. He has his weird ketchup gun, which is a pretty fun accessory and is meant to pair with that trigger hand. You’ll probably want to heat the hand in some hot water for a few seconds to make it more pliable before trying to force that gun into it as it’s a tight fit.

Leatherhead comes with a pair of lobster/crayfish which often hung from his belt in the show. They can’t really hang from his belt here though, which is a bit odd. There are two loops on his belt they can kind of dangle from, but they’re not on his hips. In the promo shots, it looks like NECA just crammed the tails under the belt. He also has a shackle accessory with a real chain attached to it, good for catching turtles and pesky TV news reporters. There’s a bear trap that can open and close and also clips to his belt via that fragile hook. And lastly, he has a net and rope which was apparently the compromise to offset the cost of plastic with him. It’s a fun accessory to have as Leatherhead can round up some turtles (and maybe some frogs in the future) and even suspend them from something if you want to as the net has a string at each corner.

Slash and Leatherhead are fun additions to the cartoon line. While I have some nitpicks about each, they’re both overall quite successful at being representations of the source material and are instantly recognizable. They’re also a good choice at this stage in the line as they’re both quite memorable since they appeared in a whole bunch of TMNT media during peak Turtle-Mania. I get the impression from the fandom that Leatherhead is the star of the show here, but I am one of the few who really liked the cartoon take on Slash so I think I prefer to him Leatherhead, but only slightly. I find my eyes are definitely drawn to Leatherhead more than I expected. Either way, this is the star two-pack of Wave 3 and not one to miss if you’re into this line.

“Got a couple of live ones here!”

This set is currently exclusive to Target stores in the US, and if you’re having difficulties tracking a set down help might be on the way. NECA recently took pre-orders for the Deluxe Metalhead figure on its own webstore with the promise to make other figures from this line available in the future. It also recently opened another batch of pre-orders for the movie Casey and Raph pack as well as Super Shredder. It might take a little while, but it would seem NECA understands the frustrations in the collector community and is committed to making sure every TMNT fan gets a shot at owning these figures. Which is certainly a plus as these figures are too good to remain so scarce.

If you’re looking to get your hands on these guys they’re currently up for pre-order RIGHT NOW on NECA’s website! They’ll be available until the morning of September 4th so don’t wait too long. Also up for pre-order is Bebop and Rocksteady, quite possibly NECA’s best two-pack so far.


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