NECA and Target’s Haulathon event which has seen a vast assortment of product dumped onto shelves recently was not content to limit the products to just the cartoon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Far from it, as an assortment of comic book based characters were also released and today we’re going to look at the first of 5 such releases: the Mirage Studios Shredder clones. In the original comic series, Shredder was unceremoniously killed off in the very first issue. He was never supposed to be a reocurring villain and really no one likely expected to even do a second issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but the comic sold well so another had to follow. Co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird had no trouble coming up with other adventures for the boys, but the popularity of the Shredder character meant that he had to come back in some way. And he would, eventually, but first we got the clones.
Issue #20 of the original run saw the debut of the clones when they showed up and killed off the Triceraton warrior Zog (more on him in the coming weeks), though their full debut came in the following issue when the turtles actually did battle with them. The clones were essentially an attempt by the Foot to bring back the Shredder, but something must have gone wrong. They needed a few tries, and it would seem this trio of clones represented those first few failed attempts. One such clone is known as the Claw Shredder. A figure of him was released as part of the latest round of Loot Crates and it was basically a slender Shredder with big claws for arms. The other two clones are the subject of today’s post as they’ve been released together: Multi-armed Shredder and Mini Shredder or Shrimp Shredder. I don’t know if they necessarily have official names as these clones have now appeared in multiple iterations of the franchise and even in toy form. I suppose their official name isn’t important and all you need to know is we get a big, beefy, version of Shredder with four arms and a small Shredder. These two have been released as a two-pack and come in an oversized version of NECA’s Mirage packaging featuring new artwork by Kevin Eastman.
I suppose we can start with the Shrimp Shredder, my preferred name for him. He’s more like an accessory, but since the box does say “Shredder Clones” with a plural, we can treat him like a figure. And this will be quick because there isn’t much to him. He stands at roughly 2.75″ to the top of his helmet, but his true height would probably add another half inch to him. That’s because he’s in a permanent crouch since his legs are prepositioned and lack knee articulation. His color scheme is like that of the standard Mirage Shredder so he has a red outfit with brown wraps at the forearms, waist, and boots. He looks like a tiny Shredder with the only difference being his skin tone is an earthy brown and he has red, glowing, eyes from behind his mask. He has just a single blade on each hand as opposed to two and features no spikes at the shin. The figure has the cutomary black line work this line is known for and it’s all really clean. The helmet and other “metal” parts have a luster to them. They’re painted in silver with hits of light blue to create the illusion of metal and it looks really sharp. It’s really impressive how much detail is packed into such a small figure and the lack of paint slop is to be commended.
Where the little guy does come up short is in the articulation department. He’s not a slug figure, but he also doesn’t do a whole lot and it’s very similar to the baby turtles we saw in the recently released accessory set. The head is on a ball peg, but it’s pretty large relative to the creature’s body so turning it will result in it coming into contact with the spiked shoulder pauldrons. He can look down, but he can’t look up, and there’s really little in the way of nuance posing. The shoulders rotate and hinge, but they can only go so far because the elbows are bent. Eventually, the spikes on the hands will hit something when rotating and the pauldrons obstruct the figures abilito raise its arms out to the side. The hips are ball-jointed and they’re mostly unrestricted. They do kick out to the side more than forward, but his bent knees mean he wasn’t going to do kicks anyway. They pivot and can go forward and back and are easily the most accessible of the joints. The ankles feature hinges and an ankle rocker. He’s not really going to do much. You get a few options in how the arms can be positions and the legs being bent means you can’t really take advantage of all of the articulation down there. He can basically crouch, sit, kneel, or be on one knee. He’s not too hard to stand, easier than the baby turtles, so mostly he’s fine. If they could have given us knee and elbow articulation that would have been nice, or maybe just swappable legs and arms? He gets the job done though and he’s not the main attraction.
That’s because the big guy is. We’re talking about the multi-armed Shredder, or Shiva Shredder in some parts, and he’s definitely the more impressive of the pair. Standing at around 6.75″, he’s the tallest in the Mirage line so far, or would be if he wasn’t being released at the same time as Zog. More so than the height, he feels big because he’s very broad in the chest and he needs to be because he has four, beefy, arms that need to attach to that trunk. Everything about his design is broad as even his head is practically square-shaped compared with the more rounded features of Shredder. His chin is squared-off behind the metal plate and the color scheme for this guy is the same as Shrimpy. Also similar to the little guy is that he only has one blade on each hand, but since he has four hands he has the same number of blades as Shredder. The paint is all the same so same flesh color, same approach for the steel, and so on. And like the little guy, it’s all applied exceptionally well and is mostly free of defects. The actual spikes on hims are quite firm and pretty sharp too so keep this one away from your little ones. I kind of have a “thing” for designs with four arms so I am especially taken with how this guy turned out. He’s going to look awesome in your display whether you have a ton of releases or just a few.
Now when it comes to the articulation there’s a lot to work with, but this clone still feels like most releases from NECA. The head is on a ball peg and there’s also a ball peg in the base of the neck. He gets good rotation there with plenty of room for nuance posing. He can look up only a little due to the shape of the helm, but he can look down rather well. There’s nothing in the torso and I’m guessing that’s because of the arms. Each one is articulated as expected. We get a shoulder hinge with rotation at the peg insert, there’s a biceps swivel, double-jointed elbow, and wrists that swivel and hinge. Rotating the arms is a bit cumbersome because they conflict with each other or the pauldrons, but it can be done to a certain degree. The elbows, even though they’re double-jointed, really only give 90 degrees of bend because the gauntlets on each arm ride up so far and the biceps on this guy are pretty massive. You can rotate at the gauntlet as well which I like because it allows you to keep the forearm blades in-line with the hands. There is a waist twist, but it’s just that and doesn’t feel like a ball-joint. The hips are the standard ball hips and this big boy can almost do full splits as a result. He doesn’t kick forward very far, and the legs tend to go out to the side more than forward. There is rotation at the thigh and the knees are double-jointed and can bend past 90. There is no boot cut, but the ankles hinge and have a rocker which works well enough. In terms of stuck joints, I had a little trouble with the left knee, but I was able to get it going without having to resort to hot water or a hair dryer. Some of the biceps and elbows were a bit stubborn, but again, nothing that required heat. His a big, brawler, type so I think the articulation here is good enough and he stands easily so that’s a plus.
When it comes to the accessories, this set is somewhat lacking. Unless you consider the little clone an accessory, then I guess it’s better. He has no accessories, but the big guy gets some extra hands. He has, in total, two fists, two clenching hands, two gripping hands, and two chop hands. I guess if you wanted four fists you’ll be disappointed, but I’m good with the variety. He also comes with some battle damage accessories. In the comic, these guys were made up of some weird worms. They’re like a hive mind and whatever they eat they can replicate, or something. It’s not important, but when they get damaged the purple worms become visible which is pretty gross. What you can do is pop off each forearm just behind the gauntlet, which is why you get a swivel point there. With that removed, you have a cap that can go over the stump which makes it look like a bunch of purple worms are visible. And for the discarded limb, there’s another purple cap that can attach to the that making it look like the worms are spreading out from it. It’s pretty cool and certainly helps for those into toy photography or want to stage a fight on their shelf. The pieces work fine and look fine as well, but that’s it for accessories. Is it pretty slim? Yeah, but I don’t know what else we could really ask for. I guess more battle damaged parts if that’s your thing, but I’m more or less content with this.
The Shredder Clones two-pack is another very specific release and one that unfortunately is limited in value by the presence of a Loot Crate figure. If you have the Claw Shredder then you probably want these guys and if you don’t then you might not see the point. The good news is, the Claw Shredder really hasn’t been that sought after and aftermarket prices haven’t been terrible. They might go up now that these guys are out, but he’s certainly easier to get than Scrag. I have that figure so I wanted this pair and I’m happy to have them. I’m also happy to say that they came in at $40 which doesn’t seem terrible. With online retailers charging $38 for Casey Jones and the Utrom, $40 for this pair feels like a pretty damn good price. That’s the Target price though and when this gets sent to specialty retail he may very well cost more. We’ll have to wait and see. For now, this pair is only available at Target stores for the month of March and it remains to be seen if it will be refreshed or if it was a one and done affair. If you’re into the Mirage stuff and you come across this one then I definitely recommend it. You can never have too many four-armed figures and apparently you can never have too many Shredders.
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