Retro Toy Review: Pizzaface (Playmates TMNT line)

Ever since I delved into the Toxic Crusaders toyline, I've been fascinated with Playmates action figures from the early 90's. They're so colorful and imaginative that they seem to personify everything that makes a toy fun. Action figures these days have a tendency to look like miniature statues, which is great if you're looking for a precise rendition of a character, but it's not so great if you're looking for fun toys.

Probably the best example of a toyline with colorful characters is the vintage Ninja Turtles line from Playmates, so I picked up Pizzaface. Let's check him out.

Year Released: 1990
Company: Playmates
Size: 5"
Price: $5 (MOC) from eBay
Packaging: Carded

Like many of its action figures from this time period, Playmates put a lot of effort in sculpting Pizzaface, including as many little details as possible. Splattered pizza slices adorn his cap and pants; bugs crawl all over him, and freakish slime is everywhere. These little sculpting "Easter Eggs" make the figure interesting the look at for quite some time.

Unfortunately, paint is not applied to all of these details so some of the best sculpting is easily missed. But while the paint apps are a bit sparce, there aren't any egregious misapplications.

One thing that really bugs me is that the left leg is positioned on the side instead of at an angle to the hip. It makes the toy look somewhat cheap. I know they did that because the hip joint has a different configuration because of the pegleg, but it's still troublesome.

The vintage TMNT line had pretty good articulation for the most part. But Pizzaface only has a swivel neck, shoulders, and left hip. Articulation for the elbows and pegleg would bring Pizzaface up to par with the other figures in the line.

Pizzaface comes with two pizzas, a cleaver, a pizza cutter pegleg and a Ninja Pizza box shield. All the accessories are imaginative and interesting. I love the details on the pizzas, especially the one that has a turtle baked-in! The Ninja Pizza box is also fun, mixing a lot of cool sculpting details together, like ninja stars, pizza slices, swords, grenades, etc. It appears as if Ninja Pizza was the Foot's pizza parlor, likely a front for the Shredder's devious plans!

I managed to win this guy on eBay for a measly $5. That's a great price, especially for a vintage toy. You might be able to score him a little cheaper if you want to get a loose one, and cheaper still if you get one that's incomplete.

Since the Turtles love pizza so much, an evil pizza chef is the perfect villain! The concept is great, and the sculpting details give this figure plenty of personality. Also, the pegleg can be swapped out with the cleaver, so you have multiple options for display.

Like many of the action figures from the Playmates toylines, Pizzaface is just plain fun. His sculpt is great, with cool little sculpting "Easter Eggs" in both the figure and his accessories. But I wish the paint apps were more thorough. If these sculpting details were painted appropriately, the figure would really come to life... much like this Pizzaface prototype! Not only are the paint apps awesome on the proto, I love the second head! It's too bad they didn't keep that concept!

DISCLAIMER: All items reviewed on Dork Dimension were purchased by the reviewer unless otherwise noted. The opinions expressed on Dork Dimension are solely those of the author and are presented for entertainment purposes only.