Retro Toy Review: Muckman (Playmates TMNT)

The April 2009 issue of ToyFare magazine listed the "craziest Ninja Turtle toys ever", which just added fuel to the fire that is my obsession for classic Playmates action figures. One of the coolest-looking guys in that list was Muckman (at #5). With all those great, disgusting sculpting details, I knew as soon as I saw him that he was a figure worth tracking down.

And I'm glad I did. This slimy piece of muck is one of my favorite figures of all time. But before I get ahead of myself, let's break him down:

Year Released: 1990
Company: Playmates
Size: 4"
Price: $5-$10 on eBay
Packaging: Carded

Muckman is an urban version of Swamp Thing, "mutated with muck and transformed with trash". A character like this is just asking for lots of icky sculpting details, and the vintage Playmates sculptors are known for nifty detailing. But Muckman's sculpt is superb even by Playmates standards. He features an astounding amount of detail on virtually every square centimeter of his body, with insects, worms, mushrooms, and gobs of other disgustingness all over. And yup, there's even a pizza slice thrown in for good measure. This figure should definitely be considered as one of the masterpieces of the vintage TMNT line.

This time period wasn't known for its precise paint apps, and Muckman's paint is just as limited as the rest of the TMNT line. That said, the face features a distinct green that differentiates the face tentacles, and relatively sharp paint apps around the eyes and mouth.

Like many classic TMNT figures, Muckman has 7 points of articulation: swivel neck, swivel shoulders, swivel left wrist, swivel right elbow, and ball-socket hips. It's not Star Trek articulation, but the hips move better than most TMNT figures, and the right elbow allows Muckman to aim his muck gun.

Ever since the old GI Joe days, I've loved little buddy figures as accessories. Muckman comes with Joe Eyeball, a wacky little muck-freak with eye stalks. With a great sculpt that exhibits an interesting personality, Joe goes quite well with Mucky.

Muckman also comes with a trash can backpack, in which you can either piggyback Joe (Dagobah Yoda style) or fill with slime. He also sports a muck gun that has a cool sculpt in and of itself.

You can usually get Muckman complete for under $10 (whether loose or carded), a fantastic deal for one of the coolest figures around.

The detailed sculpt easily makes Muckman one of the coolest figures in my collection. But what puts him over the top is his play value. You can pop off his skull cap, pour in slime, and he'll vomit ooze! Similarly, the trash can backpack can double as an ooze reservoir that drips slime out of his stomach, covering his legs with muck. Slime had a special place in my heart as a kid so any figure that incorporates ooze gets a big bump in awesomeness. (I couldn't find slime for this review, but as soon as I do I'll post Toy Pix of the ooze in action!)

He also bears more than a passing resemblance to Toxie, who was released a year later (although the Toxic Avenger movie was released in 1984).

Fantastic sculpt, fun play value, wacky mini-buddy... how can Muckman get any better? I definitely recommend him for classic Playmates fans; he's the Sistine Chapel of his time.

Related articles:
Pizza Tossin' Leo
Toxic Crusaders

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.