Retro Toy Review: Slice 'N Dice Shredder (Playmates TMNT)
The classic Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line is full of surprises. When I saw this Slice 'N Dice Shredder on eBay, I was intrigued that it has a comparatively accurate color scheme (unlike the original Shredder). Sure, it has a goofy play feature, but even classic TMNT figures with play features often have a certain charm, like Pizza Tossin' Leo. The concept of a metallic Shredder was too enticing... this was a figure that I just had to check out. So let's see how old Shred-head fares!
Year Stamped: 1990
Price: $7 MOC from eBay (but can be regularly bought for $10 or less carded)
Man, I wished I looked at this figure a bit harder beforehand. Despite the relatively accurate color scheme, there's nothing particularly good-looking about this figure. The sculpt is sloppy and cheap, with none of the crazy details that make the classic TMNT toyline so fun. And what is the deal with the helmet? The sides poof out too far and the helmet "fins" point upwards, making him look less like Shredder and more like Captain Pitchfork.
Paint apps are likewise sloppy, with eyes that just scream "dollar store toy". And the skin is somewhat gray, giving Shredder an undead appearance (which is difficult to see in the pics). I'm not sure if that's because the plastic is aging or what, but he looks like he came straight from the grave.
Attaching the slice and spin blades just makes the figure worse. The axles for the blades come straight out of the Shredder's naked arm. What is he, a robot now? Utter nonsense.
Unfortunately, many of Shredder's 7 points of articulation (swivel neck, shoulders, wrists, and hips) are effectively destroyed by the action feature. In particular, the hips are swivel instead of the usual ball-socket to provide room for the wind-up mechanism. And the left arm is frustratingly hindered by the wind-up tab. The wrists work well, and without them the figure would be virtually immobile. But you're not going to get much fun out of a figure that can only move its wrists.
Shredder comes with a straight sword, a curved sword, and 6 blades. The curved sword is pretty sweet, but the other accessories look shoddy and doofy. At first I thought that other figures might be able to use the smaller spinning blades as throwing stars, but the annoying axles on the blades effectively destroys that idea.
For many vintage TMNT figures, a $7 price tag is a great deal, especially for a carded figure. But this figure is such a piece of crap that even $7 seems like a rip-off.
With a phoned-in sculpt, paint apps with dollar store quality control, and doofy spinning blades protruding inexplicably from Shredder's flesh, there's nothing cool about Slice 'N Dice Shredder. Nothing. Don's expression above perfectly illustrates my feeling for this figure.
What a FAIL of a figure. In fact, this piece of garbage beats out Playmates 2009 Kirk as the worst figure in my collection. This is a toy that will go straight into the junk box, and this is a lesson well-learned: research before you buy.