Retro Toy Review: Chrome Dome (Playmates TMNT)

I've been on a vintage TMNT buying spree for the past year. It's a great line to collect: cheap enough to be collectible for those of us on a tight budget, but varied enough to include really interesting figures, like Chrome Dome. I don't remember him from the cartoon, but I have an odd fascination with shiny action figures, so his inclusion in my collection was inevitable. Let's see how this dude holds up.

Year Stamped: 1991
Company: Playmates Toys
Size: 4 1/2"
Price: $7.50 loose complete from eBay
Original Packaging: Carded

Chrome Dome has a cool robo-samurai sculpt augmented by vac-metallized shininess. The sculpt isn't as detailed as most figures from the vintage Playmates TMNT line, but the overall effect of the shiny metal contrasting with the black detailing and limbs looks sweet.

Chrome Dome's robotic proportions don't quite work, though. TMNT figures typically follow a specific proportional formula: the torso is proportionally thick, but the head, hands, and feet are larger to balance it out. In Chrome Dome's case, his hands and feet are too small compared with his head and torso. Other humanoid figures like Casey Jones played the proportions game perfectly, but Chrome Dome comes up short.

Mr. Dome features swivel neck and shoulders, and ball hips. Vintage TMNT figures usually include additional POAs like swivel elbows or wrists, but no such luck with Chrome Dome. He barely moves better than Kenner figures from this time period.

This Mechanical Master of Metal comes with a number of accessories (from left in the pic above):
  • Shogun Sash: This holster belt for Chrome's bladed weapons is cool, but I haven't quite figured out how to attach it to him. It seems to be just 2 or 3 millimeters too short to fit around his waist. Has it shrunk in the past 20 years?
  • Servo Sai: A nifty little weapon that fits his sci-fi mechanical nature.
  • Neutron Ninja Swords: There isn't much about these swords that fit with Chrome Dome's robotic design, so they don't quite work with the look of the figure. But they're cool for basic ninja swords and other figures would doubtless find them useful.
  • Gigobyte Goupillon: What's a "gigobyte"? Is it like a "gigabyte" but with more go? Regardless, this is probably my favorite of his accessories. It's weird, it's science-fictiony, and it's distinctive.
His wings can also be removed, so you might consider them to be accessories as well.

$7.50 for a loose complete vintage figure is a good deal, but it's close to my upper limit of cost tolerance for individual TMNT figures. This particular Chrome Dome isn't quite mint either, with scratches and chips in his vac-metallized chrome. A mint figure for $5 would have gotten a perfect score.

Chrome Dome looks like what would happen if a Terminator melded with Baron Karza a la Brundlefly. His vac-metallized plastic and black limbs also strongly reminds me of those super-awesome vintage BSG Cylon figures.

I wish he had some additional play feature, though. Metalhead has glowing eyes when you shine light through his brain and Fugitoid has opening panels exposing inner circuitry, but Metalhead has nothing.

Also, his small feet, combined with his tilting right foot, mean that posing him into a decent standing position is very difficult. It took me about 15 minutes to contort his legs into a standing pose and he's still not particularly stable. Bump the table, and this dude flops over like a fish.

Chrome Dome's vac-metallized plastic is undeniably cool. But his comparatively featureless sculpt and 5 POAs can only be considered average for a line that regularly featured excessive detailing and great movement. He also needs some sort of play feature for him to be comparable to the other TMNT robots. But the shiny robot samurai design is cool enough to make him an interesting figure on the shelf.

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.