The LEGO Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme only lasted a couple of years, covering both the Nickelodeon TV show (based on the comics by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird) and the 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, with 14 sets in total (plus a few small promotional sets). While some of the sets – especially the larger ones – were well designed, I always felt that LEGO’s commitment to the franchise was half-hearted. Also, while the TV show based minifig turtles were very cute and collectible, the ones based on the film looked dreadful. A lot of TMNT fans were hoping that LEGO will continue the series, but unfortunately no more sets were released.
After LEGO stopped producing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles based sets, Mega Bloks stepped in, and embraced the franchise with full enthusiasm. They released three different TMNT collections; one for juniors, one for kids, and one for collectors. Here I’m focusing on the collectors TMNT sets, because – as you will see – LEGO fans can find some very unique treasures in them, but if you want to check out all three versions, you can do so here: TMNT.MegaBloks.com
The collectors series is a fairly new endeavor for Mega Bloks, and in my opinion they are fantastic. Mega Bloks building bricks are still inferior to LEGO’s, so I won’t recommend their building sets, but they have found a niche for themselves in small, highly detailed, high quality, collectible action figures. And because the size of these figures is similar to LEGO’s and the building blocks used with the sets are also standard LEGO size, you can find some really interesting and excellent quality accessories.
The Mega Bloks collector series includes some popular brands, like Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, Halo, Terminator, and TMNT. Star Trek and Destiny based sets are coming later in 2016. Again, here the focus is on the highly detailed collectible action figures, although some of the larger sets come with some vehicles, buildings and other add-ons. You can find all the collector sets at Collectors.MegaBloks.com
For the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme they currently have seven collector series sets; four with the turtles, and three larger ones with badguys. I spotted these sets recently when I was casually strolling down the LEGO isle at Wal-Mart. I was instantly attracted to them (the turtles are in blister-packs so you can see them through the box), and picked up all four of the smaller sets with the turtles. They were less than $8 each.
The turtles themselves are very high quality and super cute, with great articulation at all their joints. The color-coded arm-bands, wrist-bands and knee-pads, as well as the belts, are all additional pieces made of a softer, rubbery plastic. The belts have various loops for attaching weapons. And for whatever reason the turtle shells are metal. I don’t know what’s the purpose of the metal shells, because they basically just look like plastic with paint over them, but Mega Bloks sometimes does strange things. 🙄
The weapons are excellent. They all have two colors (silver and brown for the nunchuks, the ninja swords, and the sais, and tan and brown for the bo-staff). You also get a throwing star with each character. All of the weapons are perfectly sized for LEGO minifigures, and they fit just fine in their hands.
And then look at these 4×4 stud gorgeously printed tiles with images from the comics – the main reason I wrote this article! They all have brilliant colors, and are exactly the same size as a regular LEGO 4×4 plate (LEGO doesn’t make 4×4 tiles). Each of the small sets with the turtles includes two of these printed tiles, and the larger sets have even more! The printing on them is vibrant, shiny, and high quality. Just beautiful!
There are other interesting pieces in the sets as well; like the copper piping, the manhole covers, and some small bits that you can add to the piping. Also included are some translucent-green bricks and a 6×6 plate to build a base, but those are just standard lower quality Mega Bloks pieces. Not too bad, but not as good as LEGO. The four displays can be connected together with the copper clips attached to the piping.
I’m really happy with the turtles, the manhole covers, the copper piping and other little bits. So I built them this little display with regular LEGO bricks and plates, an added the Mega Bloks figures and elements. I think they look fantastic mixed in with LEGO!
Later this year Mega Bloks is releasing a series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Eastman and Laird Figure-Packs, based on the very first TMNT comics! True to the classic comics, the turtles in this series are going to be black-and-white with red bandanas, and the printed tiles are also black-and-white with a splash of red! 😀
These are the kind of set that really appeal to fans of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics, and LEGO should have given us – but they didn’t. So if you are not totally against using another brand, you might want to check out these collector series sets from Mega Bloks – at least for those beautiful tiles! You should be able to find them at all Mega Bloks resellers, and you can also get them at Wal-Mart’s website at the following link: WalMart.com/Teenage-Mutant-Ninja-Turtles
So what do you think? Are you as excited about these TMNT comic tiles and other pieces as I am? Would you consider adding them to your collection? Did you try any of the other Mega Bloks collector series sets? Feel free to share your thoughts and own review in the comment section below! 😉
And you might also lake to check out the Other Large Brands section for reviews of other brands and interesting items for LEGO fans: