Review: TMNT Foam Dojo Training Weapons! Leonardo’s Katana, Donatello’s Bo Staff/spear, Raphael’s Sai, Michelangelo’s Nunchaku
By: Vas The Stampede
Thanks to Playmates for the samples to review, all opinions are my own
MSRP: Approx. $17.99 (what I saw on some Target listings)
Material: EVA foam
Raph’s sai are the only 2 pack; all others are single
|Raphael’s Sai (Not entirely sure why each only has one prong, looks a bit more like a jitte. Uh, thanks Google!|
|Donatello’s Staff/Spear; Leonardo’s Katana|
|Mikey’s Nunchaku – Zing bow used for size comparison|
I’ll be honest, I’m a huge fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and it gladdens my heart to see the Turtles back in all their resplendent, pizza eating glory. When I was around for the 90s run, we didn’t have the foam weapons like the above; our toy TMNT weapons were made of hard plastic. While it built character, it also wasn’t particularly safe for household items or limbs.
Nowadays though, the TMNT Dojo sets are made of soft foam, on par with any Nerf N-Force weapons and I think they’re a bit tougher against scuffing/gouges/odd bruises. NOW THEY SAY ON THE TOY TO NOT STRIKE AT PEOPLE/ANIMALS/OBJECTS but things happen, and when they do your TMNT weapon should be ok taking incidental contact. Don’t actually go fighting ninjas with these. Zombies maybe, but that depends on who is calling the shots. 🙂
|Little touches like bandages, chips in the blade to show battle-damage, add to the look of the toy. And, hey, branding.|
One thing I really like about the weapons are the little details and definitely cartoony nature of their look. I would have liked to see Donatello’s staff a little longer to differentiate itself from Leonardo’s Katana, but hey, it’s built for a kid. Raphael’s sai handles are a good size for even adult hands, and I had no trouble whipping Michelangelo’s Nunchaku around like a proud amateur who watched the original movie plenty of times. Fellow ‘chucker, indeed (for the record I’m 5’7″)
Again, these weapons are constructed from a soft foam, but that’s no reason to start wailing away on anyone with these. Pretend you’re a ninja sure, but leave the vigilante justice to the pros.
While in the store, I did test out Donatello’s staff with the Deluxe Turtle Shell; it held in the holster quite nicely and was a good fit. I did have some difficulty getting it back out and I’m not sure the other weapons would holster as nicely. Also, while I said the foam is durable I think the plastic from the latch in the Deluxe Shell would wear away the handle on the Dojo sets. The plastic versions would probably be a wiser decision to pair with the Deluxe Shell for the mutant on the go.
The weapons might be considered expensive, at almost $20 you’re looking at a bit of an investment to recreate your favorite Ninja Teens but you are getting a quality toy roleplay product. I wouldn’t take these to a LARP but to raid the Technodrome or infiltrate the Kraang, you’re in good shape. The decision to change the shape of Raphael’s sai was an odd one for me, but maybe that was in the ability to package 2 together, unlike that Wolverine claw nonsense which was ONE PER PACKAGE.
Overall though, I really like these and for your up and coming Ninja Turtle fan these are good for costuming and playing pretend. If you are in that older market, You may get a good kick of nostalgia or jealousy because you wish you had these when you were bruising yourself and your friends with this. Questions? Comments? Let me know!
|image from http://www.nick.com|