One of the big draws that makes Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shell Shock a TMNT theme ride great is the statues that sit around the entrance of the ride. Without these this ride would not look nearly as cool as it does for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fans. All of the statues are based on the new design for the Nickelodeon TMNT series, including a big statue of the Shredder, which was the first look that was public for the fans to see. I feel each of these statues deserve a close look for the fans who have not been able to make it to Mall of America. So here is my review of each of the characters.
When you first walk towards the ride you see at least 4 of the characters very clearly from ground level. Donatello is to the far left with his bo staff in ready for a fight, as he’s looking towards the right at Leonardo’s back side who’s in an action pose with his swords out jumping towards the Shredder who’s got these huge blades right towards Leonardo’s throat. Hidden between Leo and the Shredder is Michelangelo, also ready for battle. Though down in reach of the public is Raphael, who looks like he’s about to come up for a surprise attack upon the Shredder. Overall, it’s a nice action pose for the guys. The only disappointing thing about the arrangement is just how hidden Michelangelo is set. It would've been cool if he were up on the far left with Don, heading towards Leo to help with the fight so he wasn’t so hard to see at a first glance.
Donatello is a great standalone piece. Though his bo staff is a bit long, the stance is showing that he’s about to go in making a fancy move to help Leonardo. The expression on his face shows that he’s not joking around as he’s got his eyes narrowed and focused totally on the goal in this fight. The tails of his face mask are blowing in wind up behind his head. This can be caused by two things, either it’s windy where they’re fighting or he’s already been in motion and the headband has not had the time to settle down between his movements. Both arms are totally stretched out so you can see all of his pads and wrappings and just how they fit on him. He’s leaning forward a bit, without the plastron bending with him. With one bent leg and one stretched out leg so you can see the difference in the knee pads from the pose. Nicely put together, if his bo staff was a little shorter he would be just pure amazing. Though even this would be something a collector would only dream of owning.
Now we go down to the other solo turtle, Raphael. You can touch him and feel that he’s made of a hard plastic. Being able to get that close, you can really see his details. The pose they have him in shows that they’re working along one of Leo’s plans. While the other three turtles are attacking Shredder straight on, Raphael is in wait to do a surprise attack. He’s focused on the battle above him, his left hand is in a fist as if he wants to be up there fighting too. His right hand is lightly touching the wall, so that if he needs to take fast action he can use that to push off and head upwards. His weapons are on their belt, leaving his hands free to catch anyone who may fall or be ready for anything else to happen. His teeth are clenched together, with a bit of an angry, annoyed look to his face, as Raph would not want to be the backup in a battle. Walking around Raph, he is clearly the easiest turtle to really see the detail on, from his shell, hands and feet. If you’re looking for a model to help give an idea of what the new Nickelodeon series Raph is going to look like, then this is your turtle. Even the bottom of one foot is showing.
Leonardo is taking the lead in this battle as he’s right there facing the Shredder. His swords are in action, it’s clear he’s not planning to hold back from using them. His eyes are focused right on his goal as a serious look is on his face. His legs are still moving forward, even though Shredder’s got a blade held straight at Leo’s face. There is no fear in Leo, he looks very determined to win this battle against the Shredder. Unlike his brother’s, Leo’s wristbands are straps that wrap around his wrist instead of the leather wristbands. They match the wrapping around his hands. Personally, I love the small details added to these, like with Leo here, you can see his shoulder straps pushed up a little over each other, reacting to his arm being raised up. These statues were designed by a really good artist who deserves kudos for this great work.
Michelangelo can be seen if you’re looking up from behind, standing to the far right looking upwards, or if you’re on one of the higher floors looking down. The worse part here is there are many places you can stand and not see him at all. For us Mikey fans, that is a bit disappointing as we’d love for him to be just as forward and noticeable as the other three Turtles are. Though once you do finally get to a spot where you can get a good view of him, you can see the detail placed in this statue as well.
Michelangelo looks as though he’s just getting up to the rooftop to join the battle. Both hands have his chucks swinging into action as Mike is coming up to help Leonardo. There’s a slight smirk on Mike’s face as he looks like he’s planning to catch Shredder by surprise. His plastron looks as if there’s a slight twist to it, matching up to how Mike is turning his body coming up from below. It almost looks as if the top right corner of Mike’s plastron is cut off, to make his body twist this way. Though from other images you know that is not the case, it’s just a minor flaw with the design of his statue.
Saving the Shredder for last here because there’s a lot talk about in his design. Shredder is always designed differently from series to series. This one has its own new twist him as the first thing you notice is just how big all of his armor is. It looks bulky at first, as if it could be hard to move around in, but once you look closer you see that it is designed to be big, but still work for a fighting situation. Shredder’s hands are free, those large blades are attached more to his forearm keeping his enemies at bay, while he could hold any sort of weapon, tool or whatever it that he is trying to get and still be able to fight. The blades on his shoulders are longer, but there are less of them. We use to see four to five blades up there, though now there’s only three. His leg pieces come out around his legs and look strong, but they’re not so thick he wouldn’t be able to lift his legs. His clothes themselves are skin tight so he has full flexibility unlike the 4Kids Shredder which wore metal all over his body.
Though one of the most interesting thing with the Shredder is his face. If you look at his eyes it shows a lot of different stories. There are scars on the face, damaged tissue around one eye, and the eye itself seems to be a slightly different color. Shredder looks as if he’s been damaged badly. They really did pay close attention to detail here, which makes me want to see what this Shredder looks like without his mask as I’ve never seen one so scared up around the eyes before. Though there is something interesting about this face besides for the scars, it’s where he’s looking. All of the Turtles seem very much intent on looking where the main fight is at. While Shredder’s pose shows that he’s about to try and take Leonardo down, his eyes are looking downwards, not listening to the phrase ‘never lower your eyes to an enemy’ at all here. It’s as if he’s waiting for Raphael to pop up, or he sees something that we’re not seeing off to the side. But this distraction could cost Shredder the fight. Did the artist make Shredder look down on purpose, was there an alternate reason for this, or is this another flaw in design?
The look of these statues is much more impressive than the original photo. Once seeing them in person, if you stop and look at them for a while you can just picture this fight scene going in full motion. It would be cool if they have a fight similar to this pose in at least one episode as a nod to the Shell Shock ride. I love these statues and think it was a great touch for the Shell Shock ride!
For a review of the Shell Shock ride itself, just click here. If you have any comments or questions about the statues please do so in the comment area below! All Email addresses are kept private.