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Super Shredder

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II
by yo go re

In the words of Tracy Morgan, "I'm a big man, and I need a big Shredder!"

The second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie came out less than a year after the first one, because while the original was a hit, the producers still thought the fad would burn out and they wanted to make that bread while they could. Since the first movie had pretty much been an interpretation of the first issue of the comic (complete with Shredder dying at the end), Eastman and Laird thought it would be cool if the sequel tackled the second issue - ie, Baxter Stockman and the Mousers. Instead, we got something more like the cartoon.

The violence was toned way down - the Turtles barely fought with their weapons and, since the stuntmen couldn't see out the suits very well, beat most foes with a single punch or kick. In fact, outside of Shredder grabbing Leonardo near the end of the movie, he and the Turtles never even make contact. That may be for the best, since by that point, Oroku Saki had exposed himself to mutagen and gotten really weird!

While Normal Shredder was played in this installation by Francois Chau, Super Shredder was played by Kevin Nash. Yes, the wrestler. They needed someone big, and someone strong enough to wear the heavy costume. Measuring to the top of the helmet, the figure is nearly 9½" tall, easily dwarfing the other movie figures. Now, Nash is 6'10" in real life, and he was wearing lifts in his boots in costume, but this is still a little over-inflated. Honestly, though, is a quarter- to half-inch extra height really that bad? Especially on a character who's supposed to be huge? It certainly beats the alternative.

The paint is similarly exaggerated. The sculpt of all the cartoony muscles is accurate to the movie suit, as is the dark black paint between them. But pictures of Nash chilling in the costume are readily available, and it didn't have the bright highlights traced around the top of each muscle - or at least, not this bright. They did accentuate the shapes with lighter colors, but this toy goes way further than the movie did; it's nearly white here, when it should really just be a paler shade of the purple it's on.

It makes sense that the mutagen makes the creatures exposed to it bigger and wilder, but how exactly does that work on inorganic materials? Why did Shredder's costume get bigger when he did? More importantly, why did the metal blades on his costume increase in size, increase in number, and become serrated? The blades still exist on his shins, forearms, and shoulders, but they're bigger than before, and the shoulderpads now flare out like he's a member of the Road Warriors or something. Did he already have that costume forged and waiting for him just in case? Or did drinking a vial of liquid make iron, carbon, and chromium molecules spontaneously generate near his body and randomly take this form? Why, it's almost like this hastily produced movie meant to cash in on a children's property made some silly and inexplicable decisions!

Even the mask is different. He'd already changed the spikes on it to look like saw blades earlier in the film, so that's not surprising. But the drape covering the neck changed back to chainmail (from the "Post-It Note"-lookin' squares it had been switched to for some reason), and the face mask is an entirely different style, now coming up around the eyes as well. The mask and face are sculpted as separate pieces - non-removable, so don't expect to take it off and see a complete and unmarred face beneath, like the little Shredder had, but it definitely feels like Jason Frailey sculpted Kevin Nash's eyes for the bit that is visible.

The articulation is slightly better than the normal Shredder's, thanks to the extra size: a balljointed head and neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, double-swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, a balljointd chest and waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge upper knees, hinged lower knees, and swivel/hinged ankles. The spikes on the armor are very soft PVC, so you don't hurt yourself, and his cape is softgoods. That won't keep the toy from moving at all! There's a silver deco on the outside of the cape, while the interior is just flat black.

Super Shredder would be popular on dating sites, because he's not just counting on being huge to make him interesting - he's got accessories, too! There's a big spear that he doesn't actually use, a can of TGRI mutagen that he also doesn't use, and five alternate hands: right out of the package he's got fists, but you can swap those for ones wide open, ones meant to hold the spear, or a left hand meant to hold the canister. The accessories may not make a ton of sense, since all Super Shredder did was knock down a pier with his bare hands, but it's not like NECA could give us that, right?

Big Shrexy here is the second NECA TMNT movie Walmart exclusive (after the Casey Jones/Raphael two-pack), but the first to actually be available to fans: after Casey and Raph sold out in literal seconds, NECA was able to point at the numbers and say "see? There's more demand than you're capable of meeting," and for once people listened. Now, working with their partners, NECA is able to offer some toys via their own webstore - typically preorders, meaning they'll arrive a few months down the road, but in Super Shredder's case they were able to do a little bit of existing stock first, which is why he's here already. Yes, I had to pay $23 shipping on a $29.99 toy, but at least that money is going to the company, not to a scalper and not into my gas tank. Super Shredder's a big, awesome figure, and for once NECA has actually made sure we had a chance to get him.

-- 09/10/20


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