Friday, August 15, 2014

Turtle Blimp Review

The Turtle Blimp was a unique toy, to tie into the TMNT universe. Even when I was little, with the cartoony TV show -- it was an icon of the vehicle line they had available, which was doubly reinforced because they actively used it for transportation on the TV show. I never owned the original toy -- but that nostalgia bug, from the old TV show, drew my attention to it -- it seemed like a fun thing to pick up when I found it on sale at Target.

The package it comes in is deceptively small when compared to the size of the actual blown up vehicle.! There is some work to put the toy together -- it's suggested you plug the balloon into the toy base before you blow it up, including the wings on each side. I initially had to detach, reattach, and detach again all of these parts, because I accidently put pieces on backwards. Here are some tips when putting it together:

- Make sure the balloon head is facing towards the front of the vehicle.
- For the wings -- a good guide to putting them on is to check wether the wings are slightly pointing downwards. The smaller wings go on the front - while the larger ones go on the back.
- Before blowing the balloon up, make sure all the strings are not crossing back and forth over the top of the bottom vehicle.
- If you don't have a pump, give yourself a lot of time to breath into the balloon. It takes a lot of effort to inflate the entire thing.

For young kids, this toy is going to be a blast. For only $30, it delivers a lot of fun. Using action figures with it, you can repel your Turtle toys down along a line -- they have clips to hold them in place, until they need to repel down. The string does not reach very far, though. Also, of note, to use the repelling feature - you have to connect the Turtle toy to the back of their waist bands (where their weapons are holstered). I found it hard to use on, for example, the Battle Shell Raphael - because his Sai holster is so small. Also -- this was designed mainly with the Turtles repelling down in mind; the Casey Jones, or April figures would be too skinny to clip into the holders.

To help negate potential breaks, with rough play or an accident, clear stickers are provided, to patch up any holes in the balloon; though it initially seems very sturdy and well put together.

For a display piece -- you have to make sure you'll have space to park this vehicle - as its size is quite big. Sitting down, the clipped in Turtles hang nicely - while the vehicle seat provides enough room for different sized figures (either Casey Jones, or one of the Turtles), with a movable steering wheel.

The design of the Blimp is probably the best part -- taking elements from the old blimp, and cleverly using them in this new design. Notice, also, that from above the blimp turns into the shape of a Turtle, flippers and all!

Its ultimately a silly toy -- heck, a silly concept, which I'm curious how they will justify it's existence if they have it appear in the new TV series. Yet its a fun nostalgia trip, and a cheap enough one that I thought I'd take the plunge and pick it up. Its not a "Must Have" item, though.

Also - remember - to keep the box it came in! When you want to store it away, I imagine deflating the balloon will be easier to do than inflating it - and should be able to re-folded, and be put away for storage.

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