Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Soft head, hard head two versions of figures

Playmates started making Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles back in 1988. Since then, a formidable collector's market has opened the doors to the green teens. How do you tell the difference between soft-heads, and plastic heads? This guide will help you identify the difference between first runs, rarities, variants and commons. This is a Guide to Collecting Classic TMNT.
Soft-heads! So what is the deal with soft-heads? When Ninja Turtles were first produced, Playmates toys made the four turtles, Raphael, Leonardo, Donatello, Michaelangelo, the masters, Splinter and Shredder, and his henchmen, Bebop and Rocksteady, all with rubber heads, contradicting their plastic bodies. Much like the Master of the Universe, He-Man figures of the early eighties. I remember reading a blog in the Q.A. portion of the website and specifically remember the question on this issue. The reply from the website elaborated on the fact that soft rubber heads were made by Playmates with the first line figures to keep their spending costs down in case the line flopped. When the line took off, they switched to the more durable plastic heads. Due to its rarity the soft head Ninja Turtle is worth more than the plastic head turtle. Expect the value to be 10% to 20% more than the plastic head. More plastic heads were produced in the long run, thus making the soft-heads value more significant. When purchasing an original of the any of these figures, it is not an unwise decision to pay a little extra for the soft head. In the long run, these will be the only original figures to obtain their value, where as the abundant plastic heads will not be as lucrative.
Out of all the soft heads, which is the hardest to find? Now as I said before, there were eight figures that were made of soft heads from the original line. All four turtles, Splinter, the Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady. In my experience, I found the soft heads to have rarity precedence in this order starting from least rarest to rarest- No. 8: Rocksteady, No. 7: Splinter, No. 6; Bebop, No. 5; Raphael, No. 4; the Shredder, No. 3; Leonardo, No. 2: Michelangelo, and the rarest of all soft heads at No. 1 is our Bo Staff swinging genius, Donatello. Donatello to this day, I have found is the hardest soft-head too find.
Identifying Soft heads MOC. There are ways to identify soft heads mint on card(still contained in original packaging). The next few key points covers only the green teens. One way is to look at the figures belly, abdominal area, for dullness in color. If you turn your attention to exhibit picture "1", you will see two variations of Leonardo. The first one is a soft head. The second one is the standard plastic head Leonardo. Notice the dull coloration in the shell of the soft head. The plastic head has a shinny darker and more reflective color to it. These factors will help you distinguish the MOC versions, which can have up too 70% too 100% more value than the plastic head versions as far as the others go, Splinter, Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady, that is a little bit trickier. I can tell one thing about Bebop. They produced Bebop in two different soft head versions. One with a pinker nose and one with a more standard nose. The pinker being more rare of the two. Now if anybody has any information regarding soft heads or any other related information to this guide, I would love to hear your comments.

Monday, August 3, 2009

To start things off a breif history

When little known Playmates Toys Inc. was approached about producing a TMNT action figure line, they were cautious of the risk and requested that a television deal be acquired first. On December 14, 1987, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' first cartoon series began, starting as a 5-part miniseries and becoming a regular Saturday morning syndicated series on October 1, 1988. The min-series was repeated twice before it found an audience. Once the product started selling, the show got syndicated and picked up and backed by Group W, which funded the next round of animation. The show then went network, on CBS. Accompanied by the popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1987 TV series, and the subsequent action figure line, the TMNT were soon catapulted into pop culture history.