Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 10:45 pm Post subject: Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Kraang
TMNT has gone through many different versions and most of them have included one or more aliens that look like brains. The one most fans are probably best familiar with is Krang from the classic cartoon. Krang was not in the original comics that preceded the cartoon, but his design was taken from a race of aliens that did appear in those comics called Utroms, though they were generally not villainous. Krang was not actually an Untrom himself as the brain appearance was their normal form and Krang was said to have once had a whole body he lost. Utroms also appeared in the 2003 series though Krang himself did not. (well he kind of did I'll explain later) We even almost got live action Utroms. Originally the second movie was going to end with the revelation that David Warner's character Professor Perry was an Utrom, but the idea was dropped because the studio didn't want audiences confusing him for Krang. With the new upcoming series from Nickelodeon we are getting Kraang.
As you can see that's not a typo, in the new series Kraang is spelled with two a's. This is probably due to the big change, which I'll discuss in a moment. The Kraang figure comes in the new TMNT packaging with the purple and green design with the New York cityscape background. Sorry it looks a bit beat up in the picture, as I was bringing it home some heavy items shifted in my car's trunk and the bubble got squished.
The back of the package shows off the rest of the figures available in this the first wave, and gives us a bio for Kraang... or rather The Kraang. It seems in the new show Kraang is the name of the brain alien race instead of one individual, and the race is evil conquering as opposed to the peaceful exploring Utroms. I'm not a fan of this idea. I don't have a problem with a race of evil brain aliens working with Shredder, but Krang should be one particular guy. I wouldn't even mind if the race was the Utroms depicted as evil so long as Krang was an individual.
Now the figure itself is much like an Utrom would appear without any fancy human skin or clothing on its suit. The robot body is in many ways less detailed than the classic Krang android body on the cartoon. It greatly resembles a Terminator exoskeleton. Actually from what I understand in the new cartoon many, if not all, of the Foot soldiers are actually Kraang under their ninja garb so it sort of combines the living and robotic versions of the Foot soldiers into one, and this is what they look like with no costume on.
In spite of the simplicity, the paint job is rather nice. Sure it's mostly just gray but there is some silver streaking to give it a metallic look. Also, and this is particularly noticeable in the back, there are several pink tubes running throughout the robot body. I'm curious if these are meant to be simply pink wiring, or if they are supposed to be long tentacles of the Kraang itself moving the body around.
Now on the down side this figure is very lacking in articulation. I mentioned in my review of the April figure that I had to adjust my perspective from the super articulation of MOTUC figures to this more standard line, but Kraang here has even less and there is no denying it is an upsetting small amount. The robot body's head is on a ball joint so that's all good. It has ball joints in the shoulders, but that is it for the arms. The legs have swivel joints at the hips and nothing else. That's it for articulation in the whole figure. I can accept a lack of waist swivel owing to the brain in the belly deal, but there really should be some more. Particularly since his legs and feet are sculpted in a specific battle pose way so he can pretty much only stand in one position and even then I find he's rather unstable and falls over a lot.
I will admit though, while the android body is disappointing, I do like the actual Kraang alien brain itself. He is removable from the chest area and is made of a soft rubbery plastic. the paint job is well done and the sculpt of his face with the evil scowl is nicely done. This really brings back memories of the old cartoon and particularly the first few episodes where we saw Krang for the first time. I was rewatching the old show recently and even after being used to Krang over the course of the series years later, there's still something creepy about the scene where he's first introduced. I think it's because he was more animated with his brain body pulsing and his tentacles flailing which wasn't really done in later episodes. He was far more grotesque before he got his android body.
For accessories the Kraang includes two blasters each done in a different style, but both futuristic or alien in design. Either gun fits in either hand of the robot body. The Kraang can't hold them in its tentacles but no big deal.
I don't have the first release Krang that came with only the bubble walker. It was largely out of scale and only worked with the giant android body released, even though Krang was only able to grow in a select few episodes. It seemed his growth module got briefly fixed only to get broken again almost as much as the Technodrome. Years later they put out a 5 inch version of Krang's android body which was in scale. Ironically I do have this one even though it is the rarer figure.
One thing that I love is the new squishy Kraang can actually fit in the vintage android body and looks awesome. In fact it actually looks better than the mini Krang that came with the vintage figure. The new Kraang may well be worth getting just for this. Note that it does not work in reverse though. Because of the stiff plastic of the vintage Krang and the new robot body, they do not fit together.
There was an Utrom figure released in the 2003 series but I never got that one. Krang himself did not appear in that series. Well in way he did. One episode had the Utroms leaving Earth and as they head for the teleporter one mentions how he hates walking on his tentacles to which another says, "Oh shut up Krang." Just a quick nod to the old cartoon. More to the point was that the 2003 cartoon basically combined Shredder and Krang into one character by having that version of Shredder turn out to be an Utrom. (Sorry if that was a spoiler) The real kick in the ass there was they gave Utrom Shredder the exact same origin that Krang had in one of the comic series!
As I said, I'm not really liking the idea of Kraang being the name of the whole species instead of one individual, but I'll have to wait to see the new cartoon to decide just how bad or acceptable the overall story is. The figure itself I find mediocre in the robot body aspect, but very cool in the actual alien brain regard.
The new figures are available in stores now so good luck and good hunting.
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Joined: 30 Jan 2005