Shredder’s right hand mummy
Released in 1988, series 1
Every world-conquering bad guy needs a massive group of expendables, and no one gets expended better than the Foot Soldiers. Not exactly known for their tact and grace, the Foot Soldier figure follows suit…almost to a detriment.
In the original animated series, the purple-clad punks are robots that function for nothing more than to carry out the Shredders orders. They lumber around, gorilla-like in their movements, with maybe half the intelligence of said animal comparison. As I stated before, the figure follows suit. When I reviewed the Shredder’s action figure, I wasn’t too happy with how far forward the figure was crouched down. But with the Foot Soldier, it actually works. These guys boast nine points of articulation, thanks to some armor plates on their forearms that can swivel from side to side, a knuckle-dragging pose with arms that seem longer than the legs that carry them; and a vacant, yellow stare that shows off just how much emotion these drones are supposed to lack.
The TMNT action figure line is known for personality with their figures. More often than not, each character in the line shows off a colorful palate that can seem like overkill to some, but with the early figures in the line, Playmates showed incredible restraint with not covering the figures in gunk or bugs. It works for a character like Rat King or Wyrm, but for a figure like the Foot Soldier (characters that were little more than cannon fodder), a streamlined design was the best way to go.
Later in the line there was a “robotic” variant to the Foot Soldier released in 1994, but I’m not going to review that figure because it was the same figure with a shiny coat of paint. Actually, I know that I’m only reviewing the figures from the basic series, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the variants to the Foot Soldiers, there is a variant in the “Mutation” which proudly shows off the actual robotic features that lie under the “hood” of the figure much more than just a generic metallic paint job. Also, if you’re a fan of the Movie Star variant line of figures, you’ll be happy to see that there is a “Foot Clan” ninja figure.
The only reason I bring up the variants is because I feel that Playmates missed a huge opportunity to give us a genuine army of Foot Soldiers that we all wanted as kids. I mean, why didn’t Playmates sell a literal bucket of Foot Soldiers? Just a giant bin with about ten to fifteen Foot Soldiers in it and give it the same price a vehicle like the Technodrome or the Sewer Lair.
Variants aside, the Foot Soldier is an essential figure(s) to add to your collection, because if nothing else, you have to have fluff before your boss fight.
Turtle Trivia: In issue #47 of the Mirage TMNT comics, the Turtles accidently created the Foot Clan through a combination of time travel and bad judgment.