just the basics: Castle Guard and Rebel Soldier

The last two figures in the Movie 3 line came in the form of (more) vehicles. The figures in question were each a member of opposing armies from the film, one belonging to the Warlord and the other being a rebel. While I don’t have the horses, I think it’ nice to see that this type action figure/ vehicle combo making something of a resurgence in the past couple of years, at least when it comes to the Turtles. In 2017, as a part of the Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toy line, fan favorite Usagi Yojimbo had a variant figure that included an armored horse that looked suspiciously similar to the Evil Warhorse with Castle Guard that was released back in 1993.

Speaking of which…

 

Castle Guard

Loyal Servant of Lord Norinaga

Released in 1993

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While the figure is of the same standards as every other figure in the line, this one was obviously made to sit on a horse. His knees are slightly bent, giving him a great ready-for-anything kind of stance, but this is the one figure in the entire line that has an almost lifeless quality to it that I just can’t ignore.

His face looks somewhat flat and his eyes have blank stare to them that make him look like he’s looking both everywhere and nowhere all at once. But I can forgive this as the sculpt of the figure actually shows off the great design work that costume designer Ha Nguyen gave to the third film. While I have no idea whether or not it’s historically accurate, it’s a great design for this line and, while we’re dealing with a time travel story here, it’s nice to see what an average dude would wear, and not have every figure covered in bugs, food, or garbage.

castle guard

 

Rebel Soldier

Furious Farmer and Rebel with a Cause

Released in 1992/1993

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Let me get the confusing part out of the way first. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3, as well as the Movie 3 figures, was released in 1993. Yet the Rebel Soldier has a copyright date of 1992 on the bottom of his left foot. But since the rest of the figures were released in 1993, I’m considering his release to be in 1993. But I wrote both dates above for reasons I’ll explain in a moment.

Outside of a horse, this figure also came clad in a removable cloth robe that was massive and looked hideous. Fortunately, I bought my figure loose and with no accessories and I would recommend that you do the same, as he looks much better without a huge navy blue poncho. With that out the way, this figure may look familiar to any of you that collect the variant figures. Back in 1992, there was a figure released called the Movie Star Foot Soldier that bore the same likeness as the Foot Clan ninja that appeared in the first two TMNT live-action films. When you remove the blue poncho from this figure, you’ll notice that Playmates used the same mold as the Movie Star Foot Soldier for their Rebel Soldier action figure, just repainted black and blue; hence the 1992 copyright on a figure released in 1993.

rebel soldier

This figure has a very lean sculpt that I think is a nice contrast to every bulked up figure in the line, and it really makes me want to get a couple Movie Starr Foot Soldiers one day. The addition of hinge joints in the shoulders is a nice touch that offers up a much greater range of motion that was barely seen in this line. Both the rebel soldier and castle guard have great head sculpts that may look out of place in this toy line that’s full of misfits and mayhem, but considering that the Turtles are out of their element in the third movie, it makes a strange kind of sense that these two figures seem a little out of place next to the Playmates TMNT figures.

 

Turtle Trivia: While costume designer Ha Nguyen designed the costumes for TMNT 3, she was perhaps best known for her work on the big screen adaptation of Mortal Kombat in 1995.

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