The Slitherin’ Slippery Sleezeball
Released in 1992
Tired of always having his brain stem handed to him every time he takes on the Turtles, Krang decided to bring in a ringer with Scale Tail, the most feared and successful bounty hunter in Dimension X.
Scale Tail is a crazy looking figure that is quite possibly one of the most ambitious sculpts of any figure in the ’87 toy line. Scale Tail is a massive cobra that is made up of a collection of other snakes. In my opinion, what makes this figure so ambitious is the fact that Playmates didn’t just put a snake head on a humanoid figure, they actually took the concept of a giant snake with guns and brought it to life.
Scale Tail is truly a sight to behold; he boasts nine points of articulation, unheard of for the time, a sculpt that truly pays homage to the animal that inspired it in both color and painstaking detail, a right arm that is made up of three snakes that have coiled themselves together, and his tail is also home to two other snakes that must take part in his bounty collecting as the snake on the end of Scale’s tail is wielding a blaster of some type as part of the figures mold. And perhaps my favorite part of this figure, outside of his incredibly detailed head sculpt, is the forked blaster inside this guy’s mouth. You read that right. Dude had his tongue taken out and replaces with another gun; if that’s not dedication to your craft than I don’t know what it.
(Scale Tail can also be considered a role model for the body modification crowd out there)
However, as much as I love this figure, I can’t say that this guy is flawless. Since Scale Tail is not a humanoid character (ain’t even got legs), standing him upright is a bit of a chore. Where his back arches upright there is a small base to stand the character up, but it’s way to small and doesn’t cover enough surface area to keep him from falling on his dome from time to time. I have found that curing his tail under his left arm helps a lot when standing him on a shelf. Also, the fact that his right arm is made up of other snakes, while awesome, keeps Scale Tail from holding any of the many weapons that come with him. But it’s such a unique and interesting design that I feel I have to give is a pass since nothing else out there really looks like this, even today.
It’s at this point in the toy line that less and less of the figures were seen in the animated series. Perhaps this guy would’ve been too complicated or perhaps too costly to put into the show, But Scale Tail is a small step out of the norm for the TMNT toy line in that he is not a mutant, human or some type of robot. He’s a snake that’s a bounty hunter, no more, no less. And I think that that is a cool flip on the status quo that proves that there is room for more originality and not just more of the same.
Turtle Trivia: While Scale Tail hasn’t been used much in Turtles media, he was a boss in the game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3: Radical Rescue, for the Nintendo Gameboy.