It retails at over $200, and you’ll be lucky to find one for around $130. So let’s all agree that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Secret Sewer Lair is one pricey playset. But if your child is super crazy about the (recently revived) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, then this hot Christmas item can certainly count as a major gift. You just have to watch out for some major problems.
You can already find lots of parents who aren’t nearly as thrilled as their kids are with this toy. For starters, it needs to be assembled with some instructions that aren’t always helpful. Pieces can be missing, although Playmates has been quick about sending the right parts. You still don’t want to wait until Christmas Eve to put this thing together. Considering the price, parents find it disconcerting that some parts are just cardboard. The snap connections meant to hold the whole thing together don’t always work the way they should.
The consensus seems to be that you really have to take the time to put this one together right. You also need to have a child who adores playing with the TMNT figures, and is not the type to abuse a toy. Assuming you have both of those–plus the money to shell out–the Secret Sewer Lair can be the kind of toy that really makes the holiday. But if you don’t have the patience to try and make the pieces work together, and you’re not sure about your child’s ability to play with it gently, then you may end up feeling this is a waste of time, effort, and money.