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It’s kind of strange how much influence Cyndi Lauper had on the early 1980’s wrestling boom. She was something of a pop culture phenomenon and why she ever hooked up with wrestling, is beyond me. It probably held her back once Madonna burst on the scene, but maybe it was just part of a larger “sell out” on her part. Anyway, point being, her teaming up with Hulk Hogan caused the “Rock ‘n’ Wrestling” era to head into the stratosphere. Along the way came the Hulk Hogan’s Rock ‘n’ Wrestling cartoon show, which was part of a Cyndi Lauper themed CBS Saturday Morning cartoon lineup.

In addition to the scariest image of Hulk Hogan I’ve ever seen, that neither looks like the real Hogan or the cartoon Hogan, this ad shows us that the Berenstain Bears and Muppet Babies & Monsters were part of the lineup. I can confess that I do not recall Muppet Babies ever being packaged with a Muppet Monsters show, but apparently it was. The Berenstain Bears were sort of like the Waltons, but with bears. But the real draw is this Rock ‘n’ Wrestling image of Hogan. He appears to be wearing black and white striped trunks. It’s just odd all around.

Ninja Turtle Cereal
The Ninja Turtles debuted a cereal in the early 90s that was to many folks pretty repulsive. Frankly, I don’t recall the cereal tasting any worse than a lot of the other stuff on the market at the time. Then again, I don’t remember particularly loving it either. One of the promotions involved sending away to get special cereal exclusive comics and that’s what we’re taking a look at today, because they’re actually kind of neat comics.

Done by the Mirage team, it offers a rare glimpse into how a Mirage “Fred Wolf” TMNT comic may have went. While one could argue that Archie’s TMNT Adventures was certainly the same idea, this was closer in style to the Mirage playbook than the Archie stories ever were.

You had to mail away for each comic, which in itself was a pretty good scheme. The comics were small, not unlike the MOTU mini comics, but had a fairly decent continuing story throughout. This one starts with Raphael and Casey Jones playing baseball. Casey Jones wasn’t shown to be a friend of the TMNT that much in the original toon, so you can already see that Mirage twist on the norm. Continue reading

Sonic meets the Turtles
Back in 1994, Sonic the Hedgehog and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were both under a licensing contract with Archie Comics. The TMNT run in Archie is known for being loosely based on the Fred Wolf cartoon and created a deep mythos of it’s own. The comic has become a cult favorite and to many people was the best version of the Turtles. What a lot of people don’t know, is that Sonic’s Archie comic was also quite successful, running for well over 200 issues.

However, it was a brief moment in one of Sonic’s earliest issues that he got a chance to meet the Ninja Turtles. Sonic was busy trying to save a group of people known as the Nerbs and ran through a sewer. Who should he pass in the sewers? None other than Donatello, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Raphael. While many comics do little panels with stuff hidden in the background, this was front and center. The Turtles even got a couple of word balloons.

Ninja Turtle Crossovers
Although the meeting was brief, it is technically a crossover. It wasn’t the first Ninja Turtle crossover and it certainly wouldn’t be the last either. But it was the only time that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles got to meet Sega’s Sonic The Hedgehog!

TMNT Shreddies
You wouldn’t think the Ninja Turtles would want to come anywhere near something called Shreddies, but that’s exactly what they did during the early 90’s. This vintage cereal ad, shows off one of several promotions that the TMNT did with Shreddies cereal in the UK. We don’t have Shreddies in the states, because it’s essentially Chex mix.

What’s interesting about this promotion, aside from the trippy TMNT movie-esque artwork, is that the Turtles are referred to as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Back in the early 90’s, the Turtles were called the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles in the UK, because ninjas were bad or some such. Shreddies was also distributed to Canada, so it’s possible that they opted to keep the actual TMNT name to save on packaging changes. Continue reading

Ninja Turtle Karate
Believe it or not, as the Ninja Turtles began to gain popularity in the late 80’s and early 90’s, a company called Solson Publications teamed up with Mirage to put out official karate training manuals, featuring the turtles. What made these manuals unique, was that not only were they officially authorized, but they had legitimate karate instructions inside. Defeat the Shredder (or at least the neighborhood bully) with the skills you learned in the TMNT Karate Manual!

TMNT Karate
There was no attempt to sugarcoat these manuals or to make them into comics that “sort of” taught you karate moves. Instead, this manual (and the other 6 books in the series) played it straight and showed you legit karate manuevers and styles with Ninja Turtle art. It’s literally no different than if the artwork were regular humans, as all the other martial arts manuals out there are. Continue reading