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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Raph
Playmates and Nickelodeon have announced an exclusive figure for this year’s San Diego Comic Con and it’s somewhat of a surprise. Dubbed the “original” Raphael, this release features Raph in an exclusive black and white deco. What makes this particularly interesting is the fact that it’s an all new sculpt, that appears to be based on the classic Mirage comics. In fact, it bares more than a passing resemblance to the Mirage NECA Turtles that were released a few years back.

It also appears to use at least some parts of the never released Playmates Mirage TMNT (which looked like fine figures, but there style was different and was more of a “modern” Mirage interpretation) but it is not a complete release of that figure. Instead this figure has a new plastron and other parts. Still it appears at least a little of that unreleased figure is in this. Of course, this begs the question on whether Playmates will release these style turtles at retail.

Playmates Original Raphael
It also makes me wonder if this figure will actually have articulation. It clearly has joints, but last year’s Night Shadow Leonardo also appeared to be articulated, but wasn’t. The awkward posing in some of these early photos make it seem as though some joints are frozen. Hopefully we’ll get a definitive answer and price soon.

While it might seem strange for Playmates to release Ninja Turtles in a different style than the Nickelodeon show, it’s worth noting that Nick has been pushing a lot of retro TMNT products. KidRobot is doing a “original toon” line, while the Loyal Subjects are producing a vinyl Mirage TMNT line. Hopefully we’ll see a full color Mirage based line from Playmates, to help heal those old wounds of NECA leaving us without a wave 2 of their line.

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Some photos of Playmates new TMNT movie figures have snuck out. The Michael Bay produced Turtles movie has been doomed from the start, but even if you had some hope that at least the designs of the titular heroes might be good, think again. These photos give us our best look at the designs to date. They’re easily the worst versions of the TMNT ever created. It’s like the Jim Lee Turtles had sex with the Next Mutation Turtles and then were mutated by a radioactive turd. Yes, they’re that bad.

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It’s clear that the problem here isn’t Playmates, but rather the designs themselves. Even though the 1990 movie was done with much more rudimentary technology, they managed to capture the essence of the TMNT. These new desgins look terrible, not only in form, but function. The Turtles all have odd shaped bodies, different sized heads and of course, layers of clothes.

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Oh and I almost forgot, the Turtles are apparently giants now. Some movie stills show the TMNT towering over April and other humans. It’s as if the guy behind this movie was intentionally trying to strip away all the elements that were recognizable while still leaving just enough to lure in nostalgia fans and unsuspecting kids. Oh right, Michael Bay.

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For what it’s worth, the figures themselves also look terrible. The articulation seems almost non-existent. This could be an early draft, but I’m guessing it’s closer to the final figures. So why do they look so bad? I get the feeling that even Playmates knows these designs won’t sell and that the movie will cause a fan revolt and they want to focus more of their efforts on the popular Nick TMNT figures.

I am cringing at the thought of this movie actually seeing the light of day. The Turtles are getting so popular right now that it’s the PERFECT time for a well done movie to hit. Unfortunately, what we’re getting is the exact opposite.

TMNT Leatherhead figure review

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Nickelodeon
Leatherhead
5 Inch Scale
By: Playmates
$8.99

In the 1980′s TMNT cartoon, Leatherhead is sort of a generic mutant villain who spoke like he was the reincarnation of cajun chef, Justin Wilson. In the Archie TMNT comics, Leatherhead developed beyond this point to actually become a hero. However, it was in the original Mirage comics that Leatherhead got his start.

Nick TMNT Figure Reviews
In the Mirage comics, Leatherhead is an important character as he’s the only other “mutant” created by the TCRI mutagen. Unlike his cartoon counterpart, he’s actually a brilliant creature, who was raised by the Utroms and wants to get back to their homeworld, as he only really feels at home with the Utroms.

Aligator
The new Nickelodeon show has Leatherhead be a bit closer to his roots, but since the Utroms (Kraang) are evil, he’s more of a generic mutant than anything. Leatherhead loses some of his special qualities because of this, but he’s still a character that has appeared a few times and has potential to be more. So how is the action figure form? Continue reading

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.

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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.

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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!