New TMNT product from Playmates? Well sort of… Thanks to Andrewdsz over at the Technodrome for stumbling upon a new item at Toys R Us of the Ninja Turtles. It’s actually a re-release of some 2008 “Back to the Sewers” turtle product, called the Sludge Runner.

This toy originally barely made it into stores as Playmates was pretty much scrapping the barrel of TMNT products. Now they’ve repacked this vehicle in surprisingly… RETRO TMNT packaging. Even though this is the new “movie” style turtles on the inside.

While this has shocked a lot of TMNT fans, Playmates actually mentioned this would be brought back in back in October of 2009 as I originally reported here: TMNT Toys Not Dead?

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES – Mutant Turtles THRIVE
Turtle Power is in full force with the dynamic 2010 line of TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES toys available exclusively at Toys R Us. After a quarter of a century, kids of all ages still love to play with Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael. A brand new live action movie that traces the Turtles back to their origins is in the works and is tentatively slated for October 2011, with Galen Walker (TMNT) and Scott Mednick (300) producing. The product line will reflect the special blend of action and humor which makes this franchise so unique and popular. Playmates will introduce new products and re-introduce original products and packaging to focus on the retro style which first popularized the TMNT in the late 1980’s and early 90’s. ORIGINAL MOVIE STAR FIGURES of all four Turtles will be available, along with the Classic Party Van, Sludge Runners and Ninja Gear Role-Play in Retro Packaging. In addition, fall 2010 will see the launch of the CLASSIC COMIC BOOK FIGURES as seen in the very first comic book from 1984. Cowabunga!

The interesting part about all of this is that reports said that Playmates were not going to continue to release figures. However since making their arrangement with TRU for exclusives, they’ve been shipping product ever since. Many believed that they were just burning off old backlog of product, but this Sludge Runner shows that perhaps some of these other figures may come out as well. It’s no guarantee. Perhaps the Sludge Runners made it to production, but nothing else did? It’s a story I’m certainly going to keep an eye on. Hope is apparently not completely lost as it pertains to some of these releases.

Could this mean that the “Classic Comic Figures” are still on target for a Fall 2010 launch? I’m really pulling for release of the comic version turtles as well as the re-release of the Movie Star Turtles. Playmates obviously wants to protect their shelf space at TRU, so they’re more than likely going to have to send Toys R Us, something. What other product will trickle out? More news as it develops, so be sure to check in to Infinite Hollywood for all the details.

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