Last weekend 4KidsTV aired the finale of the Mirage era of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Although the new cartoon known in fan circles as the 2003 or 2K3 TMNT (due to the original start date of the cartoon) already had it’s series finale a few months back this was the official end of that era. A stand alone TMNT movie that saw the 2003 Turtles meet up with the 1980’s Fred Wolf style Ninja Turtles as well as the Mirage original comics Turtles.


The idea was simple enough and the execution was nearly flawless. This is the last animated piece that Mirage had a hand in, it’s the last time 4Kids worked with the TMNT and it’s the last bit of celebration before the 25th Anniversary of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is sold off to Nickelodeon.

The film was great and is getting rave reviews from fans and non-fans alike. Overall everyone’s interest in the Turtles is up. Not just from a nostalgia standpoint either. Kids were excited, adults were interested, it’s a great time to hock a ton of TMNT merchandise.

So where is the Turtles Forever toy line? I’ll tell you where… It doesn’t exist. Playmates has had a rough year with a failed Star Trek and Terminator line. The Retro TMNT figures didn’t light the world on fire either, though high prices and poor case packouts are largely responsible for that.

A Turtles Forever line would have been a great chance for Playmates to embrace the Turtles and they could have made new figures of everyone. From the 2K3 Turtles and their core villains, to the 80’s Turtles and their core villains and even Mirage Turtles. So why didn’t they? Did Mirage not push hard enough to get toys for this TV movie made? Did Playmates not feel they would have made money? Did the two companies just not keep track of it?

Whatever the case it marks one of the biggest blunders in toy history. A Turtles Forever line would have sold like gangbusters. A chance to have the 2K3, the Mirage and 80’s Turtles all in the same line, same scale, would have worked. Instead folks are left with no merchandise whatsoever. Even the regular TMNT toy line is non-existent at the moment. All fans can do is buy retro figures or TMNT Movie figs at a few TRU locations. Instead most folks are picking up old figures off of Ebay to help rekindle their interest.

In the midst of all of this is NECA. They currently have the rights to do a TMNT line on the comics alone. Had they managed to get their Seres 2 in to stores by now, they could have rode the back of the Turtles Forever wave, especially in the absence of a Playmates Turtles Forever toy line. Instead, we still have no signs of Wave 2 ever coming.

Nickelodeon which just secured the rights to the TMNT, I encourage you to make a Turtles Forever line. Push Playmates to make one, all encompassing Turtles line. With 80’s style Turtles and villians, 2K3 Turtles and villains as well as working in new figures from whatever your new Turtles show will look like. I promise you, a Turtles Forever line would sell to kids and collectors alike. It’s what the fans are clamoring for and it’s a complete mess that all the current keepers of the Green Machine missed that boat.

3 Responses to Playmates, Mirage, Nickelodeon and NECA Miss the TMNT Boat…

  • Sam says:

    agreed with all of the above, and make them in 3 3/4 scale with Joe level articulation ! i’d dig em.

  • prfkttear says:

    Turtles Forever was fantastic and has reignited my love for TMNT, evenmoreso than the NECA TMNT figures did when I got them over a year ago. I took down my box’o’turtles and started pulling them out of the plastic baggies that have kept them prisoner for well over a decade. Someone really did miss the boat on this one!

  • Wes says:

    Agreed — and it’s not even like Playmates would’ve had to do anything involved! Rerelease the Toon Turtles, rerelease the 2K3 Turtles with the more articulated bodies… and maybe turn the swivel elbows into swivel-hinges for added value. NECA would’ve done quite well too if the comic figures were widely available right now — I find myself strongly tempted to order up that B/W set.

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