Friday, August 30, 2019

My Faves: Figure Collection TMNT Edition

I have a fairly big collection of loose figures from the 80s & 90s. I would like to share a few of my faves with you at this time and since I have deemed August 2019 "The Month of the Turtle", this is an all TMNT edition of My Faves!!! Here we go!
Nightwatcher Raphael (Playmates, 2006)
I really enjoyed the 2007 Imagi Productions TMNT movie! The cast was great and included Chris Evans, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Patrick Stewart. The animation was pretty good. The fight scene with Leo and Raph on top of the NYC buildings in the rain was a highlight for me. I also loved the way they were able to make this a standalone movie, but still tied it in to the original Ninja Turtles movie trilogy. Anyway, the Nightwatcher character was pretty cool and when I saw this figure at a second hand store for less than a dollar, I immediately made it part of my collection. Yes, he is missing his helmet, but Raph is still a cool piece in any collection! 
Krang Mini-Vynl (Funko, 2014)
The look of these figures is pretty cool. They look cartoony, but that is the charm of this series from Funko. I picked up 4 or 5 of these blind boxes at Barnes and Noble for around $2 each. They were in their discount bin and I couldn't pass up that deal. Usually I don't like buying blind boxes, but for that price it was worth the gamble for these sweet TMNT figures. In addition to Krang I got Casey Jones, Michelangelo and April. 
Venus De Milo (Playmates, 1997)
First off, I have to say that I absolutely do not care for the TMNT: Next Mutation series from Saban. It looks cheaply made, the stories are weak and the dialogue is extremely dated. That being said, I thought the idea of adding a new Turtle to the family was a cool idea. The way it was done was pretty awful though. This can be done well as we have recently seen with the mutation to Jennika in the latest issues of the IDW Ninja Turtles comic, it just wasn't done well in this series.
Donatello LEGO Key-chain (LEGO, 2013) 
I went crazy when I heard that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were going to have their own LEGO sets! I loved LEGO as a kid and I still love them today. It was like a mash-up of two great things coming together to form one awesome toy! The first items I saw released were these TMNT keychains and so I bought my favorite Turtle Donatello when we were in the LEGO store while on vacation in Orlando, FL. I bought a few of the smaller sets and put them together with my kids. We had fun working together, but like most of our other sets they are now broken apart and in buckets with hundreds of other LEGOs waiting to be built again!
Tokka & Rahzar (Playmates, 1991)
The first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is one of my all time favorite flicks, but I would have to rank Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze a little higher. TMNT 2 was a little bit closer in tone to the cartoons I knew and loved, Vanilla Ice gave us "Ninja Rap" and it introduced us to 2 new mutant menaces, Tokka & Rahzar! These guys were freakin' AWESOME, but as a kid I always wondered why they didn't use Bebop and Rocksteady? It was years later that I found out it had to do something with the licensing rights of those characters. That turned out okay in the end though as we all grew to love these vicious, muscle bound, BABIES!!! I bought the Tokka action figure right off the rack in 1991, but Rahzar had to wait a few decades before I added him to my collection. I found him in a loose figure bargain bin at a vintage toy store for around $1.50! On a side note: Did we ever figure out which one was the ugly one?

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Comic Book Pick 8/28/19

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
City at War, Part 5. With enemies victorious on all sides and allies in short supply, the TMNT are at their lowest point. Yet as the TMNT start to blame themselves, a greater threat looms ever closer...Don't miss the earth-shaking lead up to TMNT #100!
(W) Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman (A) Michael Dialynas (CA) Dave Wachter
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis Provided By: 

Monday, August 26, 2019

Throwback Jam of the Week: 8/26/19

Throw on your orange bandana and grab your nunchucks as we take you back! Without further ado, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 THROWBACK JAM OF THE WEEK...
Artist: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Song: Pizza Power
Album: Coming Out Of Their Shells (1990)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: N/A
Bonus Fun Fact: The TMNT Coming Out Of Their Shells Tour began at Radio City Music Hall on August 17th, 1990. This tour was sponsored by Pizza Hut where you could buy your own copy of the soundtrack. This song was used by Konami for the intro music to their arcade game Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time! You can view the video below.

Friday, August 23, 2019

Original Ninja Turtles Artwork!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #61 Cover (Archie 1994)
This issue of the TMNT Adventures is a head scratcher. The image on the cover never really happens in the book and after all the fighting and action that preceded this issue in the "Megadeath", "Terracide" and "Blind Sight" story lines we get a native american telling us a legend about how the world was formed by a giant Turtle, Beaver and Beetle! This is more of a morality tale, letting us know that if we don't take care of Earth big trouble is ahead. Not my favorite issue in the series, but when the opportunity arose to purchase the original cover art by Steve Murphy aka Dean Clarrain, I was all over it. I had read and enjoyed the old Archie Adventure series for years and Murphy is one of my favorite TMNT artists so it was worth it! 
The above image is what the final colored cover looked like once it was published in 1994!
Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Vol. 2 #34 Page 18 (Mirage, 2007)
The story featured within this issue of Tales of the TMNT involves a rogue group of wannabe Foot Soldiers convincing Master Splinter that one of them is his daughter Hamato Hana! This ruse is concocted so Splinter will teach them his secret ninja techniques. To confirm this claim of lineage, Splinter gives Hana a task to prove herself by stealing a piece of each of the Turtle's bandannas. Hana actually completes this quest, but while returning to her base she finds that she is not really Splinter's daughter. She is in fact his niece! Hana kills the other members of her group for misleading her and turns down Splinter's offer to train her. She then leaves, never to be seen again in the Mirage universe.
I remember reading this story over a decade ago and I thought it was pretty good. I just wish they would have continued Hana's story somehow. I bought this piece of original art directly from Mirage Studios out of Peter Laird's personal connection. I would have liked to have gotten a piece with the Turtles in it, but those go for big bucks and those are bucks I currently don't have. Maybe sometime in the future? For now I will enjoy this great piece of Turtle history drawn by longtime TMNT artist Jim Lawson!
The above image is what the final page looked like after the lettering was done. I hope to add more original art to my constantly growing Ninja Turtles collection and once I do, I am sure it will get posted onto the pages of 20 Years Before 2000!

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Comic Book Pick 8/21/19

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
The TMNT have been bested by their new sound-controlling enemies! Meanwhile, April struggles to cope with the unorthodox public speaking tips of Splinter! A fun and funny new story that can help kids find their voice!
(W) Matthew K. Manning (A/CA) Chad Thomas
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis Provided By: 

Monday, August 19, 2019

Throwback Jam of the Week: 8/19/19

Throw on your purple bandana and grab your bo staff as we take you back! Without further ado, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 THROWBACK JAM OF THE WEEK...
Artist: Spunkadelic
Song: 9.95
Album: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Motion Picture Soundtrack (1990)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: N/A
Bonus Fun Fact: Spunkadelic was a Canadian hip-hop/R&B group that achieved moderate success in the U.S. during the 90s. They also appeared on the TMNT II: The Secret of the Ooze soundtrack with their song "Creatures of Habit" in 1991.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Recent TMNT Pickups

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 35th Anniversary Box Set
I am always on the lookout for new Ninja Turtles items to add to my growing collection. The things I like to collect the most are TMNT Comics, Action Figures and Trading Cards. When I heard this 35th Anniversary Box Set was coming out I almost passed on it. It contains reprintings of the original Mirage TMNT #1-#4 and the Raphael one-shot special all in their original size and format. I already heve these comics, but still I was suckered in by the nice presentation from IDW. 

Mikey as Batman Con Exclusive Action Figure
I have to admit, my schedule has been crazy with work and kids this summer and I have not yet had a chance to watch the animated Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Trust me, it is on my list of things to do. I have read the first 2 volumes of the comic series and really enjoyed them. The 3rd series is currently hitting shelves at comic shops now. Anyway, I could not pass up this con exclusive figure of Mikey dressed in Batman's cape and cowl. This figure was too cool to pass up and will look good on my basement shelf next to some of the other exclusive toys in my collection!

TMNT Coming Out Of Their Shells Soundtrack
In 1990 I was around 9 years old and fully entrenched in Turtlemania! I am not shy to say that myself and my brother had the VHS tape of the TMNT Coming Out Of Their Shells Tour and we watched it all the time. We memorized all the songs and really enjoyed the show. We lived so close to NY City at this time, that I am surprised that we didn't bug our parents to take us to the show at Radio City Music Hall? Nonetheless, we wore that VHS tape out, but never got the music soundtrack from Pizza Hut! That is something that has been rectified all these years later thanks to ebay! Now I am on the hunt for a program from the tour!

TMNT Shell Shock Comic
This book has been on my want list for a long time! I finally found a seller who was charging a reasonable price ($20) for it and I immediately jumped at the opportunity. This comic was released in 1989 by Mirage Publishing as a fund raiser to fight illiteracy in America. Laird & Eastman donated the profits from this book to the Literacy Volunteers of Chicago, Inc. Shell Shock is a collection of 26 short TMNT stories. 19 are reprints and 7 are brand new material you couldn't get anywhere else! I am so glad to finally have this book in my possession!

TMNT Sketch Cards
Honestly, I have no idea who drew these sketch cards and I have no idea if they were part of a set, but they were extremely cheap and I liked the art style so I picked them up. If anyone has any information on these cards, please feel free to drop me a message in the comments below. It would be greatly appreciated! I would like to get all four in a frame to hang on the wall of my Turtle room which should be coming to my house hopefully sooner than later! Below is a peak at the next item I would like to add to my collection. ENJOY!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Comic Book Pick 8/14/19

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
This is it, fans! You demanded it-the entire Image Comics TMNT run (a.k.a. TMNT Volume 3) reproduced for the first time ever in full, four-color glory! Join creators Gary Carlson and Frank Fosco as they take the Heroes in a Half-Shell on some of their most amazing, dangerous, and bizarre adventures ever... culminating in three brand-new issues by Carlson and Fosco to properly close out this long-beloved storyline at last! Long out of print and incomplete, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 3 is one of comics' lost treasures, now uncovered at last and completed by the original creators. Collects issues #1-13 of the 26-issue series.
(W) Gary Carlson (A/CA) Frank Fosco
SRP: $29.99
Synopsis Provided By: 

Monday, August 12, 2019

Throwback Jam of the Week: 8/12/19

Throw on your red bandana and grab your sai as we take you back! Without further ado, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 THROWBACK JAM OF THE WEEK...
Artist: Hi Tek 3 featuring Ya Kid K
Song: Spin That Wheel
Album: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Motion Picture Soundtrack (1990)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: 69
Bonus Fun Fact: This song was recorded by the Belgium group Technotronic under the name Hi Tek 3. The TMNT soundtrack version of this song edited out some drug related references from the original cut.

Friday, August 9, 2019

Ninja Turtles Pie Cards!

Every Turtle fan knows about the existence of the legendary Hostess teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Pies! They were released in 1991 and were pies covered in a Ooze green frosting and filled with vanilla pudding. These were delicious and if you pulled one of these out of your lunch box, you were the envy of every kid in the cafeteria. Having the Turtles endorse these pies was a huge selling point, but let's not forget the inclusion of stickers and trading cards inside each pie wrapper. I had some of these growing and just recently purchased these sets on ebay to add to my TMNT collection. Let's take a look!
These Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze cards were actually the second offering from Hostess in their pies. There were 5 cards in this set and the backs of all the cards had the same message promoting the release of the new movie. The cool thing about these cards though, was the fact that they were made out of plastic! They did this because the cards were packed with the pies and cardboard would have been destroyed if it was left in there.
These stickers were the original offering from Hostess in their TMNT pies. There were 5 in total in this set. One sticker for each of the Turtles and a fifth sticker showing all 4 Turtles together. The artwork on these was a modified version of the wrapper art on the pies. Hostess just replaced the pies in the Turtles hands with their weapon of choice. If you look at the Mikey sticker he can be seen still chewing on one of the delicious confections!
I honestly have no idea where these hologram cards came from. I know they were not inserted into the Turtle pies as a premium, but they have the same exact artwork as the TMNT pies stickers! There were only 4 of these holograms produced. One for each Turtle, the group shot was left out of this collection. Please excuse the scratches on these scans. The holders they were in really showed some wear during the scanning process. Overall though, these are pretty cool! Now let's take a minute and reflect on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pies by watching the commercial below.
Why has Hostess not brought these back yet? It's time for them to return fresh from the sewers to you!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Comic Book Pick 8/7/19

This week the comic book I am most excited to read is...
City at War Part 3. The Turtles race against time to save one of their own, but beset by obstacles on all sides-including the Earth Protection Force and the tide of approaching battle between two warring ninja clans-will they be too late? An ally's life hangs in the balance!
The countdown to issue #100 continues!
(W) Tom Waltz, Kevin Eastman (A) Dave Watcher (CA) Kevin Eastman, Ben Bishop
SRP: $3.99
Synopsis Provided By: 

Monday, August 5, 2019

Throwback Jam of the Week: 8/5/19

Throw on your blue bandana and grab your katana as we take you back! Without further ado, here is the 20 Years Before 2000 THROWBACK JAM OF THE WEEK...
Artist: Vanilla Ice
Song: Ninja Rap
Album: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991)
Peak Billboard Hot 100 Position: N/A
Bonus Fun Fact: The album version of this song has a faster tempo than the movie version. Vanilla Ice can be heard singing this song while stocking shelves in a 2014 Kraft Macaroni & Cheese commercial. The TMNT II comic adaptation has a completely different version of this song in it's pages.

Friday, August 2, 2019

TMNT Storyboard

I had seen these Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles original storyboards pop up on ebay from time to time and I always thought, maybe next time. Then it became maybe after this and maybe after that. Well, as you can see, I finally pulled the trigger and purchased one of these beautiful storyboard art pieces that were used in the production of the original Fred Wolf series of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons. The price was not too crazy high at around $40 with shipping, so I chose one that I liked that included the Turtles in an action sequence.
The scene depicted on this sheet is from episode #181"The New Mutation" which first aired on October 7th, 1995. In this episode, the Turtles are seeking to let the world know Lord Dregg's true motives of world domination while also trying to clear their names. They are trying to do all this while dealing with their new secondary mutations that turn our heroes in a half shell into monstrous beats and while the green machine battles the slug-like creature called the Slorr! This scene the Turtles locking the Slorr in an empty closet on top of a building in New York.
After capturing the disgusting Slorr, Leo asks their new friend Carter for a Sharpie so he can add "the finishing touch".
Carter hands Leo the marker so Leo can scribble Lord Dregg's name on the door. This will let the unfortunate person who discovers the angry monster know this was the work of this new alien villain!
I know it's not a pivotal scene in the history of the Ninja Turtles, but it still is a piece that helped build one of my favorite cartoon series of all-time. I may look into getting some more of these if the artwork appeals to me and the price is right. In the meantime, I want to get this baby framed and on my basement wall so myself and my kids can admire it for years to come!