Part of #TMNTweek 2016 on THE ROCK FATHER Magazine! Check out TheRockFather.com/TMNT for more.
"FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE SEWER... the the top of the toy charts," that was how Playmates Toys' described the success of their 1988 launch of TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES Action Figures, Vehicles and Role-play. It was 28 years ago that the long-running, yet little-known toymaker burst into the action figure aisle with a small assortment of figures based upon the "classic" TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES animated series, which made its debut as a five-part miniseries in late 1987 prior to going full-steam-ahead as a Saturday morning cartoon in the Fall of 1988. In fact, like many toys of the era, the TV series and toys went hand-in-hand, with the series designed to sell toys, despite the fact that TMNT was based on the much darker 1984 comic book series. As the 30th Anniversary of the TMNT toys approaches on the horizon, the 'Turtles have gone through numerous incarnations across every medium, but at its core the basic action figures remain the heart of the brand when it comes to play. When the TMNT brand relaunched in 2012 with the Nickelodeon series, the 'Turtles were quickly back on top and a live-action movie soon followed, making its theatrical debut in the summer of 2014. Now, with the release of the second live-action movie in the new series hitting screens, it's time to take a look at the Basic Action Figure assortment from TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS!
I'd like to think that I know a thing or two about VOLTRON, and as someone that holds the 1984 version of the property in high regard and has seen numerous reboots try (and fail) to make a splash, I feel confident that we're on the cusp of a new golden era for the familiar Lion Force. With the Netflix Original Series, DreamWorks' VOLTRON: LEGENDARY DEFENDER streaming starting June 10, fans looking for new adventures will have a whole new chapter waiting for them in print: comic books from Lion Forge Comics - the folks who brought KNIGHT RIDER and MADBALLS into print. Releasing in July, the comic series expands the adventures of the paladins of Voltron with the first of a five-part series of VOLTRON: LEGENDARY DEFENDER comics. The mini-series is the first of several planned expansions of new storylines between seasons.
On June 3, Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon will serve-up another dose of big-screen action from the world's favorite anthropomorphic two-legged turtles. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS finds Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo, and Raphael returning to theaters to battle bigger, badder villains, alongside April O’Neil (Megan Fox), Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett), and a fan-requested newcomer: the hockey-masked vigilante Casey Jones (Stephen Amell). This week, a new trailer and poster have arrived, alongside the full announcement on the new line of toys from longtime TMNT master licensee, Playmates Toys - most of which are in-stores now! Ready to Rock?
When is a ride not a ride? That's the question I faced when looking at TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES T-Sprints, a new type of TMNT play from the folks at Playmates Toys. Following the successful jump into the diecast aisle with last year's launch of the T-Machines line, T-Sprints is something completely new in that it's sorta like miniature soap-box racing, but with familiar Turtles in the race. Each T-Sprints figure can be revved-up (the old-school rev-and-go action) and let go to see them appear to be "sprinting" across a flat surface. Their arms and legs move, and it does look like they're running - it's cute. Then you can drop them into one of their rides (each figure has one included), and they scoot along.
When my wife and I became parents for the first time back in 2009, I had no idea that the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES would eventually be back in our home, a regular fixture of viewing and play reborn for a new generation. While I enjoyed the Turtles in their first animated series and the live-action films of the late 80s/early 90s, our girls are enamored with all-things TMNT at this point, from the Nickelodeon Cartoon, to the long-running Playmates Toys and beyond. One big surprise was the arrival of a Half-Shell Heroes special last Fall, a stand-alone hour-long event that brought the younger-skewing Half-Shell Heroes toys into animated form for an adventure in the age of the dinosaurs. Our oldest daughter, Addie, LOVED it - asking for it repeatedly on-demand, and prompting me to question if it was a backdoor pilot for another new series (fingers-crossed). Now, just in-time for Easter, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES Half-Shell Heroes: BLAST TO THE PAST is coming to DVD, and THE ROCK FATHER Magazine has your chance to win the movie, along with Playmates' Leo & Triceratops action figures!
When VOLTRON: LEGENDARY DEFENDER was announced as a new Netflix Original Series from DreamWorks Animation last month, I broke the news with excitement - throwing down a tale of when I was Voltron for Halloween... and how much I loved my mid-80s Voltron toys. In 2016, I still have a Voltron here in my office, and with the new series set for launch this Fall, I expect that The Rock Daughters will soon grow to love the mystical robot lions just as I do. This week, some other news came down that I'd been waiting for - that "an expansive" new toy line will launch in Spring 2017, and they're coming from Playmates Toys - the folks behind the longtime success of the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES toys.