It seems like everything in entertainment is divisive these days. If you keep things the same, it's too much like what's come before it. Change things up and go in new directions, and you've ruined a franchise. At least, that's what certain very vocal fans tend to say. The TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES franchise to me is a lot like BATMAN (who they've actually teamed-up with before). Since 1984, it's seen constant reinvention with different looks and new takes on familiar characters that sometimes inhabit an unfamiliar form. Most of the time, it works. Now, after running nearly six years in a CGI incarnation on Nickelodeon (which ran parallel to a vastly different-looking live action film series), the TMNT crew is being reinvented once more for RISE OF THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES.
In 1984, the world was first introduced to two teams of heroes, both based out of New York City, and each comprised of four members with a distinct set of talents. Operating in two different dimensions (and under different rights holders), the odds of the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES working alongside the GHOSTBUSTERS seemed unlikely. Defying the odds, that's exactly what happened back in 2014, when IDW Publishing brought the whole crew together for an interdimensional adventure in comic book form, released as a 30th anniversary celebration for the two franchises. Now, in 2017, they've come back together for a comic book sequel, and for the first time ever... toys. From Playmates Toys comes NINJA GHOSTBUSTERS, a collection action figures that features the Turtles as their Ghostbusters counterparts! Sent to us for review, NINJA GHOSTBUSTERS land not only in my annual Halloween countdown, but also on the 2017 Holiday Wish Guide™!
As the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have evolved over the past few decades, they've had a habit of stepping into their own version of the "monster mash" on more than a few occasions. Mikey, Leo, Donnie and Raph have not only battled all manor of supernatural beast, but they've also become them at times. In a tale that finds a quartet of reptiles mutated into humanoid form, few things are off-limits as the story sometimes becomes multi-dimensional. Have they really become monsters, or are they simply wearing costumes? Depends on the time, but years ago Playmates Toys issued some crossover figures in which The Universal Monsters were mashed-up with the Turtles themselves. Now, that general spirit is back with TALES OF THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: MONSTERS + MUTANTS, a recent four-episode arc of the hit Nickelodeon series (now in its final season), and with that comes some fantastic new action figures from the folks at Playmates!
The world of the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES has evolved numerous times throughout the past few decades, and through countless adventures that have sometimes jumped dimensions, the Turtles have occasionally crossed paths with a Ronin rabbit called Miyamoto Usagi, perhaps better-known as Usagi Yojimbo. Created in the 1980s by Stan Sakai, the character has appeared alongside the TMNT crew in several different versions, particularly becoming a cult favorite based on the original 1987 animated series. Now, in Nickelodeon's TALES OF THE TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, Usagi is back, and a recent three-part story arc found the Ninja Turtles transported to an alternate dimension in which they fight as samurai alongside the mysterious Ronin rabbit. Of course, being back on the radar for a new generation means the right time to be reintroduced to the toy line, and Playmates has stepped-up with a fantastic Samurai-themed collection of new TMNT action figures, a sampling of which arrived here at Rock Father™ HQ for review.
The crew at Playmates Toys is rolling into the North American International Toy Fair with an expanded portfolio this year, moving well-beyond the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles offerings that they're known for, and into the realm of DreamWorks Television Animation's Voltron Legendary Defender and Cartoon Network's refreshed Ben 10, Look for photos and details soon, but check out an initial overview of what will be shown at the Playmates Toys booth, #2469, at Toy Fair from February 18-21, 2017.
Last year, one big story out of New York Toy Fair was that for the very first time, Playmobil would be issuing toys based on famous pop culture licenses. Promised to debut in 2017, this was exciting news on its own, but another component of the launch was revealed to be a collaboration with Funko on some larger figures presented in 6" scale. Today, Funko x Playmobil is a reality, and the first wave of 6" collectible figures is available for pre-order through my ally, Entertainment Earth! The first twelve figures are spread over five pop culture licenses including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Back to the Future, Ghostbusters, Doctor Who and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory... and one of them is an Entertainment Earth Exclusive TMNT Black and White Raphael!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: ©2016 Viacom International Inc. All Rights Reserved. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES and all related titles, logos, and characters are trademarks of Viacom International Inc. This special content section is brought to you by THE ROCK FATHER Magazine, and is not affiliated with or sponsored by Viacom, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures or any TMNT licensee except on individual posts where noted. Cowabunga, dudes!