Who amongst us do not know about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Thing is, they never seem to go away.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (often shortened to TMNT or Ninja Turtles) are a fictional team of four teenage anthropomorphic turtles, who were trained by their anthropomorphic rat sensei in the art of ninjutsu and named after four Renaissance artists. From their home in the storm sewers of New York City, they battle petty criminals, evil overlords and alien invaders, all while remaining isolated from society-at-large.
The characters initially appeared in comic books before being licensed for toys, cartoons, video games, films, and other merchandise. During the peak of its popularity in the late 1980s through early 1990s, the franchise gained considerable worldwide success and fame. (source: wiki)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was created in an American comic book published by Mirage Studios in 1984 in Dover, New Hampshire. The concept arose from a humorous drawing sketched out by Kevin Eastman during a casual evening of brainstorming with his friend Peter Laird. Using money from a tax refund together with a loan from Eastman's uncle, the young artists self-published a single-issue comic intended to parody four of the most popular comics of the early 1980s: Marvel Comics' Daredevil and New Mutants, Dave Sim's Cerebus, and Frank Miller's Ronin.
Accompanied by the popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1987 TV series, and the subsequent action figure line, the TMNT were catapulted into pop culture history. At the height of the frenzy, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Turtles' likenesses could be found on a wide range of children's merchandise, from Pez dispensers to skateboards, breakfast cereal, video games, school supplies, linens, towels, cameras, and even toy shaving kits.
While the animated TV series, which lasted for 10 seasons until 1996, was more light-hearted, the comic book series continued in a much darker and grittier tone. In 1990 a live-action feature film was released, with the turtles and Splinter being portrayed by actors in partially animatronic suits created by Jim Henson's Creature Shop. The film became one of the most successful independent films, and spawned two sequels, as well as inspiring a 3D animated film set in the same continuity, which was released in 2007 under the name TMNT.
The property lay dormant for a while until in 2003 a new animated TV series also entitled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles began to air on Fox Box (now called 4Kids TV). The series storyline stuck much closer to the original Mirage comic book series, but was still less violent. It lasted for 7 seasons and 156 episodes, ending in February 2009. The Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series premiered on September 29, 2012 and is the reason for the most recent deluge of TMNT toys and action figures. These "heroes in a half-shell" truly have "turtle power"!
Leonardo (Leo) — The courageous leader and devoted student of martial arts, Leonardo wears a blue mask and wields two katana. He is the oldest of the four. Leonardo was named after the Italian polymath, scientist, engineer, inventor, anatomist, and painter, Leonardo da Vinci.
Michelangelo (Mike or Mikey) — Easy-going and free-spirited, Michelangelo wears an orange mask and wields a pair of nunchaku. Michelangelo provides much of the comic relief, most of the time. He is the youngest of the four Turtles. While he loves to relax and eat pizza, this Turtle also has an adventurous and creative side. He is something of the "surfer" boy, speaking usually in a Southern California accent. He is named after the Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer, Michelangelo. His name was originally misspelled "Michaelangelo" by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman.
Donatello (Don or Donnie) — The scientist, inventor, engineer, and technological genius, Donatello wears a purple mask and wields the bō. Donatello is perhaps the least violent Turtle, preferring to use his knowledge to solve conflicts. He is named after the early Renaissance Italian artist and sculptor from Florence, Donatello.
Raphael (Raph) — The team's bad boy, Raphael wears a red mask and wields a pair of sai. He has an aggressive nature and seldom hesitates to throw the first punch. He is often depicted with a Brooklyn accent. His personality can be alternately fierce and sarcastic, and oftentimes delivers deadpan humor. Still, he is intensely loyal to his brothers and sensei. He is named after the Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance, Raphael.
Splinter — The Turtles' sensei and adoptive father, Splinter is a Japanese mutant rat who learned the ways of ninjutsu from his owner and master, Hamato Yoshi. In the 1987 TV series, Archie Comics series and the 2012 TV series, Splinter was Hamato Yoshi mutated into a humanoid rat instead of being just Yoshi's pet.
April O'Neil — A former lab assistant to the mad scientist Baxter Stockman, April is the plucky human companion of the Turtles. April first met the Turtles when they saved her from Baxter's Mouser robots. She embarks on many of the Turtles' adventures and aids them by doing the work in public that the Turtles cannot. In the 1987 TV series, Archie Comics series and subsequent three films, April was a television news reporter.
Shredder — A villainous ninjutsu master called Oroku Saki who is the leader of the Foot Clan. In every incarnation of the TMNT franchise, he has been the archenemy of Splinter and the Turtles. Shredder prefers to use his armor instead of weapons in some versions.
Foot Soldier. In the Marvel comics Daredevil series by Frank Miller, Daredevil had to fight off the ninjas from the Hand clan ;p And the green radioactive stuff that mutated the turtles in the sewer? Blinded Matt Murdock and heightened his remaining senses beyond normal human ability.
You can pre-order these Playmates Toys Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Action Figures and the TMNT Secret Sewer Lair, Rippin' Rider and Sewer Spinnin' Skateboard at TFH! With more than 12 points of articulation, these action figures are the most highly detailed Turtle figures ever made. Each one is uniquely sculpted to capture the individual personalities of the characters from the TMNT TV show. The ultimate playset for any TMNT fan is the Secret Sewer Lair Playset which stands at 42 inches tall and includes more than 20 different exciting ninja features.