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 appeared in comic books before their expansion to cartoons, video games, films, toys and other general merchandise. During the peak of its popularity in the late 1980s through early 1990s, the franchise gained considerable worldwide success and fame. (source: wiki)
I had read Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird's 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. And I LIKED it :) When the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1987 TV series was aired with much success, the subsequent action figure line followed, and TMNT were soon 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.
These are the 2012 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Figures released by Playmates which I came across as loose pieces at a flea market recently. To me, these are the most pose-able Ninja Turtle action figures ever made. I love the articulation and the quality is pretty good. I am a fan of the 1980s cartoon look so these had to be bought. 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.
Scroll down to see pictures of each of the Ninja Turtles - Leonardo (Leo), Michelangelo (Mike or Mikey), Donatello (Don or Donnie) and Raphael (Raph).
Leonardo (Leo) – The courageous leader and devoted student of martial arts. As a figure, Leonardo stands over six inches tall and is half as wide. Same goes for the rest of the Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classic Collection Figures
Leonardo wears a blue mask and wields two, long and razor-sharp ninjakens that slice through nearly anything solid.
He is the oldest of the four.
Leonardo was named after the Italian polymath, painter, engineer, inventor, writer, anatomist, and sculptor, Leonardo da Vinci.
Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles feature a ball-and-socket head, ball-and-hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, ball-and-hinge wrists, individually-hinged fingers, ball-and-hinge thumbs, ball-and-socket torso, ball-joint hips, swivel thighs, double-hinge knees, ball-and-socket ankles, and individually-hinged toes. Wow. I'm pretty impressed :)
Michelangelo (Mike or Mikey) – Easy-going, fun-loving, jokester, and free-spirited being.
Michelangelo wears an orange mask and wields a pair of nunchakus. He is the youngest of the four Turtles, and often provides the comic relief.
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 a bo staff.
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.
There’s very little paint on these figures. Almost everything on these figures are molded in their particular color, including the plastron (front shell). Having everything molded in color does give the figure a toyish look, but that’s a perfect match for the cartoonish style of these figures.
Raphael (Raph) – The team's bad boy.
Raphael wears a dark red mask and wields a pair of sais. 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 often times 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
NEXT: You gotta put the four of them together for group pictures. Otherwise, they cannot be called the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.