Q: Why do you think Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has survived and thrived for 30 years? -- @ballsmonkey
A: I have a whole lot of affection for the TMNT, and I don't think that's just because I was the perfect age to drag my parents to Pizza Hut so that I could get (and subsequently wear out) a VHS tape of the one where they fought the giant robot rats. Don't get me wrong, the nostalgia's a huge part of it, but it's not something that's unique to my age group. The fact is, if you've been a kid at any time in the past three decades, you've more than likely grown up loving those characters just as much as I did. And that in itself, the staying power that this strange franchise created by two dudes in a kitchen, is interesting.
The thing is, even though I tend to think of TMNT as the archetypical unlikely success, the more I think about it the less I think that it actually was all that unlikely.
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Funko has released a flurry of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles product images, with the world's most fearsome fighting team (and their foes) being produced in a number of formats. Heading off the live action TMNT movie's August 8 release date will be new 2.5" tall Mystery Minis, 3.75" Pop! Vinyl figures and Wacky Wobblers based on the 1987 animated series.
The 1990s were a very strange time. Imagine, if you will, a world where the single most popular thing in the entire world was a media franchise about four adolescent anthropomorphic turtles who wore domino masks and knew karate, and that this popularity was so great that they appeared on TheOprah Winfrey Show to sing songs and promote an arena tour where they would perform more songs instead of doing any actual karate.
If you're having trouble imagining that, and I understand why you would, don't worry. It actually happened, and thanks to Brett White, who unearthed video of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' appearance on Oprah to promote their Coming Out Of Their Shells tour, you can spend the next 45 minutes witnessing one of the most surreal talk show appearances of all time.
Fans got a pretty solid look at the four stars of Jonathan Liebesman's live action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie in action figure form a few months back, but now the rest of the cast can be seen in all of their plastic Playmates prestige. Click through for a good look at Shredder, Splinter, April O'Neil, what appears to be a Foot Clan soldier, and a trenchcoated Raphael from the first series of TMNT 2014 movie toys.
Every teenager eventually turns 30, some just do it with better greener skin. This month Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series celebrates three decades of comics -- comics which of course served as a springboard for almost as many years of cartoons, video games, toys, movies and more. Whether fans have been along for the ride the entire third-of-a-century or are relatively new to the green machines, Insight Editions' upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History aims to provide readers with a potent picture of the TMNT's history.
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