In a development surprising to very few, Playmates Toys has announced that it will be making Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toys - probably until the end of time - thanks to a lucrative deal with Nickelodeon according to ToyNewsi.

I hate to go all "angry nerd" up in this joint, but the news stings my heart a bit, if only because Mirage is basically manifesting its namesake come May, leaving essentially zero opportunities for non-Playmates licensing (like NECA's awesome TMNT toys based on the original Eastman and Laird comics rather than animation).

Observe the difference (the NECA toys are up top):

"We are very excited about our new partnership with Nickelodeon, which broadens the scope of creative inspiration for Playmates," said Lou Novak, President, Playmates Toys in an official press release. "We are proud to continue our long-standing commitment of making innovative, fun toys based on the beloved Turtles that have entertained generations of kids around the world."

Let's be real, Playmates is a huge company suited to spread the Turtle love to kids far and wide. Their toys weren't perfect back when I was at the proper age for action figuring (frail orange accessories anyone?), but I'd be lying if I said quality hadn't improved about 10,000-fold in the past few years.

Still, imagine toy shelves stocked exclusively with NECA's TMNT tributes. Ahhh, I think I hear Louis Armstrong singing.