I have this; You want this.
I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s. There will never be a better time to grow up. We got the best toys, the best shows, the best food, and all of that is now gone. And one of the single best things to come out of that era is the concept of a Ninja Turtle.
Sure, the Ninja Turtles are still around, but they’ll never be back to the extent that I witnessed firsthand. I was there every step of the way as they hit phenomenon status, and I’ll still be there when they eventually fade away for good.
Currently, they are celebrating their 25th anniversary. This means very little for most of you, but you may have seen the classic action figures reissued with the 25th anniversary logo stamped on them bundled with an episode from the original cartoon. I have no need for either of those because I got the Turtles when they were new.
The Best Action Figures Know What Kids Want
The original figures stand at near-perfection next to G.I. Joes. I honestly don’t think we’ll see an action figure line go to the lengths the Turtles went ever again. Over the course of ten years we kept getting new figures for the Turtles, but once you cover the four Turtles, Splinter, April, Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady, what more is there to bring out?
Naturally, vehicles and locations.
The Turtles’ Party Wagon remains one of the finest action figure vehicles ever built. It could carry all the Turtles, had multiple accessories, and could have a figure sit on a spring-loaded seat that swung out. That’s just plain cool.
Seats not just Turtles.
But once you get the basics out of the way, where do you go from there? New variations of the Turtles, such as Leonardo in football gear, Michaelangelo dressed as a clown, Raphael in an army uniform, or Donatello as a D & D style dwarf.
Things just went insane.
I actually have a Farmer Mike figure that came with a tractor. And I loved it. I loved every single new figure that came out despite how absurd they became. Star Trek Ninja Turtles? It happened alright.
As a kid I was able to see past the obvious marketing campaign and just enjoy the figures because every new figure really did feel new. They’d always come with an assortment of weapons and gadgets that were totally different from anything else I’d gotten previously. And vehicles weren’t restricted by sense. Anything could be a vehicle and anything could be a figure. There was nothing too absurd, and that’s the way we liked it.
They don't make things this cool anymore.
The World Changes
Eventually, the original cartoon was canceled, so no new figures for a while. The live-action series on Fox spawned some new figures, but they didn’t last long. I did actually really love the new figures and snatched up the main characters once again. However, they couldn’t pull off variations in the same way. They just didn’t make me ...