Monday, October 5, 2009

No End In Sight For The Turtles

Playmates' future with the Ninja Turtles was looking a little questionable and mostly due to their own questionable management of the brand. They didn't have a toy line out for the Back to the Sewers cartoon, and the one they had planned was little more than retools of the 2007 movie line. What they did release was reissues of some of the original figures. They also planned a line based on the Mirage comic books. So basically Playmates was going to copy what NECA was doing, except their efforts wouldn't have been as nice. Now via Toy News International, comes this announcement:

Turtle Power is in full force with the dynamic 2010 line of TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES toys available exclusively at Toys R Us. After a quarter of a century, kids of all ages still love to play with Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael. A brand new live action movie that traces the Turtles back to their origins is in the works and is tentatively slated for October 2011, with Galen Walker (TMNT) and Scott Mednick (300) producing. The product line will reflect the special blend of action and humor which makes this franchise so unique and popular. Playmates will introduce new products and re-introduce original products and packaging to focus on the retro style which first popularized the TMNT in the late 1980’s and early 90’s. ORIGINAL MOVIE STAR FIGURES of all four Turtles will be available, along with the Classic Party Van, Sludge Runners and Ninja Gear Role-Play in Retro Packaging. In addition, fall 2010 will see the launch of the CLASSIC COMIC BOOK FIGURES as seen in the very first comic book from 1984. Cowabunga!

It seems like they're scaling way back and yet I haven't been this excited for Ninja Turtles figure in over a decade. I wasn't too impressed with the reissues at first. The ones I wanted were the ones I never had, like Slash and the Foot Soldier and those haven't even been released yet. The distribution hasn't been great which is likely why the line is becoming a Toys R Us exclusive. Reissuing the Movie Star Turtles is a great idea though. Those were excellent figures even back then. I'm a big fan of the live action movies myself and I'd like to have a set. (As a kid I only had a Leonardo, who I would carry around in my coat pocket. I "lost" the figure for a long time when I hung up the coat in the closet with the figure still inside.)

I'm also very happy about the vehicle reissues. If there's one thing the action figures of yesterday have over the ones of today, it's awesome vehicles and playsets. It seems we'll have a better chance of getting that Party Van reissue. I'm not entirely sure what the Sludge Runners are, but a Google search implies they're ATV-like vehicles from the modern line. That's disappointing considering all of the much cooler stuff from the Turtles' past they could have re-released.

It also seems Playmates are still planning on releasing some Mirage figures. We'll see how that goes. This all seems like a way to keep the presence of the Turtles brand out on store shelves before the planned 2011 movie. If this is what it takes than I won't complain.

In other Playmates news they'll be continuing their Star Trek line with figures from The Original Series. No such continuation seems to be planned for the Terminator line, which is a shame. Granted I'm partly to blame as I didn't buy any Terminator Salvation stuff but I liked what Playmates was planning more than what Playmates had released.

1 comment:

The Mandie Char Chars said...

So. . . much . . . turtles. . .

[searches Google for turtle soup]