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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Foot Soldier Mask Movie Prop

Ryan writes in showing off a very exciting acquisition he's made:

Like many of you I grew up a big TMNT fan. I was 10 years old when I saw the first action figure commercials in 1988 and remember looking everywhere for them before they finally arrived in stores. I actually still have most all my toys, over 65 + some still in package. I was so into the cartoons and definitely loved the first 2 films along with the CG release of TMNT last year which was great to see the 4 heroes in green back in theaters.

I was so taken back by the first movie being 12 years old. When the opening scene came up I'll never forget seeing for the first time those real-life Foot Soldiers packing up the truck with stolen goods. Who would have thought that 18 years later I would get an opportunity to own a piece of that movie magic.

I found this through the Prop Store of London posted one morning back in June I believe. Perhaps it came from a former owner or production crew member? I honestly don't know how it happend upon the site being available. I really don't know how long it was up that morning, but without blinking I placed a layaway on it and paid for it over a few months time until my last payment and shortly arriving finally in September. I was a bit unimpressed by how they presented it on their site, but I was certain I could improve how it displayed. The initial photo shows what the mask looked like as received.

I finally got around to working on it this past week and now it looks a lot more presentable. The only minor thing I did was fix up the few broken seams along the sides and removal of all the fuzz in the hook loop velcro. Other than that, this mask is maintained as it was received and think that the usage gives it personality. I wanted to maintain the overall integrity of the piece, but those seams didn't look good. It's amazing to see in person how different it looks than how it showed on screen. I thought the BUG EYES were metal wire mesh... its actually a plastic grid and painted! And the mask itself you'd think is black... no! Silvery gray spandex and then coated with a black fabric spray paint of some sort, giving it that weathered look. I would have never guessed as well as the metal gromets on the mouth that look to have originally been painted black, but has since worn through. This mask has definitely seen a lot of action looking at how worn it is.

To finish off the bust I sewed a chest piece to cover over the shoulders/bust to make it look more complete. I still want to get a display case and darken the bottom base, but overall am very happy with the result compared to before.

Unfortunately this kinda dwarfs my entire TMNT toy collection, so I don't know what I'll be doing with the toys! It is overall a very impressive piece and I do feel extremely lucky to own a true piece of my childhood from that day I first saw those Foot Soldiers on screen. That was a big deal then, it's a huge deal to own one of those masks.

Ryan also adds:

I'd like to add one more bit of importance to this piece for me. I believe this was the last project that Jim Henson worked on before he died. Owning a piece of something he was involved in is a real treat and I have always loved the work he has done with puppetry and creatures. I remembered crying the day of hearing of his death. He was so ahead of his time.

I REALLY HOPE they are working on a BluRay edition of the live action films. They desperately need the HD treatment and I'd sure be one of the first to buy a set. Come on, New Line! Get with the program!

I think those are words all Turtle fans can agree with - Hear, hear!


  1. -->> Rose, may i cross post this on Mikes n' stuff ??

    (( i know it's prolly ok, but i try to remember to ask when i can ))


  2. Most excellent tribute to both the Ninja Turtle Legacy and the great man known as Jim Henson!

    Really well done and you deserve great praise on how well it is now displayed. Piece of history displayed proudly!

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