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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nickelodeon TMNT Fan Preview Event - Report

I suspect that I'm going to have to break this report into a series of entries over the next few days. The short of it, as you may have picked up hints of if you follow Ninja Pizza on Facebook or Twitter, or visit some of the message boards, is that Nickelodeon earlier today (it is still just barely March 30 as I type this), hosted a TMNT Fan Preview Event to give selected fans a glimpse of what they've got in development for the CGI TMNT series scheduled to debut in the fall of 2012. To give you an idea of how big of a deal this was, and just how seriously Nickelodeon is taking the Turtles, they have never done an event like this. Ever. Not for any other series, not for any other property. Never.

I'm going to show and tell you as much as I can, but all participants were required to sign a non-disclosure agreement before arriving, so please don't bother asking me questions that I just told you I can't answer. Really, I'd love to tell you everything, but hopefully you can be content with what I can present (vague as it will be).

The event took place at Nickelodeon Studios in Burbank, CA. Upon arrival, we were all given badges with our names and had breakfast provided for us. After a brief introduction from some of the Nickelodeon executives, we got a studio tour, which included a really neat peak into a recording session for Fanboy and Chum Chum.

After that, we were shown a Power Point presentation that included a look at various character designs, as well as set designs. All of this consisted of 2D stills. At the end of the slide show, we were shown a look at a short animation of CGI Leonardo swinging his sword. After that we were shown the completed 2D animatic "pilot." In this case, "pilot" didn't mean it was the first episode - it clearly wasn't based on the context. But what it did do was present what the look and feel of the show would be through the use of still drawings, complete vocal tracks, as well as a music track.

Next, we were treated to something I wasn't expecting - a look at the new toys Playmates has in development. We saw final painted prototypes for the four basic Turtles, a near-final unpainted prototype for Shredder, and a not-final sorta painted prototype for Splinter, among other things.

I have to admit that I was secretly hoping that the next surprise would happen, so kudos to Nick for actually making it happen: We were treated to a brief table read of parts of a script featuring the four voice actors for the Turtles, as well as Splinter. Unfortunately, not all of the people we saw today are officially attached to the actual series yet, so we are not allowed to reveal them. However, as they have been previously reported as being the parts of Leonardo and Donatello respectively, the group did include Jason Biggs and Rob Paulsen. During lunch I managed to get autographs from the four Turtles. *fangirl*

After lunch we split into "breakout" sessions, where we were able to give feedback on what we liked and didn't like of what we had seen. We were also able to talk some about what we wanted to see that we hadn't seen.

Next we regathered and had some questions answered by the executive producers on the show. We were also shown a short promo video that looks like something that could air on Nickelodeon whenever they decided they wanted to. It was similar to the previously released teaser video, but showed more clips of full-CGI action. And that was pretty much a wrap on the day. After receiving some goodies and taking group pictures, we were shuttled off to the airport to go home. As I go through all my stuff I'll have more images to share, but if you haven't yet you can check out some stuff provided by Nickelodeon that I've put up on the Ninja Pizza Facebook page.

In closing I'd like to just extend extreme thanks to Nickelodeon for being such fantastic hosts. They really went out of their way to make us feel welcome and important, and they took a lot of time to talk and mingle with us in between everything that they had us seeing and doing. It was a great experience and I'm really glad that I was able to participate.


  1. Awesome to hear you enjoyed it Rose. Odd that the other 3 Turtles aren't set in stone yet. Hope they really made Mikey and Raph sound good though.

  2. How did the Playmates TMNT look? Not necessarily, "look" so much as function? Like, does Shredder have ample articulation?

    Did they appear to all have as much articulation as the previous TMNT figures? Which for Playmates, were pretty articulated.

    Any more details on the figures would be most excellent.

  3. This is so exciting! It sounds like you haven't been disappointed by what you've seen so far. A lot of old fans seem to be put off by the CGI.

  4. To quote Napoleon Dynamite:

  5. Great post.

    I wonder if i can leave a link in my spanish web site so people can take a look at this post.


  6. @Newton - I was kinda tempted to just grab the Mikey figure, run away, and face the consequences. ^_^

    @Nacho - Yes! Please link away!

  7. any sign of the technodrome, or krang? :)

  8. good stuff Roseangelo...was sweet getting to meet you.

  9. @Rose: I'll take that as a seal of approval.

  10. Did Nick say when they plan to launch this new TMNT product in the UK/Europe?

  11. Wow, rose, I am freaking jealous. Interesting detail about the toys- Mike Dooney worked on them. I met him at MegaCon and he he said basically "yes, I am working on the new toys with Playmates, and no, I can't talk about it."

  12. Ah yes, we did see some drawings that were definitely his style.