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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

T-Shirt: "Heroes In An Art Shell"

Threadless has reprinted one of their classic T-shirts, featuring the design seen to the left. Yes, that'd be the namesakes of the Ninja Turtles playing Ninja Turtles.

You can score your T-shirt here.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

TMNT Perform at the 2006 San Diego Comic-Con Masquerade

In 2006, after more than two years of pain in getting the Turtles costumes we commissioned delivered, and then wearable, four friends -- Dawnatello, Brinatello, GreenWillow, and Kimnardo -- and I braved the often brutal Comic-Con masquerade audience so that we could get jiggy to the original TMNT cartoon theme song and the ubiguetous Ninja Rap.

Despite a near-complete lack of vision, no one fell off the stage (there are actually catchers in case you do!) and, for the most part, we pulled off our small bit of choreographed dance during the Ninja Rap. Not only did the crowd love us, but much to our surprise, we actually won a prize! And let me tell you, the look on the face of the guys awarding the "Best Movie Costume Recreation" award as five short women came running on stage in their de-masked costumes was as priceless as any other moment during the night!

Here are some videos from several different angles:

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Video Flashback: Gettin' Down in Your Town Tour

The second entry into the "Video Flashback" series is a personal favorite of mine. After the wildly-successful "Comin' Out of Their Shells" tour, the TMNT hit the road again in a smaller follow-up tour. This tour played in venues at amusement parks and only featured four songs, three of which were new (although the fourth song, "Sing About It," was never actually played in full in the COOTS tour). And all things considered, the songs are quite good! Laugh if you must, but I'll stand by that statement even if Shredder appears at my front door threatening to steal all of the world's music. And even more-so if he breaks into "I Hate Music."

But I digress. Here is the "Gettin' Down in Your Town Tour," in three parts. Enjoy!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Video Flashback: Operation Blue Line

After a rainy-day visit to Circuit City's store closing clearance sale, I now have the much-anticipated ability to capture video from my VHS collection onto my computer. With this useful new ability I am launching the Ninja Pizza YouTube Channel. The inaugural video for this new channel is called "Operation Blue Line" (and had I scanned the video cover earlier in the night than I did, it wouldn't have rabbit teeth marks in it).

"Operation Blue Line" is a promotional video that was produced to advertise a new light rail system that runs between Long Beach and Los Angeles. As incredibly cheesy as this 10-minute video is, it surprisingly holds some weight as all four Turtle voice actors from the original cartoon--Townsend Coleman, Barry Gordon, Rob Paulsen, and Cam Clarke--are featured in their respective roles.

So enjoy, and watch this space, 'cause there's lots more to come!

UPDATE! Edward Langer, who worked in the SCRTD marketing department and helped in the production of this video, has written in with some additional information.
I was the original project manager on this video. The SCRTD marketing dept. under Tony Fortuno and Alice Wiggins wanted to create a video to be distributed free through a local supermarket chain to all residents along the route. Additional copies were sent to large businesses, too. I assembled my team and we each contacted different companies to see if they would provide funding and some kind of theme or character for the video. One team member, Sherry, hit pay dirt at one of the local TV stations and got permission to use the Turtles. Since Sherry had made the contact, she took over the project. I was reassigned to the ride share program where I made use of the video to promote public transit. That is the USC Marching Band at the end of the video. The USC band has been most generous in allowing the SCRTD to use them in their promotion of public transit. Also, if you watch carefully, you will see Sherry in the film as a couple having a picnic.

We had borrowed the turtle costumes, but they had to have them back for a promotion. Sherry had picked them up and had to get them dry cleaned over a weekend. Not something easy to accomplish. I forget how she did it, but they were clean on Monday. All [of the] main actors were professionals: April, Gridlock, and the Turtles. Everyone else is an unpaid volunteer from the SCRTD. The little girl near the end of the film was some kind of spokesperson for the SCRTD, but I forget why. I think she was a model or actress who gave us support. I believe I had worked with her in a promotion in Long Beach, but that was a long time ago. As I was not the project manager of this program my name is way back in the credits. Basically, all employees of the marketing department are in the credits.

The story is kind of dumb, but it worked. Many of my ride share companies played it in their cafeterias to alert their employees. Ridership did take off.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

NYCC: Sunday 4Kids 25th Anniversary Panel

Mega fan Neil comes through once again, this time with video of the complete TMNT 4Kids panel that was on Sunday at New York Comic-Con. Hosted by Jake Black, this panel takes a look at 4Kids' TMNT series through the eyes of a table full of people who made it all happen.

Check it out in six parts below.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

NYCC: Friday Night Mirage Panel

Friday night at NYCC there was a panel featuring four long-time TMNT artists: Steve Lavigne, Michael Dooney, Jim Lawson, and Eric Talbot. Moderated by occasional TMNT writer Jake Black, the panel was meant to focus on the artistic evolution of the TMNT. I don't know if they hit that mark exactly, but it was still a good hour-long conversation with these guys who have had so much creative input into the TMNT throughout the years.

Mega TMNT fan (and reliable videographer) Neil came through with video of most of this panel for those of us stuck in parts of the world that are too far from NYC. You can check out the panel, in five parts, below.

Friday, February 6, 2009

NYCC: Playmates' Comic-Based Figures

New York Comic-Con opened today, somewhat acting as the true kick-off of the TMNT 25th's anniversary "shell-abration." There is a handful of news and pictures being reported around the Interwebs, but I thought I'd start with a look at Playmates' new action figures that are supposedly based on the TMNT comics. Yes, I had to interject a "supposedly" in there.

Since I'm so often accused of being overly negative, let's start with the figure I can say positive things about. Splinter here is really quite nice looking. Does he at all resemble any artistic interpretation of Splinter in any of the comic books? Nope. But that's ok in this case; if the final product looks even a fraction as good as this picture, I'll likely be buying it.

Here's Raphael, who seems to be the only Turtle representing (perhaps Playmates didn't want to deal with any "Why are they all wearing red?" questions?). Again, this is a good looking figure, though not really based on any of the comics.

You'd think it'd be easy enough to get a Foot Soldier right, but this just seems to be a checklist of wrong. What's with the color choices? Why don't his knees bend? And what's with the pig nose? This figure is most unfortunate.

But alas, even more unfortunate is Shredder. I don't even know where to start with this one. Absolutely no part of this figure is proportional with another part, his sword looks like a toy, and that helmet couldn't shred cheese. Oh, and based on the comics? Hell no! Turtle fans need to super glue their fingers crossed that the second wave of NECA figures eventually come out, because, in the ever-wise words of Princess Leia, they're our "only hope."

Here's one more picture from the Playmates booth. I guess this is supposed to be April, but it doesn't take a genius to know that's Uma Thurman's outfit from Kill Bill. Here's a tip: Costume shops may not have generic yellow jumpsuits, but thrift stores do. But at least they have proper TMNT costumes, unlike what we saw at San Diego last summer.

All pictures were stolen from Toy News International. You can visit the link to see more of their pictures from the Playmates booth. I'll be posting more New York Comic-Con news throughout the weekend.