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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

AC Farley Lunchbox

A while ago I featured a TMNT lunchbox with Michael Dooney art that's part of my non-collection of lunchboxes. Today I've decided to feature the A.C. Farley lunchbox.

Although the lunchbox is copyrighted 1991, it seems to be obviously inspired by the third movie. Copyright dates aren't always 100% reliable, so it might have been a tie-in to the movie. I personally don't recall seeing this one in stores, only on the mighty eBay. But it's awesome and I love it. I'm not aware of this piece of art being published anywhere else, though I welcome people who would like to inform me otherwise do so.

Oh, and speaking of the mighty eBay, I have a duplicate of this box up for auction right now!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

TMNT Flashback: Comics Interview #83

A couple weeks ago, the TMNT world was rocked on its heels when Steve Murphy officially let it out of the closet that he was, in fact, the one and only Dean Clarrain, writer of virtually the entire TMNT Adventures title from Archie Comics. Even though it hadn't before been made official, I had thought more people had figured it out. But it seems those of us who had were in a minority. To celebrate this outing, I present to you Comics Interview #83, featuring an interview with the team behind the TMNT Adventures title: Dean Clarrain, Ryan Brown, and Dan Berger.

Gee, that Dean Clarrain guy doesn't look like Murphy at all...

As for the full interview itself, you can download it, for a limited time only, by clicking here. Enjoy!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Why the TMNT are Dying and Why I Don't Care

Hmm... lack of updates recently it would seem. Why? Well, the honest answer is that I've lost all enthusiasm for the TMNT in their current state and form. Unfortunately, that's no exaggeration. My lack of enthusiasm is at a solid 100%. I have totally and completely given up on Mirage Studios and all "partner" companies in their efforts to run the TMNT franchise.

And we now have solid proof that the TMNT are, indeed, in deep poodoo. Friend and fellow TMNT fan VaughnMichael, whom I hold complete trust with, has shared part of an email that states the following:

"Things are not good in turtle land, sorry to report. But Wal-Mart has decided to drop TMNT from ALL its stores beginning in the Spring!"

The implications of not being carried at Walmart go deeper than the simple lack of toys on Walmart shelves and pegs. Walmart is the nation's largest retailer and they have a HUGE influence in the market and trends across the board. Not being carried at Walmart means Playmates probably just lost half of their orders. Can Playmates sustain itself on half the quantity of what few products they're already producing? Not likely. And even if they can, it's not unreasonable to expect other retailers to follow suit with Walmart.

So that brings us into 2009, the big TMNT 25th anniversary "Shell-abration" year, with minimal product to support it. Sounds like an awesome party to me. This problem goes beyond just toys, though. Peter Laird has recently stated that there are no current plans for a TMNT cartoon beyond 2009 and at this point in time the future of TMNT comic books beyond 2009 also remains in question. That means we'll be having a Shell-abration for the past 25 years of TMNT with absolutely no certainty that there'll be another 25 years. Given the amount of money Mirage is supposedly spending to Shell-abrate, it may not be the best investment of money.

There is supposedly a movie company *this* close to inking a deal with Mirage for some sort of "hybrid" movie (I love how Mirage calls it a "hybrid" movie as if they came up with the concept of mixing live action with CGI). I wouldn't count on that happening if there isn't a connected toy deal. And if Playmates can't get TMNT product into Walmart, there isn't likely to be a toy deal. Honestly, no matter what the circumstances are with toys and other related products, that company should just take their money and run away. Run far, far away.

Mirage is a dying company, and it's time to just let it do so instead of putting off the inevitable that much longer. They are a company that is only interested in making the quick and easy buck by signing a deal with a licensor who wants to put TMNT images on their products. They are not interested in actually investing time, effort, or (god forbid) money in creating a foundation with which to support those products.

CEO Gary Richardson has a history of making shading licensing deals and making questionable business decisions. His earnings are apparently directly tied to the income generated by the Mirage Licensing division, so he goes for the quick buck and rejects anything that would involve the actual spending of money, be it printing costs for the books Mirage should be publishing next year but won't be or the cost of more employees so that people might actually be able to focus on delivering on what the fans want to see.

Oh, and speaking of the fans (that is presumably you, dear reader), I hope you have recognized that Mirage and all related companies have been doing nothing but giving you the proverbial finger more than a year now, if not several. It's time to let it die. It's ok. Really.

(There is actually one aspect of this that is not ok at all, but I'll get into that in another post.)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

TMNT Flashback: Mirage Times Vol. 1 No. 17

Earlier today, Ryan Brown posted the first issue of the "Mirage Times," a newsletter sent out to comic retailers in the early 90s. By complete chance tonight, I came across issue number 17 of this same newsletter, so I thought I'd post it to complement Ryan's blog.

Above is the front of the two-page spread, featuring the cover for TMNT Vol. 2 No. 1. On the inside is the newsletter portion, both pages of which are below.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Peter Laird Comments on TMNT Movie Rumors

MTV today posted an interview with TMNT co-creator Peter Laird to set the record straight on the current status of a potential new TMNT movie. You can read the interview in its entirety here.

There really isn't any new information revealed. Everything is the same as it was before people went and freaked out over comments made by Kevin Eastman. However, I would like to make note of these comments:

MTV: Which elements of the original live-action film do you think could benefit from another treatment?
PL: I don’t think the first film needs to be remade, if that’s what you mean. But I would love to see a “Director’s Cut” or special edition of that movie, with some things that were cut out put back in. And although I think it HIGHLY unlikely, I would love to see the first film given a “digital touch-up,” if you will. By that I mean it would be very cool to go through it very carefully and digitally tweak all of the mistakes and goofs — for example, scenes where you can see an actor’s face inside a Turtle’s open mouth, wires hanging off the shell of a Turtle, and so forth.
Here’s one that always bugged me: As Leonardo is exiting April’s apartment, one of his sword hilts rubs against the wall… and it BENDS like rubber (which, in fact, it was, being a “stunt sword”). And taking it a step further, it would be fantastic to utilize digital technology to go back in and tweak and enhance the expressions on the animatronic faces of the Turtles, which in some scenes just don’t work too well.
Concerning his desire to give the 1990 film a "digital touch-up": For the love of pizza, Peter Laird will you just freaking stop trying to fix things that aren't broken. You've already ripped the heart and soul out of the original TMNT 1 comic book, leave the damn movie alone.

The problem with this idiotic statement isn't even the likelihood that it would actually happen, because Peter Laird thankfully doesn't have any power to make it happen, but now we're going to have to deal with stupid people discussing this possibility for the rest of eternity. Please find something better to do with your time people and forget this statement ever happened.

Friday, September 5, 2008

TMNT: Back to the Sewer Preview

Here's a preview of the first episode of TMNT: Back to the Sewer, which premieres on CW4Kids Saturday, September 13. (When the video says "tomorrow" it actually means the 13th.) Be sure to check your local listings to verify the time and station.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Why the TMNT Fail at the Internets

It probably wouldn't take too much effort to find a person still convinced that Johnny Woo was, at one point in time, signed and secured to make a TMNT movie. About five years ago I tried to convince a friend of mine that there was absolutely no truth to this, but I don't think he ever fully believed me. Someone asked Kevin Munroe, director of 2007's TMNT movie, the same question at San Diego Comic-Con in 2006. Really, it's the damnedest rumor that just refuses to die. He essentially said it'd be a neat thing to do, but there was nothing more to it than that. No different from me saying that it'd be neat to race Michael Phelps on a big wheel.

But this prevailing rumor also punctuates a key problem with TMNT fandom. Try as some of us may, there is no definitive "Go To" site for a person with a casual interest in TMNT to go to and quickly catch up on the latest news. Those of us who follow it closely know that Steve Murphy's word via The 5th Turtle is good as gold, but from an outsider's perspective, it's just a simple Blogger blog using a default template (same as this site). There is no TheForce.Net or TheOneRing.Net or The-Leaky-Cauldron.Org equivalent.

But sites that report on everything related to movies need to be at the top of the rumor mill, so if there's going to be a new TMNT film, they can't miss out on reporting it. It usually happens like this: Murphy or some other source drops a tidbit of information, discussion on said information partakes at, some lame lurker emails a dozen movie sites with the "tip," and these sites post the information as if it's some big scoop that they have personally discovered. Oooh, impressive.

Over the past several months there have been several hints dropped about the on-going talks for the next TMNT movie from both Steve Murphy and TMNT co-creator Peter Laird. Did any of these statements reach sites like No. But a few days ago discussion starts on The Technodrome regarding a comment TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman made on the message boards regarding the possibilities being discussed for the next movie (which is pretty much in line with everything he stated here, and which is also all in line with what has been hinted at by Steve Murphy and Peter Laird). Now some morons are spreading the comments, to the point where Perez Hilton (you're kidding me, right?) is reporting it as FACT that a new TMNT movie is coming and THIS IS HOW IT IS.

  1. Movie discussions are still in progress and nothing has been finalized.
  2. A live action movie is being discussed as a possibility but, again, nothing has been finalized. According to Murphy, live action is apparently NOT being discussed, so there you go.
  3. When something has been finalized, the information will be released officially by Mirage Studios and their partners, not a message board, no matter who is making the comment.
Oh, and all of you non-TMNT sites: Please stop pretending you know anything about Ninja Turtles, because you don't and it just makes you suck more. If you really want to do something useful, try to convince your readers to convince Warner Brothers to release a Special Edition of the original 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie on DVD. Thank you.