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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

TMNT Cartoon Season 9 on DVD August 16

News broke last week via that season 9 of the original TMNT cartoon would be released on DVD come August 16. Now, the cover artwork has been released and the DVD is showing up on websites available to pre-order. Get it from!

This is the second to last season of the original cartoon, but with four episodes of season 10 having been released on the season 1 DVD, there are only four episodes left to be released on DVD. Well, six more episodes, as Once Upon a Time Machine and Planet of the Turtleoids still haven't been included on any release and Lionsgate shows no sign of acknowledging this or righting this. But if they ever do decide to really complete the series, hopefully they can also include all of the Turtle Tips shorts that aired on CBS in between episodes. (hint, hint!)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

New Details for IDW's TMNT Comic Series has a story today with details on IDW's new TMNT comic book series, scheduled to begin this August. The meat of the information is thus:

Debuting in August, the new series by original Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman, co-writer Tom Waltz and artist Dan Duncan sets out to reimagine the original TMNT in a contemporary setting. Rather than serve as a port for Nickelodeon's upcoming animated continuity, the 32-page, full-color comics will establish a fresh universe populated by both new and classic characters. What's more, in addition to co-writing, Eastman will contribute page layouts and variant covers alongside artists such as Sam Keith and Walt Simonson.

You can hit up the link for more information, art, and an interview with Tom Waltz!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Shredder Comiquette Now Available For Pre-Order

Sideshow has put both editions of the Shredder comiquette available for pre-order! Go quickly and secure yours now! (And remember that Sideshow doesn't charge your card until the item actually ships, so you have 6 months or so to figure out how to afford him if you can't right now.)

Click the Shredder on the left for the exclusive edition, or the Shredder on the right for the regular edition. Good luck!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sideshow Shredder Comiquette Full Reveal

As promised, Sideshow Collectibles has revealed the complete gallery of pictures of their announced Shredder comiquette! As amazing as the statue looks, what's perhaps most striking/impressive is the maskless face option that will be part of the exclusive edition - Wow! Both editions of this comiquette will go up for pre-sale this Thursday, April 28 with the launch of the weekly Sideshow newsletter. Good luck to all who order!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sideshow Reveals Shredder Comiquette

Sideshow Collectibles has revealed the next addition to their line of TMNT comiquettes: Shredder! Sideshow will further reveal this comiquette on their production blog on April 26, and pre-orders will start on April 28. You can read the full announcement on Sideshow's site.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Nickelodeon TMNT Fan Preview Event - Final Notes and Thoughts

To put a final period on last week's series of posts on the Nickelodeon Fan Preview Event, I thought I'd share some final pictures and notes. To say that they were generous and gracious hosts to the bunch of us would be a huge understatement. Thank you so much to everyone who made this event happen! I hope that all of you got the kind of feedback you were looking for, and that you might use some of it to make the new TMNT series even better than the small glimpses at it that we got. Thank you to all of my fellow TMNT fans in attendance, for just being awesome! It was great to see old friends (some for the first time) and meet new friends. Now here are some pictures, some of which showed up on Facebook over the last month...

After Nickelodeon had made the invite to the event official, they sent all the attendees a special pizza delivery. Yes, there was an actual pizza inside. ^_^


About a week before the trip, all of our travel info showed up in shiny bubble envelopes.

When we got to our hotel rooms, there was a package of goodies waiting. Inside included some snack food (green apple licorice, New York pizza-flavored Pirate's Booty), water, and a t-shirt. This was awesome, but it is rather large and would not fit in my simple carry-on luggage I had brought. Oh well, two carry-ons wouldn't be a problem.

At the end of the big day, they gave us a poster tube and a USB drive in a pizza slice pouch. Very awesome, but the poster tube was also too big for my little carry-on luggage. Now I was up to three pieces of carry-on. Hmmm. But it all worked out - Since my flight was just on a little plane, they have to put the carry-on luggage down below anyways. So I only had to carry the box and the poster tube into the cabin, where they both fit in the overhead without trouble. Whew!


Below is the one notecard of notes that I took throughout the day. It's not much - nothing here is really new from what I shared last week - and more than anything it just shows off my bad chicken scratch hand writing, but this is the stuff that stood out for me as being worth writing down. Remember: This is all still a Mutation in Progress and things could easily change before the final product airs in a year and a half.

  • Eastman Theater - This is from the pilot animatic, where the theater April is waiting for the Turtles at had a giant sign naming it the Eastman Theater. Kevin Eastman, of course, is one of the co-creators of the TMNT.
  • Shredder, Serious Business - Basically, expect Shredder to be a no-nonsense badass bad guy.
  • April, 16, Peer - In describing why April has been redesigned to be 16, we were told it was to make her a peer to the Turtles, as well as to give the girl audience someone to relate to.
  • 30 min - The running time of an episode (with commercials). Kinda a no-brainer.
  • Comedy, Action, Mutation - What attributes we can expect from the new series.
  • Deeper Storytelling, Mythology - Expect the background story to be revealed slowly in parts instead of all at once and for a mythology to build throughout the series.
  • Kid Relatable - Expect the Turtles to act more like teenagers than they ever have before.
  • CG Meets Anime, Comic Book Feel - The visual style you can expect to see from the show.
  • Splinter, Human w/ Daughter - As mentioned last week, Splinter will start as the Human Hamato Yoshi who leaves behind a daughter (is she dead or alive? we have no idea) when he flees from Japan to New York.
  • AI Chip in MP3 Player - This is what we saw in the pilot animatic.
  • Less Than $6/Figure - Hey, looks like I remembered the $5.99 price for the action figures correctly. Hopefully Playmates can stick to this.
In general, I'm very happy with what I've seen. I was really surprised to see the series using the comic books for as much of a source as it has. Something I was not able to get across well in any of my posts is just how funny the pilot was. Not the slapstick humor a lot of you are afraid of, but just really funny banter between all of the characters. The biggest question marks will be how the final CG ends up looking and how April's character changes are integrated into the story.

Another area of concern I had, which I haven't really made mention of, was the fear that Michaelangelo would be written as the stupid little brother, instead of a regular goof. In the pilot I thought he was just perfect; I just don't want to see his character degrade into stupidity like he did in the 4Kids series. But otherwise, I think we're in for a real treat - something better than could have ever been possible had Peter Laird not sold the TMNT rights to Nickelodeon.

And finally, here's the list of attendees, some of whom have posted their own accounts of the event:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Nickelodeon TMNT Fan Preview Event - The Toys & Playmates' Presentation

The Playmates presentation part of the Fan Preview Event ended up being far more elaborate than I could have ever imagined. To set the scene a bit, I'll attempt to describe the room we spent most of the day in. The room was actually a "gym," with a basketball court floor. For the event it had been converted into a presentation room. Green lighting, which illuminated Nickelodeon's new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles logo on the floor, contrasted the overall dark atmosphere. At the front of the room was a table built from two large metal barrels, from which green-colored "ooze" made of spray foam was leaking, and a glass top. The 12 fan attendees sat front and center on an array of chairs built from skateboards (very neat looking, but they did force you to sit with good posture!). To the right of us were some more (non-skateboard) chairs where the Playmates guys and some Nickelodeon executives sat. There were even more people standing in the back of the room, including more Nickelodeon people, people from the PR agency that helped coordinate the event, and other who didn't ever say anything (they could have been the focus group people). Whatever the case, we were being constantly watched by a lot of people.

But back to Playmates. Their presentation started with a slide show. The slide show was kind of boring, as it was basically a bunch of numbers about the awesome sales history of Playmates' TMNT toys through the years. Basically, they've sold a crap load of toys. Well, I knew this and I wasn't sure why they were telling all of us this, since it seemed more aimed at potential retail buyers or other business people of that sort. But then the slide show ends and they tell us to turn around and WHOA the wall that had been the back of the room is opening up to reveal even more of the room and a full display of toys along the new back wall! Impressive. Most impressive.

As I said in my first report of the event, I really wasn't planning on seeing toys. Not to this extent, at least. The entire back wall (the real back wall) was a massive display of toys. In the middle was completely new stuff, while the sides had some of the old toys on display. This included a diorama that showed the evolution of the basic Turtle figure through the years - a nifty thing to look at, but the unreleased Mirage Turtle at the end of this display made me laugh inwardly.

Now to the meat of the display - all the new stuff! On display were basic Turtles, "deluxe" Turtles, the new Turtles' Sewer Lair playset, role play toys, several vehicles, and more. Let's go through all of these individually.

Basic Turtles - OMG these are awesome!! I am not going to be able to do them justice in words. IIRC from the slide show presentation, the scale of these figures is between 4"-5". Before this event I was thinking that I would only be interested in new figures if they were in the 3.75" scale, but going slightly taller on these actually works perfectly. The Turtles prototypes were fully painted and each Turtle was a 100% unique sculpt - no use of identical bodies with just different heads here. The detail and paint and just the general look of these was amazing.

You may have noticed on the Michaelangelo poster Nickelodeon released that he has freckles. These freckles were beautifully (or, if you're me - adorably) detailed on the action figure. Also detailed on Mike, and not detailed on the other three Turtles, were blue pupils. When asked about that, the Playmates guys said that no decision on pupils had yet been made and they were honestly interested in hearing our feedback on that. I think most, if not all of the group, was in agreeance that as they were, the pupils looked fantastic and we would love figures that looked that great. However, this being the prototype, those pupils had been painted by a woman who specializes in doing just that. Retail figures would be painted in mass in China, and no one was optimistic that it would carry over as well. If it can be done well, pupils on these figures would look great, but if it can't be done well, the figures would still be spectacular without pupils. Another great detail was the weapons, which were all realistically colored and Mikey's nunchucks were actually linked chain! It was really hard not to grab Mikey and just run. ^_^

My only complaint about these figures goes back to the previously mentioned mysterious third toes. All of the Turtles featured very distinct and detailed third toes on each foot. This isn't enough to stop me from buying them, but these seriously have the potential to be the most ultimate TMNT figures of all time, and to have that third toe staring back at me for eternity on such a figure is an unnecessary blemish on otherwise perfection. Sadness!! :(

Other Basic Figures - Also on display was the unpainted Shredder prototype. Even unpainted he looked amazing! This also has potential to be the best Shredder figure ever. Unfortunately, Splinter was in a much more early development stage and I don't think he reflected what we will see with the final figure, so I have no real judgment on him. These six figures will probably be the entirety of the first wave we see hit stores in August 2012. An April figure would likely come in wave 2. Oh, and I think they said the price point was going to be $5.99, which is quite impressive.

Deluxe Figures - I don't think the Playmates guys actually called these "deluxe" figures, but they are the higher price point figures. The ones on display were in a really early development stage, and they asked us not to talk about them in detail, so I won't. I will say, however, that in concept, I hated these. It is just more of their standard "put the Turtles in wacky costumes and give them an action feature" that I can't stand. Bleh.

Mini Figures - These are a smaller scale, 2"-3", figure that sound destined for the European market (where apparently they love mini things). Only Leonardo was on display, but he looked very cool. I would buy it if it was sold here.

Vehicles - So, it turns out that I completely neglected to talk about the new vehicles in my previous post with details of the new show. I'll make up for that now since all of the (revealed) vehicles naturally will have a toy version. I do not remember the exact names of these vehicles, so please keep that in mind in your conversations.

Sewer Rail Glider - This is a converted train car that Donatello has retrofitted to be able to glide on the rails and also go top side to the street. The design for this is, in general, pretty cool. It kind of looks like a beefed-up party van/subway car hybrid with a paint job that seems to harken back to the old party van from the original cartoon. Playmates had a fully painted prototype on display and it looked to be a solid toy. I personally have no interest in buying vehicles, so I'm indifferent to it as a toy.

Stealth Shell - I found this thing to actually be really cool, both as a toy and as an element of the series. Basically, this is like a low-riding recumbent bicycle (but motorized) that is covered by flat armor (shaped like a turtle shell), which camouflages the rider when looked at from above. Again, there was a completed prototype on display, which was really rather sleek. I won't likely buy it just because I don't buy vehicles in general, but I'd have no problem buying this one for a kid.

Shredder/Foot Motorcycle - Nooooo, not more motorcycles! If there is something the TMNT line has had too much of through the years, it's motorcycles. So, as a toy this does nothing for me. As an element of the series, I think it'll be ok. As it was described to us, this thing is meant to be badass and loud. There's nothing stealthy about it - the person riding this wants to announce their arrival where ever it is they're going.

The Turtles' Lair - This thing is huuuuuge! Probably between 3'-4' tall. In describing it in detail I'd have to describe the general look of the Turtles' Lair, which I think I would fail miserably at, so I won't. But it's really cool! The prototype on display was really, really impressive and detailed. However, it was literally built from parts bought at Home Depot. I don't know how this is going to translate to a finished mass market toy, so that is my only hesitation. As with vehicles, I have no personal interest in buying playsets, but I think a lot of kids will have some serious fun with this. Playmates also mentioned potentially releasing add-on modules in the upcoming years that would make the playset even bigger.

Role Play - The role play toys on display were your standard colored bandannas and plastic weapons. I found it kinda weird how the masks had "eyebrows" sewn into them. I think they've tried to do this before, and I know the effect they're trying for, but I also think simple flat bandannas look better.

Classic Turtles - Oh yeah, that's right - classic Turtles. You know how there was never really any action figures that looked like how the Turtles looked in the old cartoon? Well, Playmates is ready to right that wrong. This line will be larger scale and with super articulation. The only figure on display was Raphael, and while he didn't look quite finished, he looked really cool. And although this line will start with the Turtles and maybe other standard characters, it sounds like there's potential to cover some of the more obscure characters. We'll have to see.

And I think that's it! And looking back at what I just typed, it's quite a lot! Playmates did mention that they intend for the line to take up significant shelf space in stores. And this is just the start of it - coming in 2013 (tentative) there will be even more to go along with the new movie. And it sounds like they intend for that line to be completely new/separate from the Nickelodeon series stuff. In short - lots of stuff to look forward to!