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notebook
10-16-2008, 04:45 AM
Do you think the TMNT's decline in popularity (for both the first and second times) is due to its relative lack of human characters?

As a child of the OT era, I reached an age where I saw the whole anthromorphic thing as either way more directed towards younger kids or just "weird" (Raph and Ninjara in bed). TMNTA had a lot of strong points, but it got tiresome after a while to see all these guys like Chien Khan, Charlie Llama, and Katmandu (I don't think they were even mutants, just animalz with attitude). Hell, even Fast Forward falls into the trap as it's a whoe lot of aliens and robots- Cody and Darius are like the only humans in NYC in a hundred years- wtf?

When cartoons like X-men, Batman, and Spider-man became cool in the early 90's, I was much more into watching Rogue and Magneto. Aside from April, we rarely ever saw Casey (and he wasn't even in the Archie seres) and though secondary characters like the Channel 6 News team were great comedic relief, it's not like kids wished they could be like Irma or Vernon.

Like a lot of other kids, I left the TMNT behind in those days.
Besides independent comic books notwithstanding, TMNT as they were represented in the mainstream were losing their appeal. The OT was getting stale (though S7 was a return to consistent quality) and TMNT III sucked. After 1993 (94 at the latest), there weren't even any more videogames coming out, and the toy line became an endless stream of variants.

While the TMNT are obviously very human characters, it was easier to "relate to" characters that were actually human, especially as I/my generation got older. The franchise was put to rest for a while and rebooted only when there was a new generation of kids.

I guess this may go hand in hand with the TMNT's burden as something that's always going to be primarly directed towards younger audiences, despite the older and more vocal internet fanbase.

Kunoichi_Haruko
10-16-2008, 06:21 AM
Good question. I assume you mean main characters, right? 'Cuz the turtles seem to have an endless stream of human baddies to contend with. Even though I would love for them to create more human main characters, I don't really see the lack of them as a contributing factor for the declining popularity.

Oh and when I say human main characters, I'm specifically looking for adults. I don't feel Cody counts because he was just a kid and they always had to protect him. I'm thinking an adult with their own apartment who could help the Turtles in their own way (hide-outs, provide information, etc.) would be an awesome addition, but it's not altogether necessary. And with rumors about the show's end being near, it may be pointless to introduce someone this late in the game. But who knows? Maybe that's what we'll see this series.

Jon
10-16-2008, 06:35 AM
In general there haven't been many major human characters in the TMNT universes. But, as Kunoichi brings up, there are various thugs, gangs, etc. types that pop up.

As for other mutants, that's another good aspect of it I feel. Having various allies and enemies, who are either mutants or aliens.

yeahduderad
10-16-2008, 11:09 AM
...i always wanted to be like vernon :ohwell:

Original TMNT Cartoon Fan
10-16-2008, 11:44 AM
Do you think the TMNT's decline in popularity (for both the first and second times) is due to its relative lack of human characters?

As a child of the OT era, I reached an age where I saw the whole anthromorphic thing as either way more directed towards younger kids or just "weird" (Raph and Ninjara in bed). TMNTA had a lot of strong points, but it got tiresome after a while to see all these guys like Chien Khan, Charlie Llama, and Katmandu (I don't think they were even mutants, just animalz with attitude). Hell, even Fast Forward falls into the trap as it's a whoe lot of aliens and robots- Cody and Darius are like the only humans in NYC in a hundred years- wtf?

When cartoons like X-men, Batman, and Spider-man became cool in the early 90's, I was much more into watching Rogue and Magneto. Aside from April, we rarely ever saw Casey (and he wasn't even in the Archie seres) and though secondary characters like the Channel 6 News team were great comedic relief, it's not like kids wished they could be like Irma or Vernon.

Like a lot of other kids, I left the TMNT behind in those days.
Besides independent comic books notwithstanding, TMNT as they were represented in the mainstream were losing their appeal. The OT was getting stale (though S7 was a return to consistent quality) and TMNT III sucked. After 1993 (94 at the latest), there weren't even any more videogames coming out, and the toy line became an endless stream of variants.

While the TMNT are obviously very human characters, it was easier to "relate to" characters that were actually human, especially as I/my generation got older. The franchise was put to rest for a while and rebooted only when there was a new generation of kids.

I guess this may go hand in hand with the TMNT's burden as something that's always going to be primarly directed towards younger audiences, despite the older and more vocal internet fanbase.

Even Al Falqa wasn't a mutant. And not all Mutanimals too. Archie seem to have that stuff with animals from Earth who talked and walked on two legs, even without being mutants.

CudleyCowlick
10-16-2008, 12:26 PM
...i always wanted to be like vernon :ohwell:

Really? I always wanted to be like Burne - fat and cranky. I'm getting there. :D

notebook
10-16-2008, 12:37 PM
yeah, exactly, like Toxeem and the Conservation Corps. I'm sure there's others...VErminator-X and Armaggon are possibilites too.
Also like the OT, it only had a handful of recurring human characters. April's roomate was ok, but not super-memorable. Kid Terra's more of a standout, but he's a relatively obscure and minor charcater as well.

And then there's characters like Captain Mossback and Null who are more like satirist cariactures. Although I liked Null and thought the concept worked well, he was just one more human badguy (until he turned totally demon).

Also I think wanting to be like Vernon is hilarious and great- he's just not a superhero. I remember that episode where he walks by a clone of hiimself and he's like "my, what an attractive man!." i cracked up.

Original TMNT Cartoon Fan
10-16-2008, 12:39 PM
Do you think the TMNT's decline in popularity (for both the first and second times) is due to its relative lack of human characters?

As a child of the OT era, I reached an age where I saw the whole anthromorphic thing as either way more directed towards younger kids or just "weird" (Raph and Ninjara in bed). TMNTA had a lot of strong points, but it got tiresome after a while to see all these guys like Chien Khan, Charlie Llama, and Katmandu (I don't think they were even mutants, just animalz with attitude). Hell, even Fast Forward falls into the trap as it's a whoe lot of aliens and robots- Cody and Darius are like the only humans in NYC in a hundred years- wtf?

When cartoons like X-men, Batman, and Spider-man became cool in the early 90's, I was much more into watching Rogue and Magneto. Aside from April, we rarely ever saw Casey (and he wasn't even in the Archie seres) and though secondary characters like the Channel 6 News team were great comedic relief, it's not like kids wished they could be like Irma or Vernon.

Like a lot of other kids, I left the TMNT behind in those days.
Besides independent comic books notwithstanding, TMNT as they were represented in the mainstream were losing their appeal. The OT was getting stale (though S7 was a return to consistent quality) and TMNT III sucked. After 1993 (94 at the latest), there weren't even any more videogames coming out, and the toy line became an endless stream of variants.

While the TMNT are obviously very human characters, it was easier to "relate to" characters that were actually human, especially as I/my generation got older. The franchise was put to rest for a while and rebooted only when there was a new generation of kids.

I guess this may go hand in hand with the TMNT's burden as something that's always going to be primarly directed towards younger audiences, despite the older and more vocal internet fanbase.

But was Zach ever popular among kids? I don't think so but I don't know.

KROW
10-16-2008, 01:31 PM
I think it's the opposite (from a child's viewpoint). Too many human characters like Khan, Hun, Bishop, Karai, etc., though giving the turtles their uniqueness, also take away some of their charm. With the mainstream being mostly about monsters (Chaotic, Yu-Gi-Oh, and even Viva Pinata), I think kids are wanting more creatures in the turtles' lives. I'm sure they'd love to see the gang tackle an Armaggon or meet Mutanimals of some kind, but Laird doesn't want to go in that direction so it won't happen.

But was Zach ever popular among kids? I don't think so but I don't know.

I didn't like him because of his Beaver Cleaver voice, but that's just me.

Original TMNT Cartoon Fan
10-16-2008, 01:42 PM
And Irma? How did all you girls out there felt about Irma?

Kunoichi_Haruko
10-16-2008, 03:21 PM
And Irma? How did all you girls out there felt about Irma?

I didn't mind her. She had her funny moments.

Spitfire
10-16-2008, 03:26 PM
What makes a character human isn't their appearance but how their personality is portrayed. A human character is one that acts like a normal human, they have flaws, they have good points, drama, a conscious, and moral values. Doesn't matter if they're a mutant turtle or not. That's what people look for connection not appearance.

Original TMNT Cartoon Fan
10-16-2008, 04:19 PM
In general there haven't been many major human characters in the TMNT universes. But, as Kunoichi brings up, there are various thugs, gangs, etc. types that pop up.

As for other mutants, that's another good aspect of it I feel. Having various allies and enemies, who are either mutants or aliens.

You shall not have too many mutants, aliens and monsters. TMNT needs humans too. I hate Utrom and demon Shredder concepts.

Rooish
10-20-2008, 10:00 PM
This is a really good question, and I've wondered the same thing. I think perhaps that kids relate better to animal characters (at least I did as a little girl). But maybe as adults, fewer people like the Turtles because they feel that liking human characters is a more "grown-up" thing.

I think that maybe a lot of boys relate better to human "superheroes" than animal ones? Which is maybe why the TMNT has such a large female fan base? But I don't really know what the gender breakdown and age breakdown is for the TMNT fans compared to other superhero fans.

Shred Head
10-21-2008, 06:03 AM
To me I dont think the characters need to be actaully human looking to be able for people to connect with them just be written in a way that can make the audiance connect with them. Besides putting human characters in other franchises didn't exactly help Sonic and Transformers. Putting in more humans with Sonic and making his world like our Earth has really hurt the games. With Transformers they tried that with The Unicron trilogy and that didn't go over so well. While the movie did well the humans are more tolerable then actaully a good addition. I was damn near falling asleep during the human parts well except for the Megan Fox car scene. But that because I'm a filthy pervert not because I actaully cared those characters.

Rooish
10-21-2008, 06:47 AM
As a child of the OT era, I reached an age where I saw the whole anthromorphic thing as either way more directed towards younger kids or just "weird" (Raph and Ninjara in bed).

Raph & Ninjara in bed? Wasn't that a kid's comic? :o Holy crap.

Drtooth
10-21-2008, 07:30 AM
Funny... I'd almost say the opposite. Like saying, we need more weirdo mutant type characters to keep things beyond reality and interesting. I mean, that's certainly something the toy line would need. Why the TMNT line did so well in the long run before was it's Monster In My Pocket type approach with random weird mutant animals. And none of them were ever in any plots or focus in the cartoons, comics, or video games (where we actually saw a lot of the random mutants like Scratch).

Original TMNT Cartoon Fan
10-21-2008, 08:28 AM
This is a really good question, and I've wondered the same thing. I think perhaps that kids relate better to animal characters (at least I did as a little girl). But maybe as adults, fewer people like the Turtles because they feel that liking human characters is a more "grown-up" thing.

I think that maybe a lot of boys relate better to human "superheroes" than animal ones? Which is maybe why the TMNT has such a large female fan base? But I don't really know what the gender breakdown and age breakdown is for the TMNT fans compared to other superhero fans.

Is that now?: Back in the 1980's and 1990's TMNT was more seen as a boys thing?

prophecy718
10-21-2008, 05:23 PM
I do believe that the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers contributed to the declining popularity of the original TMNT :ohwell:

Dragon Turtle
10-21-2008, 08:37 PM
Funny... I'd almost say the opposite. Like saying, we need more weirdo mutant type characters to keep things beyond reality and interesting. I mean, that's certainly something the toy line would need. Why the TMNT line did so well in the long run before was it's Monster In My Pocket type approach with random weird mutant animals. And none of them were ever in any plots or focus in the cartoons, comics, or video games (where we actually saw a lot of the random mutants like Scratch).

I believe that overall there needs to be more characters introduced, human or mutant, that have ongoing impact on the turtles lives for good or bad. The turtles need supporting characters to drive plot and character developments, imagine where characters like Leonardo and Raphael would be without Karai and Casey Jones (two characters, along with April O'Neil, that are themselves sorely underutilized).


As for the toys, I feel that it is absolutely necessary to have more mutant characters in the line, I can understand the reluctance of not overloading other aspects of the TMNT franchise with mutants, such as the comics, but for the toyline, mutant anthropomorphic animals are the one aspect that is unique/prominent to TMNT, not just random monsters, aliens, and dinosaurs.

Buslady
10-21-2008, 10:52 PM
the less humans the better it is, the more fun it is.

Original TMNT Cartoon Fan
10-22-2008, 05:06 AM
I do believe that the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers contributed to the declining popularity of the original TMNT :ohwell:

That's discusssed here: http://forums.thetechnodrome.com/showthread.php?t=25230

Drtooth
10-22-2008, 07:33 AM
As for the toys, I feel that it is absolutely necessary to have more mutant characters in the line, I can understand the reluctance of not overloading other aspects of the TMNT franchise with mutants, such as the comics, but for the toyline, mutant anthropomorphic animals are the one aspect that is unique/prominent to TMNT, not just random monsters, aliens, and dinosaurs.

The random monsters and aliens at least have a collectible. You can get plastic Dinosaurs anywhere. Playmates just slapped some random armor on them. They should have made the Paleo Patrol line 2 packs... one Turtle, One Dino (and some of the others would be separate, like Savanti). I feel that if they released more of the "Notes from the Underground" mutants, we would have seen them do pretty well.

But that's the problem... the tone of this new series doesn't sit well with Basketball Giraffes or Army Commander Roosters, or some sort of Penguin with part of a lawn mower spliced to his arm.

The worst part of the movie variant line is that we only have 2 non turtles in a line up with the four. I mean, sure... the first 2 waves they were able to get April, Casey, Splinter, some of the monsters, Karai, Max Winters and the Foot.

Original TMNT Cartoon Fan
10-22-2008, 08:38 AM
the less humans the better it is, the more fun it is.

That worked well for the Archie comics.

ZariusTwo
10-22-2008, 12:49 PM
the less humans the better it is, the more fun it is.

That's B.S. Given the right writing, humans can play as large a role in this as anything.

Drtooth
10-22-2008, 01:03 PM
That's B.S. Given the right writing, humans can play as large a role in this as anything.

It's in between, I feel. Writing helps a program... but wacky weird and interesting characters help a toy line. And despite the fact TMNT was based on a comic, the toy line was it's major driving force. The cartoon itself was to advertise the toy line Playmates came up with.

Original TMNT Cartoon Fan
10-22-2008, 03:45 PM
It's in between, I feel. Writing helps a program... but wacky weird and interesting characters help a toy line. And despite the fact TMNT was based on a comic, the toy line was it's major driving force. The cartoon itself was to advertise the toy line Playmates came up with.

I agree. But one sad thing is, it the toys sell bad the show is cancelled no matter how popular it is to watch. It's always that with kids shows, not the adult's soap operas (since they have no advertising following those shows).

Drtooth
10-22-2008, 04:30 PM
But one sad thing is, it the toys sell bad the show is cancelled no matter how popular it is to watch.

Mega man did well enough in the ratings, but apparently, since BanDai didn't sell enough toys (a shame, because the minirobot line could have been amazing if they went through and did the bots for all the games in time, and packaged 4 or more to a set), and they pulled plans immediately for season 3 and a proposed Mega Man X cartoon. I mean, it wasn;t a great show, enjoyable on occassion... but no toy sales, no show....

And then look at TMNT toys.... most of the mutants didn't even make it into a story line or comic book, and a couple basically were thrown into games.

shuriken
10-22-2008, 07:01 PM
And then look at TMNT toys.... most of the mutants didn't even make it into a story line or comic book, and a couple basically were thrown into games.

Hrm.. You have a point there. Although I'm glad a lot of them were thrown into the games, it would have been cool to see them in the series. Another thing they could do is make a variant of an already important supporting character. I mean look at what they did with April in the old line? Ninja newscaster, Ravishing reporter?! That would be awesome if done with Leatherhead, Usagi, Casey, Nobody, Fugitoid,or the Rat King from tyhe current series.

Buslady
10-22-2008, 07:55 PM
That worked well for the Archie comics.

yeah and i liked the archies but i havent read em all

Ninjinister
10-22-2008, 08:41 PM
Hrm.. You have a point there. Although I'm glad a lot of them were thrown into the games, it would have been cool to see them in the series. Another thing they could do is make a variant of an already important supporting character. I mean look at what they did with April in the old line? Ninja newscaster, Ravishing reporter?! That would be awesome if done with Leatherhead, Usagi, Casey, Nobody, Fugitoid,or the Rat King from tyhe current series.

Hell, that would be cool if they did something like that for ANY ally in the current series! There was only one April and two Caseys (one was a repaint) from 2003 until the movie figures came out, and I think three Splinters.

Rooish
10-22-2008, 09:11 PM
Okay, but seriously. Raph and Ninjara in bed together?

Still shocked about that. In a kid's comic. I know anything goes in the new TMNT comics ... :roll:

Original TMNT Cartoon Fan
10-23-2008, 06:49 AM
Okay, but seriously. Raph and Ninjara in bed together?

Still shocked about that. In a kid's comic. I know anything goes in the new TMNT comics ... :roll:

Ninjara was a cool character.

notebook
10-23-2008, 07:24 PM
interesting replies...

yeah, Raph and Ninjara were seen waking up in the same bed in the first issue of the cyber samurai story. Maybe I'm old school, but inter-species relationships are weird. I can imagine the scene inspired some "mature" fan fictions years later...

spitfire, i disagree. human characteristics are just that- characteristics. different species are diffferent species, and it's far beyond appearance. biologically speaking, a human is a human, as a turtles is a turtle, a cat is a cat, etc..
the turtles are given "human" emotions and reactions, but they're not homo sapiens because of it.

dragon turtle- yeah, more interesting/fleshed out characters need to be introduced, and the toy line is where the concentration of wacky animals needs to be.

I think that most (but obviously not all) boys leave/left the franchise by 12-13. Girls, I think, hold on a little longer. My personal experience is that I "moved on" from the tmnt around the age of 11 or so...

Anyway, I was reading some of the old TMNTA comics..man, there's some flaws. I know the kids' comics were mostly just advertsing ventures for new toys, but intoducing Wingnut by having him be this guy who randomly runs into the TMNT while throwing rocks into skylights to find Krang is baffling and contrived. I remeber I stopped reading 'em when it just got too mystical. Every time the Turtles went abroad, they'd find another anthromorph with some mystical or folklore crap for an origin. After Jagwar and Dreadmon, it got tiring...Ninjara, Al Falqua, Katmandu, Charlie Llama, Bookwurm, and several others who never even got a clear backstory. It was kiddie fluff.

I cant have been the only kid that felt this way, and I wager the whole glut of lazily written/conceived characters was one of the big contributing reasons as to why there was a steep drop in popularity after 1992.

Venom
10-23-2008, 09:15 PM
interesting replies...

yeah, Raph and Ninjara were seen waking up in the same bed in the first issue of the cyber samurai story. Maybe I'm old school, but inter-species relationships are weird. I can imagine the scene inspired some "mature" fan fictions years later...

Wasn't it Mezcaal, Ninjara's great-granddaughter? I remember being oddly intrigued by that panel, seeing Raph in a whole new light. And a little weirded out by the thought of being with a girl who is 2 generations younger than you and related to your dead ex-girlfriend. :ohwell:

shuriken
10-23-2008, 09:25 PM
Wasn't it Mezcaal, Ninjara's great-granddaughter? I remember being oddly intrigued by that panel, seeing Raph in a whole new light. And a little weirded out by the thought of being with a girl who is 2 generations younger than you and related to your dead ex-girlfriend. :ohwell:

:sick: that's some wierd sh*t right there.

Original TMNT Cartoon Fan
10-24-2008, 05:19 AM
Wasn't it Mezcaal, Ninjara's great-granddaughter? I remember being oddly intrigued by that panel, seeing Raph in a whole new light. And a little weirded out by the thought of being with a girl who is 2 generations younger than you and related to your dead ex-girlfriend. :ohwell:

Archie was really weird, but also really cool.