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Old 01-05-2019, 08:47 PM   #61
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I love most of the entire original line. Being ridiculous is kind of the point for me, and when they went ridiculous they at least put all the effort they could into the sculpts, the marketing copy, etc.

The endless turtle variants of the 2012 line were largely boring, with the notable exceptions of the LARPs & Mystics. The endless turtle variants of the original line were visually interesting if nothing else. I have been enjoying re-collecting them in my adult years. The only figures from the later years I have no true interest in at all are the Krackin' Eggs and the Power Coils. I wasn't too thrilled about the Ninja Actions either, but I have them. Those series are not visually interesting in that they are closer to the original designs with only mechanical gimmicks added in and sharing much of the same sculpt per character. The Undercover series fits this bill as well...

Still...I grew up with TMNT perfectly timed to my age. For me there is no other vintage line first and foremost worth completing. I loved Ghostbusters before turtles at a younger age and would love to recollect some of those too but the variants of that line do not interest me and turn me off, unlike the original line turtle variants.
The 1981 Mattel Masters of the Universe line and miscellaneous junk with the Masters of the Universe logo put all of the action figure lines and the memorabilia made to advise them before and after it to shame, in my opinion. Oddly enough, the 1981 Mattel MOTU toyline never did as well, at anytime during its run, as the 1984 Hasbro Transformers line. At the turn of the early Ď90s, most everyone I knew thought the original 1988 Playmates toyline was going to be the next 1981 Mattel Masters of the Universe line. The 1991 offerings for the original toyline killed the appeal of it all together.
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Old 01-05-2019, 09:18 PM   #62
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I had other interests that got my attention to other figures but I always loved the turtles, I stopped buying some of the stuff because I didn't care for stretchy raphael when I could get the real stretch armstrong instead. The turtles tried hard to stay relevant to the changes, when Mighty Max became huge every toyline had micro playsets and the TMNT copied it as well but to me TMNT had to be their normal scale, I liked Mighty Max in the micro scale but not TMNT, I already had a collection of figures in a specific scale to play as.

Even when I bought other toylines like Skeleton Warriors and Spider-Man they were all just villain fodder for the TMNT to fight. I guess what I wanted as a kid was more cool mutants for them to fight. When The Next Mutation came out I couldn't wait to get the new shredder and dragonlord figures for the turtles to fight. Eventually i cared more about video games than toys but that was the end of all my toy buying, not just TMNT once I 11 or so.

I have no idea why as a kid I bought so many variants of Raphaels and the other turtles, they just all looked so cool with the added gimmicks but I still mostly played with the original wave 1 turtles as the "real" ones, the others were just "cousins" of the turtles. I didn't really do that for other toylines, only for TMNT but man I wish I Had gotten more mutants instead of those turtles.
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Old 01-05-2019, 11:27 PM   #63
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I had other interests that got my attention to other figures but I always loved the turtles, I stopped buying some of the stuff because I didn't care for stretchy raphael when I could get the real stretch armstrong instead. The turtles tried hard to stay relevant to the changes, when Mighty Max became huge every toyline had micro playsets and the TMNT copied it as well but to me TMNT had to be their normal scale, I liked Mighty Max in the micro scale but not TMNT, I already had a collection of figures in a specific scale to play as.

Even when I bought other toylines like Skeleton Warriors and Spider-Man they were all just villain fodder for the TMNT to fight. I guess what I wanted as a kid was more cool mutants for them to fight. When The Next Mutation came out I couldn't wait to get the new shredder and dragonlord figures for the turtles to fight. Eventually i cared more about video games than toys but that was the end of all my toy buying, not just TMNT once I 11 or so.

I have no idea why as a kid I bought so many variants of Raphaels and the other turtles, they just all looked so cool with the added gimmicks but I still mostly played with the original wave 1 turtles as the "real" ones, the others were just "cousins" of the turtles. I didn't really do that for other toylines, only for TMNT but man I wish I Had gotten more mutants instead of those turtles.
It goes without saying that many children of the early Ď90s who were on the hunt for the original wave 1 turtles dreaded seeing the Head Droppiní turtles, Storage Shell turtles, and Wacky Action turtles at different retailers. Iím sure a good number of adult collectors of the original 1988 toyline wanted Playmates to give the first TMNT action figure line a treatment similar to that of the pre-late Ď80s Hasbro G.I. Joe and Transformers lines. One version of each character. The Wacky Action concept worked because both toy customizers and collectors were curious what the turtle figures looked like with pupils. Playmates really could have almost gotten away with using turtle head sculpts from the first wave with pupils painted on for the Wacky Action line. There are parents would not have bought two of the same figure, but the individual card art for the subline could have saved children the embarrassment of explaining the differences to their guardians.

As Iím sure you can tell, Iím in the camp of people who were not in favor of variants like Mike, the Sewer Surfer, Raph, the Space Cadet, and Storage Shell Donatello. Playmates should have kept the head molds simple like they were for the first wave turtles. I, also, do not like the solid head molds for the first wave turtles reissues. The soft rubber heads were better.
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Old 01-06-2019, 04:39 AM   #64
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There could have been more figures in the Mutating line. Like a new Warrior Dragon figure, who would become Chu Hsi.
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Old 01-06-2019, 07:44 AM   #65
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There could have been more figures in the Mutating line. Like a new Warrior Dragon figure, who would become Chu Hsi.
That’s very true.

Hothead, from 1992 to 1996, was rarer than Shredder, Metalhead, and even Leatherhead was in the early 1990s though. I imagine children could still recognize Hothead from the Archie Adventures comic book or the Nintendo game.

A Mutations Baxter Stockman in 1992 would have been even better. I would have liked Mutations Shredder and Splinter more if they resembled the original first wave figures like the Road Ready versions did. Playmates could have released Mutations April without the purple and silver paint applications. Most collectors of the original line today would rather have the first ever April ‘O Neil with the yellow jumpsuit and white belt over than the 5th anniversary April if they had to choose one April for their displays. Playmates took things too far with weird variants of April and the turtles in ‘91 and ‘92. I do not remember anyone in the winter of 1990 asking for a Make My Day Leo and Hose ‘Em Down Don to go with Raph, the Space Cadet and Mike, the Sewer Surfer. Children and teenagers in my area wanted one of every character that appeared in the 1987 cartoon series.
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Old 01-06-2019, 08:38 AM   #66
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How about a Krang android that could activate all weapons and wings seen in the cartoon and Archie comics?
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Old 01-06-2019, 10:18 AM   #67
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How about a Krang android that could activate all weapons and wings seen in the cartoon and Archie comics?
That would be far better than the one that was in stores during the ‘91 to ‘92 winter season, especially if it had a cartoon accurate deco. I would have left the veins blue on Krang, also.

Getting back on topic, I’m standing by my original views. The original Playmates line jumped the shark when the early ‘90s started fading into the mid ‘90s (late ‘91). I understand that Playmates was poking fun at how variants in the action figure lines of the ‘80s and early ‘90s made those whole lines more like doll lines than a toy soldier lines, but Playmates went off the deep end with all of the strange choices for turtle variants. It made absolutely no sense for there to be a Rappin’ Mike when Raphael in the Fred Wolf cartoon was the crude one. As a toy analyst, I could forgive Playmates for the disguised turtles of 1990 (although Raph, the Space Cadet still bothers me), but T.D. Tossin’ Leo and Bandito-Bashin Mike was where they went overboard. I’m sure it was apparent to everyone in the latter end of the early ‘90s that Playmates saw the original toyline as one huge cash cow.

Like with just about everything in this world, the original toyline was better in the beginning. I can make an exception for the 1990 figures, but the ‘88 and ‘89 basic waves were better to me. In defense of Raph, the Space Cadet, it at least reminds me of the pinups that Jim Lawson did in the late ‘80s. I’m really on the fence with the 1990 toys though. I like the characters in the basic waves for 1990, but the colors, body forms, and goofy head sculpts used for the most of them are a big turn off for me. I wasn’t a fan of the 1989 Alley Viper from the 1982 Hasbro G.I. Joe line when it was in stores, either.

On the other hand, the 1982 Hasbro G.I. Joe toyline did not kneel over and become an action figure line made strictly for children like the 1988 Playmates TMNT line did in 1991. So, I have respect for that property more so than Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Turtlemania of 1990 changed everything for the worst! I can’t help but wonder what the original toyline would have been like if the Turtles never took off. The first Mirage Comics series was intended to be a spoof of the dark and hyper-violent comic book stories that came before it. All of that is represented well in the 1988 to 1990 lineups for the original TMNT set of action figures. The problem is the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie was not rated R, so children who enjoyed the cartoon had their parents take them to see it from opening day onwards.

Some of those same children mimicked the moves they saw the turtles making in the Jim Henson flick shortly before the month of April came to a close. The rest is history. Nearly everything for the franchise made from the spring of 1990 to the end of the ‘90s was watered down for whiny mothers everywhere and the original toyline lost the charm it once had in the ‘80s and very start of the ‘90s because of this. The movies should not have had any elements from the Fred Wolf cartoon in them. That was the mistake the screenwriters made and it costed them big time.

With that said, the original toyline is still leaps ahead of what it is in toy stores today for boys and girls. Unfortunately, it’s hard to overlook that era in the history of the ‘88 line when Playmates Toys was trying to please everybody. It is the first and largest figurative stain on the reputation of the original toyline.

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Old 01-06-2019, 11:27 AM   #68
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The problem is the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie was not rated R, so children who enjoyed the cartoon had their parents take them to see it from opening day onwards.
The 1990 film was a failure in Sweden because it was rated 15 (so younger children couldn't watch it in cinemas, even with their parents).

http://www.popkorn.nu/mm-arkiv/retrospektiv_002.html

Secret of the Ooze was a huge hit here, and the moviestar action figures also I guess.
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:09 PM   #69
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It goes without saying that many children of the early ‘90s who were on the hunt for the original wave 1 turtles dreaded seeing the Head Droppin’ turtles, Storage Shell turtles, and Wacky Action turtles at different retailers. I’m sure a good number of adult collectors of the original 1988 toyline wanted

I’m sure you can tell, I’m in the camp of people who were not in favor of variants like Mike, the Sewer Surfer, Raph, the Space Cadet, and Storage Shell Donatello. Playmates should have kept the head molds simple like they were for the first wave turtles. I, also, do not like the solid head molds for the first wave turtles reissues. The soft rubber heads were better.
Were there many adult collectors in the late 80s early 90s? I'm guessing it was a very small niche that didn't grow until the 70s/80s kids grew up and were nostalgic for their toys.

I personally loved Mike the Sewer Surfer and Raph the space cadet as a kid, I would not buy them now but they were cool to me as a kid, I had tons of variants of Raphael for god knows what reason. As I said, I think they're dumb now and didn't like them in other toylines even as a kid but since we're adults now instead of bashing them we can try to analyze why companies make them, it's mostly because people buy them, they have the sales data not us and are just speculating

I did find the super gimmicky ones unappealing like strage shell donatello that you provide but some gimmicks were somewhat appealing like the mutating turtles or event he backflipping ones event though in reality they had little play potential. They did release a ton of gimmicky figures that I cared nothing for like the troll ones but those seem more like desperate attempts of TMNT trying to keep their relevancy when competing with other toylines that were beating them in sales so they would just mimic that instead of doing say more mutants that didn't sell. They did re-release the basic figures a few more times even in the late 90s on KB toys so they did try to get some more sales.

I think it has to do more with kids growing out of the things they liked and sales dwindling down and these moves the companies make to save the toyline are then seen by fans in the future as the moves that killed the line but it was already happening, it's sort of a last attempt to save it and when it backfired it just made it happen quicker but it was happening sooner rather than later. I get this feeling after watching many episodes of The Toys That Made Us on Netflix, He-Man and the like were old for new generations and there was no saving them, yes some decisions helped the line do badly but it was because they were trying to recuperate their sales. The internet is always full of analysts and i see plenty of youtube videos where the creator gets praised but Hindsight is 20/20.
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:21 PM   #70
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Were there many adult collectors in the late 80s early 90s? I'm guessing it was a very small niche that didn't grow until the 70s/80s kids grew up and were nostalgic for their toys.
We will probably never know much about that. Not many had Internet had Internet access and those who did. Many toy collectors would probably hide it as a secret.
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Old 01-06-2019, 12:37 PM   #71
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The 1990 film was a failure in Sweden because it was rated 15 (so younger children couldn't watch it in cinemas, even with their parents).

http://www.popkorn.nu/mm-arkiv/retrospektiv_002.html

Secret of the Ooze was a huge hit here, and the moviestar action figures also I guess.
Thank you for sharing that interesting fact with me.


Iím sorry to say this, but the basic assortments to the original Playmates toyline were disjointed from the very first wave of figures. The 1988 Foot Soldier action figure was one of the very first cartoony looking action figures to come out of the Ď80s, if Iím not mistaken. The statue-like appearance of the 1988 Foot Soldier separates it from the other figures, also. I always thought characters like Genghis Frog and Ace Duck in the second wave were horrible additions to the line, but no one then (myself included) knew what to expect from the original Playmates toyline when it was in itsí infant years. The third and last wave of 1989 was much more of an improvement over second set of figures.

Hereís how I see it, really:

1988 - 1989: Good action figure line (not the best, but not bad)
1990 - mid Ď91: The original toyline is still somewhat in the safe zone.
Late Ď91 - mid Ď97: The first Playmates line takes the plunge completely by catering to children exclusively.

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Old 01-06-2019, 01:00 PM   #72
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Thank you for sharing that interesting fact with me.


Iím sorry to say this, but the basic assortments to the original Playmates toyline were disjointed from the very first wave of figures. The 1988 Foot Soldier action figure was one of the very first cartoony looking action figures to come out of the Ď80s, if Iím not mistaken. The statue-like appearance of the 1988 Foot Soldier separates it from the other figures, also. I always thought characters like Genghis Frog and Ace Duck in the second wave were horrible additions to the line, but no one then (myself included) knew what to expect from the original Playmates toyline when it was in itsí infant years. The third and last wave of 1989 was much more of an improvement over second set of figures.

Hereís how I see it, really:

1988 - 1989: Good action figure line (not the best, but not bad)
1990 - mid Ď91: The original toyline is still somewhat in the safe zone.
Late Ď91 - mid Ď97: The first Playmates line takes the plunge completely by catering to children exclusively.
Well, toys are made for children. Was it the endless variant subsets? As a kid all through those years I much preferred basic line figures.

I take it that it was He-Man as the big thing then Transformers as the big thing then Ninja Turtles as the big thing. I often wondered if TMNT was the biggest among the phenomeons.

Colin, thanks for such an interesting topic.
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:24 PM   #73
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Were there many adult collectors in the late 80s early 90s? I'm guessing it was a very small niche that didn't grow until the 70s/80s kids grew up and were nostalgic for their toys.
There weren’t as many adult collectors as there are today in those times, but enough to create buzz about certain figures on USENET. The best place for an adult collector to frequent in the morning was department stores like
K-Mart back then. As I’m sure a lot of you know, adult collectors were far more secretive about their hobby in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.

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Well, toys are made for children. Was it the endless variant subsets? As a kid all through those years I much preferred basic line figures.

I take it that it was He-Man as the big thing then Transformers as the big thing then Ninja Turtles as the big thing. I often wondered if TMNT was the biggest among the phenomeons.

Colin, thanks for such an interesting topic.
The whole toyline was made for children, but it appealed to different audiences in the very late 80s and early to mid ‘90s. The first three or four waves of the original Playmates toyline was even carried by a number of comic book stores in the same fashion that the Mattel DC Universe Classics toyline was years back.

The 1977 Kenner Star Wars toyline was actually a bigger deal than the 1981 Mattel Masters of the Universe stuff. The 1977 Kenner Star Wars were first, followed by Transformers in ‘84, and ending with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in 1990. It is to the best of my understanding that the Turtles were the largest of the phenomenons (selling over 30 million toys). The 1977 Kenner Star Wars toys are the best out of the three for me. I guess it’s no real coincidence that Playmates made errors similar to those of the 1984 Hasbro Transformers line before the original 1988 toyline folded. The 1977 Kenner Star Wars and 1981 Mattel Masters of the Universe lines were my favorites of the ‘80s probably because they were both cancelled in the Reagan 1980s.
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:40 PM   #74
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I suppose Star Wars is the biggest overall while TMNT had the longest period as the It thing and Pokemon was the biggest fad? No matter the fad, the first fad I knew was the one that I never gave up.
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:47 PM   #75
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I suppose Star Wars is the biggest overall while TMNT had the longest period as the It thing and Pokemon was the biggest fad? No matter the fad, the first fad I knew was the one that I never gave up.
Here is the list (not only toys)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...dia_franchises

Don't forget that Japan has many inhabitants, so selling well in Japan may not always mean major international fame and success
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Old 01-06-2019, 04:49 PM   #76
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I suppose Star Wars is the biggest overall while TMNT had the longest period as the It thing and Pokemon was the biggest fad? No matter the fad, the first fad I knew was the one that I never gave up.
The empty Kenner 1977 Early Bird Certificate package was the number one must have item of the 1977 holiday season. Iím sorry, I misspoke earlier. The 1978 to 1985 Kenner Star Wars figures were never the most popular toys during the holidays of those years.

I have a question for everyone on this board. Did you like the 1987 Fred Wolf cartoon or the original Playmates toyline better in the late Ď80s and Ď90s? Also, which one do you prefer today and why?

Iím pretty sure the Fred Wolf cartoon is more important to pop culture than the first Playmates toyline. Still, Iím interested in knowing more about how the 1987 Fred Wolf cartoon stacks up against the action figure line made to go with it.
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Old 01-06-2019, 05:22 PM   #77
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The empty Kenner 1977 Early Bird Certificate package was the number one must have item of the 1977 holiday season. Iím sorry, I misspoke earlier. The 1978 to 1985 Kenner Star Wars figures were never the most popular toys during the holidays of those years.

I have a question for everyone on this board. Did you like the 1987 Fred Wolf cartoon or the original Playmates toyline better in the late Ď80s and Ď90s? Also, which one do you prefer today and why?

Iím pretty sure the Fred Wolf cartoon is more important to pop culture than the first Playmates toyline. Still, Iím interested in knowing more about how the 1987 Fred Wolf cartoon stacks up against the action figure line made to go with it.
The 1987 cartoon because it ad the perfect humor for my taste. I love puns and sarcasm. Its not depressingly dark and not campy as a whole. It had the best character set of any TMNT version to date as well. Also, remember as far as comparing the toy line to the cartoon, well, its my absolute earliest memories. I am only a few months older than the cartoon itself. I don't care much for The Shredder figure. I am a stickler for accuracy and a white-washed shirtless Shredder does not work for me. Also, the sad eyed Leonardo was always weird for me. I collected the toys because I love the 1987 cartoon. Yes, it began as a program advertising the toyline,but I prefer the cartoon.
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Old 01-06-2019, 05:30 PM   #78
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I suppose Star Wars is the biggest overall while TMNT had the longest period as the It thing and Pokemon was the biggest fad? No matter the fad, the first fad I knew was the one that I never gave up.
Pokemon was definitely the bigger fad, I made a thread about this about 2 years ago here in the drome.

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We will probably never know much abou that. Not many had Internet had Internet access and those who did. Many toy collectors would probably hide it as a secret.
Well it's not like they died once there was internet, those are the older fans in their 40s and 50s that collect figures now on the internet and there just aren't as many. They obviously existed since it was in the 90s when they started to make figures with collectors in mind but not as many but at least Mikey01 is giving us a better idea.
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Old 01-06-2019, 06:30 PM   #79
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You guys....they didn't make figures like the troll turtles because they were "desperate to keep up with other fads" or whatever. They did it because (1) they were just toys and (2) it was a line known for its humor. It is actually awesome, not stupid, that the four turtles were redone to parody all of those fads. It wasn't a case of "oh my gosh sales are down what can we copy next" it was "haha wouldn't it be fun if we made troll turtles?"

It was huge. All this talk about failure and downfall and such...it was what it was. Nothing lasts forever and nothing can be exactly what you think it should be. It was a huge phenomenon that had the staying power through today. It was a success by anyone's measure taking home paychecks and I highly doubt any of them expected it to last forever either.
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Old 01-06-2019, 07:43 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by MikeandRaph87 View Post
The 1987 cartoon because it ad the perfect humor for my taste. I love puns and sarcasm. Its not depressingly dark and not campy as a whole. It had the best character set of any TMNT version to date as well. Also, remember as far as comparing the toy line to the cartoon, well, its my absolute earliest memories. I am only a few months older than the cartoon itself. I don't care much for The Shredder figure. I am a stickler for accuracy and a white-washed shirtless Shredder does not work for me. Also, the sad eyed Leonardo was always weird for me. I collected the toys because I love the 1987 cartoon. Yes, it began as a program advertising the toyline,but I prefer the cartoon.
I think my cousin found the theme song and animation of the syndicated series to be iconic and highly more effective in selling the original Playmates toyline than anything found in store flyers of the very late ‘80s and ‘90s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonnieLaForge View Post
You guys....they didn't make figures like the troll turtles because they were "desperate to keep up with other fads" or whatever. They did it because (1) they were just toys and (2) it was a line known for its humor. It is actually awesome, not stupid, that the four turtles were redone to parody all of those fads. It wasn't a case of "oh my gosh sales are down what can we copy next" it was "haha wouldn't it be fun if we made troll turtles?"

It was huge. All this talk about failure and downfall and such...it was what it was. Nothing lasts forever and nothing can be exactly what you think it should be. It was a huge phenomenon that had the staying power through today. It was a success by anyone's measure taking home paychecks and I highly doubt any of them expected it to last forever either.
The original 1988 Playmates toyline is not in ‘the big leagues’ with the 1977 Kenner Star Wars line, 1981 Mattel Masters of the Universe, 1982 Hasbro G.I. Joe line, or 1984 Hasbro Transformers line because of the long number of humorous turtle and April variants from the ‘90s.


Perhaps, the toy designers and inventors at Playmate Toys in the 1990s should have operated as if they were toy makers in the early 1980s. That way we would be given one version of each character from the 1987 cartoon with a few necessary character variants in almost every wave after the first or second basic assortments.

Last edited by mikey0; 01-06-2019 at 08:05 PM.
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