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Old 12-31-2018, 01:09 PM   #1
colincollects85
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Downfall of the original Playmates toy line (80s and 90s kids)

If you were a kid in the late 80s up to the late 90s, I would like to hear your experiences and memories.

Specifically, when did you start to lose interest in TMNT toys and merchandise? What were your thoughts on all the crazy variations of the Turtles, and reissues Playmates kept pumping out?

Were you savvy enough as a kid to realize the Turtles were in trouble? Did you go into KB Toys (R.I.P.) at the mall, and see bins of discounted Turtle figures? Did you look at any toys and think, "That looks awful, what the hell were they thinking?"
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Old 12-31-2018, 04:45 PM   #2
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I never felt that way until the 2012 line started bottoming out.

Sure, even OG Playmates made weird decisions, pushed unpopular variants, etc. But the engineering, sculpts, paint, etc. was all on point & bursting with personality.

The Kaybee re-releases were a huge plus, for me. I lived near one & got figures at a great discount allll the time. & I like many of the variants, so, it was all gravy. Being born in 1990, I was still able to live through some kind of Turtlemania, but I missed out on a lot of merch. Or well, I didn't, thanks to re-releases.

But I never lost interest. I buy less, now, as an adult, but that's more due to budgetary restraints & higher standards for quality than a matter of lacking enthusiasm.
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Old 12-31-2018, 05:02 PM   #3
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I never felt that way until the 2012 line started bottoming out.

Sure, even OG Playmates made weird decisions, pushed unpopular variants, etc. But the engineering, sculpts, paint, etc. was all on point & bursting with personality.

The Kaybee re-releases were a huge plus, for me. I lived near one & got figures at a great discount allll the time. & I like many of the variants, so, it was all gravy. Being born in 1990, I was still able to live through some kind of Turtlemania, but I missed out on a lot of merch. Or well, I didn't, thanks to re-releases.

But I never lost interest. I buy less, now, as an adult, but that's more due to budgetary restraints & higher standards for quality than a matter of lacking enthusiasm.
I don't remember exactly when I stopped "playing" with the toys as much. I guess it would have been 1996 or 1997 when I started middle school and starting getting heavy into the Nintendo 64, Pro Wrestling, and Legos. The WWF had just entered the Attitude Era (Stone Cold, etc.), and WCW was also huge. The Turtles kind of started to seem cheesy and childish. I had a lot of the reissues and the variants too, and the original ones were mostly broken, thrown away, or sold. They were not old or considered "vintage" yet, and I was too young to really appreciate them. Very thankful that collectors hoarded these gems so we can enjoy them again.
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Old 12-31-2018, 08:05 PM   #4
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I noticed the variants were getting stupid, they were releasing more and more characters that were not appearing on the show. Then with new shows that shows actual action like Batman and X-Men appearing, CBS not showing cartoons anymore on Saturday Mornings and whatnot... I figured TMNT was on its way out.
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:15 PM   #5
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Getting into TMNT is something I did so young it was early enugh I dont remember getting into. My father taught me how to change the chanbel at two and soon I started talking about Beba and Ocksteady. Yes, I spelled it the way I prounced it. I remember getting Michelangelo and Bebop to face each other at age 3. A year later I had the series one set a few series two and Movie Star set. This would be by the end of 1991. I played with figures until 1999 by which time the line was ending with random reissues through KB Toys and I was in middle school. I have the whole '03 line and basics of '12 line MIB. I not feel ant urge to get the Rise line. You may have encouraged me to look at '88-'99 line MIB figures.
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colincollects85 View Post
Did you go into KB Toys (R.I.P.) at the mall, and see bins of discounted Turtle figures?
Most of the toys in those discount bins were ones that KB had produced specifically to sell that way, they weren't unsold product that had to be sold for a reduced price. Plus the writing was on the wall for the Turtles long before that. As stores such as Walmart and Kmart reduced the amount of space allocated to the line, it was pretty obvious that the line was running its course. KB Toys was one of the few outlets that supported Playmates and the TMNT line to the bitter end. At least in my area, they were the only source of TMNT:the next Mutation toys for the second series.
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Old 12-31-2018, 10:39 PM   #7
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Most of the toys in those discount bins were ones that KB had produced specifically to sell that way, they weren't unsold product that had to be sold for a reduced price. Plus the writing was on the wall for the Turtles long before that. As stores such as Walmart and Kmart reduced the amount of space allocated to the line, it was pretty obvious that the line was running its course. KB Toys was one of the few outlets that supported Playmates and the TMNT line to the bitter end. At least in my area, they were the only source of TMNT:the next Mutation toys for the second series.
So true. Kay-Bee was ride or die with the TMNT toys until the end. I remember seeing a lot other declining lines there too. The Tranformers Generation 2 figures, GI Joe, and the hundreds of Marvel toys that Toy Biz produced.

Funny thing, I actually got some of the really rare figures in 1993/1994 when the series was starting to decline at small drug store chains like Rite Aid and Walgreens. Figures like Hotspot and Scratch, who came on the generic card-backs.
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Old 01-01-2019, 05:21 AM   #8
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I never had much money for toys to begin with, and a lot of the variants didn't seem to fit a lot of my play style when I was a kid. So I passed up on a lot of the special figures like Star Trek and movie monsters.

The one's I did like were the mutating turtles and that figures with hollow shells for carrying around weapons and stuff. Those were awesome. I really wish I took better care of my toys. I really should've jumped on the re-releases.

I still have fond memories of the Turtle Van and the Turtle Blimp.
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Old 01-01-2019, 12:01 PM   #9
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I never had much money for toys to begin with, and a lot of the variants didn't seem to fit a lot of my play style when I was a kid. So I passed up on a lot of the special figures like Star Trek and movie monsters.

The one's I did like were the mutating turtles and that figures with hollow shells for carrying around weapons and stuff. Those were awesome. I really wish I took better care of my toys. I really should've jumped on the re-releases.

I still have fond memories of the Turtle Van and the Turtle Blimp.
I did not have the movie monsters either...Take that back I had one, Mike as Frankenstein. Some of his paint glowed in the dark. I didn't play with it much, more or less got it as a novelty. The mutating Turtles were awesome. I had the Road Ready Shredder that turned into the Module, and Bebop and Rocksteady that changed back into human form. Very cool and innovative toys.
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Old 01-01-2019, 06:58 PM   #10
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Around 1992 or so, when Playmates started releasing so many Turtle variants, I started losing interest. I enjoyed collecting all of the various mutants much more than variations of characters I already had. Then, they switched the packaging from the awesome "break through the brick wall" packaging, to the "in the palm of the Turtle's hand" packaging, which lost me even more.
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Old 01-01-2019, 09:31 PM   #11
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Around 1992 or so, when Playmates started releasing so many Turtle variants, I started losing interest. I enjoyed collecting all of the various mutants much more than variations of characters I already had. Then, they switched the packaging from the awesome "break through the brick wall" packaging, to the "in the palm of the Turtle's hand" packaging, which lost me even more.
Yes, when the card-backs changed to the generic style with the 4 Turtles, they started to lose appeal. From 1988 to 1992, each character had their own unique card containing some awesome artwork. Mostly the reason I collect the early figures now. More valuable and much more fun to look at.
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Old 01-02-2019, 09:36 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by colincollects85 View Post
Specifically, when did you start to lose interest in TMNT toys and merchandise?"
I never lost any interest in TMNT, I just started to feel ashamed for liking cartoons, comics and anything related by the age of 11–12.
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:08 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by colincollects85 View Post
Specifically, when did you start to lose interest in TMNT toys and merchandise?
Hm, jeeze... you know, I'm not really sure. I don't remember replacing TMNT with some other toy fad or anything, so TMNT (and Ghostbusters, simultaneously) toys probably marked the end of me getting toys. Video games replaced that. Playing with toys around 1992 or whatever was no longer a thing.

I do remember my parents taking me to a swap meet and having me sell all of my toys -- including TMNT -- so that I could buy a SNES, which I wanted.
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:47 AM   #14
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Hm, jeeze... you know, I'm not really sure. I don't remember replacing TMNT with some other toy fad or anything, so TMNT (and Ghostbusters, simultaneously) toys probably marked the end of me getting toys. Video games replaced that. Playing with toys around 1992 or whatever was no longer a thing.

I do remember my parents taking me to a swap meet and having me sell all of my toys -- including TMNT -- so that I could buy a SNES, which I wanted.
The Super NES definitely put a huge dent in my interest for toys in general also. I got my first SNES for Christmas of 1992. It was the Super Set with 2 controllers and and included a copy of Super Mario World. Also got Mortal Kombat the same day. I was definitely hooked, and so were my friends.
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:50 AM   #15
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There used to be these big kiosks in the mall where you could line up and play NES and SNES games and I was oogling Final Fantasy II forever. I just had to have that game, no matter what.
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Old 01-02-2019, 02:30 PM   #16
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All the ridiculous versions of the turtles were one of the things that drove me away. I remember one birthday where my grandma got me a punk rock turtle that had a Mohawk. It was so hard to pretend that I was excited to get that. I opened it and then never looked at it again. Also, once I discovered the X-Men comics/cartoon, that completely replaced the TMNT as my priority. I remember seeing so many of those jailhouse cat figures (that are now worth a small fortune) and rolling my eyes at them (if I only knew then what I know now I would have bought them all)! But yea, the X-Men as well as the Trendmasters Godzilla figures made me forget all about the TMNT until the 2003 series started (by which point Marvel had already very foolishly destroyed the X-Men comics, which allowed the TMNT to reclaim their top spot).
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Old 01-02-2019, 02:43 PM   #17
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There used to be these big kiosks in the mall where you could line up and play NES and SNES games and I was oogling Final Fantasy II forever. I just had to have that game, no matter what.
I don't think it's a good idea to have role-playing games playable in the shopping malls, where children are standing lined-up, waiting to play. Playing through them takes a lot of time.
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Old 01-02-2019, 03:19 PM   #18
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All the ridiculous versions of the turtles were one of the things that drove me away. I remember one birthday where my grandma got me a punk rock turtle that had a Mohawk. It was so hard to pretend that I was excited to get that. I opened it and then never looked at it again. Also, once I discovered the X-Men comics/cartoon, that completely replaced the TMNT as my priority. I remember seeing so many of those jailhouse cat figures (that are now worth a small fortune) and rolling my eyes at them (if I only knew then what I know now I would have bought them all)! But yea, the X-Men as well as the Trendmasters Godzilla figures made me forget all about the TMNT until the 2003 series started (by which point Marvel had already very foolishly destroyed the X-Men comics, which allowed the TMNT to reclaim their top spot).
I got one of my friends a Bodacious Birthday Turtle (Raph dressed as a magician) in 1993. I still remember the look of disappointment on his face, lol. What a horrible gift idea! He had his birthday at a park and it was sort of a last-minute gift. I had all 4 of the Rockin' Rollin' Turtles though. Those came out in 1991 when the variations of the Turtles were still in the early stages. The Wild West, Farm Turtles, Universal Monsters, etc. just became too much to bear.

I had the "jail-house cat" (Scratch) and Hot Spot. Both were purchased at small drug store chains.
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Old 01-02-2019, 05:03 PM   #19
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J.C. Penny in had an N64 for kids to take turns to play when it first came out. That was my first experience with the system and was blown away. Little did I realize that was the end of what I knew of video games (side scroll beat 'em ups). Aside from that up to the late 90s' my local Blockbuster Video had at least two game systems and a key game to play. I remember Super Nintendo with Super Mario World and Sega Genesis Sonic 3 being available. Good memories!

I bought anything I could get TMNT figures related. I mean I am 3-12 in the 90s' collecting these so I did not get sets, but bought and received what I could. I did however prefer the main line opposed to the sub sets like Star Trek, Universal, Farm, Warriors, Mutations, etc. When I played I needed basic line figures not side sets. The flipping turtles(what was that set called?) were replacements for the basic turtles if I could not find a turtle. I think the Ninja Turtles line went wild with side sets because of the variant Batman figures and trying to keep up with Kenner. As a kid who played with the figures I did not care for that.
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Old 01-02-2019, 06:13 PM   #20
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J.C. Penny in had an N64 for kids to take turns to play when it first came out. That was my first experience with the system and was blown away. Little did I realize that was the end of what I knew of video games (side scroll beat 'em ups). Aside from that up to the late 90s' my local Blockbuster Video had at least two game systems and a key game to play. I remember Super Nintendo with Super Mario World and Sega Genesis Sonic 3 being available. Good memories!

I bought anything I could get TMNT figures related. I mean I am 3-12 in the 90s' collecting these so I did not get sets, but bought and received what I could. I did however prefer the main line opposed to the sub sets like Star Trek, Universal, Farm, Warriors, Mutations, etc. When I played I needed basic line figures not side sets. The flipping turtles(what was that set called?) were replacements for the basic turtles if I could not find a turtle. I think the Ninja Turtles line went wild with side sets because of the variant Batman figures and trying to keep up with Kenner. As a kid who played with the figures I did not care for that.
I preferred the basic line-up too, over all else. If my 4 Turtles were in a scenario where they were going to assault the Technodrome, I couldn't very well have Michelangelo dressed up like a Mexican Bandito or Donatello dressed like a Firefighter. It just doesn't work and feels retarded.

When N64 came out, I did remember demos set up everywhere. This is how Goldeneye got so much hype. It was a sad day for the side-scroller beat 'em up games. I love those. Countless hours playing Final Fight and Battletoads.
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