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Old 10-10-2017, 12:24 PM   #1
Danetello
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Question Thoughts on when 2003 figs were coming out

I was in my late teens when the 2003 series started and didn't have the opportunity to watch it as it aired, much less collect the figures.
Now, as an adult, I have been avidly collecting the current series, and trying to backtrack on all I missed in the past. As we all know, some figures in this series have been infuriatingly difficult to find at best. I was curious - was it like this for the 2003 series? Were there figures that were released to the market that were impossible to get your hands on?
It's hard judging now what was "rare" since eBay prices can be vastly variable depending on condition (NIB, mint, grade, used... etc).
I was just curious really, and wondered if anyone had any thoughts and memories to share
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Old 10-10-2017, 12:46 PM   #2
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The only figure that was hard to find was Quarry. She was originally scheduled to be released in the first or second year with Razorfist/Stonebiter and kept getting delayed. I don't think she was released till around 2005 or so with the last wave of traditional figures before Fast Forward started, and she was rare to find. I had to pay $50 for her.

All the other figures I found in stores easily. I was only 16-19 when the majority of the 2k3 series was airing, so I was still a young teen myself back then. Most of the figures are probably rare to find now, especially carded, so you probably will have to pay quite a bit for some of them nowadays.
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Old 10-10-2017, 12:57 PM   #3
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Here you can see all TMNT toys released

http://www.tmnttoys.com/index.html
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Old 10-10-2017, 01:38 PM   #4
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Here you can see all TMNT toys released

http://www.tmnttoys.com/index.html
Yeah, but the point was more about the experiences people had collecting/finding them.
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Old 10-10-2017, 02:29 PM   #5
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I was floored when these came out. Dooney likeness turtles with fully painted weapons, dry-brush details, functional accessories, screen accurate supporting cast, Casey with a removable mask, mousers?! What's not to love? It was a very impressive toyline (which gradually declined, but still). The only major downside of it was that it often left something to be desired regarding articulation. To a kind of inexcusable extent, IMO. But the fact they looked like they popped outta the TV screen made it an easier pill to swallow, for me.

I fell out of interest with the series for a time around season 3, so I didn't get any of the figures from that point on until years later, but I've heard the latter half seasons had harder to find characters. Didn't have too much trouble getting them on the aftermarket in 2009/10, but I didn't exactly go after all of them. Obviously Quarry, Bishop, & a few others are relatively scarce & expensive. But in my day I didn't really have any trouble as far as I can recall.

I think the coolest thing to come out of this toyline was the Shredder with vac-metal removable armor/helmet. What a badass toy. I also really like the Foot Soldiers, Turtlebot, Fugitoid, & Turtle Tots. & we got our first Utrom toy! Usagi's real neat too, despite the stupid gimmick & T-pose.
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Old 10-10-2017, 02:50 PM   #6
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I was really happy to see Turtles again, but I was at an age where I felt I shouldn't buy toys anymore cause I was "too old". I did treat myself the Battle Armor Leonardo and Vac-Metal Shredder and the four re-released Mecha pilot Turtles from the vintage line. I couldn't take it anymore and bought near-all of the basic 2007 movie figures.

I did buy a lot of Turtle figures to my two brothers. Gotta admit I was a bit jealous as they had the sewer lair and the battleshell.
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Old 10-10-2017, 02:58 PM   #7
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From what I remember, Walmart and Target were well stocked with the figures and vehicles, so it wasn't hard to find what you wanted, except for the rarer figures towards the end of the line. It was always exciting to check the toys page at ninjaturtles.com and the reviews at tmnttoys.com for updates on the new toys that were coming out. There were also DVDs of the early Season 1 episodes included with some of the figures, which was a nice bonus. When they redesigned the packaging in 2005, Playmates also reissued the older waves of figures with DVDs of the first three episodes.

However, I remember during the summer of 2006 that I couldn't find all four Fast Forward Turtles until later in the fall, and I never got around to finding Fast Forward Leonardo, so I settled with his Triple Strike variant. It's also disappointing that Playmates cancelled pretty much the entire wave of new figures they showed at the toy fair that year. While Back to the Sewer was airing, Playmates were pushing Mini-Mutants figures real hard with the 2007 movie designs mixed with the 4Kids characters. By that time, I had lost interest in the toys anyway, but I regret not picking up figures like Armorized Shredder and the Foot Elite Guard and especially the Turtle Lair Playset.

Last edited by The-Shredder; 10-10-2017 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 10-10-2017, 05:12 PM   #8
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It's hard to believe I was only 16 years old when the 2k3 series and toys came out. For some reason I wrongly remember being an adult when the 2k3 series was airing, but I wasn't, I was still a teenager for most of it. Granted I turned 20-21 around the time the last two seasons were airing, so that might be why.

Man...thinking back to the year 2003 feels like an eternity ago. As a young teen...and now here I am 15 years later having watched the next TMNT cartoon after.
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Old 10-11-2017, 03:41 AM   #9
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One of the main things that bothered me about the line is that it started the"Malibu Stacy with a new hat" sorts of variants. The original line had goofier $#!+ by far but at least they were well-designed and unique sculpts almost every time. But like 80% of the 2003 line were modifiedbasic or armoured Turtles with new accessories or crap glued to them. Once in a while you got a new headsculpt, but that was it.

That, and as someone who loved most of the secondary character variants of the old line, I was sad to see that pretty close to nobody named Shredder qualified in this series.
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Old 10-11-2017, 06:13 AM   #10
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Yeah, I was in my 20s when those came out and I remember brushing them off.
The art direction didn't do it for me, personally. Non of the designs took any risks, in being quirky (like the original line did). So I skipped the entire set. (I also didn't like the leg sculpts on any of the turtles from this line). One thing I will say, they did a great job with the paint applications. I did appreciate that much.
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danetello View Post
As we all know, some figures in this series have been infuriatingly difficult to find at best. I was curious - was it like this for the 2003 series? Were there figures that were released to the market that were impossible to get your hands on?
The 2003 line had the same sort of distribution patterns that we are seeing for the current line. They didn't release distinct series of figures, rather they had the basic assortment and rotated in new figures as well as producing some older ones. So much like now, the figures could be hard to find at first, but usually became much easier to find as they continued to ship. But that only worked with figures that continued to ship. As I recall, there were a few that didn't continue to ship as long so they were more difficult to find. The Fire Foot Mystic was one. (Though they did eventually ship more later one in the two packs.) I think the Giant Mouser was another if memory serves. Of course, that wasn't a character anyone really cared about so it wasn't such a big deal.

The issues mostly come with figures released towards the end of the line since they didn't get the opportunity to ship for very long. Quarry and Bishop are the two best examples of this. But there were other items like that. The Sludgerunner vehicles were very difficult to track down in my area. So were some of the Mini Mutant vehicle sets like the Code-Runners and Sludgerunners.

But the 2003 line as well as the Fast Forward and 2007 movie based lines that they transitioned into also had the issue of items that ended up only shipping to the UK and possibly all of Europe since the orders in the US were too low.

It's worth noting that these issues are not unique to the 2003-2007 line(s). We may be starting to see the same issues now with figures like Muckman. And the vintage line had the same issues as well. Look at when the rarest/most expensive items in the original 10 year run came out and they are almost all from the later years. Shogun Shoate, Shogun Triceraton, the Undercover Turtles, all were entries in the last two years that they were releasing basic assortment figures. The later shipments of the Mini-Mutant Turtle Transports with the Mighty Muscle Combo (sports cars), Firefightin Frenzy and Pizza Police Combo were all so rare that if I hadn't run across the Mighty Muscle Combo once in stores originally, I would have thought that none of them were ever actually produced. And of course there is Don's Hydroskimmer from the Next Mutation line. That is one of the silliest and ugliest vehicles ever. Yet it commands prices in excess of $1000 regularly just because it was so rare.
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Old 10-11-2017, 03:51 PM   #12
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I'm kinda disappointed we never got a toy of Ch'rell. They could have easily made a Shredder figure where you open up his stomach and you take Ch'rell out of there or can place him back in.

A huge oversight we never got a toy of him.
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Old 10-11-2017, 09:49 PM   #13
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There was concept art for one that Murphy featured on his blog, but it got cancelled.
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Old 10-11-2017, 11:31 PM   #14
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They were pretty good figures (for the most part).
The sculpts were accurate, they had nice paint jobs, and great accessories.
Articulation was their weak spot, from some figures having a great range, to others being pretty bad in that aspect. But itís Playmates. Thatís usually what you get with them.
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I'm kinda disappointed we never got a toy of Ch'rell.
Same here.
I always thought a figure of him wouldíve been cool. Iíd still like one now too.
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:25 PM   #15
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They also only released the fire foot Mystic and not the other 4. Considering they would just be repaints with maybe different weapons, I don't know why they didn't.
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:36 PM   #16
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Just judging by eBay alone, I'm guessing Bishop was the holy grail of the series? Even damaged out of box, of the very few they have on eBay, he can easily go for over $100.
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Old 10-12-2017, 06:46 PM   #17
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Just judging by eBay alone, I'm guessing Bishop was the holy grail of the series? Even damaged out of box, of the very few they have on eBay, he can easily go for over $100.
Is he really? He floated around the $20 range just a few years ago. Shoot, maybe I shouldn't have used so many for customs back then.

But the one I see cited as the most uncommon standard release is actually Quarry.

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They also only released the fire foot Mystic and not the other 4. Considering they would just be repaints with maybe different weapons, I don't know why they didn't.
Same reason we never got all 4 of the Dream Beavers, and all 4 of the original series' Punk Frogs, I'd wager.
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