September 13, 2012
What is your favorite TMNT toyline?

So over on The Technodrome Forums, there's a poll running in the toy section on users' favorite TMNT toyline -- the choices being the original line (1988-1997), the Next Mutation line (1997-1998), the 2K3 line (including Fast Forward; 2003-2006), the TMNT movie line (2007-2008), the NECA line (2008-2009), and the current Nickelodeon line (2012-). (The new classic figures weren't mentioned separately, but I guess one could include them with the Nick offerings.) Which would you choose?

My answer is below. It was kinda lengthy and it's totally in line with stuff we discuss on Scary-Crayon, so I figured I'd post it here as well. 😛

As much as I like certain offerings from many of the others, none of them come close to the original TMNT line. It was just so expansive, the sculpts were and remain among the neatest and most detailed of any toyline... and so many of the figures were just weird and novel. Universal Monsters and Star Trek Turtles? Turtles with birthday and military themes? (SUPERMUTANT TURTLES?!) Tons of figures with wild and play-enhancing action features in addition to the normal versions? It was just crazy awesome.

It was also consistent, which is something the 2K3+ Playmates lines have lacked. One might have felt that a particular sculpt was more detailed than another or a particular action feature was more effective, but every figure had more/less the same poseability and level of painted detail -- so you didn't have instances like the later Playmates lines where the Turtles figures were so markedly superior to every other release in the line. The NECA figures were consistent, but that's hardly an impressive feat since they all used the same body. 😛

Now, it's possible that the Nick line will eventually grow to the extent that the vintage line did, but I highly doubt it -- as I doubt that we'll ever see offerings from it as unique as what we got back in the 90s. I'd love to be proven wrong on that front, but until that day I have to cast my vote for the vintage line.

(Which isn't to say that all of my favorite figures come from the vintage line -- I love the NECA Turtles, and the new Nick figures are probably my favorite standard versions of the boys yet -- but the vintage TMNT line is still easily the best line of the aforementioned choices. I'd even argue that it's one of the best toylines ever.)

In retrospect, I guess I was answering the question of which was the best overall line rather than my favorite -- but even then I'd have to go with the vintage line. Sure, some of my favorite TMNT figures ever come from the NECA and Nickelodeon lines (I am totally digging the new Nick Turtles), but I've got more favorites from the vintage line than those lines (thus far) even have figures. I hope the Nick line lasts long enough to change that, at least!

-posted by Wes | 3:45 am | Comments (4)
  • ShezCrafti says:

    I had to go with NECA. Mirage Turtles FTW.

    But obviously I'm in love with the new Nickelodeon toys too, being that I've bought every Nick TMNT toy there is to buy so far...and I don't even collect TMNT toys. Is it September 29th yet??

    • Wes says:

      If you've bought every Nick TMNT toy available, you definitely DO collect TMNT toys. Welcome to the club. 😀

      And re: the show, why aren't you throwing things and boycotting it? Most of the women I know are furious about Jason Biggs...

      • ShezCrafti says:

        LOL, good point. I guess it's never too late to start. I don't really have much of a desire (or the requisite space in my home) to go back and collect any of the old toys other than what I saved from childhood, so I guess I just don't think of myself as a collector....yet.

        As for Jason Biggs, it doesn't bother me in the slightest and I wish everyone would calm the fuck down about it. I was born with the magical ability to understand that celebrities =/= role models and we shouldn't treat them that way. What actors say/do/think outside of their work doesn't diminish the talent they put into something. If we were to start holding everyone to the same ridiculous standards, that is, boycotting things just because Celebrity X did something stupid, there'd be no entertainment left.

  • I agree, Wes, the old line was just too damn bizarre and fun. Although I did have a Venus from the Next Mutation line that was missing a limb from a thrift store but loved that figure and had it riding in my car for years. Speaking of Next Mutation, vol. one just hit DVD store shelves a few weeks back. You picking that up? The second-half of the series releases Dec. 4.

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