So. One day I was thinking about the potential SC pieces I can do with all of the toys I've got lying around, but as I glanced over the wealth of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures strewn about my floor I was overcome with a vague feeling of unease -- something was very wrong, and I couldn't figure out what it was. And then, suddenly, it dawned on me with a terrifying immediacy that I didn't own an April O'Neil figure.
From my computer seat, by simply turning my head and leaning around a bit, I could spot two Michaelangelos (new spelling) and three Raphaels, and from the above image you see that I owned at least four versions of every Turtle: four Donatellos, six Raphaels and Leonardos, and a whopping seven Michaelangelos. Hell, I even had three Bebops. What in Master Splinter's name, I ask you, would I need three Bebops for?
And not one April! I know that I used to stage all sorts of complicated storylines and adventures with these guys, but the following question remains: How in bloody hell did I do it without April O'Neil? April was integral to the Turtles' story! We met the Turtles at Disneyworld back in '91, and while Shredder, Bebop, and Rocksteady were MIA -- hell, not even all four Turtles made appearances; apparently only Raph and Don decided to show -- there certainly was a cute lady with brown hair and a loud yellow jumpsuit masquerading as our favorite Channel Six news reporter. Why? Because you can't have the Turtles without April O'Neil.
Okay, so maybe she wasn't so cute, but my point still stands. You can't have the Turtles without April, yet -- somehow -- I did. And no matter how many times my Turtles battled the X-Men on a heap of my dad's old medical journals or clung to the Batmobile as it crashed into an office building formed from hardback Berenstain Bears books and collections of fairy tales, they were worse off for not having their yellow-clad gal-pal along for the ride.
Which isn't to say that she didn't come along sometimes. See, my sister had an April figure, and while occasionally we played together, more often than not when April was around it was because I
Because she's a girl.
Seriously, that's gotta be it. I look out over my enormous toy collection and see two female toys among the buff masculine hordes: Sailor Jupiter and Rogue. And get this! Sailor Jupiter was a gift -- one who came relatively late; when I was in 8th grade (Sailor Moon was one of the first animes I got into) -- and Rogue was also a gift, though not originally for me. You see, I bought Rogue for my sister one Christmas, who didn't want her and basically threw her back in my face. My sister's reasoning? "You bought this for you." I wish I could say I actually had, but I hadn't -- I'd genuinely gotten Rogue for my sister. (She wanted a Tinkerbell, but for some reason I didn't buy it -- either because I couldn't find it or because it was too expensive. In any case, she wasn't settling for Rogue.)
But since she didn't want poor Rogue, I took her in, and she tagged along with the other X-Men and fought just as hard as the others (okay, maybe not as hard as Wolverine, since I definitely showed some favoritism there, but probably even harder than Cyclops). These aren't the only two female toys I own, though -- later I picked up a Storm (poor, poorly made Storm, who fell apart and is now lying somewhere with one arm and no legs) and later still Princess What's-her-name came to play with Earthworm Jim. I don't know when I bought Storm, but I was in high school when I got What's-her-name. And later still I bought a ton of Buffy figures -- but none of them have ever been opened.
So what happened? I got over the petty sex/gender divisions that are pushed upon us when we're little. "Girls wear pink; boys wear blue." "Girls play with dolls; boys play with trucks and action figures." (But I never really played with trucks.) "Girls wear makeup and pretty jewelry; boys wear sports jerseys and rugged baseball caps." And so forth. I don't get it. Why do we do this to the kids? I don't know. Trying to make the girls all feminine and the boys all masculine, are we? But riddle me this: what's more homoerotic than an army of musclebound male figures, many of whom are only wearing underwear and boots? Oh, right, an army of musclebound male figures, many of whom are only wearing underwear and boots, rocking back and forth as "YMCA" by the Village People plays from a nearby clock radio. Silly? Yes, of course it is, but what did you expect? Garbage in, garbage out.
My point, you ask? You can't have the Turtles without April. My Turtle collection would suffer the ill-effects of sexism NO LONGER! This problem had to be remedied! April O'Neil...had to come home! But alas I could not be her savior -- the laws of action-figuredom are quite specific; a champion is required to recover a missing damsel no matter what, and a human cannot be a champion in the action figure realm because humans are not action figures. Also, they're really big and that wouldn't be fair at all. And since Leonardo had been April's rescuer in the game from which my screenshots were taken, he took it upon himself to answer the call here as well. How noble! How heroic! How manly!
And so, the quest for April began... -- CLICK TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED!!! --
Just click the image above! Simple, no? ;)