TMNT: Back from the Ooze!
December 29, 2012

Collectors of Playmate’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line have been pushed and pulled in every direction since the glory days of the line from 1988-1994. But finally, it seems as if fans can rejoice in the new direction that the relaunch has taken this year. For the first time, we not only have a reboot that promises a plethora of secondary characters, but also a redesigned set of Turtles toys that for once outshines their animated counterparts. Folks are pretty worried when word got out that creator Peter Laird was selling the Turtles to Nickelodeon, but if these figures are the fruit of that sale, then maybe the future is looking pretty bright for our lovable mutant reptiles!

Going in a totally new direction from both the traditional animated style and the super “Retro Turtles” that NECA made a few years back, these new Turtles are based on the current Nickelodeon cartoon, and are treated in a very “down to earth” style, with chunk limbs and a suitable gritty matte paint scheme. Each turtle is still readily recognizable, by their own shade of green to further seal the deal and has a completely unique body sculpt that reflects the character’s personality and body size: Donatello is the tallest, Michelangelo the shortest, with Raphael and Leonardo in the middle. Even the shells are completely different. This attention towards unique sculpting makes the figures seem like individuals rather than the same old figure with different paint apps.

It would be pretty amazing if the new Playmates line could match the sheer depth of character that the vintage line had, especially considering the wildly creative range of secondary characters and villains that appeared in the first few years of the line. But if the sneak peeks we’ve been getting are any indication, we might just get quite a few new and interesting sidekicks to the turtles this time around, if not sculpted at the same levels of detail as such favorites like Mutagen Man and Pizza Face. The trade-off seems to be sleeker sculpts with a much better color palette than the originals’ day-glo schemes.

All in all, we’re pretty excited to see what Playmate’s has in store for 2013 at the NY Toy Fair and SDCC next year! Keep checking back for more coverage of this anticipated line!


Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on,, The Wall Street Journal, The Saturday Evening Post,,,, Boing-Boing,, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
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