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Article: Cowabunga



The beginnings

In the beginning, there is a duo: Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. The first, screenwriter, became friends in 1982 in the second, who was a designer. A year later, the two accomplices are found in a Mac Donald in Massachusetts in which Eastman works. By discussing, they will imagine on a paper tablecloth the draft of what will become a planetary phenomenon: teenage mutant ninja turtles or the ninja turtles in the language of Molière.

The funny fusion between the turtle, renowned as a very slow animal and the ninja, a character embodying speed and discretion fascinates our two friends and Laird is soon to offer the creation of a team of four turtles, each equipped with 'A different weapon. The public is there, and contacted by more and more distributors and booksellers, they repeat the number and are working on a suite. The public is there, and contacted by more and more distributors and booksellers, they repeat the number and are working on a suite. This time, finished DIY, they created in 1983 Mirage, their own studio and embarked fully in the TMNT adventure.

The basic idea is to parody the comics of the time and in particular those of Frank Miller whether Ronin or Daredevil on which he works at that time with David Mazzucchelli.



In 1986, the license came out of the paper format under the leadership of Dark Horse which offers several small lead figurines, but also a role play published by Palladium Books.

But it was a year later that the series changed dimension following obtaining the license by a Californian toy manufacturer: Playmates toys.
Just out of a bitter failure with Jill, an ultra sophisticated doll at nearly $ 200, the company is counting on the four turtles to break the seriousness of competing figurines, including GI Joe.

Over the discussions, it is decided that to properly sell the figurines, they will have to be boring to a TV series. And in a more financial than artistic logic, the turtles, initially all dressed in a red strip, each will each display a color a color as well as have some differences in skin colors. A rather clever way of making children buy 4 figures rather than one that they could equip several weapons.

We are now in December 1987 and the animated series, which is also a French co -production, arrives on screens.


Six months later, ten figurines were then presented, the four turtles of course, but also Splinter, April O’Neil, Shredder, a Soldier, Bebop and Rocksteady football: this is the start of a completely crazy Turtlemania. This series was even, in the early 90s, the most watched cartoon of the United States. Thus, for ten years, seasons of the series and Playmates figurines will be accompanied from 1988 to 1997 for a total of 193 episodes.



To ride the wave of success by shouting "Cowabunga" our four turtles will find themselves transposed into video games in 1989 by Konami for a now cult game for its rather formidable difficulty, especially during a formidable aquatic level.


For the little anecdote, the game will be called Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles because the word ninja was too negatively connoted for the Anglo-Saxon video game industry.

In 1990, this time it was on the big screen that TMNT appeared with a costume and animatronic film that will bring back more than $ 200 million. He will therefore initiate the creation of a suite in 1991 and then a third opus in 1993 without any of these three attempts being unfortunately very interesting from a cinematographic quality point of view.

In 1992, the series again had a huge success on the living room console, and more precisely on Super Nintendo with Turtles in Time, a game still developed by Konami.


We are still in Japan, but four years later when two OAV (Original Video Animation) come out to launch a new range of toys. We are in pure feeling with super powers, fusion, and even sparkling armor.


As all the good things have an end (except the sausage which has two), the series will stop and a live series attempt in 1997 will be bounded miserably after only two seasons, the creation of Venus de Milo, a female turtle, And a flash passage in two episodes of the Power Rangers in space.


Between 2003 and 2009, a second animation series was born, but this time, Mirage Studio takes more hold on the project which gives a series much closer to comics and much less focused on comedy. Having experienced some production setbacks, such as a season 5 broadcast after a season 6 which itself changed the tone of the series or a season 7 which completely changes its design, the series remains a nice success and will be accompanied by figurines until its stop.



To conclude everything, a feature film bringing together the two series will be created on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the license.


In 2007, an animated film in 3D will be created, trying to relaunch the license, but without too much success, this new feature film will also have its series of figurines which will never be sustainable, too bad, it was rather nice .


2012 arrives, people are terrified by thinking at the end of the world, but Nickelodeon decides that it is the right time to make long -term investments and obtains the rights of ninja turtles for the modest sum of 60 million dollars and launches A third series. It will have 124 episodes spread over 5 seasons, but above all will be an opportunity for Playmates to launch 3 waves of toys, and Lego to take the license.


We will voluntarily obscure the two films produced by Michael Bay because the risk of being vulgar is far too high, but we can on the other hand the excellent series of 2018 which, under cover of a very clear graphic style, is epic in Devil and superbly animated. An animated film happening in this universe was even distributed by Netflix this year.

And to stay in contemporary, let us quote Shredder’s Revenge, the Beat Them All Playable at 6 of Tribute Games which is a big hug to lovers of the first animated series.


Finally, and before presenting you News, know that in France we are very lucky to have Hicomics which publishes very beautifully the recent comics of our four favorite Batracians, but also classic comics. It is a fairly unique chance to have editions also neat for niche comics and it would be a shame to deprive yourself of it.


At Urban Comics, we can also cite three crossovers with Batman who are very nice. Note that one of the volumes has been adapted in animated film and that it is, with the film Netflix, the best transposition of turtles on a screen.

And since an Article Artoyz would not really be one without a presentation of a few figurines fresh online, let's talk a little bit about Super7.

For several months now, we have been offering you lots of Reaction Figure, 100% retro figurines that adapt full of pop culture universes in the broad sense, film, music, cartoon, basketball, and of course in this range, there are a whole bunch of ninja turtle figurines.

Find them here

But since yesterday, we have also offered you 12 models of Ultimate figurines. If we understand of course the four turtles in the listing, we also have Splinter, Casey Jones and several bad guys going from Bebop to Rocksteady via Baxter.

18 cm high, ultra articulated and supplied with a whole bunch of accessories, these figurines are the perfect opportunity to return to childhood with figurines which, do not ment, make almost all of my colleagues salivate at Artoyz.



Find them here


If you want to deepen the universe of ninja turtles a little more, I allow myself to send you to which is a gold mine of information.



But also on the Mea's YouTube channel which devoted no less than 9 videos to turtles, whether in film, video games, and even in board games.

Mr Meeea

1 comment

“Le public est au rendez-vous, et contactés par de plus en plus de distributeurs et libraires, ils rééditent le numéro et planchent sur une suite.”
j’ai cru que vous alliez l’écrire 4 fois ;)
bonne bonne fête !!


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