My 2016 TMNT Wishes

By January 2, 2016News

With 2015 now in the past, I have decided to come up with a top 10 list of things that I would like to see happen in 2016 when it comes to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle’s franchise.

10.) Kicking off the list at number 10, I would like to see Nickelodeon renew the 2012 TMNT cartoon series for a sixth season. When Nick bought the franchise back in 2009 I wasn’t sure what to expect. Sure we would be getting a cartoon, and I would watch it no matter what, but would it capture a new audience, please the existing fan base and last more than one season? A simple answer is yes, it has done that and more. In my opinion, there have been more enjoyable episodes than not through the first 82 productions. Additionally, the TMNT craze is alive and well among the young and old. A quick glance at store shelves and turtle apparel wearing individuals out and about, backs my notion. I feel that there is a lot of untold stories and potential with this series that could expand beyond the announced five seasons.

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9.) This next wish is probably far-fetched but I am going to include it anyway. As wonderful as the IDW Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comic series is, I still miss Mirage stories. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading and collecting the Tales of the TMNT TPB’s that IDW has been releasing, as I have yet to read the entire run from volume 2, but it will be two years this May since we have gotten a new issue from Mirage TMNT volume 4. So my wish at number 9 for 2016 is to see Peter Laird release issue #33 of the Mirage TMNT volume 4.

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8.) When the Loyal Subjects released their first wave of blind bag figures, I was thrilled that they were based off of the Mirage comics. It was a breath of fresh air to see a company shy away from the old toon designs. I picked up three figures and planned on getting the entire wave. Then news broke out that they would be releasing a series 2, but this time the figures would be in the 1987 cartoon style. That announcement completely knocked the wind out of my sails and I was in no rush to finish collecting the first wave. Eventually I will complete wave 1 because that Shredder, April, both Foot Soldiers and Karai are great looking! However, I will not be picking up any other TMNT Loyal Subjects in 2016 unless my 8th wish of the year comes true: The Loyal Subjects go back to the Mirage universe for wave 3.

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7.) Back in 2006 Playmates Toys was to release a Purple Dragon figure in series 9 of their TMNT line. Unfortunately, Playmates pulled the plug on the figure and to this day we still don’t have a plastic interpretation of the iconic Purple Dragons (not counting 2k3’s Hun). To me, that is sad because this street gang has been around since the very first issue of Eastman and Laird’s TMNT. Therefore, coming in at number 7 on my 2016 wish list is the release of a Purple Dragon figure from Playmates Toys. If I wanted to get greedy, a three pack featuring Sid, Fong and Tsoi of the Purple Dragons would be a great exclusive for any store!

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6.) Since the initial release of Diamond Select’s TMNT Minimates figures, I have been contemplating on diving into the line. Although these guys are much smaller than the figures that I am used to collecting, they are well painted, great renditions of the Nick cartoon turtle characters. Not to mention that most of the figures are packed with awesome, character specific accessories.

I still purchase Playmates figures but with the quality level diminishing and character selections chosen for release, I have only been picking up the figures that I truly want (I used to buy two of each figure, one to keep MOC and one to open). Although the latest releases by Playmates have been a bit better, the Vision Quest turtles really left a sour taste in my mouth.

The Vision Quest Nick designs were so awesome, had great action figure potential only to see Playmates drop the ball. But fear not, Diamond Select released their versions of the Vision Quest TMNT figures, along with their sick Mirage four packs this past year, and I knew that it was time to start buying into their line. Therefore, to continue to feed my addiction my wish at number 6 is that Diamond Select announces a wave 4 of the TMNT Minimates line in 2016!

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5.) It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of the 2003 TMNT cartoon. Anyone who follows the site could tell you that. I will be elaborating more on my personal affection for the series on down the list. But I have always felt that this series hasn’t gotten the love that it deserves from others. At number 5 on my list for 2016 wishes is that the 2k3 cartoon starts feeling the love that it so rightfully deserves. I would like to see the designs used on new merchandise such as clothing, posters, figures and random items like a coffee mug or key chain. I only have one shirt from this series and I honestly can’t even recall where it came from. Finding cool merch that uses the 2k3 designs is sadly a rarity and that needs to be fixed.

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4.) Coming in at number 4 is something that a large majority of 2012 TMNT Playmates Toys figure collectors will applaud. We need a human Karai figure in the 2k12 Playmates line!! Make it happen Playmates, enough said.

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3.) The last three wishes on my list for 2016 could really go in any order, but I think that if I really had to place them in a prioritized order then this is how it would be.

NECA revolutionized TMNT toys with their 2008 release of comic book turtle figures. They became the new figure craze for TMNT fans. However, this same company that had us throwing money at them turned around and broke our hearts by cancelling the second wave of figures that consisted of Shredder, a Foot Soldier and a Foot Elite Guard all in their Mirage designs. It wouldn’t be fair to place all of the blame on NECA though as rumors swirled that Playmates Toys kept them from distributing the line to major stores, which obviously would impact sales.

It would take almost 7 years to stop the bleeding and hope. The hero to the rescue was not NECA or Playmates but MONDO. I’ll be honest, I never even heard of MONDO until they put their high end TMNT figure line on display this past year….and they were Mirage designs with OT head swaps to please the TMNT loved ones.

But wait…it gets better! MONDO has gone on record in saying that a second wave would be released for their TMNT line and Shredder would be a part of it. So at number 3, my wish is that MONDO releases a Mirage Shredder, Foot Soldier and any other character from the Mirage universe in 2016 to round out their next wave of figures! Casey Jones was also rumored to be included. How sweet would a Mirage influenced Casey MONDO figure look next to Raph!? In case you wondered, yes I have a MONDO TMNT subscription and am salivating to get my hands on the first releases.

2.) I remember picking up the IDW Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ongoing comic series for the first time back in 2012. At that point there were already around 10 issues out and I gobbled up all of them. I will never forget reading that series and the excitement that it brought me.

I was mainly a cartoon, figure and movie fan back then but I realized how much enjoyment I had been missing all those years by never reading the comics. Sure I had been a fan since the 80’s but I wasn’t a big reader and by the time I was old enough to read an adult TMNT comic, Mirage was in volume 4. So I never got into the comic world until the IDW TMNT series. And now I have IDW to thank for all of my Mirage books, some random Marvel and DC selections, as well as the current IDW series.

The IDW team has yet to disappoint and we are already through 53 issues! The writing, the artwork, the character depiction and the overall character choices and development has been fantastic. Of course one of the first things that I thought of while reading this series and seeing Old Hob for the first time was “I would love to have an Old Hob figure”. Not to mention turtle figures in any artist form that the toy companies wanted to go with. Yes, every artist from this series is THAT good.

So that leaves us at number 2 on my wish list for 2016. Please, PLEASE, IDW, create an action figure line for your TMNT ongoing series! I would buy every figure released. Heck I would buy two of every figure released! What better way to kick off the next run of 50 issues than with an announcement of an action figure line???

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1.) A few numbers up the list I talked about my love for the 2003 TMNT cartoon series. This series is really the TMNT that I grew up with as I was not even born yet when the first season of the 87 cartoon aired. I recall watching the 87 toon later in its run, and of course the movies, but my most vivid memories are from the 2k3 era.

My Saturday mornings consisted of me sitting in front of the TV while the TMNT kicked shell on the FOX Box, then 4Kids TV and finally on the CW4Kids. The darker tone really drew me in. I like an edgier take on the TMNT than the silly 87 cartoon. Don’t get me wrong, the 87 toon has its place and did wonders for this franchise but I never shied away from telling people that I liked the 2k3 cartoon better.

Playmates Toys also released figures from this series, which is and has been my main focus when it comes to my collection. I absolutely love the designs of these figures! Playmates released so many great characters from this series. I know I thanked IDW for getting me into the TMNT comic world overall, but I also have to thank the 2k3 cartoon for that too. Knowing that the series was loosely based off of the darker Mirage comics definitely sparked interest in me wanting to read the original Eastman and Laird TMNT.

But let’s get back on topic here. I have always felt that this series was under-appreciated. As mentioned before, we rarely see TMNT designs based off the 2k3 designs. Then there is the real problem. This series, and it pains me to say it again, has never been released in sequential order. We were only given the first two seasons, in order, and an incomplete season 4 DVD release. I’m honestly not even sure if all of season 3 and 4 found its way onto DVD because it was so annoying to keep track of all of the random, sporadic releases.

For whatever reason, the initial releases were random episodes thrown together in DVD form. We did receive a Ninja Tribunal complete season 5 DVD and the entire Fast Forward series, but the cream of the crop, seasons 1-4, have never been released properly.

Therefore, at number 1 on my list of 2016 wishes: I want to see a properly sequenced, episode by episode, season by season, box set release of this wonderful, amazing TMNT cartoon series!

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Nickelodeon has been giving the series some love within the last year or so by airing episodes on Nicktoons and releasing some DVD content. That has given me hope that this series was not forgotten but the DVD releases are seeing random episodes yet again. Come on Nick, do the right thing and give us the series in its entirety!! I strongly believe that you will be happy that you did because these box sets will fly off of the shelves.

That wraps up my top 10 TMNT wish list for 2016! Please feel free to add your own wish list in the comments section. I hope that everyone has a safe, happy and joyous 2016 and that all of your wishes come true!!

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