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Winston World and the Weekend Haul: Weekend of March 17-19

winston_world_weekend_haul_blogtrailer1While this weekend was Wizard World in Cleveland, I never had any intention of attending that. I’d attended a Wizard World convention in Columbus a few years back, and decided that it’s not a convention "brand" I care to deal with (long story’s another post someday; short story is that it’s too expensive for too little comic-content, and it seems unlikely that the brand can possibly ever get back to the Chicago edition of the con I attended in 2007).

Fortunately, Carol & John’s opted to hold a sale for those #NotAtComicCon: Winston World!

Along with that, Half-Price Books had a week of coupons beginning last Monday, with two days of 20% off your most expensive item; two days of 30%; two days of 40%, and culminating in the final day’s 50% off your most expensive item. While 20% didn’t mean much to me, I jumped in, taking advantage at the 30% and snagged a few things, as I showed off in last week’s Weekly Haul post for Wednesday and Thursday.

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My primary interest in the Winston World stuff was the 75%-off graphic novel bins. There’d been several books I’d had my eye on that weren’t quite justifiable to me even at 50% off (and/or just didn’t have room in the "budget" weeks I was there) that would certainly be more than worthwhile at 75% off!

While one of the main books I was interested in was no longer there, I did find the three above that I couldn’t quite talk myself into passing up for the price. (Namely, each was cheaper than 3 current Marvel single issues!)

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The Ultimate Comics: Divided We Fall, United We Stand was still there, so I snagged it. Then I started poking through back issues, and snagged the Peter David Supergirl #1, which puts me one issue closer to a complete run on that.

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The 50% off back issues brought the cost of these issues to around or under half the cost of a current DC issue, so I snagged the three Superman Specials and the actual Superman issue that had Superman meeting Destiny for the first time (and reprinted in the DC Retroactive – Superman: The ’80s).

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I also picked up several Batman issues post-Death in the Family/pre-Lonely Place of Dying that I’m missing (or pretty certain I’m missing). A bit more expensive than I’d’ve preferred, but they’re issues I don’t tend to see in quarter-bins, and for 50% off, it brought them into the price-realm of "no worse than buying a current comic." And kept me well under $10 an issue!

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For convenience’s sake, snagged most of the The Day of the Krypton Man arc, likely to join with Krisis of the Krimson Kryptonite as nostalgia reading in the near future. Unfortunately, they did not have the second Adventures of Superman issue (Chapter V) but I was pretty sure I’d be able to snag that without much problem later.

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Along with the Winston World/St. Patrick’s Day edition of the shop’s sticker that was being given away with any purchase, I also opted to buy one of the regular ones. I haven’t decided yet where to actually stick them, but I’ll try to remember to post a photo here or on Facebook once I do!

All in all, I got out for around the cost of 12 current Marvel issues!

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I then ducked into Half-Price Books to use a 40% coupon. Despite the spine damage (which I’m hoping I can at least somewhat repair with some glue) I opted to snag the Five Years Later Omnibus, as I can’t imagine finding a copy anywhere near this price elsewhere/when. This completes my "set" of New 52 "event-Omnibus" volumes (already having the #0 issues volume from 2012’s "event" and the 2013 Villains volume).

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A friend visited over the weekend, and while we were out and about, we stopped in at a vintage toys store in the Cleveland area–Big Fun Toys. Loads of great toys new and old to see, plenty of classic games and books, too. While I have my eye on some figures that were in a display case and thus more expensive…I picked up these four TMNT figures at the excellent price of $3 each or 4/$10! I was going to get three, but on learning of the 4/$10, I went back to the bin and grabbed the Fugitoid figure! I’d had a Fugitoid back in the day, but it disappeared over the years, so this one will (for now) serve as replacement. Genghis Frog, Groundchuck, and Scumbug are new-to-me characters that I’d never owned.

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At HPB again, using the second day’s 40% coupon, I snagged the Dungeons & Dragons boardgame Tyrants of the Underdark. Way above my price range at full price…but far more reasonable at 40% off! Not quite as cool as a couple of the other D&D games, but still a worthy addition to the games shelf!

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Sunday, I drove out to a third HPB location, hoping to snag a hardcover I’d seen some weeks back. Unfortunately, it was no longer there…someone apparently was more determined than me to get it, taking advantage either of opportunity, the week’s coupons, or both.

On my way back, I swung by Comic Heaven and found that Adventures of Superman issue I wanted! Also snagged some card boxes to use for shelf displays, having found them to be excellent, cheap "risers"!

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I stopped back into the closest HPB, determined to go ahead and use the 50% off coupon. I hadn’t seen/"left" anything at the one I bought the D&D game at, so went back into this thinking of getting the Batman: A Celebration of 75 Years that I’d been eyeing. While it would have made for an excellent purchase…I figured it’s a sort of "anthology" volume, I’ve no clue my likelihood of getting other _____: A Celebration of __ Years editions beyond the Superman and Lois Lane ones I already have, and it seemed a shame to use 50%-off on such a low-priced item that’s well worth its marked price.

So, since they still had it, I opted for the "set" of Impulse #s 1-89 plus Annuals 1 & 2.

With the coupon, they became 25-cent books…these 91 comics cost me the same as what SIX current Marvel issues would.

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All in all, a VERY expensive weekend (compared to usual). But, no money out of pocket solely for the privilege of walking around and then giving dealers cash for product. No significant lines, no major miles or gas costs, no lodging, etc. Yet the weekend’s "haul" is certainly on-par with a solid convention’s haul…but without the general hassles OF a convention.

Now I’m really counting on the upcoming "new comics day" being a small one!

The Weekly Haul: Week of March 15th, 2017

This week was a smallish week again, though I got four new comics instead of only the 2-ish apiece the last couple weeks.

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The two Super books. I almost want to wait on reading Super Sons until after Superman Reborn is done, but probably won’t. I already read Superman #19 and posted my thoughts on it). God Country was quasi-accidental, and I’m annoyed (yet again/as always) with variant covers crap (seems despite supposedly cutting back, every time I turn around, Image has stuff with variants out!)

I broke down and bought the $4.99 Star Trek: Deviations one-shot figuring maybe it’d be a "fun" read, but it wound up being rather blah to me, especially after reading the piece after the story about its genesis. And the waste of valuable pages for "sketches" and such involving a variant cover, rather than more pages of actual story. And three two-page segments about three other Star Trek books IDW is currently publishing…all of which referenced something about 3 pages, yet each only had ONE page of actual "preview," and STILL only two including the page that’s nothing but an AD for each series.

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On a higher note, taking advantage of a week of Half-Price Books coupons (but having waited til they got to 30% off an item), I snagged Superman in the FIfties, which I believe leaves me now only missing the In the Sixties volume.

I’ve become quite the fan of the Aliens stuff the last year-plus again, and this "art book" (for slightly less than two Marvel single issues) will more than outpace the time it’d even take to read those two Marvel issues, just reading captions and enjoying the art!

And because I didn’t want to risk "missing" it and it was already cheap enough to basically be a "waste" of a high-percent coupon, I snagged the Green Lantern volume, which puts me one closer to a complete run of these older ones. (Probably just in time for them to start doing those fat $20 ten-to-twelve-issue collections of Kyle’s run)…

I’ve got my eye on a couple other things for the 40%-off coupons Friday and Saturday. I may do a quick weekend post if I score what I’m considering. Alternatively, might just post to Facebook and be done (I do sometimes post photos and other stuff "exclusively" to this blog’s Page…there should be a link on the left of this blog post).

For now, looking forward to next week’s Action Comics issue and "hoping" for a rather "small" week again…

The Weekly Haul – Weeks of March 1st & 8th, 2017

Week of March 8th, 2017:

This week was a pretty small week for new comics for me: only two new issues!

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We’ve got the second chapter of Superman: Reborn in Action Comics #975 (a 38-page issue for only $3.99!). And the second issue of Blake Northcott‘s All New Fathom.

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Along with the new issues, I noticed a couple of familiar-in-style polybag tops sticking out of the $1 bins…upon investigating, they were indeed issues of Wizard! For being only $1 apiece, I snagged all 8 issues present, figuring I’ll at least enjoy opening them and going through the goodies that came with them…as well as "replacing" posters long since ripped out and lost.

Ziggy was curious what I was doing, so got himself into the photo. A nice little bonus, no?

And because I totally forgot to do it from last week, below I’ll cover last week’s haul.

Continue reading

Classic TMNT Toys: Rahzar and Walkabout

It’s kinda hard to believe that toys I remember getting new off the pegs in stores like Hills, Best, KMart, Toys R Us, Children’s Palace are now considered vintage. Harder still to believe that I still have some of the cards around, as well as the figures (yet even harder to believe that I have a couple cards for figures that I do not seem to have around anymore)!

This is the fourth (and final, for now) in a series of posts sharing these cards/figures, much as I’ve done with the newer 2012-present line.


Rahzar

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Rahzar is one of three characters I primarily recognize of the “regular” figures produced based on TMNT II: The Secret of the Ooze. (The others being Tokka and Super Shredder). I believe the “Movie Star TMNT” figures may have also been out around this time–softer/rubbery figures that looked a lot more like the movie versions than the standard figures.

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Of course, the packaging reminds one that yep, this is definitely based on the movie character. Yet, something about the look (and accessories) make this seem like more an “adaptation” than anything else; an “alternate take” on the character.

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I don’t recall any of the accessories being used in the movie, which puts this version of Rahzar as more of a random mutant than a movie-character.

This card back is another one rich with showing a huge variety of figures, from turtles and their variants to allies to a decent assortment of villains.

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The figure itself isn’t all that impressive to me, and I’d probably take it as just some generic wolf-mutant or quasi “werewolf” character if I didn’t actually know what it’s supposed to be from the start.


Walkabout

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To a certain degree, I’m rather surprised to even have this character. Until I found a case of my old figures, and these cards last year, I would not have been able to tell you I had the figure. I vaguely remembered the figure/character existing, but would have thought it was some sort of déjà vu from seeing it at the store. Obviously, turned out it was because I actually had the figure.

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Though I’m not opposed to an international/non-U.S. character, nor have any problems with a mutant kangaroo…as a mid/late 30s adult, I do have some concern with the “stereotypes” presented by the character. I guess there are worse ones to be had, though…

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This is yet another figure that apparently had a mini-character included as an accessory…though as with others, it’s long since disappeared from my life.

I remember a friend having Groundchuck and Dirtbag…in retrspect, I definitely wish I’d also gotten those, or at least Groundchuck…I’d gladly take having Groundchuck over, say, Pizzaface.

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This is another figure with the back/forward legs rather than a wider-range join to the body. It fits the character, though, allowing more of an appearance thing. The tail is kinda odd, but I imagine it works for what the sculptor(s) were going for, and minimizing the overall dimensions of the character.


What do you think of these two characters? Did you know that there’s a character in the current 2012-present animated series named Rahzar, that is some sort of “werewolf” character, and is itself a “secondary mutation” from a different character in the first season of the show?

While this series of posts has focused on figures where I have the original cards, would you be interested in spotlight posts on other vintage/classic TMNT figures, period, even without accompanying cards?

Feel free to chime in in the comments section of this post!

Classic TMNT Toys: Ray Fillet and Storage Shell Michelangelo

It’s kinda hard to believe that toys I remember getting new off the pegs in stores like Hills, Best, KMart, Toys R Us, Children’s Palace are now considered vintage. Harder still to believe that I still have some of the cards around, as well as the figures!

This is the third in a series of posts sharing these cards/figures, much as I’ve done with the newer 2012-present line.


Ray Fillet

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This is another “early” figure for me, and also from early in my developing vocabulary. I originally read/pronounced the character’s name “Ray Fill-eht” rather than “Ray Fill-ay.”

I remember recognizing the similarities in this character, and a character in one of those “storybooks” that were out in the early 1990s, that I later learned were actually based on issues of the Archie-published TMNT Adventures. This Ray Fillet was the character appearing as Man Ray and one of the “founders” of the Mighty Mutanimals. There’s a much different-looking version appearing in contemporary IDW-published TMNT comics.

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Like many of the other figures, this was another “goofy”-ish mutant, rather silly and hardly anything “deep.” I’ve more recently learned that apparently a number of creators that were part of Mirage Studios at the time were encouraged to create/submit characters as possible action figures when the toy line hit it big, which certainly explains some of the random-ish characters.

As for me, I certainly appreciate that many of them were incorporated into comics that gave them more depth, even beyond anything granted in “an episode” or so in the animated series.

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I haven’t a clue where “Fish Stix” wound up, but I do remember making the connection that this was apparently a Glublub…though it was Bubbla that made the impression in the comics.

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Here’s the actual figure! One of the ear pieces is broken off, and the color-change elements of the chest and “shirt” are long since faded/gone-screwy. But it’s my genuine, original copy of the figure, still around to this day some 25+ years after getting it!


Storage Shell Michelangelo

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I’m particularly interested these days whenever I see the spelling “Michaelangelo” from this time period. Apparently Eastman and Laird goofed on the spelling–It’s actually Michelangelo–but their error was picked up and carried through half the character’s existence, I believe only eventually corrected as of 2001 or so when Laird relaunched a TMNT comic series.

I remember the Donatello with Storage Shell figure as the first/only of the turtles with that feature…then later the other three got the treatment. This was one of the ones that at the time I did get a “complete set,” really appreciating the molds/paintjobs (though I wouldn’t’ve had the phrasing to describe it as such back then). In retrospect, I suspect it was that the figures were pretty standard-ish–no fancy costumes, no externally-weird “theme” or variant. If one didn’t know the shells opened, the figures just look like slightly brighter/better-colored versions of the standard characters!

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To this day, I can’t begin to explain the “storage shell” notion for the actual characters. As toys that come with a bunch of miniscule accessories, I can appreciate that this was a way to have a little storage compartment to keep a bunch of them handy for play time…but showing the character in action with a shell open on a hinge is just kinda creepy…especially after the story in the IDW comics a couple years ago where Donatello was horribly injured when Rocksteady sledge-hammered his shell…

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I miss the days of these individualized cards with figures. The fronts are customized to the specific figure, as is the back–detailing included accessories (that I believe were quite visible through the bubble on the front) as well as the profile section.

I also miss having large multi-wave assortments displayed, to see what’s (been) available and exists out there. Contemporary toys showing the 4-6 figures within the same/current “wave” is ok-ish, but there’s something pleasantly rich about seeing so many allies and villains chaaracters just on the card…and it certainly did wonders for making me want more figures as a kid, giving me something (always) to be “hunting” for!

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Here’s the figure itself. Probably my only real “complaint” to the color scheme and such is the pink gums to the exaggerated grimace this version of the characters had. It just makes it seem all the more exaggerated, though at least definitely served to differentiate from the “original” version of the standard figures…especially since there was no special “costume” or such to otherwise set these apart when the shell is closed into place.


I think it’s safe to say that these are two of my favorite figures at this point, in looking back. The sculpts on the storage shell turtles, and Ray Fillet (though I prefer the Man Ray version of the character).

Next up, to wrap up this mini “series” of posts, I’ll show off TMNT II character Rahzar and what I consider to be a “later” random mutant, Walkabout.

Did you ever have any of the “storage shell” turtles? While I don’t recall if this concept was revisited during the run of the toys based on the 2003 animated series, “storage shell” versions were released a couple years ago for the 2012-present iterations of the characters.

Are there any classic TMNT toys of characters you’d want to get just for the sake of having the character?

Respond in the comments section for this post!

Classic TMNT Toys: Mutant Military TMNT

It’s kinda hard to believe that toys I remember getting new off the pegs in stores like Hills, Best, KMart, Toys R Us, Children’s Palace are now considered vintage. Harder still to believe that I still have some of the cards around, as well as the figures.

This is the second in a series of posts sharing these cards/figures, much as I’ve done with the newer 2012-present line.


Lieutenant Leo

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I was all about the characters in the late ’80s/early ’90s, and if I couldn’t get unique characters, I chased after “variants” of the main characters. In many cases I only got one or two (where they even had “full sets” for a singular theme), but the “Mutant Military” set is one where I got at least three, and current have three; I don’t recall if I ever had the Donatello figure.

I find this particular line a bit more questionable as an adult, particularly given life the last 15+ years and the way my views on the (U.S.) military, military stuff in general, and the subject of “war” have changed and developed.

I’m not fond of just tossing these characters into “military gear” and pushing military “stereotypes” or such, when very real people risk their lives serving their country. But then, NOT being military myself, I have no idea, honestly, if these would actually BE appreciated or not.

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Somehow I find it highly doubtful figures like this would get made nowadays. And having fictional characters like this shown waving a United States flag, with the red/white/blue and white stars theme to the packaging?

Yeah, not all that likely these days, I don’t think.

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Unlike some of the other card backs, I find it interesting that the other figures shown are nothing but turtles variants. No non-turtle allies and no villains.

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The figure itself, decked out in military gear.


Midshipman Mike

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As a military-themed figure, and this one apparently being the Navy figure, I’m probably least thrilled with it. My dad served 21 years in the U.S. Navy, and my grandfather was also U.S. Navy.

The language with this figure strikes me a lot more as “pirate adventure” than something reflecting a contemporary (even in the early 1990s) U.S. military thing.

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The eyepatch puts me in mind also of “pirates” and/or playing off the notion of Popeye.

I also stand by my statement on the Leo figure that having the turtles waving a U.S. flag would, sadly, probably not happen today, nor the color scheme of this packaging.

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I’m somewhat interested at seeing the “mini figures” that were included as accessories with regular figures–this one had the Sewer Sea Gull, which is rather generic…compared with more important/significant “accessory” characters such as Joe Eyeball with Muckman, or Screwloose with Wingnut.

Also note that–keeping consistent for the wave–all other figures shown here on the card back are turtles variants.

Finally, this is a figure whose card even retains the peg-hole piece, apparently never got completely separated from the card. I understand this is a definite rarity, and a coveted thing in modern toy collecting with figures that are typically sold/displayed from pegs in stores. Other than “noting” that, I’m not getting into that matter at present–it’s not a thing that I myself care about with buying toys!

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The figure itself is a bit odd for one of the turtles…the legs seem to be on a different sort of connector to the body, with more of a forward/back poseability rather than the more rounded “ball” joint the regular figures tend to have. I suppose it lends itself to the figure looking like he’s walking across a ship’s deck or something, but whatever.


Green Beret Raph

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The more I “analyze” these cards and truly take in the words and such of ’em as a mid/late 30s adult, the more I am certain these would not be produced today…or at least, certainly not without some huge protest, petition campaign, and other scandal/controversy!

It’s also interesting as an adult to “read between the lines” here at what could be taken from the profile, but also to see how “real life” is glossed over to keep it aimed as it was toward kids.

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Again with the flag and packaging color scheme…as well as the cut-but-unpunched peg-hole on this one. As another figure I apparently got from Hills, I can only imagine I found these sitting on a shelf, perhaps placed there at the time if there wasn’t room on the pegs. (There was once a time when stores had dozens of pegs, seemingly entire aisles dedicated to TMNT product, primarily these figures…and they’d be fully-stocked, not just 1-3 figures loosely placed on each of 3-4ish pegs!)

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And another figure with a mini-character included as an accessory…though again, a rather forgettable/insignificant one…though I’d be rather entertained at having it now as an adult!

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While I can’t speak to the quasi-camo pattern to this figure…at least the character fits the uniform, with plenty of green, and the muted darker red for Raphael.


Next up, I’ll look at a couple of my favorite classic figures, Ray Fillet and Storage Shell Mikey!

If you’re military, or know someone who is–what do you think of these figures? And if you’re non-military, same question?

Feel free to leave a response in the comments section of this post!

Classic TMNT Toys: Baxter Stockman and Make My Day Leo

It’s kinda hard to believe that toys I remember getting new off the pegs in stores like Hills, Best, KMart, Toys R Us, Children’s Palace are now considered vintage. Harder still to believe that I still have some of the cards around, as well as the figures (yet even harder to believe that I have a couple cards for figures that I do not seem to have around anymore)!

This is the first in a series of posts sharing these cards/figures, much as I’ve done with the newer 2012-present line.


Baxter Stockman

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While I’ve eventually given in and "accepted" it for nostalgia, I am not a fan of Baxter Stockman as a white guy (he was black in the original comics!) nor as a mutant fly. I think to me he just comes off as rather 2-dimensional or "just another mutant" as a fly, rather than as a brilliant (if deranged) scientist after his own goals and clashing with the turtles when they try to stop him.

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Of course, I didn’t "know any better" at the time when I first got this figure. It was just another character, one that a friend had and I wanted my own, so eventually got it. Here’s the front of the card…

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…and here’s the back. At this point, the figures still had the "origin of the turtles" at the top, along with the "ad" for the canister of "ooze" stuff that came with a miniature un-mutated turtle. I’m not sure if it’s déjà vu or what, but I simultaneously think I’d gotten one of these, yet wonder if it was just that I had wanted it but never actually got one.

There were still very few figures at the point this one was out, with Baxter, Ace Duck, and Genghis Frog (and Krang?) as new allies and enemies additions.

You can also see the "hole" where I’d actually cut out the "pizza point" from this figure. I seem to recall having done that with a bunch of my earliest figures…as well as having cut out the "clip and collect" profile cards…though when I took a stack of them with me to school one day, I lost them. That may be why I apparently kept the entire card backs on later figures.


Make My Day Leo

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I vaguely remember this figure, though it’s one that I do not currently seem to have in my on-hand collection of my original figures.

While I did get several "variant sets" of all four turtles, when I only got one from a given "set," I tended to go with Leonardo, who was originally my favorite turtle of the four.

I find it amusing enough as an adult to see various "references" that were over my head as a kid, such as the whole "Make. My. Day." thing, or the Humphrey Bogart references, etc.

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I kinda like the bit there on the left…the "Go ahead!" part playing into the figure’s name. Go ahead! Make my day! Timeline-wise, the character "manhandling" Dirtbag there at the top places it around the time of that character, Groundchuck, and Chrome Dome.

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…And the back of the card strikes me as being from the height of the toy line, with this large array of ancillary characters–particularly on the villains side of things. I see a number of figures that I’d love to get ahold of to this day–though I’m absolutely not willing to "shell" out big dollars for them…I’m not that sort of collector.


Next up, I’ll get into the "Mutant Military" TMNT figures…and those I have the actual figures for, as well!

Do you remember either of the figures in this post? Did you have either of them? How about other figures shown on the card back(s)?

Feel free to leave feedback in the comments for this post!

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