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Re-Collecting Classic TMNT Toys

Well, I think it’s official: my new "thing" right now seems to be classic/vintage TMNT figures…given the below, the ones I bought a couple weeks ago, and the ones that arrived just last week.

vintage_tmnt_from_bigfun_20170331

End of last week, since it was relatively "on the way home" from work, I stopped in at Big Fun (vintage toys store) and snagged three figures from "the case" (and got a surprise discount for buying multiples!) and one from a bargain bin.

General Traag came with a couple of his accessories, which I believe were part of the pricing. It was pointed out that Baxter and Merdude did not come with accessories–something I was totally fine with! (And having looked at stuff online, a number of folks sell Baxter without the wings, or the fly-arm things at all…that this one had those was the main thing to me!)

Finally, the Triceraton is missing its tail…but I already knew I could order a replacement tail online such that this one as-is and the tail combined will work out much cheaper than finding a "whole" figure.

While I’m sure I’ll add other figures as I see them, learn of them, or re-realize their coolness and such, my current "want list" is as follows, for replacing figures that I’d had and need/want to "restore" my original collection as well as adding characters I never did get as a kid.

Replacements

  • Ace Duck
  • Baxter Stockman
  • Fugitoid
  • Rocksteady
  • Splinter
  • Party Wagon (vehicle)

New (to me)

  • General Traag
  • Rat King
  • Leatherhead
  • Usagi Yojimbo
  • Dirtbag
  • Tattoo
  • Wyrm
  • April II
  • Merdude
  • Hothead
  • Krang’s Android Body (regular figure size)
  • Robotic Foot Soldier(s)
  • Toon Shreder
  • Dask (Neutrino)
  • Kala (Neutrino)
  • Zak (Neutrino)
  • Movie Star Leo
  • Movie Star Mike
  • Movie Star Raph
  • Foot Cruiser (vehicle)

A couple of other recent acquisitions (and the store price for these at Toys R Us has kinda set the bar for me for what I’ll pay for actual vintage figures!)

super_donnie

I don’t remember Super Donnie in stores in 1993…and I think by 1993 I was or had already shifted away from collecting the figures, in favor of comic books.

super_mikey

And not much sense getting Super Donnie without also tracking down Super Mikey!

(Presently, as this post goes "live," I’m on the hunt for the current-series Super Shredder…independent of these other Super _____ figures!)

tmnta_partial_shelf

I also believe I’m–at long last, this half-decade or so later–completely "caught up" on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures volumes from IDW.

I’ve been frustrated for weeks at the insane prices for vol. 2 of the TMNT by IDW series…why a "middle volume" (especially so early in the run!) would be out of print has been BEYOND me. Thankfully, the other day, I saw a list put out by Diamond listing new reprints of previously-out-of-print volumes, and spotted it on there…so I should be able to be caught up by the time the fifth volume comes out, whenever that is, in the next couple months.

I also want to get the rest of the Usagi Yojimbo Saga volumes before any of 5-7 go out of print. I have yet to actually read any of these (unfortunately!) but I’ve been "holding out" to also hopefully come across good pricing on the preDark Horse stuff, and read the entirety of the character’s saga.

I guess we’ll see what the next few weeks hold for TMNT stuff in general!

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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

clip_and_collect_profile_baxter_stockman_back

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.

TMNT_cards_baxter_stockman_front

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…

TMNT_cards_baxter_stockman_back

…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

clip_and_collect_profile_make_my_day_leo_back

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.

TMNT_cards_make_my_day_leo_front

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.

TMNT_cards_make_my_day_leo_back

…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!

Unexpected TMNT

Over the weekend, I’d stopped in at a Books A Million with a  friend. While there, I spotted a TMNT Mini Mates pack that I’ve somewhat had an eye on for probably a year or so (quite awhile, anyway). This time, though, it had a 50%-off sticker on it!

weekendhaul_tmnt_01142017a

While the full price was way more than I wanted to spend–even on something supposedly Comic Con exclusive–at half price, it’s FAR more reasonable.

Add to that the fact that I had a $10 card on me, and a BAM membership, and I walked out for 56 cents out of pocket!

weekendhaul_tmnt_01142017b

Of course, my OCD has kicked in a bit, and any savings is going to be offset by the fact that I now want to match this set with the Toys R Us exclusive TMNT Mega Bloks black-and-white figures.

I did stop in at a Toys R Us looking for those, and while I didn’t find what I was looking for, I was quite surprised to discover that there were a LOT more TMNT stuff from Mega Bloks than I’d been aware of, primarily gauging stuff by Walmart and Target (both of whom seem to be clearancing out the entire line, what little they’d actually carried!).

weekendhaul_tmnt_01142017c

While I’ve typically NOT been a huge fan of the classic cartoon version of Baxter Stockman–for a number of reasons–something to the mini figure grabbed my attention, and hit the right bit of nostalgia for me; so I went ahead and bought this; not so much for any accessories but just for the character itself.

weekendhaul_tmnt_01142017d

Apparently Mega Bloks also did the van (the "Party Wagon") as well as a $250 Technodrome; I never even realized these were out there!

Sadly, it seems like perhaps the line is dying, with "everyone" clearancing out the earlier sets from the beginning of 2016 and some of the summer Movie stuff. I don’t know if it’s to make room for more new stuff, or if Mega Bloks has "lost" the license already, or what.

My hope is that they’re just clearing way for some new, awesome stuff for 2017, though!

weekendhaul_tmnt_01142017e

Chloe the cat was not impressed with Baxter-Fly. However, when I tried to remove him from her presence, she tried to bite me. Lil’ Miss Attitude… (but I adore this kitty!)

Baxter’s TMNT-Lego Robot Rampage

I recently found the TMNT Baxter Robot Rampage set on sale for a good discount, so went ahead and bought it. Ended up with it sitting around for a bit over a week until I finally got it put together, but finally did, and while it normally wouldn’t be my favorite Lego ‘mech, its awesomeness is increased by the mini-fig TMNT…

BaxterRobotRampage

TMNT (2013) Toys – Baxter Stockman

After about 10 months of casually “keeping an eye out” and pretty much thinking this line had been given up on, I FINALLY found a new TMNT figure that WASN’T just a variant of one of the four turtles themselves!

I happened to be in a Toys R Us looking to see what DC Unlimited/Batman Unlimited/DC Classic figures they might have and at what price, and happened to notice unfamiliar-looking TMNT figures (some sort of camo/zip-line variant). But when I looked on the back of the card for THOSE, I noticed a couple other new characters as well…so actually looked through all the figures on the pegs.

Other than the zip-line turtles themselves, I found Baxter Stockman…and bought him on the spot, despite Toys R Us typically having a significantly-higher pricing than Walmart or Target (turned out to only be a few cents, though…I later saw Stockman at Target).

baxter_stockman_front

Offhand, this is probably my favorite Stockman figure to date…sure, he’s got that crazy battle-suit, but it sure beats the mutant-fly of the ’80s line or mechanical spider-body/human-head of the 2003 line.

baxter_stockman_profile

The profile fits what I know of the character from the current animated series.

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No new TMNT-allies that I’ve seen, which is a shame…not that I really can consciously think of any from episodes I’ve seen so far that would particularly qualify. Here’s hoping Casey Jones shows up in season 2 and gets a figure soon, though!

tmnt_badguys_assortment_baxter

One of the other cards showed a Rat King figure and some other random mutant in addition to the figures shown here. I have no intention of buying Snakeweed, and really have no particular interest in other randomish “mutation-of-the-week” mutants. Rat King is a possibility for an impulse buy. I’m looking forward to a Leatherhead figure, though, if they actually put that out!

TMNT Villains Micro-Series #2: Baxter [Review]

tmntvillainsmicroseries002baxterScript: Erik Burnham
Art: Andy Kuhn
Colors: John Rauch
Letters: Tom B. Long
Editor: Bobby Curnow
Cover: Tyler Walpole
Published by: IDW
Cover Price: $3.99

I hate the $3.99 price point. I’ve said that before, and I’ll keep saying it until it finally drives me to actually, totally give up on new comics completely. Broken record that I am, hating the price point is something that’s there, even when I don’t point it out this redundantly, even when talking about comics I otherwise enjoy.

I’m thoroughly enjoying IDW‘s TMNT reboot. I do kinda miss the classic stuff…and yet, we’re getting the monthly TMNT Color Classics series, which kinda scratches that itch. This new iteration is bringing together the strengths of numerous incarnations of the property, and making even the ridiculous, stupid stuff relevant and workable (take Krang and the Neutrinos, for just two examples). And I wish there was more. Maintaining its level of quality I’d be thrilled to have new in-continuity, pushing-the-overall-events-of-things-forward basically weekly.

But since we have a monthly title, I highly enjoy the companion series–first the “good guys” micro-series, then we had the Secret History of the Foot Clan, and now we’re getting a Villains micro-series. So I’m relatively content with that.

All of the above to get to the point here: this is another great issue of TMNT from IDW. Officially a #2 of a series spotlighting villains (the first having spotlighted Krang) this is also “the” Baxter Stockman “one-shot” or “micro series.”

We get some definite insight into Baxter here–but it continues his ongoing “subplot” in this continuity, as he works on tech stuff, assisting in the building of the Technodrome, the infamous war machine fans of the 1980s’ cartoon series will know quite well. But while the genius works on it, we see that he’s not just some simpering lackey, but has purpose behind his actions, and he’s not some fool playing into the end of the world with any true belief that he’d get anything worthwhile out of his current deal with Krang.

We see moments of Baxter’s past, his dealings with his father–who was a profound influence on him–along with the developments of the “present” plot points. We have the signature mousers about him in his lab, and we get a new toy–a “Flyborg,” a mutant fly armed with cybernetics…the fly being an almost too-obvious (to me) “nod” at the ’80s cartoon (and one that led me to fear Baxter’s fate in this issue). By the end of the issue we see Baxter’s agenda advanced, and pieces on the board have shifted ever so slightly as the ongoing battle situates itself for the larger things yet to come.

The writing keeps to the overall continuity, presents some insight into the character, and reminds me that this is a very good character, and I like it far more than I do the version displayed in the current tv series. I find Baxter far more interesting in control of himself, an intelligent (if a bit mad-scientist-y) individual, clever and not just some whining lackey or mutated bug or bumbling fool.

The art’s not entirely to my liking, though it’s not horrible. It comes off a bit cartooney, if not slightly abstract, and is done a great disservice by the fantastic cover that plants the idea of what the interior OUGHT to be. The story is conveyed and I’m not left scratching my head over what’s going on, really…but this issue definitely is carried on the strength of the story over the art.

Of course, as I’ve also stated numerous times–the TMNT get a sort of “pass” from me on things I typically won’t put up with in any other comics; one of those things is the visuals, as I’m more used to numerous visual interpretations of the characters, even issue-to-issue, due to the simple history of the characters and so many artists working on ’em.

While this issue certainly works best in context of the ongoing continuity, you still get a core story in and of itself in one issue; and if you’re following the TMNT stuff in general, this is well worth snagging.

Finally: this cover would be an excellent poster image…or at least, I’d not be opposed to having a poster of this image on my wall.

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