So about that new Ninja Turtles cartoon: I dig it. A few months ago I did a post detailing my thoughts on the new toys, and as a cursory thing, I collected all four of the Turtle figures. Alright, AND the Kraang figure, AND a Foot Soldier, AND Metalhead. AND some kind of ninja bike thing. Totally cursory though. Besides, it wasn’t like I was going to watch the cartoon or anything.
Then I admitted I didn’t watch the cartoon in my last blog post. Like I’m the grand hipster of the Ninja Turtles. Like I’m too cool for it, and like I don’t know the aforementioned “ninja bike thing” is in fact a Ninja Stealth Bike that mutates from stealth mode into ninja battle deployment mode. At least two people commented something about it. Even the wife was like “yo, people are calling you out on not watching the Ninja Turtles.” Except she probably didn’t say yo.
So last Saturday morning, I poured myself a bowl of Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch, found the sweet spot on the couch, grabbed the remote….and waited around for three hours. That cartoon doesn’t even come on until eleven eastern time. That’s a luxury, kids. When I was kid, you had to be up at eight in the morning to see the good cartoons. So I sat through something like one million hours of Spongebob and five million commercials for tween shows that profoundly disturbed me. (Hold me, Spongebob.)
Finally, the Turtles came on. Of course, I loved it. It has a lot of throwback to the original series with the trademark goofiness and slapstick, but it’s anchored by themes of growing up and getting along with your siblings. Throw in ninja fights, mutants, and pizza, and it’s not hard to see why the Ninja Turtles are such an enduring franchise. I appreciated the show’s clarity and self-aware humor as well. That’s the thing that always strikes me about many cartoons today; they’re savvy and clever. The stuff we watched as kids was bogged down in tropes and idiocy, with the occasional PSA thrown in like a good-for-you can of spinach.
Now, about that important life update. Yes, I have mutagen ooze.
Playmates must be licking their chops with excitement knowing they’ve got a brand new generation to unleash the same repackaged crap on. And I say “repackaged crap” lovingly. Playmates has the road map to squeezing every last dime and ounce of life from children and their parents. And I say “every last dime and ounce of life” lovingly. I, for one, cannot wait until five years from now when they’re selling dumbed-down dinosaur-themed Turtles and desperate troll versions.
I say “desperate troll” lovingly. I have the complete set of four.
But I don’t want to be completely cynical about this, even if those smiling troll Turtles are solely responsible for every cynical nerve in my body from a young age. Seriously, I don’t collect this stuff because of happy, cuddly nostalgia. I collect it because of what it did to me, like an old Army vet collects militaria.
Still, I really dig the new mutagen ooze. The packaging is far superior to the original, which came in a dumpy plastic trashcan. The new ooze comes in hip scientific canister.
JUST LOOK AT IT!
Also, the ooze itself is better. The original stuff was boring green slime. This stuff is shimmery blue. It actually fits the definition of “ooze.”
But the true reason to buy this stuff are the bonus mini-turtles inside. Yes, Mutagen Ooze, you had me at “bonus mini-turtle.” I’d originally purchased only one canister of ooze, but as soon I had a look at the mini-turtle inside, I immediately ran back to Toys R Us and bought three more to have all the Turtles.
Just check these guys out (with M.U.S.C.L.E. figures for reference):
I know a great collectible when I see it. (And a set of four is already listed on eBay for a cool one-hundred bucks.) These little guys are quality, made from hard plastic and are very detailed. I can’t decide whether to display them with my mini-figures collection or with my Turtles collection.
Here’s a pro-tip if you decide to seek out the four Turtles for yourself. I stood in the Toys R Us aisle for roughly thirty minutes shaking all the ooze canisters trying to get the mini-Turtles into view and using my detective “Turtle clues” to discern which one was contained inside. Or you know, you could just look at the serial number printed on the canister, which ends in A, B, C, or D.
So to recap: new cartoon = good, ooze = sparkly, mini-turtle = investment, and trolls = grizzled war vet. Or something. I just know I’m going to heaven because I’ve been in hell.