I, like many of you out there, was a huge Ninja Turtles fan growing up. I had every action figure, every movie, every cartoon I could get on VHS. Even my breakfast cereal and the vessel in which I put it in were all either Ninja Turtles or Ghostbusters.
Recently I watched some of the old cartoon episodes and realized something. It was something that rarely ever happens…I found that my old action figures from the show were actually COOLER than their cartoon counterparts.
Gone were the days of ruined character to action figure translations:
(Dr. Claw the badass)
(Dr. Claw the Mongoloid Janitor)
Here are some of my favorite villains from the show and their action figure counterparts. You be the judge:
Granted, this is a Cronenberg rip off but who gives a shit, he’s still a cool character. And the muddled gecko faced cartoon can’t compare to the bad ass action figure with creepy grin.
The Rat King:
The one thing that makes this homeless, schizophrenic, rat lover stand apart from his cartoon counterpart: The Red Eyes!
How scary is that!?!?! it’s basically saying that he’s part rat! So while the cartoon version has a lazy Sly Stallone eye and probably drinks his own piss, the figure version will gnaw your fucking face off.
a walking talking gator is cool enough but the thing that sets the action figure apart are the accessories and the articulation. Sure the cartoon had the signature lobster/crawdaddy on the belt (what a weird show) but the action figure had a shotgun and a fucking BEAR TRAP!
Not to mention the fact that leatherhead’s jaws opened and closed! I used to make him eat all kinds of shit. Subsequently I broke the bottom jaw off of three leatherheads.
The Rock Soldiers:
Besides not looking like a Hershey turd, the action figure just has a ton of detail. I don’t remember much about the cartoon counterpart (probably because it’s fucking lame…I mean a rock? really? Even Krang and his giant robot space baby are cooler than that) but the action figure always looked pretty sweet.
I always dug Wingnut (probably because I was always a batman nut too) and this figure was just too cool. Not only did he come with his sidekick screwloose but his accessories actually clipped onto his wings!
Gone were the days of saying goodby to missing weapons that eventually found their way into a pile of dog shit, here was an awesome idea that more figures should have employed. Plus, he wasn’t really a fat lard like the cartoon (as I write this i’m realizing what a poorly animated show it was)
I don’t remember ANYTHING about this character on the show (aside from the fact that he may or may not have spoke with a Peter Loree voice…) I just remember thinking “huh, I don’t remember seeing this figure on the cartoon”. I suppose I was wrong but rightfully so, what an awful purple nightmare this cartoon character was. Yuck.
This is pretty much the ultimate figure. Blinged the fuck out and had a spot in the top of his head that if you held him up to the light HIS EYES GLOWED! WHAT!?!?!
The cartoon was just kind of a boring grey peanut.
fun fact: I used to have Metalhead team up against the other bad guys with the turtles. and by used to I mean just the other day.
What a bad ass right? purple claws, razor sharp teeth, cray cray wonky eye, a spiked shell and a black bandana!
surely his cartoon counterpart has to be close right?
He was originally supposed to be part of a different turtle team: The Developmentally Challenged Ninja Turtles.
Missing teeth. a weird universal soldier eye patch. and a pirate sword. What a weird fucking cartoon.
Of course…there was an exception to this trend:
The name alone makes you want to piss yourself. Shredder. That just screams I mean business. And his look isn’t too shabby either. So you’d expect that an action figure representing the Turtles biggest bad to be pretty awesome yeah?
not so much. Thin as a rail with Charlie Brown eyes, I always just kind of felt bad for this Shredder. My turtles never fought him, he never commanded a foot army. He mostly just laid in the lego hospital I built, getting visits from Beebop and Rocksteady until he passed on.