Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are getting a comics-accurate Funko Pop! line. TMNT were created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird in 1984 as a black-and-white indie comic book series from Mirage Studios. Since that time, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have gone on to become world-famous pop-culture icons, showing up in every form of media and merchandise available, from movies to animated shows, toys, apparel, video games, stage shows, and so much more. Since their inception, the TMNT have rebranded time and again, reaching each new generation that follows, keeping the franchise alive and thriving.
Eastman & Laird famously created the characters as a joke, simply doodling and brainstorming, later creating a whole team of Ninja Turtles and making it loosely tie into the origins of Marvel’s Daredevil (although never officially). The toxic ooze that turns the turtles into walking, talking, kicking, punching ninjas is unofficially the same cannister that blinded Matt Murdock and gave him his abilities as The Man Without Fear. The other connection Eastman & Laird made was in naming their evil ninja brood The Foot, which is a riff on Daredevil’s nemesis clan, The Hand. Marvel connections aside, TMNT went on to be a dark and somewhat violent comic in subsequent early issues, mirroring the style of the time, especially by artist Frank Miller.
Today, Previews World announced preorders for their new line of TMNT Funko Pops! which are designed in the style of Eastman & Laird’s original comic series. Featuring the block-like representation of comic-colored art, as well as black-and-white variants of each character to mimic their black-and-white appearance in the early comics, the TMNT line has the staple characters of Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo. In addition, the line has the Turtles’ hockey-masked ally, Casey Jones, and arch nemesis, The Shredder, also recreated in their comic-book likenesses. Take a look at the figures below:
Today, TMNT are featured in the IDW comic book series, which has become massively popular in 2021, especially “The Last Ronin” series, which leaps into a dark future where there’s only one Turtle left, fighting for survival in a post-apocalyptic world. The latest Nickelodeon series, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, was cancelled after two seasons, and a possible Netflix sequel film was rumored to be in the works. In addition, Seth Rogen is producing an animated TMNT film for Nickelodeon that’s setting up for an August 2023 debut. There’s also another live-action reboot in the works from SNL‘s Colin Jost and his brother Casey Jost.
It’s hard to pinpoint what it is that makes Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles such a popular brand, but the creative flavor put forth by such a diverse and odd assemblage of characters makes for some imaginative entertainment, and maybe that’s enough. Having gone through so many incarnations, be it live-action or animated, TMNT have stood the test of time since their creation to be a nostalgic well that fans continue to return to. With so many projects currently running and more on the way, it’s no mystery that Funko would tap this particular resource, which will surely be a collectible treat for uber fans who began their TMNT journey from the very start.
Source: Previews World