Friday, October 10, 2008

Blast from the Past #20 repost: Original Turtle Action Figure Prototypes

When, back in January of 1987, Kevin and I made our first trip out to Playmates Toys' offices in California to discuss plans for the proposed animated show and the toy line, we were shown two Turtle figure sculpts, illustrating two possible directions Playmates was considering for the look of the action figures. The first one we saw was this "chunky style" Turtle (below), very much in the style of the original "Masters of the Universe" action figures.





It was a nice sculpture (although the goofy cloth headband with the eyes drawn on it was kind of lame), but when we saw the second version (below, on the right) we were sold.



It was much closer to the way our Turtles looked in the comics, and as you can tell from the image, very close to the way the TMNT action figures eventually appeared. It's kind of scary to think of what the line would have been like if we had gone with the first version...! (These images are frame grabs from a VHS-C video recorded on a primitive lunchbox-sized video camera in the conference room at Playmates' offices. Trivia note: that's Kevin's hand in the images.) -- PL

15 comments:

  1. I dunno why, but I kind of like the look of the big one. He even has a sort of He-Man 'I have the Power' like pose.

    Peter, this raises a question for a possible cool DVD extra for the 25th. Are there any home movies that might make interesting behind the scene turtle moments? For instance, footage of the Henson people creating the Turtle Costumes? Or video of the cast just chilaxing in between takes? Sort of like this for Ghostbusters 2?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOtP2J-JkRo

    If there was any interesting discussion in the Playmates video that could be edited together in an interesting short, it wouldn't be a bad idea for a 'Turtle Talent' type DVD special

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  2. -->> ..damm i'd love a 'Ralph McQuarrie' concept WHAT IF type version Turtle toy like the second one there and the original bulkier ROCKSTEADY fig.

    >v<

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  3. That's awesome. The chunky one isn't bad, but I'm glad you went with the second style.

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  4. -->> ..hell yeh,J .

    Where are these things residing now ??

    >v<

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  5. " Neil said...
    Peter, this raises a question for a possible cool DVD extra for the 25th. Are there any home movies that might make interesting behind the scene turtle moments? For instance, footage of the Henson people creating the Turtle Costumes? Or video of the cast just chilaxing in between takes?"

    Neil, I know there is quite a bit of "behind the scenes" footage from the making of the first movie -- the Henson people sent us videotape showing the making of the suits, and we also got tape showing the martial artists trying out the stunt suits in various pieces. I also took some video with my own camera when we went to visit the set in North Carolina. I haven't looked at this stuff in years, but I suspect there would be material there of interest to fans of the movie. -- PL

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  6. "~ tOkKa said...
    -->> ..hell yeh,J .

    Where are these things residing now ??

    >v<"

    I never saw the chunky Turtle sculpt again, but Playmates gave Kevin and me each one casting of the other Turtle sculpt. I still have mine, on a shelf in my house. -- PL

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  7. I kind of like the "Chunky" look, except the head. ha ha. It's like they blew it at the last moment ... I'm still pining for Issue 10-ish era style figures. Since childhood! ha.

    By the way, I really enjoy this blog. I hope any negativity goes away, because I'd be sad for this to end.

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  8. Did this scene show up in the "Behind the Shells" video?

    I'd love a special edition DVD of the first movie (or the second, or even the third)!

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  9. YES YES YES YES!!
    Please help get the first movie a special edition DVD! :D

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  10. -->> Damm you guys we better get back into hyping that DVD that again or W .B. is never gonna look at this !!

    Good reminders !!

    >v<

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  11. I have to say, there's something really charmingly 80's about the big chunky one!

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  12. I like the chunky figure but the smaller one is far better you guys made a great choice going with the smaller one. One thing about the tmnt toys is that they've always been affordable, if they were big they would have been more expensive and who knows if they would have been as successful.

    I think it's awesome you have the smaller one on your shelf, you must have one sick collection of Turtles stuff, perfect for future bloggings?

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  13. cool stuff. and surprisingly good image for where you got it from.

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  14. "Ectopaul said...

    I like the chunky figure but the smaller one is far better you guys made a great choice going with the smaller one. One thing about the tmnt toys is that they've always been affordable, if they were big they would have been more expensive and who knows if they would have been as successful."

    It is one of those things that is fun to ponder. I am very glad that Playmates went with the smaller, less cartoonish version, in large part because it just appealed to me aesthetically in a way that the other one didn't. But I do wonder sometimes how things might have gone if the larger version had been chosen.

    "I think it's awesome you have the smaller one on your shelf, you must have one sick collection of Turtles stuff, perfect for future bloggings?"

    I have a few more things that are probably worthy of blogging about... although, truth be told, I didn't keep a lot of stuff from the old days. -- PL

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