Thursday, November 13, 2008

Blast from the Past #113: Illustrations for our ad for the Dark Horse miniature lead figures

One of the most exciting things that ever happened in the early days of the TMNT was the introduction, by a company called Dark Horse Miniatures, of a line of very detailed small lead figures of the Turtles and some of their supporting cast. I believe this was our first or second licensing deal (glow-in-the-dark t-shirts may have come first).

This was the first time we'd ever seen our characters rendered in three dimensions, and it was a big thrill. The sculpting was perfect and the poses they chose were excellent.

The artwork above is something I drew, using the figures as reference, for an ad we ran in the early TMNT comics in an attempt to sell some of these figures through mail order. I can't remember how many we sold, but in a way it was irrelevant -- I just love the fact that these things existed at all! Dark Horse (not related to the comic book publisher of the same name) went on to do several more variations, including a wicked cool Triceraton in a flying harness, and a bigger Turtle figure (about two inches tall, as I recall). I'm not sure if the company is still in business. -- PL


  1. I've got my hand painted triceraton in its plastic case sitting on my book shelf. The detailing is incredible for such small figures.

    Dark Horse also did that Groo and dragon figure.

  2. I especially liked the Mike figure. I remember having to bend him a bit to get him to stand up.

  3. I have the original 4 turtles pictured here, plus a 5th turtle (Leonardo) in a separate pose (but he is also the same size, not one of the bigger ones). I love these things.

  4. SSSH! Don't mention these things Peter, I still havent tracked them down yet (aside from the Triceratons)! haha


  5. Yeah these things are simply great!
    I was lucky enough to find them in an old comic shop for shelf price years ago in my younger days lol.
    I love that they even went on to make characters like Doc Feral who have been overlooked in just about every other medium.
    p.s. that reminds me I seriously love your art in those role playing books.

  6. -->> TERROR BEARS , BABY !!

    ** PAIN

    ** FEAR

    ** DOOM

    ** Nightmare

    ..those were the favourites.

    Finally got 'em this year.

    I also got Murakami Gennosuke it's a pretty small collection.

    but Gen's got a small Harem of ORC GIRLS by DH to keep him company.


  7. i have the larger raph miniature, but it's not built yet. i got paint but never painted him.

  8. Yeah Terror Bears also Dave love those guys to, I wish we could see more things like that in the turtles world these days. *sigh*

  9. Hey PL, I remember seeing these pictures in some old TMNT comics... But I don't believe I've ever actually seen the figures. Any chance you got some photos of the little guys?

    I'd appreciate it,

  10. An interesting artwork. Thanks for the information.

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