Sunday, June 27, 2010

Blast from the Past #315: Toy ideas from sketchbook

This is another page from the aforementioned sketchbook, and on close examination I find several things of interest. Basically, these are doodles and notes for toy ideas we would have sent to Playmates in a more coherent form.

Of particular interest is the list of "Themes for TMNT's in 1989", about halfway down the page. Readers of this blog may recall the much-derided (unfairly, in my humble opinion) "Music Turtles" from a year or two ago. Well, look here -- we were thinking about music Turtles twenty-one years ago!

Of course, that COULD just mean it's a bad idea which doesn't want to go away, but I suppose we'll never know… unless Viacom busts out a whole bunch of musician Turtles in their new toy line!

Another thing of interest to me is that although this is a page from my sketchbook, apparently Kevin Eastman added some input to it. The handle of the Turtle "Fist Launcher" appears to have been drawn by Kevin, and that dark shading inside the muzzle seems to me to be one of his trademark drawing moves.

Also, I think he may have written in one or more of the "Themes" -- at the very least, the letter forms in the word "Diver" are very KBE, especially the inclusion of a lowercase "i". -- PL


  1. The astronaunt look might have been used for the Raphael Space Cadet figure the following year 1990. The overall drawing also looks similar to the idea of a miniature turtle figure inside a robot that came out in '96ish towards the end of the orginal line. Maybe that look was inspired there too?

  2. Pete,
    As usual cool stuff and thanks for sharing!
    "Music Turtles" did happen though in 1991.
    The issue fans had with the new "Music Turtles" figures was the same issue we had with most of what Playmates was offering at the time.
    I mean honestly look at the detail and concept designs of the 90's figures and them look at the sculpting and design of the figures from around the time of the movie.
    Now don't get me wrong, they did a decent job with the 2k3 cartoon and Fast Forward toys (now those toys not being released is a shame).
    But still nothing compares to the classic tmnt figures, well maybe besides the toys NECA started and never finished.

  3. Musical Turtles... now there's a thought. Well, considering that they seemed prone to synchronized dance routines in the early movies, I suppose it's not too farfetched. I know many in the world of fanfiction write them as having at least some musical talent.

    It's fascinating to see these sketches. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Rejoicing in the day,

  4. I like the "Sewer Pals" concept idea, is this where the sidekick mutants that came packaged with so many of the figures came from? It would have been fun to see the sewer pals line exist with limited articulation (such as a swivel neck and arms). Maybe in a multi-pack format with 3 mutant salamanders, or 3 mutant cockroaches, etc... I always love looking at the "what could have been" sketches you post and eagerly await to see more. :-D

  5. This is the first I've heard of these new "Music Turtles." The old ones from '91 are among my favorite characters (I have Classic Rock Leo riding shotgun in the Turtle Blimp).

    Can someone post a picture of those designs or a link to some photos? Thanks.