The new film will create so many more merchandising opportunities, but let's look at the worst ones from the past 30 years of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!
This year marks 30 years of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles being a thing that exists. Over that time, though their popularity has waxed and waned, these money-makers have never totally stopped making money. Maybe that's why everyone and their uncle licensed the characters to appear on all kinds of stuff. And over 30 years, there's been a lot of junk!
To help us pick the strangest of the strange, we turned to TMNT experts Jonathan Zelenak of The Sewer Den and Cody Mix of Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang. Here are their top 10 picks for biggest TMNT WTF items:
Know of something worse? Share it in the comments below!
Hostess Turtle Pies
One of the earliest — and most beloved — of all weird Turtles licenses went to Hostess, which made green, "puddin'"-filled pies that kids could eat. Why green? It's either to represent the ooze that mutated the shop turtles into ninja heroes (in which case, gross), or it's meant to evoke the green of the Turtles, themselves ... so you're eating turtle flesh?! (Also gross.)
Laundry "Basketball" Hoop
"You know who likes to keep their room clean, little Johnny? Your heroes, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Yes, the ones who live in a filthy sewer. Sigh. Look, just pick up your clothes, ok? Mommy's tired of having this conversation with you."
The most awkward and uncomfortable thing about a TMNT bikini is that Raphael is mostly cropped out of the image. Oh, and also that it's a bikini.
Fishing Tackle Box
Unlike most properties who would sell their likeness for a "tackle box" and have it be filled with gummy worms, or something, this Turtles version was actually filled with 101 pieces of real fishing gear ... like the kind you use to catch real fish! We wonder how many children were tricked into fishing with their father, because they thought that if the Turtles were involved, it wouldn't be so mind-numbingly boring.
EverQuestDragon on flickr
Throughout their lifespan, there have been so many weird action figure variations of the Turtles (farmers, wild west, monsters), and they were all ridiculous. For those of you lucky enough to have missed the early 90s, Trolls really were a big thing back then. This set has all the earmarks of ad wizards doing some ad-math (Hot Troll x Hot Turtles = HotHot TrollTurtles) and seeing a no-can-lose situation.
If you think really hard about it, this one is kinda fitting because a "Rat King" exists in both the world of the Turtles and in the world of The Nutcracker. Just Raphael is available in 'cracker form, though, ticking off 3/4 of all Turtles fans.
In another instance of "grab any hot trend and slap Turtles on it!", this hockey table latched onto the - no kidding - table top hockey craze of the late 80s/early 90s. (And by "craze" we mean that we got one for Christmas, around then, and didn't like hockey very much, so there must've been a larger reason.)
It's not so weird when you realize it's supposed to be used to make crafts like duct tape wallets and stuff. Or, it's more weird, if you realize that and you're a heating / ventilation specialist.
Kids. Love. Watching plants grow. Love it. Ch-Ch-Ch-CHAI-YA!
Sexy Turtle Costumes
Uhhh.... We think we'll just leave this one alone.
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