If you follow my blog, you were probably wondering where I hid the ninja turtles. I have been postponing this entry because I like presenting toys which are complete (with all original accesories), and for TMNT, it is quite difficult to find 100% complete figures, especially if you do not collect them seriously. Let me explain this... I have maybe 40 figures or so, but all of them bought at flea-markets for very little money. I also have some accesories (most of them traded for other figures and accesories) but they belong to many different figures. Consider that, in this series, each figure had unique accesories that no other figure shared, and if you really want to complete figures, you have to spend a lot of money either in 100% complete figures or loose accesories.
So here’s my first entry about this great toyline from the 90s, one of the most famous of all times and also one of the vintage toylines that has a better health today, still being rebooted every back an then and being made into movies.
I should write something about the TMNT here, but I am feeling kind of lazy, because I already wrote everything I could for an article in the magazine F.E.A. nr. 9 together with my friend Pablo (you cand a link for this magazine in entry #361).
There we wrote around twenty pages running around the creation of the TMNT by Eastman and Laird, about the comics in which they are based, of course, about the toys, but also about Playmates as a company and many other toys rather than figures and merchandise made over the years. The article is in Spanish, but if you cannot read it, I assume there are thousands of web that can tell the history of these turtles better than I could ever do.
I will focus now on the first two toys I am presenting today: Raphael and Bebop. Raphael was the first turtle that was created, and many people's favorite. At least in the early days (I do not follow the TMNT since a few years), Raphael was the rebel of the group, and usually lose his temper during the fight, becoming more violent than the others. Interestingly, I would say, that among children in the late 80s, Raphael was the least favorite of all 4. People were especially fond of Leonardo, for being the leader, and Michelangelo and Donatello for their cool weapons, but Raph somehow was seen as the less interesting hero. For people who read the comic, Raphael is often ranked as the favorite turtle, probably because of his attitude towards life, being a rebel, sarcastic and several problems he had during the first issues of the Mirage comics.
Bebop, on the other side, is a character that didn´t exist in the original Eastman and Laird´s universe, but was created for the toyline and cartoons. Maybe there were not enough characters to start a proper toyline, and Playmates invented Bebop and Rocksteady. In the first comics, only Shredder and Foot Soldiers appear, together with other characters that would be available in further waves, like, for example, Krang. Curiously, Bebop was my favorite character when the line came out, for many reasons: because it is a pig, for its colour combination, for that strange drill-weapon, for the nice details casted in its clothes and body... I still appretiate the nice toy it is, but I would now preffer the Foot Soldier or Shredder.
FACTS and FIGURES:
- Name: RAPHAEL vs. BEBOP
- Toy Line: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) (Wave 1)
- Year: 1988
- Company: Playmates (U.S.A.)
- Size of the figures: 3.75’’ or 9,75 cm