In the late 1980s, four superheroes crawled out of the sewers of New York City, armed with bo, sword, nunchucks, sai, and pizza. Named after four of the greatest artists of the Italian Renaissance—Donatello, Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael—the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) were light-hearted antidotes to the self-important and often grim comic-book heroes of the day. Sure the Ninja Turtles could kick some serious shell, but the wise-cracking crew never went looking for trouble (as mutated turtles skilled in the art of ninjutsu, they couldn’t exactly walk around in public without attracting attention) or took themselves too seriously. Mostly they roused themselves from their sewer lair only when it was time to battle evil or come to the aid of their friends, both of which happened a lot.

First let loose on the world in 1984 by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, a pair of underemployed comic-book artists from Northampton, Massachusetts, TMNT began as a 40-page, black-and-white comic, printed on newsprint in a run of just 3,275 copies. Published by Eastman and Laird’s imprint, Mirage Studios, the first issue quickly sold out, spurring reprints and follow-ups, which have continued, albeit with a few multi-year gaps, for three decades. Concurrently, from 1988 to 1995, Archie Comics published “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures,” whose cartoony look and simpler plot echoed the animated television series that enthralled a generation of kids (and their parents) from 1987 through 1996.

The main characters in the series are Donatello (weapon = bo; he’s considered the smart one), Leonardo (weapon = sword; he’s the big brother), Michelangelo (weapon = nunchucks; for years his name was misspelled as “Michaelangelo”), and Raphael (weapon = sai; he’s the Turtle with a temper). In the original comics, all of the Turtles wore red, cloth masks over their eyes, but for the TV cartoon, each was given his own color—purple for Donatello, blue for Leonardo, orange for Michelangelo, and red for Raphael.

Other featured characters include a mutated rat named Splinter, the Ninja Turtles’ sensei—in the TV show, Splinter begins life as a human who then mutates into a rat. April O’Neil debuted in the comic as a computer-savvy assistant to mad-scientist Baxter Stockman, but she’s best known to fans of the animated series as a plucky TV reporter who is either always being rescued by the Turtles or helping them catch the bad guys. Casey Jones is a hockey-mask-wearing vigilante who comes to the aid of the Turtles in fights, carries weapons like baseball and cricket bats in a golf bag, and eventually marries April. And then of course, there are Shredder and Karai, two of the leaders of a rival ninjutsu organization known as the Foot Clan.

While the Mirage and Archie comics are the two most obvious physical manifestations of the Ninja Turtles franchise, Eastman and Laird got into licensing relatively early, even before the comic made the jump to television. The first Ninja Turtle figures were produced by Dark Horse Miniatures in 1986. Packaging consisted of a plastic bag filled with four lead figures stapled to a card, which bore the Dark Horse logo and the description “25 MM Fantasy Miniatures” (the only mention of the actual contents was a laser-printed sticker at the bottom of the card that read “TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES #142”). The animated TV show came next, followed by a licensing deal with Playmates Toys, which produced its first batch of Ninja Turtles action figures and accessories from 1988 to 1997. Playmates also manufactured subsequent series of Ninja Turtles toys in 2003 and 2012.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Museum of Childhood

Museum of Childhood

Embrace your inner child on this website from the Victoria and Albert Museum, filled with high-quality images and i… [read review or visit site]



Most watched eBay auctions    

Funko Hikari Tmnt Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle 2014 Sdcc Exclusive Prototype Tm02Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 Cgc 6.5 Tmnt 1st PrintingTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (1984, Mirage) 3rd Print Complete Tmnt Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters Game (nes, 1994 Nintendo)Super Nintendo Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Iv: Turtles In Time (super Nes)Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (blu-ray/dvd, 2014; Steelbook) TmntData East Tmnt 128x16 Half Pinball Plasma Dot Matrix Display Dmd Cleannoreserve Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Color Special #1 Cgc Ss 9.8 Error Autograph EastmanTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tmnt Michaelangelo Afa 90 1988 Only 1 In World(very Rare) 1995 Warrior Winged Leonardo With Weapons Tmnt Ninja Turtles VintageTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tmnt Original 11" Krang Body 100% Complete!Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ghostbusters 1 Cbcs 9.9 Gold Foil Variant (not Cgc)Nes Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 The Manhattan Project Nintendo Works!Tmnt Turtle BlimpTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (nes, 1994)(super Rare) 1991 Giant Krang Tmnt Body And Brain Teenage Ninja Turtles VintageTmnt Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3 Cgc 9.8 Super Rare Double Cover 1st Print1992 Hothead With Accessories & Card Tmnt Ninja Turtles Vintage FigureHuge Tmnt Vintage Lot! Includes Technodrome Other Vehicles Figures And WeaponsVintage Tmnt Ninja Turtles Lot Panda Khan Scumbug Wingnut Casey Jones Ace DuckTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tmnt Donatello Afa 90 1988 Only 1 In WorldTmnt Ninja Turtle Prop Suit Mask1990 Slash With Accessories & Cardback Tmnt Mutant Ninja Turtles Vintage FigureVtg 1988 & 1989 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Action Figures (some Unpunched)(complete In Box) 1993 Cave Turtle Donatello W Tyrannosaurus Tmnt Ninja TurtlesTmnt Ninja Turtles Kids Wall Stickers Vinyl Decal Art Mural Nursery Baby DecorTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (1984, Mirage) 3rd Print!Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Iv: Turtles In Time (super Nes, 1992)Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Iii: The Manhattan Project (nes, 1992)Vintage Tmnt Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Action Figure Lot Of 85 Loose FiguresNes Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3 Tmnt Complete Cib Rare!Tmnt Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classic Lot Late 80s To Early 90s Weapons1992 Movie Star Michaelangelo With Cardback & Accessories Tmnt Ninja TurtlesTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raphael Gift Set (blu-ray 3d + Dvd + Digital Hd)Funko Pop! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Set Of 6Huge Lot Of Lego Minifigures Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Tmnt, Ninjago, More1988 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Tmnt Leonardo Action Figure Moc PlaymatesTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Iv: Turtles In Time, Snes, No Reserve, Tested/worksPlaymates 1988 Collection Tmnt Rocksteady Bebop Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Iv: Turtles In Time (super Nes, 1992) Tested WorksTmnt Turtles In Time Super Nes1993 Tmnt Playmates Ninja Turtles Turtle Trolls Mike Leo Raph Figures CompleteVintage Video Game Sega Genesis Tmnt Hyper Stone Heist Box OnlyTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (blu-ray 3d Only)Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles NesTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Toys - Lot (secret Sewer Lair Playset + More!)Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3 (1985, Mirage) First PrintingPre-holiday Barbie Sale! 1988 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Shredder Nib & NrTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2014 ( Blu-ray / Dvd / Digital Hd ) Factory SealedTmnt Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash-up (nintendo Wii, 2007)Tmnt Afa - 1988 Series 1 -10 Back - Shredder - Unpunched - Pop Up Display Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4 (1985 1st Print) Vf Laird Splinter The FootSealed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Michaelangelo #5000 Tmnt Playmates 1988The Loyal Subjects Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles FiguresLot Of 200 Tmnt Accessories Weapons Parts Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesTmnt #1 (cvr Ri D) ''rare Blank Cover'' (idw) Retailer Incentave (2011) Nm/mt !Nintendo Ds Tmnt - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles With Directions & Case - TestedTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Blu Ray 3d Disc OnlyShredder Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classic Custom, Vintage Model, Amazing!!Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (blu-ray Combo Pack W/ninja Masks, 2014)