My wife came across a Buzzfeed article the other day about 18 Ridiculously Awful Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Action Figures. She knows I’m a big TMNT fan–and I just so happen to be in the right age group to appreciate such atrocities–so naturally she had to share it with me. I went through the list, picking through my brain trying to remember which ones I used to own before stupidly selling all of them during those awful “I’m too cool for toys” pre-teen phase. Much to my amusement, I was successfully able to identify quite a few that were once a part of my old collection. Muckman? Check. Pizza-Tossin Michelangelo? Yup, I had it once. Turtle Trolls? Pretty sure I had them all. Mr. Burne? Oh boy, that was a useless one. He was always holding a damn sandwich. What’s a kid supposed to do with that? Imagination can only go so far.
The article sent me through nostalgia lane. It even got me a little more pumped for mo-cap Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot that’s coming out in a couple of weeks (yes, I know, it’s going to be awful, but a late 20-something can be hopeful, right?). Then something happened. My wistful smile quickly turned into an expression of slack-jaw awe as I scrolled down to the very last position on this list and witnessed the awful Turtle toys to beat all awful Turtle toys. It was the stuff of nightmares and candy-coated dreams combined, an amalgam of bad ideas that could have only been developed by a clueless, child-free corporate boardroom. Take a deep breath and check this out:
Behold, in all their putrid glory: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles/Star Trek crossover action figures! Obviously, I had no idea that these things existed. Had I known about them when I was a kid, there’s a good chance I would have begged my parents to buy these for me–Star Trek fandom also runs deep in these veins. What can I say, I was an idiot child. I didn’t know what good things were, and by default, I didn’t know what bad things were, either.
Let’s just forget the fact that these two universes have absolutely nothing–nothing!–to do with each other, except for the fact that Playmates had the licensing rights for both franchises. Let’s also forget that these particular Turtles have hair, which is blasphemous notion in its own right. What really bothers me, you see, is the fact that they had a golden opportunity here with job-placement, and these buffoons completely wasted it.
Captain Leonardo makes sense. Leonardo is the de-facto leader, he can be captain. But they have three other positions to fill: Chief Engineer, Chief Medical Officer, and a First Officer. What to do, what to do?
Well, Donatello is the brainy one, always building gadgets and contraptions and the like. It makes sense to make him the Chief Engineer. Hell, he even managed to obtain a doctorate degree via correspondence courses in the 1987 animated series, so making him the Chief Medical Officer would have worked as well.
But no. Apparently thinking wasn’t part of the memo when Playmates cooked up this stupid idea, so they went ahead and made Donatello the First Officer. They even gave him Vulcan ears! Raphael, best known for his hot temper and yelling “damn!” throughout the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, was designated as Chief Medical Officer. Okay, fine, maybe that one works if we’re factoring in “Bones” McCoy’s classic persona. Either way, I wouldn’t trust Raphael to diagnose a common cold. But the kicker–Chief Engineer goes to…Michelangelo? Kowabunga Michelangelo? Pizza-time, party-time Michelangelo? Oh dear, no. Montgomery Scott would not approve.
As per my suspicions, these Star Trek/TMNT crossover action figures aren’t worth nearly as much as their classic counterparts. Captain Leonardo is the cheapest, running at around $17. Next up is Chief Medical Officer Raphael, which will cost you 28 “Bones” (heh heh, see what I did there?). First Officer Donatello and Chief Engineer Michelangelo are both slightly upwards $30. In comparison, an original Michelangelo action figure alone is going for a little over $80 on Amazon. Even that “worthless” Mr. Burne action figure costs $70.
Moral of the story? Regardless of how manically out-there you make an action figure, worth is defined by how many people buy them. I have a feeling that there are several thousand Star Trek/TMNT toys rotting away in some old abandoned Playmates warehouse.