Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Playmates Toys)

Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Playmates Toys
2012 - 2018

With the exception of very few figures here and there, Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series of toys is the last toy line from recent years I've collected. I remember it hit shelves around July of 2012 and I told myself, "I'm getting into this one from the ground level!" There had been so many toy lines which had come and gone throughout the years. I constantly had a desire to collect, but never took the plunge on any. I wasn't about to miss out on this great opportunity.

Four very rare figures launched the series at Toy Fair in 2012. These were a specially painted, boxed and numbered  set of all four of the Turtles. These were handed out in goody bags to the press who sat in on the panel.

 Toy Fair 2012

These figures have never been common on secondary markets, and when you could find them, they would easily set you back around $300.00 to $500.00 each. I honestly haven't seen these pop up in a few years, and if they did, they would most likely fetch double that price at this point. I am happy to say these are something I was able to obtain very early in the series, and while they were costly, they weren't as much as stated above.

 Toy Fair 2012

Prior to the line hitting store shelves, Playmates Toys also produced a special press kit, which was sent to toy reviewers out in the wild. Inside, you could find one of the nine figures which encompassed the first wave of figures.

 Press Kit 2012
Raphael*Foot Soldier*Kraang*Shredder
April O'Neil

When the series launched, I have to admit, I personally caused a bit of grief in my area. I bought so many multiples of these things, and continued to do so up through the first repackaging era of the line. I must have had fifteen plus full cases of figures before finally reassessing my life, and downsizing drastically. Mind you, I never bought them with the intentions of selling. I was just ravenously hording. If I went to the store to look for new figures, and they weren't out, I'd grab a bunch of the older ones. It was very unhealthy. Mind you, I was opening at least one, and displaying it along with all the vehicles and playsets...Which I also bought multiples of.

On a side note for collectors who keep their figures in packages, there is a slight production run change which occurred in the first wave. On the bottom of the package, near the figure's feat, a safety label was added to later runs. I made not of this all the way back in August of 2012 when I first started talking about the line.


 Raphael*Splinter*April O'Neil

 Shredder*Kraang*Foot Soldier

Metal Head is the first error card I found in the series. On the back of the card, it shows Raphael twice, but names one of them as Michelangelo. Playmates Toys eventually got around to fixing this, and re-released the figure with an accurate card.

Metalhead Error Cardback*Metalhead Corrected Cardback

When I heard news of the first San Diego Comic Con figure, I actually got pretty bummed out. Exclusives were what had kept me from collecting "newer" toy lines for the longest time. As a completest, I want one (or apparently thirty) of each figure. When I saw how relatively easy it was to get this thing, I kept right on into the line. I think I ended up with four of them in total.

San Diego Comic Con 2012
 Night Shadow Leonardo


This Costco exclusive Shellraiser has become a bit elusive for collectors. I think this is mainly as a result of not many people knowing they even existed.

 Costco Exclusive
Shellraiser with Leonardo

 Rippin' Rider*Sewer Spinnin' Skateboard

 Ninja Stealth Bike with Stealth Ninja Raph

 Dragon Chopper with Dragon Fang Foot Soldier

 Secret Sewer Lair Playset

 Ooze Launchin' Leo*Ooze Launchin' Leo with Mutagen Ooze

 Ooze Chuckin' Mikey*Ooze Chuckin' Mikey with Mutagen Ooze

 Ooze Scoopin' Donnie*Ooze Scoopin' Donnie with Mutagen Ooze

 Ooze Tossin' Raphael*Ooze Tossin' Raphael with Mutagen Ooze

 Baxter Stockman*Leatherhead*Snakeweed

There were a few production run changes with the Stealth Tech Turtles over the life of the original packages. The first release featured the Stealth Tech banner on the side of the package, as well as a rope and hook (to the left of the figure's head). The second release removed the rope and hook, while the third release removed the rope and hook and the Stealth Tech banner.

 Stealth Tech Leonardo*Stealth Tech Leonardo (no hook)*Steal Tech Leonard (standard package)

 Stealth Tech Michelangelo*Stealth Tech Michelangelo (no hook)*Stealth Tech Michelangelo (standard package)

 Stealth Tech Donatello*Stealth Tech Donatello (no hook)*Steal Tech Donatello (standard package)

 Stealth Tech Raphael*Stealth Tech Raphael (no hook)*Stealth Tech Raphael (standard package)

For whatever reason, Playmates Toys decided later in the series that Cockroad Terminator would get a make over, and released the repainted second version. Admittedly, it is far superior to the original

 The Rat King*Cockroach Terminator*Cockroach Terminator (repaint)

 Ninjas in Training Leonardo and Donatello*Ninjas in Training Raphael and Michelangelo

 M.O.U.S.E.R.S.*Shredder*Spider Bytez

There are claims there are multiple different versions of the Battle Shell Turtles. Mainly those involving the clasps on the shells to keep them closed. I've never personally bothered looking.

 Battle Shell Leonardo*Battle Shell Michelangelo

 Battle Shell Donatello*Battle Shell Raphael

 San Diego Comic Con 2013
Shredder (chrome paint)

 Mutagen Ooze Drop Copter*Mutagen Ooze Sewer Cruiser

Out of all the items released in the series, I thought the Mutagen Ooze would definitely be one of the higher sought after items on secondary markets. It's not one of those items which is necessarily salvageable once opened and "played" with. I check periodically to see what people are selling it for, and oddly enough, it keeps decreasing in price.

 Mutagen Ooze with Mini Turtles

 MMX Cycle*Hover Drone

 MMA-AT-3 with All-Terrain Leonardo
 Leo and Donnie's Patrol Buggies*Raph and Mikey's Patrol Buggies

 Ninja Control Shellraiser

 Pop-Up Pizza Playset Anchovy Alley

The second and final release of the Mutagen Ooze came in multi-colors. Once again, I thought secondary markets would be kinder to this than it has. Though I suppose it is fair to say the multi-color versions have become a bit more scarce than the original "blue" ones.

 Mutagen Ooze with Mini Turtle

 Mutagen Ooze with Mini Turtle

It was with this wave where I learned product for the line was coming from two different manufacturers. This resulted in subtle, or sometimes obvious, changes to the figures.

 Kirby Bat (cross-eyed pupils first production run)*Kirby Bat (centered pupils second production run)

 Squirrelanoid (unpainted mouth first production run)*Squirrelanoid (painted mouth second production run)

 Casey Jones (black vest hoodie)*Casey Jones grey hoodie)

 Mutagenman (no pupils)*Mutagenman (pupils)

 Slash (ooze on shoulder, black toenails)*Slash (ooze on shoulder, yellow toenails)
Slash (ooze on chest, black toenails)*Slash (ooze on chest, yellow toenails)

 Newtralizer (black weapons)*Newtralizer (grey weapons)

 Dojo Splinter*Rahzar

 Leo the Knight*Mikey the Elf

 Donnie the Wizard*Raph the Barbarian

The comic versions of the Turtles were highly desired by collectors, but yet at the same time quickly became peg warmers. If you open them, don't separate their weapons from the figure, as they all look the same!

 Comic Book Leonardo*Comic Book Michelangelo

 Comic Book Donatello*Comic Book Raphael

Bebop and Rocksteady were initially released as Walmart exclusives, and in two different versions.

 Walmart Exclusive
Bebop (pink)*Bebop (brown)

Walmart Exclusive
 Rocksteady (camoflage pants)*Rocksteady (white pants)

 Tiger Claw*Robotic Foot Soldier (sticker package)*Robotic Foot Soldier (printed package)

 Toys R' Us Exclusive
Comic Book Leonardo with Comic Book*Comic Book Michelangelo with Comic Book

 Target Exclusive
Leonardo 3-Pack with Comic Book Leonardo, Nickelodeon Leonardo and Vintage Style Leonardo

 San Diego Comic Con Exclusive 2014
Comic Book Raphael (black and white)

Shell Flyer*Grass Kicker

 Individually Packaged Buggies
Leonardo's Patrol Buggy*Michelangelo's Patrol Buggy
Donatello's Patrol Buggy*Raphael's Patrol Buggy

 Turtle Sub with Diver Donnie

 Hot Rod with Hot Rod Mikey

 Leonardo RC Patrol Buggy

 Raphael RC Patrol Buggy

 High Flyin' Blimp

 Window Wipeout*Fire Escape Freefall
Billboard Breakout*Water Tower Washout

 Ultimate Turtle World with Secret Sewer Lair, Window Wipeout, Fire Escape Freefall, Billborad Breakout and Water Tower Washout

Something I had been hoping for in the series finally happened about midway through it. The packages got updated. These updated versions seem so much more alive than the originals.

 Mystic Leonardo*Mystic Michelangelo

 Mystic Donatello*Mystic Raphael

These newly updated cards also brought with them the official mass retail release of Bebop and Rockteady...

 Repackage Figures
Bebop*Rocksteady*Casey Jones

...and a slew of repacks...

It was around this time that I finally had to tap out of buying multiple figures. This was too much, even for me.

 Repackaged Figures
Dogpound*Dojo Splinter*Metalhead

 Repackaged Figures
Robotic Foot Soldier*Shredder*Tiger Claw

The original four Turtles were released one final time, and then subtle changes began occurring. First it was letters on the belts, then pupils in the eyes with the letters on the belts, then just the pupils. Repackages really started to get out of control, but believe it or not, it got worse later on.

 Repackaged Figures

 Repackaged Figures

 Head Droppin' Leonardo*Head Droppin' Michelangelo

 Head Droppin' Donatello*Head Droppin' Raphael

 Stockman Fly (light blue pants)*Stockman Fly (dark blue pants)

 Karai Serpent*Mikey Turflytle

 Leonardo (with letter on belt)*Michelangelo (with letter on belt)

 Donatello (with letter on belt)*Raphael with letter on belt)

 Repackaged Figures
April O'Neil*Cockroach Terminator*Kraang

 Repackaged Figures
Leatherhead*Mutagen Man*Newtralizer

Repackaged Figures
 Ninjas in Training Leonardo and Donatello*Slash

Repackaged Figures

The Dimension X sub series brought with it the long anticipated Fugitoid figure.

 Dimension X Leonardo*Dimension X Michelangelo

 Dimension X Donatello*Dimension X Raphael*Dimension X Fugitoid

 Napoleon Bonafrog*Dark Beaver

 Monkey Brains*Atila the Frog*Mutant Shredder

 Repackaged Figures
Battle Shell Leonardo*Battle Shell Michelangelo

 Repackaged Figures
Battle Shell Donatello*Battle Shell Raphael

 Repackaged Figures
Leo the Knight*Donnie the Wizard*Raph the Barbarian

 Repackaged Figures
Baxter Stockman*M.O.U.S.E.R.S.*Fishface

 Repackaged Figures
Squirrelanoid*The Rat King*Spider Bytez

 Repackaged Figures
Foot Soldier*Kirby Bat*Ninjas in Training Raphael and Michelangelo

Walmart once again had exclusive figures for them. However, this time they remained as such.

 Walmart Exclusive
Lord Dregg*Mozar

The highly unpopular Mutations series would become peg warmers across the country. If people didn't want the repackaged versions, why would they want ones which came apart?

 Mutations Mix & Match Leo* Mutations Mix & Match Mikey

 Mutations Mix & Match Donnie*Mutations Mix & Match Raph

 Mutations Mix & Match Metalhead*Mutations Mix & Match Slash

 Mutations Mix & Match Splinter*Mutations Mix & Match Shredder*Mutations Mix & Match Tiger Claw

 Mutations Mix & Match Casey Jones*Mutations Mix & Match Rocksteady*Mutations Mix & Match Bebop

 Mutations Mix & Match Dogpound*Mutations Mix & Match Rahzar*Mutations Mix & Match Robotic Foot Soldier

 Mutations Leonardo with Ariel Attack Battle Shell*Mutations Michelangelo with Stealth Battle Shell
Mutations Donatello with Recon Battle Shell*Mutations Raphael with Ground Pounder Battle Shell
 Mutations Mix & Match 3-Pack with
Raphael*Dogpound and Michelangelo

 Mutations Mix & Match 3-Pack with
Leonardo, Rahzar and Donatello

Mutations Mix & Match 4-Pack with
Shredder, Leonardo, Slash and Michelangelo

 Target Exclusive
Dimension X 5-Pack with Michelangelo*Raphael*Fugitoid*Leonardo and Donatello (chrome)

The massively overpriced, and quickly clearenced out History of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Leonardo box exclusive to Toys R' Us. It was a great idea, but it was too expensive at $90.00.

 Toys R' Us Exclusive
History of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Leonardo with
Comic Book Leonardo*Vintage Style Leonardo*Original Movie Leonardo*Ninja Turtles Leonardo*Early 2000's Leonardo*Mid 2000's Leonardo*Nickelodeon Leonardo and Michael Bay Leonardo


Some of the most difficult to find vehicles from the line are these repackaged smaller ones. They came and went in a blink of an eye.

 Repackaged Vehicles
Grass Kicker*Shell Flyer
MMX Cycle

 Mutations Quad Rotor with Cloud Cruisin' Leo

 Mutations Tri-Flyer with Jet Jammin' Raph

 Casey's Slamboni with Unmasked Casey Jones

 Party Wagon

 Turtle Turbo-Charger

 Pizza Thrower

 Secret Sewer Lair Playset with Dimension X Portal

 Mutations Giant Lenoardo Playset

 Repackaged Vehicle
Ninja Stealth Bike with Stealth Ninja Raph

 Repackaged Vehcile
Ninja A-T3 with All-Terrain Leonardo

 Eye-Poppin' Leo*Tongue Poppin' Michelangelo*Shadow Ninja Color Change Leo

 Shadow Ninja Color Change Michelangelo*Spittin' Michelangelo*Spittin' Raphael

 Dimension X Casey Jones*Dimension X Robug

 Dimension X April O'Neil (yellow pistol)*Dimension X April O'Neil (white pistol)

Repackaged Figures

Repackaged Figrues

Ninja Strike Leo*Ninja Kick Mikey

Ninja Strike Donnie*Ninja Kick Raph

Tongue-Poppin' Donnie*Dire Beaver


Spyline Leo*Spyline Mikey

Spyline Donnie*Spyline Raph

Repackaged Figures
Mikey the Elf*Snakeweed

By the time the series was changed to Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, fatigue was setting in. While prior holiday seasons left the TMNT section of toy stores barren, the sections, which remained barren, were now resulting from lack of product from Playmates Toys.

Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Super Shredder: Super Ninja Leo*Super Shredder Super: Ninja Michelangelo*Super Shredder: Super Ninja Donatello

Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Super Shredder: Super Ninja Raphael*Super Shredder: Super Shredder

Fugitoid Ship with Space Captain Mikey

Repackaged Vehicles

The wave featuring Crimson Leader and Muckman were so scarce, people didn't even know the figures had been released. The two remain the most obscure in the line, with Muckman being the most expensive. Though this was later rectified when figures were found to be turning up at Ross and Ollies, it still wasn't in the abundance needed to fulfill supply vs. demand.

Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Super Shredder Crimson Leader
Muckman*Knockout Ninja Leo

Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja TUrtles
The Samurai: Samurai Leo*The Samurai: Samurai Mikey*The Samurai: Samurai Donnie

Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Samurai: Samurai Raphael*The Samurai: Samurai Usagi*The Samurai: Usagi Yojimbo

Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Samurai: Warrior Horse with Samurai Mikey*The Samurai: Warrior Horse with Samurai Raphael

Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
The Samurai: Warrior Horse with Samurai Usagi Yojimbo

The beginning of the end for the line was abundantly clear when Playmates Toys went on a repaint, rename, repackage campaign.

Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Repaints & Renames
Mighty Leo, Jokster Mikey
Tech Donnie*Hothead Raph

Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Repaints & Renames
Battle Shell Leonardo*Battle Shell Michelangelo
Battle Shell Donatello*Battle Shell Raphael
Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Repaints & Renames
Rookies in Training Leo and Donnie*Rookies in Training Mikey and Raph*Lethal Robotic Foot Soldier
Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Repaints & Renames
Mastermind Baxter Fly*Mystic April O'Neil*Sensei Splinter
Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Repaints & Renames
Vigilante Casey Jones*Ragin' Leatherhead*Savage Rahzar
Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Repaints & Renames
Fierce Fishface*Toxic Mutagen Man*Brutal Shredder

The last of the "new" figures, and the final released in the line were the Monster Hunters and 80's versions. At this point, you essentially had to go to secondary markets to find these things. The Turtles section of isles had long since stopped being restocked, and product which was there was in clearance bins.
Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Monsters + Mutants: Monster Hunter Leo*Monsters + Mutants: Monster Hunter Raph*Monsters + Mutants: Mutant Mummy Leo

Tales from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Monsters + Mutants: Werewolf Mikey*Monsters + Mutants: Frankendon*Monsters + Mutants: Vampire Raph

Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Wanted: Bebop & Rocksteady - 80's Leonardo*Wanted: Bebop & Rocksteady - 80's Rocksteady*Wanted: Bebop & Rocksteady - 80's Bebop

San Diego Comic Con 2017
Usagi Yojimbo

This final San Diego Comic Con exclusive was so poorly promoted, most collectors didn't even know it existed.

San Diego Comic Con 2017
Stan Sakai Usagi Yojimbo

Repackaged Veheicles
Ninja Steal Bike with Leonardo

Repackaged Vehciles
Sewer Skateboard with Michelangelo

Repackaged Vehices
Raph's Patrol Buggy with Raphael

Repackaged Vehicles
Donnie's Patrol Buggy with Donatello

Trash Truck

The biggest problem with the line, from my personal opinion, is that Playmates Toys gave the impression of simply giving up on it. Rather than focus their efforts on releasing all of the great figures they showcased over the years at the various Toy Fairs, they instead opted to shelve those items and focus on repainting. In short, they themselves killed the line when they stopped producing anything people actually cared about.

A contributing factor to this may have been the cartoon itself, which became so convoluted, most young fans didn't know what was going on anymore. Story arcs were all over the place, and made little to no sense. The show became a giant mess, and the only way to fix it was the inevitable cancellation.

At this point, Nickelodeon has already relaunched the TMNT franchise in the form of its next disaster, Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Following suit is of course a toy line from Playmates Toys. However, at this point in my life, I have to honestly say I'm done with TMNT. It no longer delivers a story featuring the four brothers I grew up with. Quite frankly, I also just don't need anymore TMNT figures...Unless they're the originals.

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