Thursday, October 3, 2013

Heroes on the (Haunted) Half-Shell

Tonight another trip back 20 years to 1993 and the release of Playmates' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles -- Universal Studios Monsters editions...

Standing menacingly above are 3 of the first series figures (released in 1993) and two of the second series (from 1994).  From left to right (ours, not theirs!) we have:
Don as Dracula
Invisible Man Michelangelo
Raph as The Mummy
Creature from the Black Lagoon Leonardo
Mike as Frankenstein
        (technically incorrect since he is Frankenstein's Monster -- oy, I sound like Ted Mosby!)
Missing from this Monster Party are:
Leo as The Wolfman -- I know I had Leo.  I remember buying all four of the first series figures in an impulse buy at Walmart (which was brand new here in Northern Virginia in 1993).  I suspect Leo may still be residing in his blister pack with the other empty packages in the tinder-box that is the attic over the garage.
Mutant Raphael -- From the 2nd series... I didn't buy him, because I didn't consider him a "true" Universal Monster, even though he was branded that way.
And finally, still encased in her plastic tomb:  April O'Neil as The Bride of Frankenstein!
I originally had another April Bride that was removed from the package.  I always tried to carefully remove action figures from their packages so that the boys could play with them -- it was too cruel to just keep everything up for display with young boys in the house.   I then put the empty blister packs (typically still containing the accessories and in this case, collector cards) in cardboard boxes, that are now stacked in the garage and attic.
But, like many a figure back then, April went missing at some point.  Alex was typically the culprit, especially when it came to the female figures.  April disappeared just like Marion from Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Phantasm from Batman: Mask of the Phantasm -- he always had the knack for losing the most rare ones!
So, a few years ago, I came across this April in her original package for only $5.00 so it was a no-brainer.   
Here's April's cardback from 1994.  You'll notice by this time, the original first four monster figures had already been removed from the assortment.  That seems odd to me, since I would think that by releasing these 2nd tier monsters would only encourage kids to look for the originals to complete the set.
I will probably take April out of her package once there are grandchildren running about the place.  But that will be awhile, and regardless, she will have to be off-limits to Alex!

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