Has it already been over a year since I posted one of my favorite articles, my list of the 10 Most Ridiculous TMNT Action Figures? In searching for the strangest, I also found some of the coolest, but alas, I never got around to showing those. Until now anyway. In the spirit of Halloween, I decided it would be in everyone’s best interest to take a look at Ninja Turtle action figures again, but more specifically, the action figures with the coolest and therefore best outfits. Which ten are going to make my list? Check them out for yourself! It’s 10 Awesome TMNT Action Figure Outfits!
And a huge thank you to The Virtual Ninja Turtle Museum for their help with images and a clear archive. I wouldn’t have been able to pull off this article without them!
10. Slap Shot Leo:
The Turtles had a bunch of figure lines featuring them in sports uniforms along with the appropriate equipment to go along. Slap Shot Leo was a figure I was totally into as a kid because hockey seemed really cool to me, even more so that Leo had ice skates on. Haven’t I made it pretty apparent before that action figures with some mode of built-in transportation are cool? Ice skates were cool to me. And even better, this is hockey we’re talking about, so it would make perfect sense for Leo to go straight from the game to busting heads, assuming it’s not within the same game. Go hockey!
9. Raph, The Magnificent:
If we remember my Ridiculous Turtle Action Figures list, I placed Mike dressed as a clown pretty high. He was terrifying on some strange level, but Raph The Magnificent is the opposite: He’s awesome on some strange level. Perhaps it is the rabbit concealed in his hat. Perhaps it is his rockin’ mustache. Perhaps it’s just seeing a Ninja Turtle with coat tails. But on the most basic level, these are ninjas we’re talking about, and adding magic only functions to make them better at being ninjas. Raph with the power of illusion only makes sense in some glorious universe.
8. TD Tossin’ Leo:
Coming from the same figure line as Slap Shot Leo, TD Tossin’ Leo is even more aggressive, even missing a bunch of teeth and wearing a ripped-up jersey. It’s clear that he plays full-contact football, none of this two-hand-touch crap. Suckers got smeared when Leo picked the long bomb, and though we never got Runningback Mike or Defensive Line Don, Leo was enough to suffice the violent sports urge all young boys had and most never grew out of. Even cooler: he came with a full helmet. The more accessories the better, and an easy-on, easy-off helmet was more than welcome for a TMNT action figure. I don’t know who’d win in a fight between TD Tossin’ Leo and Slap Shot Leo, but it’d be a good fight.
7. Power-Punchin’ Rocksteady:
Immediately upon seeing Rocksteady decked out in boxing gear my brain jumped to Punch-Out!! Boxing, yet another sport, is also a sport based ENTIRELY around beating the ever-loving crap out of your opponent. Sure, matches can be decided on a point system, but no one remembers those as fondly as matches won with a TKO or a referee running in and saying, “No more or he’ll bleed out of his ears!” Strapping boxing gloves to Rocksteady’s mitts only allows him to punch harder, sending Turtles sprawling. He’s like King Hippo, Balrog, and TJ Combo mixed into one excellent rhino-shaped package!
6. Safari Michelangelo:
Truth be told I probably wish I’d grown up in Australia. I have no clue why, but I love the accents and the outback outfits. What the image up there doesn’t show are the various accessories Mike had to go with his outback safari, the best of which was probably a huge gun connected to a water-filled backpack (shaped like an angry monkey of course), which when squeezed sprayed water at whichever enemies seemed to really hate water. Hey, Shredder wears a bunch of metal, and that stuff rusts, so sure, water works. He also came with a hunting knife, a bit of a shock to me. It was shocking because most times any Ninja Turtle came with a knife or a gun, it’d be shaped like something wacky. In this instance it just looked like a real knife. Sweet!
5. Creature From The Black Lagoon Leo:
Not one but two action figure lines came out with Turtles as Universal Studios Monsters, and of the eight produced, Creature From The Black Lagoon Leo is the best. Really, all he looked like was a further-mutated Ninja Turtle, but I was all for it. Bigger hands for smacking and red eyes for glaring made this a must-have for me. And I never owned it! What a disappointment my childhood was! Oh well, at least I owned the four remaining figures on this list.
4. Pro Pilot Don:
Of the two Mutant Military series released, the first was immensely better seeing as how it had Raph dressed as a green beret, Leo decked out in Desert Storm attire, and Mike sporting the naval look, machinegun-toting bird in tow. But those three paled in comparison to Pro Pilot Don, a figure that came with a pretend parachute that strapped to his backpack. It looked pretty simple, but using my superior childhood imagination, I imagined that the parachute allowed him to fly. And as the rule goes: Flying toys are always better than non-flying toys. Also included was a helmet with a breathing mask, just like he’d wear in a fighter jet. Oh, and each Mutant Military figure came with a miniature American flag. Kind of brings a tear to your eye, doesn’t it?
3. Pterano Don:
What’s the rule? “Flying toys are always cooler than non-flying toys.” Pterano Don is what you get when you mix Donatello with a pterodactyl, meaning that Donny gets huge wings and a head that looks like he can rend metal like a can-opener. Pterano Don is a beast, pure and simple. I played with him so much that one of the wings fell off and I had to reattach it/play less roughly with my super awesome Ninja Turtles. He was even quite a bit larger in stature and height than all the other Turtles figures I owned, making him a more commanding presence in the ongoing plotlines my homemade series would endure. Just looking at the other figures in the line, all of which were crossed with dinosaurs, only Don stands out as a really cool action figure. The others feel lacking. Except maybe mixing Shredder with a tyrannosaurus, though that only really succeeded in making him look like a Street Shark reject.
2. Cave Turtle Raph With Tubular Pterodactyl:
Yes, more flying toys and yes, more pterodactyls. The Turtles had a series where they were prehistoric in nature and rode around on happy-go-lucky dinosaurs Flintstones style. Once I got Raph I was all set as he came with the pterodactyl, making every adventure he starred in comprised of 95% flying and 5% getting to his pterodactyl so he could continue flying. Eventually the harness strap broke off the pterodactyl, meaning no turtle could really ride him anymore. I was more or less fine with this and allowed him to stand alone as his own character, talking and wisecracking just as you’d expect. So what could possibly outdo two pterodactyls in a row?
1. Super Don:
Try adding Batman to the equation. Yeah, that sure does spike things in the awesome department by a wide margin, doesn’t it? Of this series, Don was garbed in Batman-like attire whereas Mike looked vaguely Superman-esque. Both were great, but Don came with a wrist-attached baterang-launcher (it was fake but it looked cool). I played like it was a grappling hook, a laser, and a stun gun, and each time I loved it more. But could he fly? Yes, whenever I felt like allowing him to fly. This is just one cool toy, the likes of which we may never see again.
These are just ten of dozens of awesome outfits the Turtles have worn over the years. Do you have a favorite that I didn’t mention? Leave a comment and let me know. In the meantime, I need to figure out a way to craft a Super Don outfit in time for Halloween. Excelsior!
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