Tag Archives: TMNT

Teenage Mutant Nina Turtles Roundup

sewer drainIn just under a week, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fans young and old will be shellin’ out hard-earned dough to see the newest take on the green team. I know of at least one local mega-fan in particular, who will be headed to the theater in total turtle style.TMNT Party wagonI interviewed Dan in early 2013 about his sweet TMNT party wagon, at a time when any news about a movie reboot was little more than rumor. By that time, the new cartoon series was already a hit, and I couldn’t help but notice toy stores struggling to keep TMNT merchandise in stock (see my old post, Playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles like a Boss). For better or for worse, it’s finally time to hit the sewers!

Return of the TMNT Party Wagon: The Interview!

The other day my wife was shopping at the same location where we had previously spotted the real-life Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle party wagon, when she serendipitously spotted it again! Can you believe it? Knowing that I would have loved to speak with the owner but had missed my chance, my wife took it upon herself to find this person and obtain his contact information. Do I have the coolest wife in the world or what? I promptly emailed Dan, the owner, who agreed to an email interview about his bodacious green machine. I’m so excited to share with you my first ever interview on Secret Dad Society!

TMNT Party wagon

Hi Dan!  So tell me why you decided to trick out your car? Was the decal just an afterthought or was it all part of the master plan?
Originally when shopping for a Scion xB I really wanted the first line of them put out in 2005. (The brownish copper limited edition ones). I wanted one of those so I could put decals stating, “fragile handle with care,” and “this side up,”  to make it look like a cardboard box. The green 2006 xB just kind of fell into my hand along the way while shopping for the other one. The moment I got the green one, I knew what I had to do. I looked to try to find the TMNT decal for months with no prevail. Finally, I decided to have it custom-made.
Do you have any customizations on the inside?
The inside has a DVD player with two screens, one in the back of each headrest, and there are neon green lights that line the floor of the car all around.
 
Do you have any other modifications planned?
I would like to get a red band around the middle of the car with a knot in the back that would wrap around all of the way to the head lights to form a mask. also in the back small windows I would like to get the faces of the turtles peering out.
 
How big of a TMNT fan are you? 
I was a huge TMNT fan in my child hood. Growing up in the eighties who wasn’t? But I held on to that childhood fandom well into highschool, and even further, when most kids let it go as they got older. I couldn’t get enough. While in high school I started collecting the comics, both old ones and current ones, and they never left my side.
 
What do your friends and family think? Always asking for a ride or refuse to get in?
Everyone loves the car. Little kids point and stare at it as they tug at their parents clothing, trying to show them as I drive by. I get compliments on it at least two or three times per week. Friends love it. Even the ones who would never do it themselves say things like, “Oh my God, I can’t believe you actually got that,” but always follow it up with, “It is pretty awesome though.”
 
Somewhere along the line I parted with my childhood TMNT toys, which is a bummer because I would have loved to pass them on to my son. Do you have an action figure collection, and if so, is it original, the new line, or both?
I don’t have so much of a collection anymore, however, I do still have about five or six of the old original figures stored away.
 
Have any other crazy people snapped photos or otherwise commented on it?
Quite a few people have snapped pictures. I even stumbled upon a picture of it on Facebook on a random persons page once and was just like….. wait … that’s mine…. glad they liked it.
 
My favorite Ninja Turtle was Donatello because he was so stinkin’ smart and because the bo staff is an awesome weapon. Who was your favorite Ninja Turtle and why?
Growing up it was Leonardo. He was the leader, and well, he had not one – but TWO swords. Pretty badass in my opinion. As I got a little older, I grew more fond of Mikey.  He was more fun, always goofing off. But as I hit highschool and my adult years I grew more fond of Raph. He was darker, more gritty, especially in the first movie.

Do you watch the new cartoon series? If so, how do you like it?
I have seen a few episodes of it, and I like it. The CG leaves a little something to be desired because of the skinny form of all of them, but other than that I dig it. It is entertaining and still feels like the old turtles I used to know. But, for the love of god, keep Michael Bay away from the new movie plans. I am terrified to see what he is planning for the new movies. Teenage alien ninja turtles. Help us all! Look into that you will see what I mean.
Any last thoughts?
Just a big thank you. This was pretty cool. I hope your readers enjoy.
Thanks so much, Dan! Make sure you send us updated photos of any modifications when they come to fruition. As for the new movie, I don’t think there is any official word out yet. I, for one, certainly don’t mind them holding off until they can do it right, and besides, by that time my son may be old enough to see it with me! 

Playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles like a Boss

TMNT Mug

My wife and I were shopping for Christmas presents for our kids when we came across the only completely vacant shelf in an otherwise well stocked store. The empty space was for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) toys, and they were completely wiped out!  I knew the Ninja Turtles were making a comeback with a brand new cartoon series, but I had no idea that they had already become so popular. Turtle power is back!

The TMNT toy line was the only franchise for which I absolutely had to have every single action figure that was available. Yes, I fully admit, l still played with them when I think other kids my age had probably moved on to bigger and better things, however, I played Ninja Turtles like a boss!

I put my toys through the mill doing all sorts of nutty things with them, but there was one brilliant moment in particular that stands out.  I had discovered that if I jammed a yardstick into the hinge behind the lid of our old top-loading washer, it tripped the switch that  allowed the washer to run with the lid wide open. From that point on, my turtle antics were launched into epic new territory. Mikey, Donny, Leo, and Raph now had an interactive setting for their adventures. One day they would be trapped by Shredder in a liquid deathtrap seething with bubbly toxic foam (green food coloring and  Tide), and the next day they would do battle with the foot clan while surfing the raging white water rapids. Of course, being amphibious, the boys in green always had the advantage.

When the normal wash cycles got monotonous, I could up the ante by manipulating the washer dial to create instant waterfalls and other special effects. The scene would inevitably crescendo to a dramatic finish as I deviously rotated the dial to spin cycle, upon which the green gang would be introduced to the swirling vortex of death!

Obviously, for safety reasons, it’s for the best that my son can’t use our own energy-efficient, side loading washer, complete with child locks, to play like I did in our old family washer.  But I do hope he has the same creative spirit as I did at that age, before the lure of digital toys, when you had no choice but to be imaginative in play.

On the way out of the toy store, my wife asked me, ” What makes you think our son will even like Ninja Turtles?” And to that, I say, show me a boy (or Dad) who doesn’t!  Cowabunga, dude!

Raphael