As a child from the 80s, I had the good fortune of being introduced to the world of TMNT via the comics created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. Their personal story of sharing an apartment together, nearly broke, trying to figure out how to pay their bills, while enjoying a dinner of pizza and coming up with what would turn out to be one of the most beloved and successful stories in pop culture history still resonates with me to this day. The cartoon took a more lighthearted approach than its gritty comic origins, but was still immensely fun watching the heroes in a half shell take on the evil Shredder and bail April O’Neil out of trouble, introduce a wealth of new characters both good and evil, all the while making time to eat some tasty pizza. Soon, merchandise came out in the form of toys, apparel, posters, beach towels – you name it. The high point for me as a kid during all of this turtlemania was when the 1990 movie came out. Jim Henson’s company did a fantastic job of bringing the turtles to the silver screen, (with puppeteer technology that was state of the art for its day) Casey Jones surprised everyone as being part of the supporting cast, and the father / son relationship theme resonated with the male dominated audience. Konami even debuted an aracde game featuring 4 player simultaneous play, which was unheard of back at that time . It was the golden age of TMNT. Then, everything took a turn for the worst. The toys became uninspired, bizarre creations of characters, who were never in the comics, tv show, or movie. The movie sequels became far too goofy, ditching the opportunity to introduce other meaningful themes, introduce ridiculous ideas such as a “super shredder” (even though we all saw him fall off a tall building into a garbage truck with Casey pull the lever, squashing his carcass at the end of the first film), they completely missed the opportunity to introduce Bebop & Rocksteady, opting instead to have some werewolf looking creature and a mutated snapping turtle, and don’t get me started on Vanilla Ice. There was even a rock n’ roll version of the turtles, who toured across the nation putting on shows and wearing cheap knock off suits from the films that made children visibly feel uncomfortable, subconsciously knowing that the atrocity in front of them was a far cry from what made TMNT legit. Perhaps, I was outgrowing the turtles, but I wasn’t alone as TMNT faded from the limelight, largely becoming the victim of getting categorized as just a staple of the 80s. Since then, there have recently been minor appearances of the heroes in a half shell; a video game, multiple cartoon reincarnations, a 3D movie, etc. Despite these attempts to revitalize our beloved lean, mean, fighting machines, all of them ultimately missed the mark at re-harnessing what makes Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles special…until now.