If you are a 90s kid, then you would surely remember sitting in front of the TV and watching back-to-back episodes of Garfield and Friends, Bobby’s World, X-Men, and many more. But there was one Saturday morning program that kids (mostly boys) across the country waited to watch. They were mean, they were lean, and they were green crime-fighting machines. They were the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But have you ever thought who was behind this revolutionary series? We have researched a bit on this, and here is what we found out.
To get the exact origin of the Teenage Mutant Turtles, started by two young, struggling comic book artists. They were Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, who lived in the western part of Massachusetts in their 20s in 1983. It was a few years earlier, Kevin and Peter had met through their comic book mutual connections. They reconnected again after a few years and soon became sketching buddies. It was one day when they were hanging out around Peter’s kitchen table when Kevin drew as a joke, picture of a turtle standing on his hind legs, wielding a pair of nun chucks and calling himself a “Ninja Turtle.” It was when Peter got kicked out and drew several other “Ninja Turtles” and tacked on the words “Teenage Mutant” to the beginning, and the rest is history.
Birth of a million-dollar franchise
As fans call it, TMNT was a very quirky, strange, and goofy animated TV series that was initially broadcasted on CBS from 1987 to 1996. It was a ten season run with around 193 episodes in total. The show spawned several more television incarnations, four movies, million dollars of merchandise, and legions of fans.
Peter and Kevin thought enough of those casual drawings; that’s when they decided to self-publish a one-off comic based around these characters under the banner of Mirage Studios. It was in March of the year 1984 when they printed 3,000 copies of their first comic together, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
It was very soon then they were able to sell the printed copies and had to print 6,000 more, which is when they were able to make profit and slit is amongst themselves.
Drawings of turtles
The drawings of the four turtles were based on a type of freshwater turtle called terrapins. It was in the year 1986 when Playmate Toys became interested in developing their characters into a line of action figures. That is when Kevin and Peter decided to hire a licensing agent, Mark Freedman, to help them with the licensing and merchandising deals. Freedman has since then been credited with expanding and developing the Turtles into the international brand we all know today. Playmate Toys, before committing anything, wanted first to see how the Turtles would appeal to their target audience kids.
Success of TMNT
In December 1987, after a five-part mini-series proved to be quite popular, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles became a regular Saturday morning staple. After four television series, four movies, hundreds of toys, 14 video games, six different food tie-ins, and even a concert tour, the Teenage Ninja Mutant Turtles have remained relevant and popular over the last 30 years.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle has gained a blockbuster success worldwide and hopefully will still be one of the favorites amongst the kids which they would wake up early to watch on Saturday mornings in front of their television to watch the “Heroes in a Half-shell.”