Christmas Fallout: 2016 Edition


The holiday gauntlet has ended. I survived another year of shuffling through New York and New Jersey to visit family and friends. I'd like to tell you that is all that mattered, that the joy of loved ones makes for the most happiness. But, I can't lie. Even as a dude in his 30s, getting Christmas gifts is still fun. Although I cherish the memories with others more, tearing gifts open is still a blast. I enjoy opening presents and am grateful when something thoughtful is given to me. Christmas 2016 had lots of gracious gifts. Let's take a peek at these presents.

Cowabunga Christmas: Bootleg Action Figures


OOZING WITH HOLIDAY SPIRIT

Have you ever received a Christmas gift that is so good it defines the entire holiday? Nintendo, a BMX bike, the Technodrome playset - all gifts that shaped my merry season, raising the caliber for Christmas throughout the rest of my life.

Can a gift be so bad it does the same? I think so. Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce you to the coal of Cowabunga Christmas, bootleg TMNT figures aka. Super Ninjas.

Cowabunga Christmas: Activity Pad


OOZING WITH HOLIDAY SPIRIT

Stocking stuffers is a phrase that makes me feel uncomfortable. When is "stuffing" ever good? I know when I'm "stuffed" it's a terrible feeling. I look around my home and often wonder if I own too much "stuff." So when I think of "stocking stuffers," all these idiosyncrasies come to mind. But, I'm conflicted because junkie gifts are always fun. There are a few TMNT stocking stuffers that won't set the world on fire, but they are really festive.

Cowabunga Christmas: Popcorn Tin



OOZING WITH HOLIDAY SPIRIT

Decorated trees, Santa Claus - the symbols of Christmas. There's another. One that often gets overlooked, yet is equally as prominent. It's classic, it's everywhere, and every family has nibbled on this tradition at some point.

The popcorn tin.

The moment you pop off the lid, a confusing aroma of salts and sweets tickles your nose. Like the Holy Trinity, there are 3 flavors divided equally. The semi-stale, yet still delicious tastes of butter, cheddar, and caramel are right before you. Small nibbles, big handfuls, one flavor, all flavors - there's no wrong way to eat from the popcorn tub. It's a symbol of Christmas with no rules.

Cowabunga Christmas: Merry Mutants Big Golden Book


OOZING WITH HOLIDAY SPIRIT

Christmas stories are the best stories. The holidays create the perfect setting in movies, books, and music. Although The Godfather might be a superior film, I've watched Home Alone dozens more times because of its holiday DNA. Christmas stories are a tradition, a yearly ritual that I look forward to. Each year I shuffle through a bevy of favorites, but I'm always on the look out for new classics. This season, TMNT enters the arena with a new Big Golden Book entitled Merry Mutants.



NAUGHTY OR NICE?

The book is aimed at kids. I knew that going in, but was still eager for a fun holiday story. The festive formula is simple for TMNT - put mutants in Santa hats and keep the narrative silly. That's it. Follow this simple blueprint and success is guaranteed. In a shocking twist of events, Merry Mutants somehow screws that up. No Santa hats. No silly narrative. The cover is purely a tease. The pages within the book tell a tale of the Turtles snowboarding throughout New York City while Leo is in a grumpy mood. The pages are a visual charming winter wonderland, but don't set your yule log ablaze.



The saving grace is one lonely Christmas tree lurking in the background. It's not hidden, but it's a Where's Waldo-like adventure searching for any holiday visuals in Merry Mutants.



COWABUNGA CONCLUSION

Merry Mutants is misleading. While the cover paints a very Christmas feel, the pages within are nothing but a winter tale that plays it too safe. The festive fun has been stripped away, an effort to steer clear of offending non-Christmas celebrating folks. But then why bother releasing a book entitled, Merry Mutants that features the Turtles in Santa hats on the cover? There's an indecisiveness that plagues what could've been a classic.

Maybe this book is suppose to be for kids or something.


Check back for more holiday hijinks all month during The Sewer Den's Cowabunga Christmas!

Cowabunga Christmas: Terribly Awesome (Wizard Santa Hat)


It's so bad, it's good. Let's embrace the terribly awesome during Cowabunga Christmas.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Santa Claus has been successfully dressed in a suit of red for decades. The world loves him in that color, I love him in that color. Red, often a color used to depict anger, is beautifully jovial when it comes to Saint Nick. But, someone didn't agree. Red wasn't to their liking. Red was too classic. In 2016, they thought Santa needed a reboot. Cue the color purple. Cue the Terribly Awesome.

Cowabunga Christmas: Pull Puppet Ornament


OOZING WITH HOLIDAY SPIRIT

TMNT holiday ornaments are no stranger to The Sewer Den. I've shared dozens of them over the years. But, I don't always have a complete set. That's one of the most frustrating aspects of TMNT collecting - there's 4 of everything! There's a set of pull puppet ornaments that fall into the incomplete bucket. Leonardo and Raphael have been lingering around my collection for ages, but their 2 other Turtles bros are missing in action. Now, I'm one step closer to completion with Michelangelo!