JAPAN - PART 5 Ending In Osaka

During a voyage to Japan, I relentlessly hunted for Japanese TMNT toys. What did I uncover? Pack your bags for a cowabunga-fueled trip to the Far East.



Kyoto cleansed my conscious, but the city was a toy wasteland. The shrines and temples were spiritual centers for tourists, not comic con visitors. Osaka was the last leg of my journey, my last opportunity for Japanese toy discoveries.



JAPAN - PART 4 Calm In Kyoto

During a voyage to Japan, I relentlessly hunted for Japanese TMNT toys. What did I uncover? Pack your bags for a cowabunga-fueled trip to the Far East.


OTHER ENTRIES


PART 4: CALM IN KYOTO

After seven time-warped days, my time in Tokyo reached its end. I made my way to the Shinkansen (bullet train) with my collection of Tokyo Turtle toys in tow.

The pulse of the city rushed me towards the train station. I hurried through the streets in a rapid fury. But, why was I racing against the clock? I had no set agenda. Next on my itinerary, Kyoto - a mellow and restful place. I slipped into a calm state of mind in preparation.

My pace slowed as the velocity of Tokyo zoomed by. But as if the toy quest wasn't ready to let me go, what suddenly appeared right before me? One final Tokyo toy store.

JAPAN - PART 3 The Final Days of Tokyo

During a voyage to Japan, I relentlessly hunted for Japanese TMNT toys. What did I uncover? Pack your bags for a cowabunga-fueled trip to the Far East.


OTHER ENTRIES

PART 3: THE FINAL DAYS OF TOKYO


The globe kept spinning and the days carried on. A few nights of sleep extinguished the brutal jet lag of my 13 hour flight. Now, I was deep into the city of Tokyo - exploring every facet of the urban ecosystem.



By the fourth day, I was drifting among the hordes of people who crowded a local street market in the Ueno ward.



I roved through, eying whole octopi and other bizarre snacks that were available for consumption. My mind had officially migrated to Japan, abandoning the desire to sniff out toys.

The narrow alley opened to a blur of cars on a busy street. As I waited at the crosswalk, something grabbed my attention...


Multi-storied TURTLES.

JAPAN - PART 2 Tokyo Continued

During a voyage to Japan, I relentlessly hunted for Japanese TMNT toys. What did I uncover? Pack your bags for a cowabunga-fueled trip to the Far East.

OTHER ENTRIES

PART 2: TOKYO CONTINUED


The second day of my trip, I exited my hotel with a mission - dive into the world of Japanese art. Museums are a relaxing way to explore a city, feel inspired, and best of all, stay cool when temperatures flare. The Hara Museum of Contemporary Art provided all of this. I wandered through the hushed rooms, gazing upon every installation in awe. Each piece was a rousing window to the imaginative mind of its creator.



Riddled with inspired energy, I left the museum. The comfort of air conditioning instantly vanished as the suffocating heat took control. I battled, but ultimately lost to the sweltering temperatures. The sun blasted so bright, even dogs wore sunglasses.



I swam through the swamp of humidity and arrived at the Akihabara ward. This section of Tokyo is a video game mecca. I took myself on a self-guided walking tour through this museum-like district.

JAPAN - PART 1 Hello Tokyo


The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They train, battle, and protect on a daily basis. They are champions of good - living up to their title of "Heroes in a Halfshell." And their reward? A life in the sewers.

We normal humans work easy jobs in comparison. We sit at a desk for 8 measly hours a day, battling no evils, and yet we still demand time off. The Turtles never get that chance to escape. Vacation opportunities don't exist for mutants.


But, me? I'm no Ninja Turtle. Traveling is my favorite. I enjoy exploring the globe, experiencing different cultures, and chowing down on exotic cuisine. But most of all, I love hunting for toys. The thrill escalades when you're battling the language barrier and converting the currency in your head, all in the mayhem of a foreign land.


Recently, I ventured to Japan - a country steeped in culture and toys. It's also the birthplace of ninjas. That's right, NINJAS. If it weren't for Japan, the Teenage Mutant NINJA Turtles would be radically different, possibly nonexistent (*shudders*). The country plays a crucial role with our beloved characters and their origins.


I was relentless in my quest for Japanese TMNT merchandise. I combed the crowded streets of Tokyo, wandered the spiritual shrines of Kyoto, and navigated the twisted alleys of Osaka - all for the sake of Turtle Power.

Pack your bags for a radical, weeklong cowabunga-fueled trip to Japan. No passport required, dudes.

The Sewer Den - Japan (5-Part Series from September 8-12)


Recently, I ventured to Japan - a country steeped in culture and toys. I was relentless in my quest for Japanese TMNT merchandise. I combed the crowded streets of Tokyo, wandered the spiritual shrines of Kyoto, and navigated the twisted alleys of Osaka - all for the sake of Turtle Power.

What did I uncover? Pack your bags for this weeklong cowabunga-fueled trip to the Far East.

The 5-part adventure kicks off this Monday, September 8th!

TMNT 2014 Movie Review (Mom & Dad Edition)

TMNT 2014 MOVIE REVIEW
MOM & DAD EDITION

It's been over 2 weeks since the Turtles movie hit theaters. Critical reviews were mostly negative, but the film exploded at the box office.

While recently visiting my parents, we escaped the summer heat with a trip to the cinemas. Sure, you've read reviews from critics and Turtle fans, but what about my parents? They're two people who didn't grow up with TMNT, but witnessed their son & his generation get taken over by the phenomenon.

Check out their quick, spoiler-free reviews.


The Good.
- The origin story was fresh, connecting the Turtles & April when they were both younger.
- Product placement success! The Pizza Hut pizza looked tasty & using it as a form of torture was funny.
- The prominent personalities & distinct looks of each Turtle were cool.
- The slice of pizza landing on Splinter's head was humorous & a nice homage to the first film.

The Bad.
- April looked too unscathed after nonstop action scenes.
- The lack of Casey Jones. Will Arnett did not make up for it.

The Ugly.
- The Turtles were too big and too ugly on the eyes.

Best MOM quote: "During the film, I thought to myself, 'I'm not bored!'"



The Good.
- Entertaining, fast-paced action.
- Megan Fox was surprisingly pleasant as April.
- Splinter's fighting style (with his tail). A fresh take on an old character.

The Bad.
- A worn-out plot. It was as if the filmmakers didn't have a unique script so they simply took another film's story.
- Splinter's voice. He didn't sound wise or Asian.

The Ugly.
- The Turtles. They looked best as cute toddlers, but otherwise were too battle-worn.

Best DAD quote: "What was up with Shredder in this movie? He was not the guy I know."
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The Parental Conclusion.

Overall, Mama & Papa Sewer Den thought TMNT was a fun summer flick. They were entertained and happy they saw the "big, ugly Turtles" on the big screen. I was hoping they would yell "cowabaunga" when the credits rolled, but I guess I'll have to wait until the sequel for that.