Cowabunga Christmas: Plush Santa Raphael (2012)


Turtle Tidings! Join me on a sewer sleigh ride and celebrate the holiday season with Turtle Power. Throughout December, I'll be featuring a slew of seasonal Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles items from past to present. In The Sewer Den's 5th year running, Cowabunga Christmas will be brimming with festive creations, wacky discoveries, and plenty of pizza! Get merry.



OOZING WITH HOLIDAY SPIRIT

When I first spotted this holiday plush of Raphael, my brain became fixated on one single thought - Die Hard. The free-standing Turtle didn't look cute, festive or seasonal. To me, he looked like one of Bruce Willis's victims in the 1988 classic film. I couldn't shake the visual from my mind. The usual "cowabunga" & "Turtle Power" catchphrases didn't mesh with this dude. Die Hard quotes, like "Now I have a machine gun, ho-ho-ho," seemed way more appropriate.

Cowabunga Christmas: Promotional Video Poster


Turtle Tidings! Join me on a sewer sleigh ride and celebrate the holiday season with Turtle Power. Throughout December, I'll be featuring a slew of seasonal Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles items from past to present. In The Sewer Den's 5th year running, Cowabunga Christmas will be brimming with festive creations, wacky discoveries, and plenty of pizza! Get merry.



OOZING WITH HOLIDAY SPIRIT

What's your favorite holiday movie? Everyone asks this question. People love expanding on this too, going further to suggest what is and what isn't a Christmas movie. While the debate rages on whether or not Die Hard is or isn't a holiday film, I can take a bold stand and tell you that the 3rd Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film is definitely NOT a Christmas movie. But, that didn't stop marketing efforts behind the flick. They created many promotional materials that tried to force holiday spirit into the sewers just to sell a few extra copies of the movie. One of the best (worst?) is this promotional poster for the home video release of the TMNT 3

Cowabunga Christmas: Michelangelo Sketchbook


Turtle Tidings! Join me on a sewer sleigh ride and celebrate the holiday season with Turtle Power. Throughout December, I'll be featuring a slew of seasonal Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles items from past to present. In The Sewer Den's 5th year running, Cowabunga Christmas will be brimming with festive creations, wacky discoveries, and plenty of pizza! Get merry.



OOZING WITH HOLIDAY SPIRIT

I've got a holiday decorating hack. It's nothing groundbreaking, but something I often use in a pinch when covering my home in festive decor. Books! Holiday reads are the best way to fill in dead spots and cover up the boring spots in your living space. Everything from the classics to thrift store finds, it all works. But my personal recommendation is to do it with Turtle Power. Have you spotted the Michelangelo Sketchbook: A Wonderful Holiday Tale on store shelves? Not only does it make for a solid decoration, but it's a seasonal read worth thumbing through.

Cowabunga Christmas: 2007 Movie Stocking


Turtle Tidings! Join me on a sewer sleigh ride and celebrate the holiday season with Turtle Power. Throughout December, I'll be featuring a slew of seasonal Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles items from past to present. In The Sewer Den's 5th year running, Cowabunga Christmas will be brimming with festive creations, wacky discoveries, and plenty of pizza! Get merry.



OOZING WITH HOLIDAY SPIRIT

Ugly sweaters have taken over Christmas. The memories and photos of our poor fashion choices of the past have morphed into a weird phenomenon. From eBay to Walmart, everyone seems to be selling their version of the ugly holiday sweater. But what about stockings? The fireplace-mounted classic hasn't evolved in ages. We've been stuck with the same designs for decades. No evolution, no creativity, and no ugliness.

TMNT has changed that. The new phenomenon is finally here.

Cowabunga Christmas: Raphael Snow Globe


Turtle Tidings! Join me on a sewer sleigh ride and celebrate the holiday season with Turtle Power. Throughout December, I'll be featuring a slew of seasonal Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles items from past to present. In The Sewer Den's 5th year running, Cowabunga Christmas will be brimming with festive creations, wacky discoveries, and plenty of pizza! Get merry.



OOZING WITH HOLIDAY SPIRIT

Stop all the clocks. Rewind back to a simpler time. A time with no internet, video stores, and plastic snow globes. This was my life in 1990. 8 years old and obsessed with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Who am I kidding? That's my life now too!). But back then, December was pure fantasy. Decorating for the holidays and crafting my wish list, it was all so magical. But nothing topped the annual appearance of my Raphael snow globe. Once the decoration was put on display, I knew the holidays had begun. Festive food, family gathering, and presents! Raphael was like the master of ceremonies to all these things, kicking them off and watching over us as we enjoyed the spirit of the season.

Reading Is Scary!


Motels love their bibles. Without fail, every bedside drawer houses the thick piece of literature. Whether you're in the mood to repent or just need some light reading before bed, motel owners have you covered. What if I owned my own motel? I would model the place after The Sewer Den - Ninja Turtles everywhere. The walls would be covered in classic art, the shelves in awesome collectibles, and the beds would be draped in only the finest of TMNT sheets. As for the bedside bibles, I'd totally buck the trend. Sorry to the big guy in the sky, but my motel rooms would provide the mutated bible - the word of the sewers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History.



Have you read this holy Half Shell book? It begins with the early origins of TMNT and carries up until the 2014 movie was nearing its release. Between those big beats, smaller niche moments in TMNT history are given some love too. Fun toys, goofy merchandise, wacky events - so many iconic and not-so iconic moments are covered. Nickelodeon did an amazing job curating, fact checking, and bringing this massive undertaking from idea to book store shelves. The book truly is a beast. I still haven't finished the book after having it for years. I often poke around the pages, noticing new images and passages.

The Monstrous Mistake


Pizza-eating teenage Turtles? Strange concept.
Pizza-eating teenage Turtles dressed up for Halloween? Stranger concept.

TMNT has had many crossovers since their early days in the 80s. The fun-loving mutants and their brand of zany hijinks make mashing up with other franchises an obvious opportunity. From stupid silly to completely cool, the Heroes in a Half Shell have donned many looks, borrowing from many pop culture characters. Star Trek, WWE, Trolls, and now Ghostbusters - there weren't, and still aren't, any limits to the looniness of TMNT crossovers. My favorite, and a favorite to all Halloween fiends, is the TMNT x Universal Monsters crossover. This wave of toys saw the Turtles mash up'd with classic movie monsters. We're talking the big players in horror history, every freak from Frankenstein to the Invisible Man.



This batch of weirdos was a long time much-sought-after Holy Grail for me. There were 2 waves of figures, 4 in each, and I only had one of the 8 figures while growing up (Creature from the Black Lagoon Leo). Bless the sewer gods, I successfully scooped up a complete set years ago for a decent price - before TMNT toy prices went off the rails. I am engaged, own a house, and even directed 98-minute feature film, but this purchase still might've been the best thing I've ever done.