ISSUE 10: A GOLDEN EGG FOR A GOLDEN NINJA
Colorful eggs, white bunnies, candy galore - such iconic imagery for the Easter season. The Ninja Turtles had cracked the merchandising scene of many holidays; Halloween, Christmas, and even Valentine's Day. But, could they manage to break into Easter? A holiday owned by a big, white bunny?
Of course they did. No stone was left unturned in the merchandising world of TMNT. Not only did the Turtles cash in on Easter, but they went the extra mile. Just in time for the holiday in the year of 1992, the epic 47 minute film, The Turtles' Awesome Easter was released.
The box art I remember quite vividly. From the local video store to VHS collections of my friends, this tape was popping up everywhere. And truth be told, this is one of the Ninja Turtle tales that escaped my childhood. I never saw it - never owned it. But judging by the cover, I think I might have made a wise decision. Even in '92 this synopsis would have you raise an eyebrow.
"Shredder is trying to destroy Easter and only the green teens can stop him. To find a solution, they must travel into "The Fairy Tale" Dimension, where they meet up with many storybook superstars."
To be fair, that's an internet synopsis. The one on that back cover of the VHS box is a little longer, but here's the first sentence...
"Just as the Turtles are preparing for a totally eggs-cellent Easter, Shredder scrambles their plans with a way-bogus ray - that makes everyone timid as terrified bunnies!"
Is one synopsis actually better than the other? This is a pure cash-in. If there is any quality in this film, I would be shocked. If anyone owns this flick and wants to have a little screening, let's dye some eggs and have a party!
Although I missed the The Turtles' Awesome Easter as a kid, there are a few things in The Sewer Den that could be chalked up as Easter-themed. Mainly, Usagi Yojimbo - a reoccurring character in the Ninja Turtles universe.
Usagi Yojimbo has his own line of comics aside from the Ninja Turtles as well. He's described as a ronin rabbit who wanders the land occasionally selling his services as a bodyguard in feudal Japan. How he made the jump from 17th century Japan to the 1990's in New York to join the Turtles is beyond me.
Aside from being in the original cartoon series, the white rabbit also had a few toys out in his day while trucking around the Ninja Turtles universe...
Nothing says ninja like big rabbit ears wrapped up in a pink hair tie. The original Usagi Yojimbo toy came back in the late 80's. He was released right around the original wave of Ninja Turtles figures. I wonder if he made a good gift to throw in an Easter basket?
His expression is a bit zany. If he was hoping to work at a shopping mall during Easter season, I think kids might be a little afraid of him...
When the Ninja Turtles were reincarnated in 2003, Uasagi Yojimbo was as well. This time around, he seems to have calmed down a tad. His crazy expression has been replaced with something a little more somber. He still doesn't really seem happy though. Maybe a viewing of The Turtles' Awesome Easter would cheer him up?
Not sure if either of these guys would make an adequate Easter Bunny...
There was also Space Usagi who came out at some point in the '90's. Although this is based on a comic, this screams cash-in to me. There were plenty of ridiculous action figures in the world of Ninja Turtles, but this one is pretty darn silly. What kid really needs a toy of a rabbit in a space suit? Apparently...I did.
Not a very welcoming Easter Bunny. That red eye is a little creepy.
In space, ninja rabbits still need hair ties for their ears. This time Usagi went for purple. Very space-like indeed.
Although a bit disconnected and a little random, I guess you can find a little Easter magic where ever you look - including The Sewer Den. From rabbits in space to the ultimate 90's video, the Ninja Turtles always come through. Now time for the usual Easter traditions - dying some eggs and microwaving a Marshmallow Peep to see how big it gets! Happy Easter from The Sewer Den!