ISSUE 11: EAT UP, DUDE (PART 1)
Popeye has his spinach. And the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have their pizza. At the height of their popularity, it was hard to separate the two. Every brand of frozen pizza seemed to have some sort of promotion involving the green machines.
Although the Turtles managed to monopolize the pizza industry, that didn't stop them from smacking their faces on other food-related merchandise. Frozen treats, sugary snacks, dinnerware - there were no limits. A few of these gems remain in The Sewer Den. So let's set the table for some Turtle fun.
Faded, peeled paint, and even a bit creepy. But, these attributes showcase the overall love I had for this bowl. It obviously had some good use in its day.
The bowl came packaged with infamous Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cereal. This breakfast didn't have much longevity - lasting less than two years. That was during the Ninja Turtles peak too (1989-1991). It was that bad. The bowl was a winner, but the cereal was not.
I remember being so excited to sink my teeth into this beautiful breakfast - full of marshmallows and other ninja goodness. A few spoonfuls in, my mind was made up. The Turtles had me hooked on pizza, but their cereal was the pits.
Luckily, I will always have this bowl to remind me of that fateful morning.
After collecting enough Pizza Points, I was able to redeem them for this prized possession. This cup cracks me up because only three of the four Turtles make an appearance - Donatello has been clearly left off.
For some reason this cup always accompanied the cereal bowl when breakfast time hit. It also came at a time when my parents were trying to get me into the swing of orange juice. Every morning, this cup would contain that bright, glowing liquid. I was no fan of OJ back then, so I would simply cringe at the sight. The Turtles didn't drink this orange stuff at breakfast and I didn't want to either.
Alas, another bitter breakfast memory for me.
FOLDING TV TRAY
From breakfast in bed to a stay home sick day, this tray was full of folding fun. Although the logo is from the 90's cartoon, the artwork is geared more towards the original comics. An ideal and convenient device for a lazy Sunday.
From everything I have in my collection, this thing somehow stood the test of time. It's pretty flawless. No scratches, dents, or rusting. I'm totally going to whip this puppy out next time I call out of work.
THOMAS' TOAST-R-CAKES BUTTON
Another item from the breakfast scene. Aside from my memories, Thomas' Toast-R-Cakes remains a mystery. I can't seem to find any physical packaging in my collection. No true photo evidence online either. But, this button proves their existence!
Thomas' Toast-R-Cakes were basically a round, flat corn muffin that fit easily into the toaster. Throw on some butter and you had yourself an excellent breakfast treat. Obviously, I liked these things...we sent in enough proofs-of-purchase to get this rad button.
This didn't hold up as well as the folding TV tray, but it still looks pretty snazzy. Despite the stains and spots of discolor, it still fits! As the flour floated about the kitchen, I'd get my ninja baking on. My Mom and I would make some kick ass cakes and cookies while I wore this bad boy (shout out to you, Pillsbury Funfetti!)
Once again, only three of the Turtles make an appearance. This time Raphael has been left out (Donatello made the cut!)
In my parents defense, they didn't buy their young son an apron for cooking. This actually came with a paint set and brushes; also with the intended use of an easel. I guess they were hoping to bring out the artist within me, not the baker.
OOZE GELATIN DESSERT (JELLO)
There's an offer on these boxes. Send in a few proofs-of-purchase and you'd get some free molds for your jello. The offer expired on June 30, 1992.
So it's been at least 19 years since these graced store shelves. Jello that's just a couple years shy being legally allowed to drink..? That's fascinating. With all those passing years, this stuff probably did turn into some sort of ooze. After eating it, mutating into a giant Turtle would seem like an appropriate side effect.
There were three different types of box art. Nabisco couldn't spring the extra buck and make a box for each Turtle. Instead, Michelangelo and Donatello get chummy.
Pizza, cereal bowls, mysterious cornbread, and even Jello that is close approaching two decades in age - the Ninja Turtles never cease to amaze. So next time you're feeling hungry, no matter what you may crave, I guarantee the TMNT can come save your day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.