Issue 13: Button Up


Some heroes get purple heart medals, others get a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles button.

It's hard to understand the logic of a button collection. After pinning a few to your shirt, they start to look tacky. So what makes them so popular? Is it the freedom of expression with no real commitment? Or maybe it's because they're just so silly and fun.

Either way, the Turtles had a slew of them on the market. The Sewer Den buttons up.


This is the quintessential TMNT button. With all four brothers in some classic, ninja poses. Raphael takes the cake with an awesome, knees up attack stance. What kid would be disappointed to hang this from their shirt? Obviously, not me. The glory has faded from this one after years of use, but it only adds charm.

Like the aging front, the back has also seen better days. Spots of rust and corrosion cover it. Ninja tetanus?


THE classic Ninja Turtles pose. Raphael isn't knees up for this one, folks. This button is harnessing every bit of the 80's cartoon. Everyone flaunting their weapons and, of course, smiling.

The reverse side of this one is in slightly better shape. No grime and the metal makes an effort to reflect light. A little tough to tell, but this baby is about double the size of the previous button. Were bigger buttons cooler in the 80's?


Not quite a button, but way more classy. Thicker metal, no rust, and overall sleeker - these pins are certainly magical.

Something about these pins seemed special to me even as a kid. I remember this Leonardo one quite well. When first joining Cub Scouts, my uniform (hat and shirt) were pretty bare. There hadn't been any opportunities for me to earn badges yet. So, I took matters into my own hands. Leonardo became a staple of my Cub Scout uniform - right on my hat. If there was any badge I definitely earned in Cub Scouts, it was this Ninja one.

I'm not sure who gave me these pins. In the grand scheme, it doesn't matter (but I'm still thankful!) However, I'd really like to know why they purchased only 2 of the 4 Turtles. Why not let Donatello and Raphael join the party? My Cub Scout hat would've looked so much cooler!

Still as beautiful as it was in 1989! Clean as a whistle.


The opposite of classy. Plastic, shiny, and cheap. This "button" probably came packaged with an inexpensive Turtles costume. It is completely underwhelming. The only redeeming trait is the "T" design that is taken from the 80's cartoon logo.

Unless you're attaching this button by using duct tape, you're out of luck. The tough plastic makes it nearly impossible to latch this thing onto anything. I tested it on a shirt, belt, and a jacket - a fail every time.


This prize was featured in a previous post, so I'm rehashing a bit. But hey, this rad button deserves a spot here too. Thomas' Toast-R-Cakes were a round, flat corn muffin that fit easily into the toaster. Throw on some butter and you had yourself an excellent breakfast treat. I enjoyed the heck out of these things...and collected enough proofs-of-purchases in return for this stellar button. Ah...the days when you could get free stuff for simply eating like a pig...

Thomas' were all about quality foods. So naturally their buttons would also be of top caliber. The fastening pin is still sharp and the reflection is majestic.


What you see here is a token of me being awesome in my 20's. On April 23rd of 2009, my buddy Marty and me headed to the ultimate "Shell-ebration." The Tribeca Film Festival was hosting an outdoor screening of the original Ninja Turtles film in honor of their 25 year anniversary. Dressing in costume was encouraged (they were trying to break the world record for most Ninja Turtles-themed people in one area).

So we went. In full costume. And ya know what? Barely anyone else did...especially adults. What looked like an awkward experience actually morphed into an event for the ages. We were an instant hit. Kids wanted to take pictures with us, news outlets were interviewing us, a mother even asked us to hold her baby.

Out of all the times I dressed up as Raphael in my life, it never quite reached the levels of fun/insanity that hit on that April of 2009. And I'm glad I've still got the button to commemorate that day (you can even see us wearing them in these pictures).


Six inches. This button is six inches in diameter! How the heck would you ever wear this? Attached it on your shirt and the thing is sure to stretch out the neck. Even if you can forgive the outrageous size, can you forgive the artwork on display? This scene depicts Leonardo and Raphael in one of the most dramatic moments of the movie. They are people in costumes...acting by ways of is this a good moment? What about all the cool martial arts? Geez, even a standard Ninja pose would do. But, not their dramatic acting.

This button is so big it actually comes equipped with a stand to hold it up. Wow.

After all these years, this fastening pin remains pretty much unused. Why use a pin when you've got a kickstand?

Excessive, memorable, magical, and even laughable, I suppose buttons have their purpose. They harness specific moods and emotions for a particular day. They can shine a light on the past or just make someone smile. But, what if you're writing an issue for your blog about buttons? Is there a button to showcase that? If there is, it's not in The Sewer Den. BUT, I've got enough buttons to collectively keep me covered.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Forgiveness is divine, but never pay full price for late pizza.

Comment here!