Issue 19: Goodnight Turtle


Going to bed. It was the worst thing your parents could make you do as a kid. Any opportunity to stay up just a tad later and avoid a visit from the Sandman was always a treat. But when that unfortunate time came, when you unwillingly had to be tucked into bed, was there any saving grace?

Yes. Yes, there certainly was. Mine came in the form of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles bedsheets. They provided comfort both physically and mentally for a seven year old me. And when that time to go to sleep finally did roll around, I'd rest my head on those TMNT pillowcases, flick on the nightlight, and let my dreams take me into the night...

Decades later, the sheets still fit and the nightlight still burns bright in The Sewer Den. Here's a look at some magical TMNT items for bedtime and beyond.


This was my childhood. Despite all the hours I logged in playing with Ninja Turtles action figures, these sheets got even more use. Night after night, I would nestle myself into bed with this cozy set of sheets keeping me comfy. Although I was an only child, I had a bunk bed. So these sheets not only graced one twin bed, but two!

The placing of Turtles is a bit strange. Donatello and Raphael are grouped together, while Michelangelo and Leonardo are have their own, individual spots. Leonardo is actually featured twice in two different poses. Why the special treatment for Leo?

It's funny how the handles of Leonardo's swords differ in each pose. How difficult would it have been to decide on one particular style?

After all these years, I am utterly shocked how well the colors have held up. Not faded or stained at all. My parents must have some super duper detergent.


The Fearsome Four pose proud with a TMNT logo floating above their heads.


This fancy sham has red trim that surrounds the entire case. Classy. The other side of the pillowcase is just a simple white - no design.

In addition to the sham, there is a standard pillow case featuring the same artwork. It's just a little faded and not as vivid.

But, unlike the sham, this pillowcase is double-sided. The only difference is the background has gone from blue to red.

Since I had two sets of sheets for the bunk bed, there were always few of these TMNT pillowcases laying around. Notice something weird about this guy?

Looks like someone made a mistake with Leonardo's bandanna...

He even looks guilty - like he knows he did something wrong. Oh well, I guess they can't all be winners.


Letting in the perfect amount of light, these curtains framed my two windows for many years during my childhood. Not knowing much about interior design as a kid, I guess I did pretty well considering my bedsheets and curtains matched.

I wish I could go into some elaborate tale about how these curtains danced in a summer's breeze when I'd leave the windows open as kid. But alas, I cannot. These long curtains just simply hung there - doing nothing but collecting dust.

My parents must have splurged and got the curtains with a little more panache.  The tops have a cool, pinched-style to them. This went completely unnoticed as a kid.


This one-of-a-kind curtain tieback is a custom job courtesy of my dear Mom. This actually wasn't around back when I was a kid. She recently created this (along with three others) when I re-hung the curtains in The Sewer Den. A single, blue curtain tieback might not seem so impressive, but when you look at the other three, the creative train of thought begins to unfold...

There are four curtain tiebacks, each representing one of the Turtles. Simple, yet effective.


Nothing new here in terms of the pattern or artwork. Again, this blanket matches both the sheets and curtains. However, this one shows its age. Little bits of fuzz cling on from end to end. But behind all that lint, the Turtles still managed to keep their vivid color.

Similar to the sham pillowcase, the blanket has red trim to add some flair.

In addition to the blanket, there is also a twin comforter to provide a little extra warm on those really cold nights. Again, the artwork and pattern are the same. But, finally we've hit something that has lost some color and truly looks warn.

The vividness is long gone and fuzz balls are clinging to the comforter like barnacles to an ocean rock. This one was, and still is, extremely comfy. When you curl yourself inside, it is very soothing. The comforter has seen a lot in its days too. It made the journey with me to college and continued after into a few apartment throughout New York City. Now it happily sits ready for a guest in The Sewer Den.


Every kid has their favorite stuffed animal. Of course I had a few that tagged along on my adventures. Some were given as gifts, while others were prizes won during summer trips to the boardwalks of the Jersey Shore. You can see there is a surplus of plush Raphaels, whereas Leonardo is absent from the group.

Although very cute, this guy is unfortunately the bottom barrel in terms of quality for TMNT plush toys. Not too elaborate in terms of design. Simple bandannas and not much detail overall. He looks more like some sort of green creature, not really resembling a turtle.


The skewed bandanna is big indication of cheap quality. But to be fair, this was a boardwalk win from a crane game. A dollar or less was probably spent to get this plush Raphael.

Not too much detail when it comes to the shell. Super small with no definition.

Another boardwalk win - smaller in size, but better in quality. Unlike the Raphael plush, Donatello has some shape to his limbs giving him the appearance of having some muscles. 

He even has a big "D" printed on his belt adding some glitz to his simple wardrobe.

Donatello also has a bigger and more detailed shell. It makes him look like, you know, an actual turtle.

Alas, his bandanna did not get the same attention to detail as the rest of him. Halfway hanging over his eye, Donatello needs to adjust this thing. he cross-eyed?

A notch up in quality once again. Bigger and better in every way. Although still a little stumpy-looking, this Raphael still has the best muscles yet. The material is also a lot thicker and durable.

The belt is the best one yet - mostly because it actually looks like a belt rather than just a small piece of material sown on. Instead of the letter "R" being printed on, it is embroidered with class.

The shell is of proper proportions and caps off this plush very nicely.

There must be some reason why manufacturers can't seem to get these bandannas right. Again, it's a swing and a miss. That bulging eye is seriously a little creepy. But, at least this plush seems to have more of a beak on his face.

This Michelangelo is of the highest caliber. Right off the bat, his color is something a little different than the generic green that every other plush has had. His limbs and overall body shape is all in proper proportions. He doesn't looks like some stumpy little turtle.

Like the previous Raphael, Michelangelo boasts a solid, embroidered belt.

Unfortunately like every other plush, his bandanna isn't perfect. But, I feel like this is at least a step in the right direction - no bulging or crossed eyes.


Standing at about a foot tall, these lamps are suppose to comfort the small children who aren't quite ready for total darkness at night. Like the plush Turtles, Leonardo is absent once again (not sure why I have three out of the four Turtles for so many of these items).

These lamps are cool and kind of statue-like. But, do they do their job in the night? Omitting a warm glow to keep kids happy in the dark? No. Absolutely, not.

The plastic on these lamps is so incredibly thick that the light from the bulb barely passes through. Notice how all these picture have been taken in daylight.

No one Turtle shines brighter than the others. They are all terrible. Instead of the a night lamp, they are basically hollow, plastic statues with dangling cords.

Although these lamps were made in 1990, the power plugs seem a lot older than that. From their color to their touch, they scream hazardous.

I'm just waiting for the day when this thing sends out a few sparks causing The Sewer Den to go down in flames.


Notice something here? This night light actually gives off light. Such a crazy concept, right?

In the daylight, it is easier to see the fun design of this nightlight. Leonardo is equipped with big feet and a pudgy physique. For some reason, his face has a coy expression.

Unlike the night lamps, this plug isn't so scary and appears safe.

This nightlight deserves a lot of credit for its longevity. I've had this thing since a kid - in the early 90's. The bulb inside has never been changed. It still burns bright and proud.

Going to bed has never been so fun. From the warm TMNT blankets to clutching a Ninja plush while you catch some Z's, these items guarantee a good night's sleep. Sweet dreams from The Sewer Den


  1. thats an impressive collection you have thank for sharing,,I am just redoing my 6 yr olds room in the new TMNTs he actually does have the Mikey lamp you have though I will see if I can email a pic when everything is done.

  2. Nice article man, I totally remember those 'plush' ninja turtles, really takes me down memory lane. Me and my mom won all four of them in both sizes at the Del-Mar fair (San Diego,CA) back in 90 or 91 from playing the game where you toss moth balls into those jars of water, usually they'd give you a goldfish but all of sudden they had 'plush' turtles lol! I remember I used to keep them on my bed when I went to sleep (as a 7 yr old).

    P.S. Just caught that quote at the bottom, very nice :) Now I'm gonna go watch TMNT 1 (1990)

    1. Moth balls in jars of water for Turtles?! This is why California is so darn cool.

      That's great they swapped fish prizes for TMNT ones. Turtle Power comes to the Del-Mar fair! If they offered those same prizes today, you'd see me with handfuls of mothballs trying to take home a few Turtles.

      Good eye noticing that quote! One of my favorites.

  3. Holy crap, I remember those bedsheets! I never had the curtains but I slept on those sheets for years. I think I had the nightlight too but I'm not totally sure. Anyway, thanks for the awesome blast from the past!

    1. Thanks for the kind words! Those bedsheets were quality. After all these years, they still look pretty darn good. That's Turtle Power.

  4. Ive still got the bedsheets and plushed Leonardos


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