ISSUE 32: COWABUNGA CLEAN
Bathrooms are boring. From place to place, the space doesn't vary much in terms of decor. Bed, Bath, and Beyond can only spruce up your water closet so much. But have no fear, The Sewer Den will roundhouse kick some cool into your bathroom with TMNT accessories.
As we all know, the Ninja Turtles phenomenon took the world by storm back in the late 80's. They conquered the toy market, had a clothing line, and even found themselves in grocery stores. Why not hit the bathroom? I previously showcased a heap of TMNT cleansing gear, but couldn't resist returning to my arsenal. These items may be dusty, but they're sure to keep you squeaky clean!
Pumped up and ready to go. Raphael will clean you up after combat. With 10 ounces of liquid soap, this Turtle can fight off the Foot Clan AND germs. Not bad for something found on the shelves of Wal-Mart.
For all the gimmicky products the Turtles released over the years, this one deserves credit. Unlike other cash-ins, this silly soap instills an important message for kids - keep clean and wash your hands. Rinsing your hands before dinner is a chore for any child. But when it becomes Turtle-oriented, the task suddenly mutates from dull to fun. With this soap, every ninja will wash up before dinner.
I always liked Raphael's hands on this dispenser. Such a calm and non-threatening position. His pose is more on par for school pictures than ninja battles. I guess this guy lets his guard down in the bathroom.
Life on the road can force you into unfamiliar bathrooms. Those moments often border on the side of scary. I've stayed in my fair share of creepy coves that mirrored the Bates Motel. In those situations, the bathroom becomes the epicenter of grossness. The shampoo, tissues, and other complimentary items cannot be trusted. But hopefully, you packed your TMNT travel toothbrush.
Dug up from the dark depths of my parents bathroom, the almighty TMNT dental mop returns! I originally thought this thing went the way of the dodo, but it's back. Conveniently compact, this green guy will keep your pearly whites clean in unexpected situations. And for simple hygiene tool, it's pretty fun. How often do you assemble your toothbrush like a Lego set? Granted it's not much, but I always enjoyed cracking open that case and locking in those green pieces of plastic. Build, brush, breakdown. It was an entertaining ritual on our family vacations.
I wish I could testify that this lifted the burden of brushing my teeth as a kid. But man, those bristles were bad. And not just a little bad either...I'm talking Foot Clan bad - even evil. Sure you were wiping away the plaque, but it also got the smile off your face too. The bristles had the attributes of a copper wire and gave your gums a dental karate chop.
Notice how this brush is still sealed in its original packaging? Once my first brush had been used beyond belief, this one waited in the wings as a backup. But, I couldn't do this to my mouth again. The horrific memories were still too fresh, too deep - right down to my little molars that still hadn't fallen out yet.
This had to help parents in cleaning their kids. Did bath time become easier thanks to TMNT? If it didn't completely wipe away the fussing and refusals, hopefully it at least alleviated them because Michelangelo brings some serious excitement to the bathtub experience. I mean, it's soap that is in a toy-like container! What kid could complain?
Although this canister is empty, the long lost liquid was by no means standard. Kids were lucky enough to splash around in "Slime Green Ooze." An ooze that mutates you from dirty to clean? That sounds fun even as an adult!
My memories of bath time are foggy. I'm not sure if I was in the love em or hate em boat. But, Turtle bubble bath still remains in my possession today - well used from oozy adventures in the tub.
Another dose of bubble bath to keep kids clean. However, this time around, there's a twist. The top part of the packaging has made the switch from hero to villain. Taking a bath was never so evil.
But for being such a fierce foe, Shredder looks a bit timid. Where's the menacing villain we once knew? This daisy has been downgraded from evil mastermind to worried wimp. The intimating eyes have been replaced with fear. Instead of a vicious pose, the man is cowering with clenched fists.
He was never afraid of the Turtles, but maybe Shredder is fearful of a soap scum?
At first glance, a kid jumps for joy at TMNT lip balm. Raphael is on the packaging promoting "Great Cherry Flavor." Very cool. When I got this as a kid, it was all smiles. I tore open the packaging, popped off the cap, and experienced the power of lip balm.
I was baffled. What the heck was this thing? It only took a few licks to realize lip balm was not a candy. And the advertised "Great Cherry Flavor?" Far from great. What kind of cherries were these people eating? I never had a cherry that tasted like this. My parents presented the truths of lip balm - what it did and how to use it. It wasn't bath soap or a toothbrush, but it was also important for my hygiene. So, I continued to give it a go. As the time passed, a strange thing happened...
I liked it. I mean, I really liked it. But, not for its intended use. Like a lollipop, I'd secretly take small licks from the stick. The mysterious "Great Cherry Flavor" brainwashed me into believing it was good. When the stuff was caked onto my lips, I would lick away so much that they eventually became chapped. The lip balm helped create the very thing it was suppose to prevent.
Helps smooth & protect lips from sun, wind, & cold - but not yourself!
Ninjas get hurt and kids do too. Between climbing trees, riding my bike, and pretending I was a Turtle, I often came home scraped and bruised. When it wasn't a trip to the emergency room, it was a trip to the bathroom for the customary TMNT adhesive bandage (a.k.a. Band-Aid). My injured little body would take a seat as my Mom or Dad prepped the procedure. Within a few seconds, the faces of my favorite crime-fighters hid my wounds.
Like most kids, I fell victim to many cuts over the years. The TMNT bandages were always there for me. But looking back, Raphael and Leonardo were actually the only ones coming to my rescue. Donatello and Michelangelo were missing in action. All the boxes and bandages I had didn't feature those two Turtles. The fearsome four wasn't intact. Maybe Donny and Mikey get squeamish when they see blood?
Piles of TMNT bandages were tucked away beneath our bathroom sink. The collection lasted over a decade - patching up my body for years. There were so many that my Mom even made the move from boring Band-Aids to TMNT bandages. She wore them to work and other social occasions...I'm just now realizing how boss that is. But, I guess how else were we suppose to exhaust the supply?
Getting older unfortunately means you outgrow many aspects from your youth. Although I still have them, I don't necessarily play with my TMNT toys anymore. The time of Turtle bubble baths are also long gone. But as an adult, I'm still getting injured. To this day, the TMNT bandages come to the rescue when mysterious scrapes and accidental cuts hinder my body.
Every childhood experience requires a toy. Plush animals, blankets, action figures, dolls, plastic guns - these are the items that mold a child's memory. Toys are the backbone of being a kid. They allow your young imagination to wander freely - in all circumstances and situations too. Whether a child is at school, home, or on an adventure, a toy is by their side.
Bath time is no different. Kids want to be entertained and let their imaginations soar, especially in the tub. Enter the TMNT Raphael bath toy. This isn't a gimmicky shampoo or a crazy flavor of toothpaste. This isn't dressing up the mundane in an attempt to entertain. This is simply a toy.
Made especially for bath time, Raphael floats fun all around the tub. The handlebar-controlled, army-styled raft rides the small waves of the water easily - bobbing around like a rubber duckie. But, this Turtle don't quack.
There's a compartment in the back, but my TMNT tub memories are drawing a blank. Maybe it's meant to lug around a bathtub accessory?
BUBBLE BATH STATUE COLLECTION
If the Turtles hosted an awards show, these bubble bath containers would be presented to the winners. But, let's face it. No one will be wearing a tux in the tub. Your birthday suit is just fine.
During the days of my childhood, Michelangelo was the only Turtle in my collection of TMNT bubble baths. But, the other three brothers had to exist, right? I never saw them in stores. But in my adult years, I slowly managed to track down the remaining Turtles. Raphael, Donatello, and Leonardo were added to my stockpile of TMNT goodies. Now, the complete set of 4 stand united in The Sewer Den.
How big were these things?
A little size comparison straight from '88.
It's amazing how much cooler these guys look in a group. The usual TMNT silliness is mysteriously absent. In turn, they proudly boast serious, soapy attitudes. With the way these guys are holding their weapons and defiantly staring ahead, they remind me of the Queen's guards at Buckingham Palace - all business, never flinching.
Parents love to make demands. Barking orders is part of the parental authority. Throughout the ages kids have constantly been reminded to "wash your hands and brush your teeth." Most children begrudgingly obey. But by stocking up on TMNT treasures for the bathroom, that painful routine gets a jolt of excitement. And teaching kids good hygiene ain't so bad either.
Keep cool, keep clean.