A mysterious box recently arrived on my doorstep. The packaging had TMNT stickers, a handwritten message that read, "Turtle Power!", and was sealed with Philadelphia Eagles duct tape. This was no ordinary postal delivery - this was magic.
I glanced at the return address. My pal and avid Sewer Den reader, Dandy, was the sender of this unexpected package. I lifted the intriguing box and gave it a curious shake. It was surprisingly heavy and densely packed. What was inside this magical cardboard casing?
Driven by impulse, I cracked it open. As I pulled back the cardboard flaps, the contents inside beamed back at me. Everything was strategically arranged with delicate precision and the utmost care. A "thank you" card sat on top of the pile of treasures, like a proud climber standing atop of Mount Everest. I flipped the card over and read the sincere message.
Dandy's kind words instantly brought a smile to my face.
After re-reading the message countless times, my attention shifted back to the package. How did Dandy manage to cram all these treasures inside such a tiny box? It truly was a work of art. I felt guilty dismantling his packaging masterpiece. But, the TMNT treasures beckoned me...
I excavated each layer of Turtle Power packed within. It was like The Sewer Den was conducting its own archeological dig. There was a unique variety of rarities that spanned different eras of TMNT history.
Let's take a look at the riches I unearthed from Dandy's box of gold.
MCDONALD'S HAPPY MEAL BOXES
Happy Meals make kids happy. But, they make dudes in their 30s happy too. TMNT food-related items are one of my favorites to collect. Dandy included 2 Happy Meal boxes inside his cowabunga care package.
As I analyzed them, a hunger took over. I suddenly had a huge hankering for nuggets. Cartoons and cravings...
BURGER KING ADVENTURES
The 2K3 series often gets overlooked. But, I loved it and apparently Burger King did too. This fun worksheet is covered in TMNT-themed games and activities. Every inch of paper is enveloped in TMNT lingo and dippy puns.
There are plenty of puzzles to keep the brain busy. I'm torn between keeping this as a collectible or doodling on it as I solve the riddles and complete the activities. Being master of The Sewer Den requires difficult decisions!
ZIPLOCK OF GOODIES
As I dug deeper and broke through a new layer of the box, a pouch of riches was discovered. The contents inside radiated totally tubular vibes through the translucent bag. I wasted no time and broke it open.
NEXT MUTATION STICKER PACK
The first thing to slip out of the pouch of goodies was this beautiful pack of stickers from the infamous Next Mutation series. Despite all the success TMNT has had over the years, it's important to collect the failures too! I was ecstatic that Dandy included an item from this subpar series.
The cards inside showcase bland and uninspired moments from the bland and uninspired show. The Next Mutation was a dud, and I love that these cards reflect that.
TOPPS TRADING CARDS
Trading cards stir nostalgia. Back in the 80s & 90s, collecting a set was a challenging quest. I spent many summer afternoons organizing these small pieces of paper. But, I'm still missing a bunch of cards. And surprisingly, I never got my paws on anything from the 3rd movie. I'm happy to have those time-traveling Turtles join my trading card collection.
Did you ever beg your parents to buy TMNT patches? I didn't, but I imagine the crafty mothers of 1989 used them to design Turtle Powered creations for their children. They're completely old school, completely cool. Splinter is my favorite. I love the idea of a "rat patch." Kids, get mom to put a rat patch on your wardrobe.
I have a TMNT button collection, but nothing from the current Nickelodeon series. Dogpound is bucking that trend. He's also the first enemy featured in my batch. The branding on his button is interesting - "Nickelodeon Universe" written in the current TMNT font. This is the first time I've seen a licensed item refer to the current Nickelodeon series in this manner.
Who knew buttons could be so educational?
The name doesn't lie. When placed in water, the fun, minuscule square expands to full-sized hand cloth. TMNT = Teenage Magic Ninja Towel. On second thought, that sounds weird, not magical.
As I was sifting through Dandy's box of fun, something escaped and circled around me. It was this bodacious ball. I swear the thing has a mind of its own and never sits still. It will rotate around The Sewer Den like the Earth to the sun.
LIGHT-UP ZAZZLE BADGE
Do you want people to know you're a TMNT fan? Then wear this thing. It's a rapidly blinking, multi-colored button that lights up in an alluring and hypnotic way. It also has the best name of any TMNT merchandise I've ever come across - The Light-Up Zazzle Badge! They could have easily called this thing a "blinking button." But, the creators went above and beyond with its original title. My TMNT collection never had any zazzle. Now, it does.
Lots of people have TMNT collections, so I'm always looking for ways to personalize The Sewer Den. This dry-erase board gives me the opportunity to add distinction. Rotating messages will keep things interesting and entertaining.
PRINGLES (MOVIE EDITION)
I managed to track down the Donatello & Michelangelo Movie Pringles, but was unsuccessful in finding Raphael & Leonardo. Alas, my collection was incomplete. Enter Dandy. When he stumbled upon the cans I was missing, he valiantly purchased them for The Sewer Den. Now, I've got all 4 Turtles in Pringles form.
Bodacious potato power.
Everything in the box is amazing, but these magnets take home the "most international" prize. An interesting item from the 2K3 series steeped in foreign flavor.
Although the majority of my TMNT collection is American-based, I LOVE international merchandise. I have a few items from the UK, France, and a slew from Japan. I am very happy to have Israel join my mutated United Nations collection.
Sticker books are a bash. It seems like every character and every moment from the Nickelodeon show has been captured in sticker form. The possibilities are endless with this arsenal at your disposal.
With a seemingly infinite amount of stickers, it will take me years to exhaust this assortment. Watch out, I'm going plaster them on everything I own.
Dandy not only contributed a heap of treasures to The Sewer Den, but unknowingly made my life easier with this wall calendar. 2015 will be filled with organized activities and on-time appointments.
Dandy, can I pencil in a day to buy you a beer?
My favorite TMNT items are the wackiest ones. The more absurd, the happier I am. Well, the Jumbo Pen makes a strong case for ultimate goofy.
To see the absurd size of this beast, I placed it in the arms of an action figure. Even the best ninjas have difficulty containing the power of the Jumbo Pen.
I really want to take notes at crucial meeting or sign an important document with this pen.
The pen is mightier than the sword.
By the time I reached the bottom of the box, it felt like days had passed. I had removed a never-ending supply of TMNT gems from the cardboard container. The once barren floor of my living room was quickly hidden by a layer of Turtle Power. Digging through the box was an awesome experience. I had an incredible time unearthing each mysterious item, never knowing what to expect.
I wasted no time. I immediately knew which piece I was going to focus on first. After Dandy's gracious gift, it was a no-brainer. So here you are, pal. Total gratitude, dude. Straight from the sewers!