BY THE POWER OF…..COWABUNGA?!? One of the biggest toylines of the 80’s just got fused with the biggest toyline of the 90’s.
Last November, toy publisher Mattel surprised toy collectors with an announcement that they would be releasing a toyline crossing the “Masters of the Universe” with the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” toy franchises, which is an odd mashup – and not just because one group of heroes lives in the sewers, while the others live on the distant planet “Eternia”: “Playmates” is the usual publisher of the TMNT toylines, but Nickelodeon appears to have licensed the brand out to Mattel for this outing. Named the “Turtles of Grayskull” line, the toyline has now started being released in stores (and online) in January, in celebration of 2024 being the 40th anniversary of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (in their original comic book format).
Mattel’s press release reads: “The partnership between Masters of the Universe and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles allows fans to create new storytelling moments with the Turtles of Grayskull line which outfits characters including Leonardo and Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo with Eternian-style battle gear, and He-Man from Masters of the Universe will battle his Mutagen Mutation while Skeletor will don Turtle-inspired Armor. Merging these worlds, which are both narratively jam-packed with creative possibility, unlocks even more storytelling opportunities for fans across both brands.”
The first wave of figures announced included: Leonardo, Donatello, Mutagen Mutation He-man, Man-At-Arms, Krang and Mouse-Jaw. The second wave of figured announced includes: Raphael, Shredder, Beast Man, Sla’ker, Mutated Ram-Man, and Mutated Moss Man.
The mutated He-Man figure is the most striking (he certainly doesn’t appear “heroic”), though I love how “Mouse-Jaw” incorportes the Mouser designs from TMNT. Other toy designs are more “costume” focused, with the Turtles wearing He-Man type armor. More figures are expected to be revealed and released over the course of the year (most noteably, we’re still missing a Michaelangelo figure). There are also miniature comics that accompany the action figures, which hopefully explains just what’s going on here.
Now the only question is: Will this crossover continue into other formats? There was a well done “Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” animated film back in 2019, and with the successful revival of He-Man on Netflix, could an animated offering eventually be in the works?
Before speculation runs wild, let’s just enjoy a unique twist on two classic toylines this year.