May I have the envelope please…
and the winner is…
wait for iiiiiiiit….
CONGRADULATIONS ROBBIE PHILLIPS!
Robbie wins all four DVD slices of the season 7 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles original cartoon DVDs!
Although quality of essay had nothing to do with selection (I drew his name out of a cup) Robbie did right a great essay, so here it is!
I guess it was back in 1988, as hard as it is to imagine it being that long ago – my grandmother and I were in the middle of one of our standard shopping trips to the local Wal-Mart, when I spotted a strange, colorful package in the toy isle containing something called a “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle” inside the bubble. The artwork drew me right to the toy, along with the word NINJA. In kindergarden, my teacher had all of her students come one by one up to the desk and tell her what they wanted to be when they grew up, to be placed in the kindergarden graduation book she was making for everyone as a keepsake. Most of the kids were listing standard stuff like doctors, nurses, firemen, trashmen and, well, even scuba divers. I, on the other hand, felt the sincere compulsion to blurt out “NINJA!” almost immediately when asked what I wanted to be. It’s hard to imagine that I was so into ninjas before the turtles came along, because I was picture it being the other way around – however, I guess growing up in the 80’s (assuming that you watched at least ONE movie during that time, considering that 90% of them contained either a martial arts fight scene or an actual ninja of some kind in them) guaranteed that you would know exactly what a ninja was and what one should look like. I had never seen a ninja TURTLE before, but I was pretty certain that I needed it more than air itself. After some kicking and screaming, I left the Wal-Mart a happy boy, with my turtle in hand (it was Raphael, by the way – even though Donatello (and later Leonardo) became my favorite of the four) and returned home to show my mother the amazing thing I had found. She seemed disinterested, but I was in complete awe and didn’t put the figure down for the rest of the day.
Through the coming years, I became infatuated with the turtles. After figuring out that my toy was actually a cartoon, I would rush to the television every afternoon after school and watch it on the local broadcast of the reruns and would wake up extra early on Saturday mornings to be sure and catch the new episodes, with a box of Honey Smacks and a Dr. Pepper in hand, sitting on the living room floor mere centimeters away from the screen, watching and absorbing every second. The first two movies became religion to me. Christmas and birthdays were merely another chance to fill the holes in my collection, gathering everything from ooze and pencil pouches, there was no shortage of Turtles items to find and anything was fair game to me. I was just as thrilled to get a TMNT plastic marble as I was to get The Technodrome.
Somewhere down the line I stumbled across a copy of the Archie Turtles Adventures series and from then on made sure not to miss an issue. Unfortunately, having been deprived of the pleasure of knowing about the Mirage series back then, for a long time I led my life believing I had a priceless copy of the first ever Turtles issue, only to discover it was only the dime a dozen Archie debut.
My obession with the Turtles never left, but during my mid-to-late teen years somewhat was set aside for other interests of the time. Basically, I heard less and less from the Turtles so I figured it was all over. I packed away the figures, comics, Coming Out of their Shell ticket stub and countless items into the closet to be enjoyed down the road. I guess I thought I’d never see the turtles again…Was I ever wrong.
One random day in the local comic shop during 2002, an issue caught my eye. There on the rack stood my four heros. Mirage had released a new series, Vol. 4. I snatched the issue up as fast as I could and haven’t stopped following it (or the Tales series) ever since. The black and white art of Jim Lawson, the top-rate storytelling and folklore hinted at in the book of issues past, catapulted me into the Mirage world – the REAL turtles world – and reignited my interest and love for the characters. I tracked down all the back issues and got myself up to date with everything, intent not to be out of the loop again. By the time the end of the year rolled around and I once again found NEW Turtles figures on the shelf for the upcoming 2k3 series, it seemed as if I was reliving everything all over again – only this time I truely felt was better than the last, if it was at all possible. The action, great plot, look and feel of the 2k3 series and toyline held my interest like the Shredder’s iron grip, and I viciously scoured every local story regularly to be sure and aquire every single new figure that was released. The hunt was a great enjoyment and the time and money spent was all worth it to have the payoff and having these fictional characters that have seemingly been with me through my whole life, once again be a part of it in such a major way. I’ve learned from my lesson before, the Turtles aren’t going anywhere – not with the timeless lore that Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman have given us and not with the passonate fans that the Turtles have given them. Here’s to hoping the best days are ahead!
Congradulations once again Robbie, your DVDs will be on their way soon!