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TF2009: NECA Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Update

Amidst rumors of feuding between Playmates, Mirage, and NECA, many Fwooshers have been wondering the fate of second series of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that were shown at last year’s San Diego Comic Con.  Today, we had the opportunity to speak with Randy Falk, NECA’s Director of Product Development.  He assured us that they are still planning to ship TMNT series 2 later this year.

The series 2 lineup:

  • Shredder with Utrom
  • April O’Neill with battle-damaged Mouser
  • Foot Ninja with Mouser (articulated jaw)
  • Foot Elite 

Furthermore, Randy said that all the internet rumors regarding difficulties between Mirage, Playmates, and NECA are just that – rumors.  He did acknowledge that there have been difficulties with series 2, but that they were not related to the relationship between the licensor and licensees. 

While the first series of turtles did very well domestically, internationally, the comic property is just not that well known.  That resulted in lower overall sales than NECA would have liked.  For NECA to produce a specialty line like this, they need the product to do well everywhere, or they need to figure out how to cost the series out at a much smaller production quantity.  Even with the army builder angle with the Foot Ninjas, Randy doesn’t think they can meet the sales figures of the turtles.

They want series 2 to have the same level of quality as the first, so they won’t consider things like making them smaller, or reducing paint or articulation – but that does make costing out the series much more challenging.  One cost savings that they will likely enact would be to eliminate the bases.  They are also considering doing color variations for the series, as the Foot Ninjas were shown as displayed early in the series but got deeper colors later on.  April has also been shown in a variety of different colored jumpsuits.

Randy also mentioned the possibility of exclusives for San Diego Comic Con, around the same time he thinks the series would ship to specialty retailers.

In completely unrelated news, NECA also expects to ship the Shaw Brothers figures this year.

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