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[Showcase] – TMNT Parent and Fan Builds Super Structure Play Set

If there’s one thing that can always be counted on, it’s that TMNT fans will go to extraordinary lengths to show off their talents.  When those talents are combined with a desire to do something amazing as a parent, then great examples are created and set.  Last year, fans saw what kind of work TMNT dad Ben Irving was doing for his daughter.  This year, Kevin Riedy has stepped up to the plate and created a play set all his own.  Because of the drive to give his son something fun and unique and truly amazing, Riedy deserves consideration for “TMNT Dad of the Year.”  His current project – a TMNT lair play set – will leave any other parent looking to do something cool for the turtle fan in his or her life looking for the best way to follow suit.

As a continuing project, Riedy’s lair set is much more than just a new take on the turtles’ home.  Built for his four-year-old son, and standing at 5’ x 3’ x 2’, the set includes three layers – street, subway, and sewer – just like the actual NYC structure.  The majority of the set was made using recycled pieces from around the house, which not only showed ingenuity, but was also a great use of resources for the project.  At street level, fans will recognize Antonio’s pizza (complete with hidden chute for quick access to the lair) and Shredder’s stronghold with a throne for the villain.  Among other working parts are a spring-loaded trap door leading to a jail cell and spring-loaded manhole covers, leading to the subway below.

Underneath the subway level is a near-exact replica of Splinter’s dojo, and open space for further development of the set.  “It’s about 60% finished. I still have the ‘living room’ and kitchen to create. Donny’s lab, bedrooms, and garage to keep some vehicles, [as well]. A scaled down TCRI building is a possibility too,” Riedy said.  With room for plenty of characters and adventures as complex and far-reaching as any the show’s writers could come up with, Riedy’s play set is a stage that any fan and/or child would be happy to have at home.

The play set includes a great many details that fans can appreciate.  These range from the shape and structure of Shredder’s lair, to the pictures on the subway walls (showing tunnels, stairs, and other features that would definitely be present), to the tree in Splinter’s meditation chamber.  Riedy even went as far as to create a human Karai figure for his son, painted from an April O’Neil toy.

There are plenty of parents out there who support their children and engage in their interests.  But it takes someone truly special to go the lengths that Kevin Riedy did, creating this play set puts him in a league all his own.  Without ingenuity and ambition, the project would never have come to fruition, proving that with the right motivation and a little legwork, no project is hard to accomplish.  What do you think of Kevin’s handiwork?  Would you want an NYC play set of your own?  Let us know in the comments below!

The Author

Zach Gasior

Zach Gasior

Zach Gasior is an author and English professor at Baton Rouge Community College in Louisiana. His short stories have been published around the world, and he has two non-fiction books in print. He has contributed articles to several different sites, and has been a fan of the turtles since he was two years old, and his favorite ninja turtle is Raphael.

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