Home News The Problem With Nickelodeon’s TMNT DVDs

The Problem With Nickelodeon’s TMNT DVDs

by Justin W

This is an opinion piece and does not reflect the thoughts or feelings of the other writers or the owner of this website.

TMNT2012_S1and2A few weeks ago, we revealed the latest DVD release for Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. As noted at the time, there was some disappointment in regards to how Nickelodeon chose to approach this release – disappointment which echoed the frustration that many fans and collectors are experiencing when it comes to Nickelodeon’s handling of physical media in general. When it comes right down to it, their approach to DVD releases leaves a lot to be desired, with many of their products now being released only as print on demand, and other popular titles (such as TMNT) being completely mishandled.

Although it is nice to see that we will be getting both the first and second seasons in one DVD set, it’s also a bit annoying. Fans who previously bought the first season on DVD have been complaining about this new set, not because it offers more bang for their buck, but because there is apparently no option to purchase the second season alone. This means that fans who already own the first season will have to purchase it a second time in order to also get the second season in their collection.

Well, unless you have a Region 2 DVD player, that is. That’s right, they have apparently decided to release Season 2 on its own in European markets, but they are not willing to do this in the North American market (arguably the largest market for the Ninja Turtles). If anyone wants to explain the logic behind that decision, go right ahead; the comments section is down below, and I eagerly await an explanation.

Only available on Region 2 DVDs

The problem with this approach is that it immediately devalues the previous release. Whatever value the first season had on DVD, it now has far less value simply because it has been packaged with the only release for the second season. When fans see that they have the option to either get the first season or the first and second season on DVD, which will they most likely choose? Chances are that the first release is going to be all but forgotten.

In addition to this problem, these season set releases are essentially just repackaged collections of their single disc releases. They don’t really add anything new to the TMNT DVD season sets, they just put the same old releases in one box. Considering that the single disc releases tend to be the most up-to-date and provide the newest episodes for fans to enjoy, it begs the question: why should anyone even bother purchasing these season sets when they can get the exact same content by simply purchasing the single disc releases as they come out?

When it comes to other Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles properties owned by Nickelodeon, they have a similarly bad track record thus far. Earlier this year, we announced that they would be re-releasing some of the original DVD sets for the 2003 series. Even at the time of this announcement, we expressed disappointment that these would basically just be repackaged collections of a few select episodes instead of season sets, which fans have been eagerly awaiting after the series was originally mishandled by the previous rights owner. TMNT2003_MeetCaseyJones_NickSince then, Nickelodeon has made it clear that they have no intention to produce any season sets for this series in the near future, although they have announced a few more re-releases.

Of course, none of this even addresses the massive elephant in the room: the lack of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Blu-ray. When it comes to the original 1987 series and the 2003 series, it’s forgivable to focus on DVD sets, given that each show was produced in 480p. However, Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is being produced in 1080p, and currently the show is only available on DVD and VOD. In other words, the only way to enjoy the show as it was meant to be seen is to purchase it via VOD, an option that many collectors have no interest in. To make matters worse, it actually costs more for the first season on DVD than it does to purchase it via VOD.

Some may claim that this is just a sign of the changing times, and that physical media is clearly a dying format. Whether this is true or not, it doesn’t forgive the refusal to release an HD television series like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on a high definition format. Considering how much space is available on a Blu-ray (50 GBs), it would be easy to release a one or two disc set with an entire season and a few special features included. Unfortunately, this simply isn’t an option, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to become an option any time soon.

TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2012_S1Complete_eNickelodeon has been dropping the ball with their media releases for years, and it would appear that they have yet to learn anything from their many mistakes. The physical media market may be a niche one, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth fighting for. I wouldn’t be surprised if Nickelodeon is having a difficult time selling these TMNT DVDs, because they aren’t putting much effort into them. This is completely disrespectful, especially considering how popular the series is and how well it has done for the company. Unfortunately, chances are that Nick will end up using their own obvious failures as a reason to refuse putting any extra effort into their home video releases.

At the end of the day, that is the problem with Nickelodeon’s TMNT DVDs: They won’t give fans what they want, and the reason they won’t do that is because fans aren’t buying the poorly crafted pre-existing product that they don’t want. Given the popularity of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toy lines, it’s clear that the fans still want physical representations of their favorite heroes in a half shell. Sadly, it doesn’t look like this mistreatment of the turtles is going to change any time soon, and if this latest release is any indication, it would appear that we’ve got even more ridiculous DVD sets to look forward to in the coming years.

Will Nickelodeon ever learn their lesson? Will shellheads ever get a proper Blu-ray release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Will the 2003 series ever be fully released and represented on the home video market? These are all questions which remain unanswered, and at this rate, it would appear that the answer to all of these questions is eventually going to be “No.”

What do you think? Are we being too harsh, or are we being too lenient? Let us know your thoughts on this subject in the comments below.

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Kyle Smith August 18, 2015 - 5:40 pm

My biggest beef with the home media releases of this show is based on the fact that they haven’t put them out on Blu-Ray, at all. I’ve been waiting for this to come to fruition since the show’s inception in 2012. Now, it has been nearly 3 years, and we still have not gotten a damn Blu-Ray release of Season 1 or Season 2 of the show. Enough is enough, Nickelodeon! Give the fans what they want as you actually put out the Blu-Ray releases toward The Legend of Korra. It shouldn’t make sense why TMNT shouldn’t get that treatment.

tvmoviestuff August 19, 2015 - 11:16 am

I anticipate this series to hit Blu-Ray by end of season 4. TMNT 3 (1993) is on Blu-Ray for crying out loud.

Luis Francisco García August 18, 2015 - 6:05 pm

This sucks. I had to make custom dvds for the unreleased seasons 3 and 4 of the 2003 series, even designing some covers. Another thing that I find sorely missing is a decent edition of Turtles Forever on dvd.

tvmoviestuff August 19, 2015 - 11:13 am

Creating your own custom dvd’s proves you’re a first class fan 🙂

NUMBER ONE TMNT FAN August 21, 2015 - 9:09 am

Shell yeah dude!!! how did you make them! And the box art is so accurate!!!

Zinle August 18, 2015 - 6:09 pm

Lucky for me I live in Region-2 code, so…yeah. The only thing I “need” to be frustrated with is just that 1. they don’t translate it to my native language (though we have the dubbed version but would pref the subs, not really that big issue since I can understand english well enough) and 2. the size of their DVD releases. The first released as this four DVD’s collection box thnigy that large and wide. …aaaand the second season being just one DVD case with 4 discs.
Like I said, just small things, but… frustrating nonetheless.

NUMBER ONE TMNT FAN August 19, 2015 - 3:33 am

I completely agree with this article. mishandled is the perfect term. but its sad because I feel like they’re trying hard to sell these dvds and they aren’t giving up. But the fact is that they are doing it completely wrong. the excerpt from this article “This is completely disrespectful, especially considering how popular the series is and how well it has done for the company.” describes another reason for my frustration.

tvmoviestuff August 19, 2015 - 11:06 am

Hopefully Nickelodeon reads this article dude

NUMBER ONE TMNT FAN August 21, 2015 - 9:07 am

I know, right!!!

Ryan D. Hurley August 21, 2015 - 8:28 am

Great article Justin. We discussed out frustrations with this topic on the last episode of the Turtle Power Podcast too. Come on Nickelodeon!

SKR Imaging September 8, 2015 - 2:22 pm

I was thinking the same thing when I went to Wal Mart.. it’S confusing the way Nickolodeon has released their 202 TMNT dvds.. just release season by season.. blu ray and dvd… every other tv show seems to understand so what’s up with Nick?..

Same goes for how Paramount handled the 2014 TMNT movie on bluray.. they made a special target bonus disc available rather than just releasing the same content for all buyers.. In Canada, there is no Target so how was I supposed to get these discs.. so I bought Wal Mart version with no bonus disc..

seems like a pathetic way to treat consumers.. remember Star Trek Blu ray.. Paramount and Nickolodeon are really missing the ball.

DisneyDan September 22, 2015 - 3:07 pm

Do you know when the Shredder Strikes and Casey Jones 2003 DVDs are finally coming out?! I ordered them from Amazon, but the release date came and went, and their website now just says “Unavailable”.

Serena Bergstrom October 20, 2015 - 10:23 am

TMNT 2003 is virtually impossible to find in my town just 4 episode dvds if that I gave up on 2003 TMNT DVDS 4 random episodes is stupid!

James November 13, 2017 - 12:29 am

To be honest Nickelodeon does a fine job with there dvds they handed some off to amazon create a space like rig rats Doug secret world of Alex Mac and amazon is putting season sets and complete series sets out in dvd. Don’t forget that dvds are still the fav medi type over blue ray specialty for tv shows that’s why they get released on dvd and not blue ray look at spongebob nick released all nine seasons so far on dvd. I understand ninja turtles is a great show love the 80.s Verizon I own the the complete series on dvd inside the. Collectible turtle truck and to be honest I don’t really like how the turtles look in the new series there eyes are to big and Beetie. Plus don’t forget ahh real monsters complete series on dvd rocko Odeon life on dvd hey Arnold on dvd so to dump all over Nickelodeon for one franchise they messed up on dvds when they get so many others right is not really fare.

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