Home News Is Turtle Mania Headed For Another Collapse?

Is Turtle Mania Headed For Another Collapse?

by Justin W
Mikey and Raph seem a tad surprised in this screenshot from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows. Is Turtle Mania nearing its end once again? Source: Paramount Pictures.

Before anyone gets the idea that I’m being a little too harsh on the film or the video game that just recently came out, please understand that I actually really enjoy both titles. I’m here to report the news as it happens, and the fact is that we’re not seeing a lot of love for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles right now. The Nickelodeon series isn’t seeing the same viewership as it once did and nothing else related to the franchise seems to be selling very well. Out of the Shadows wasn’t the only TMNT property that has flopped recently, and all of this could be indicative of a disturbing trend.

Image from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan. Source: Platinum Games, Activision

Image from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan. Source: Platinum Games, Activision

Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were literally everywhere; they were in our comic books, television shows, movies, video games and more. Over the last few years, the brand has seen a remarkable resurgence thanks to Viacom’s purchase of the property. Once they bought the rights to the TMNT, they immediately began work on a brand new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series which was released alongside an entirely new line of toys in 2012. Shortly after both proved successful, we saw a film hit theaters in 2014. Dozens of toys and collectibles have lined the shelves in response to the resurgence of a craze that was once known as Turtle Mania.

Sadly, sales are beginning to dwindle and it would appear that the problem may be very similar to what happened in the mid 90’s. At some point during the original craze of Turtle Mania, the market had become saturated with so many Ninja Turtles products that they couldn’t all compete for shelf space or the consumer’s dollar. We’re starting to see that happening again now, and not just in the form of box office failure or poor reviews for the new video game. Don’t believe me? Well, let’s take a look at how the latest TMNT clothing line is doing in the market.

The TMNT X Melo clothing line isn't doing too well, as it's already hit the clearance rack. Source: NYP

The TMNT X Melo clothing line isn’t doing too well, as it’s already hit the clearance rack. Source: NYP

Carmelo Anthony’s TMNT X Melo line was set to be the next hot product in Macy’s stores across the country. Mere weeks after its launch, the brand is already on the clearance rack for 40% off original retail price. Considering that these items were originally designed to be affordable in the first place, this doesn’t bode well for the clothing line and it is indicative of a problem we are seeing in several different places when it comes to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If Out of the Shadows can’t make bank at the theater and the new game Mutants in Manhattan can’t impress its audience, which TMNT property will be the next to fail?

Thankfully, Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series is still popular enough to bring in a lot of viewers and many of the toys still seem to be selling pretty well. However, we appear to be nearing that same saturation point that sent Turtle Mania spiraling into mediocrity late in the 1990’s, and that could spell disaster for the franchise. I’m genuinely hopeful that this won’t happen, but with so many new products hitting the market soon, it’s important to ask whether or not consumers are just getting sick and tired of the Ninja Turtles again.

Did the world really need these transforming turtles? I hate to be the Tom Hanks character in the classic movie Big, but I don’t get it. You know I’ll never tire of these heroes in a half shell, and I’m sure most of my readers feel the same way. That being said, it saddens me to see so much failure surrounding the turtles when they just as easily could have owned this summer. I sincerely hope that my fears are unfounded, because I definitely don’t want to see this collapse happen again any time soon.

Are you worried that we may be nearing the end of this latest resurgence of Turtle Mania? Have these latest failures been indicative of a turn in the market, or are we reading into these events too much? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or via facebook/twitter.

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Totaldrama Icequeen June 14, 2016 - 5:50 pm

I don’t want turtle mania to end. I also want to know if the 2012 series was renewed for season 6 and new episodes will be out soon

Elisa June 14, 2016 - 6:35 pm

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the Nick series was already renewed for another season. They are currently on hiatus and will be back with more episodes towards the end of the summer, I believe is what Brandon Auman said.

Stoud June 14, 2016 - 8:55 pm

Yes, I am fairly positive that they have renewed it once more. New episodes will likely be out at the end of the summer.

Elisa June 14, 2016 - 6:45 pm

As far as the movie and the video game – and I enjoyed both – but I think the quality could have been better. Just because it’s TMNT and the concept is a bit silly, doesn’t mean that everything surrounding it has to be goofy. There are some really great stories within the TMNT universe and characters and I would like to think that there can be quality products within this franchise. I do hope the Nick cartoon continues to set the bar high for TMNT. With the movie, I’m going to blame a lot of the shortcomings to the writing. I hate to see TMNT as a whole take the fall for poor products! 🙁

Jared Meyer June 16, 2016 - 3:47 am

I always knew the love was gonna die down quite a bit eventually. This stuff is cyclical. And one day I’m sure it’ll reach a decent level of popularity once again. You’ll also have the kids of today grown up a little bit & the nostalgia factor will kick in.

industrialoco June 16, 2016 - 1:29 pm

Blame bay for this. The first movie sucks, and you can’t do a good sequel with something like that. If the movie were any good, this wouldn’t be happening. The videogame is bad because they gave it little importance. Is obvious that platinum games have far better games.
The franchise would be in much better shape if weren’t for michael bay and his shrekrtles.

mmajosh June 16, 2016 - 2:34 pm

The problem is that we have quantity, not quality. Nick series is good. 2014 movie was so bad it barely gave 2016 any chance, but I love the 2016 movie. The video games have all been, meh, at best.

Raylan Carver June 16, 2016 - 6:03 pm

Never even heard of TMNT X melo clothing line

rsavaiano June 17, 2016 - 5:55 pm

One big thing would be to stop screwing with the series schedule. I never know when new episodes are supposed to air and they just randomly pop up on my DVR. They’ll play like one new episode and then not play anything new for a month. Needs more consistency.

TigerClaw305 June 19, 2016 - 1:29 pm

TMNT will continue on with or without the movies, the 80s cartoon was still going strong after TMNT 3 in 1993 came out.

SKR Imaging June 26, 2016 - 12:18 pm

I believe TMNT franchise needs to cater more to the Mature audience.. go back to the comic book roots laid out by Mirage. Start making DC comics style animated movies that are more dark than the cgi show and get the IDW writing staff to helm the project.. the IDW comics are the best thing to happen to TMNT since it’s inception.

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