At the end of 2015, there were a lot of reasons to look forward to 2016. The new year promised a new movie, a new video game, and even some awesome new TMNT figures. Everything was looking pretty good for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and there wasn’t much of a reason to feel any concern about the future of the franchise.
Unfortunately, this year hasn’t exactly been as kind to our heroes in a half shell as we would have hoped. After a bomb at the box office that effectively put an end to the most recent film franchise, the future isn’t looking very bright for the turtles. As if a failed movie weren’t bad enough, Platinum Games also failed to impress with their release of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan. To cap it all off, rumors have recently been spreading that Nickelodeon may have plans to cancel their TMNT series after its fifth season.
Needless to say, there are plenty of reasons to be concerned about the future of this property. To be fair, there are also quite a few reasons to remain hopeful, because 2016 wasn’t all bad news for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. As a matter of fact, there were quite a few amazing developments over the past twelve months, and we have yet to see some of them come to fruition. With that in mind, let’s take a look at five turtley awesome moments from 2016!
IDW Crowdfunded an Amazing TMNT Board Game
Earlier this year, IDW launched a crowdfunding project on Kickstarter to develop a brand new board game based on their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics. Shellheads went above and beyond to make Shadows of the Past a reality, as IDW gathered enough funds to publish the base game along with several additional items. The game took a few months to officially release, but it is now available for purchase at several retail locations. According to many fans, this is one of the best TMNT games that has ever been created.
Stan Sakai Announced a TMNT/Usagi Yojimbo Crossover
For years, fans have been wondering if the rabbit ronin would ever team up with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles again. As comic conventions began to pop up around the country, rumors surfaced that Miyamoto Usagi was about to make a big comeback in the TMNT universe. Sadly, it took a month or two before we had any confirmation of these rumors, but creator Stan Sakai has since announced that there are indeed plans for Usagi Yojimbo to appear in Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. Unfortunately, we don’t yet know if his appearance will be anything more than a cameo, but there are indications that this may be the case.
We Received Three New TMNT Comic Spinoffs
Although the turtles may not have impressed in the world of movies and video games, it’s safe to say they had a pretty good year at the comic book shop. The end of 2015 brought us our first Batman/TMNT crossover comic, and it was so successful that IDW decided to work with DC Comics to produce a spinoff of that series. As if that weren’t cool enough, they also developed two new comics entitled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe and Bebop & Rocksteady Destroy Everything. All of their new projects have been fairly successful, and it looks like our heroes in a half shell still have a pretty bright future between the panels.
Several Awesome Collectible TMNT Action Figures and Statues Were Announced
Although we have seen quite a few amazing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles collectibles in the past, 2016 was a particularly good year for TMNT toy collectors. Several companies unveiled plans for some of the most beautiful figures we’ve ever seen, with NECA leading the charge. Not only did they finally begin production on their 90’s TMNT movie figures, but they also produced a set of limited edition Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade figures as well. Companies such as Good Smile, S.H. Figuarts and Prime 1 Studio have many amazing figurines and statues planned for the near future, and it was a blast to discover all of them as they were unveiled earlier this year.
Nickelodeon Released an Epic ’87 TMNT Crossover Episode
In a move that echoed Turtles Forever, Nickelodeon brought the original voice actors from the 1987 animated series back for an awesome crossover episode. How good was it? Well, it was recently nominated for an Annie Award. Not only was this an incredibly popular episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but it was also highly rated by the critics. Nostalgia sells well, and there’s no better way to pay homage to those that came before you than by bringing them on to reprise their roles!
In the end, it’s fair to say that 2016 wasn’t the best year that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have ever seen. That being said, there were quite a few accomplishments and announcements that made this year pretty memorable for our heroes in a half shell. Although there is reason to be concerned about their future, there is also a lot to look forward to in 2017. Don’t believe us? Well, just check out our post about the potentially bright future of the franchise!