When Playmates revealed the TMNT toy lines they had planned for 2017, I was curious about what it all meant. At the time, they unofficially announced that each set would be based around one of the “tales” that would be told during the final season of Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This was big news, because we still didn’t know exactly what to expect from the upcoming season. Two of the action figures they revealed were Bebop & Rocksteady wearing gear from the original animated series, but they wouldn’t tell us anything else about this design.
Thankfully, we can now safely assume what they were going for with the retro motif. Various screencaps have been surfacing online over the past few days, revealing significant details about the upcoming tale featuring Bebop & Rocksteady. These pictures confirm without a doubt that the episodes in question will serve as yet another crossover into the alternate dimension of the original animated series. Not only will we get to see the original turtles once again, but the original Shredder, Krang, Bebop & Rocksteady will all be making their own appearances as well.
Unfortunately, there is one thing we can confirm for certain: Shredder will not be voiced by his original actor. Sadly, James Avery passed away in 2013 and took his iconic voice with him. Although there will never be another voice quite like his, I’m certain that Kevin Michael Richardson will do an excellent job with the role. Kevin currently voices the 2012 Shredder, and he has now been tasked with taking on the role of 80’s Shredder. If Rob Paulsen can do two voices in one show, I’m sure Richardson is also capable of that feat.
Cam Clarke, Barry Gordon, Townsend Coleman and Rob Paulsen will once again reprise their roles as the 80’s TMNT. Pat Fraley was also brought in to reprise his role as Krang, so you can rest assured that most of the characters will sound almost exactly the same as they did three decades ago. Although Trans-Dimensional Turtles was definitely awesome, it’s nice to see that they’re giving fans yet another crossover in 2017 – the 30th anniversary of the original animated series.
Wanted: Bebop & Rocksteady will hit the air on September 17th, 2017, roughly a week after being released on DVD. That’s right – you can actually see this “tale” of the TMNT ahead of time by purchasing the DVD when it comes out on September 12th! This release includes episodes 15, 16, 17 and 10 from the fifth season. It might seem like an odd pairing, but the tenth episode was actually Lone Rat and Cubs, which was its own individual tale. Episodes 15-17 will serve as an epic three-part crossover featuring the retro turtles and villains alongside their modern counterparts.
Although I am disappointed that Nickelodeon has chosen to break with tradition by releasing these episodes out of order, it’s clear that this release offers some serious value. Not only do you get an episode written by Kevin Eastman, but you also get a three episode crossover event with significant 80’s TMNT heroes and villains. The Wanted: Bebop & Rocksteady DVD also includes the Ice Cream Kitty music video, something a lot of fans have been hoping to see for quite some time.
Say what you will about Nickelodeon’s decisions regarding this release, but at least they’re giving you several reasons to pick it up. No matter what you decide to do, it looks like these episodes are going to be a lot of fun. By now, it should be clear that creators Ciro Nieli and Brandon Auman decided to go out with a bang. Finishing up this season with a three-part crossover is the perfect way to show some love and appreciation to the fans, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out!
UPDATE: There have been contradictory reports about when these episodes will air. As of now, we can assume one of two things:
- 1. Nickelodeon will release these episodes a week earlier than originally scheduled (September 10th instead of September 17th) in order to make room for the monster episodes that will most likely hit the air during October.
- 2. Nickelodeon will push these episodes to the end of the season, airing them sometime after October.
Whatever they decide to do with the schedule, we’ll do our best to keep you informed.