When I was a kid, there was no cooler cartoon than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I've briefly talked about it in the past, but I was obsessed with them and my parents spoiled me with every piece of merchandise they released. In the 90s, that meant a full line of TMNT action figures, clothes, games, cards, seasonal items, stickers, lunch boxes, cereal, pies, ice cream and fruit snacks. That's just to name a few and, believe me, I had it all! I am very fortunate to have had an amazing childhood, which probably explains why I never grew up, and appreciate the memories that came with the thousands of dollars my parents spent to make me happy.
Today, with the Ninja Turtles back and rising in popularity on Nickelodeon for a new generation of children (and 26-year-old losers,) it's time for the juggernaut machine to pump it all out again!
For the first time in years, there is a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles food item out on shelves! TMNT Fruit Snacks from Betty Crocker are out now and they were a pain in the ass to find! As soon as I heard about them, via Top Hat Sasquatch, I knew I'd be on the hunt. I read that they were stocked at Wal-Mart, but the one near me is horrible. Then I checked Target, but they've been letting me down lately. Finally, I went to Stop & Shop to see if they'd surprise me and, thankfully, they did! I tried to keep cool and act like it was no big deal, but I just so happened to be wearing a TMNT T-Shirt that day so, who was I kidding? Despite my crazy eyes, I was pumped.
I like the box and art a lot because it reminds me of the old school fruit snacks I used to eat as a kid. For some reason, TMNT fruit snacks have always been released in a yellow box with Turtle graphics. I guess the green pops against the yellow so well that they don't want to fix what's not broken. You don't sell as much merchandise as the TMNT have over the course of 25+ years without knowing a thing or two about marketing. Product and package design is largely responsible for the attraction. Action figure packaging was just as cool, if not cooler, than the figure attached to it. I've always admired the art associated with merchandise and the TMNT have never let me down.
As you can tell from the top of the box, we have 6 different snacks being offered to us within the 10 pouches. We have Raphael, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, Master Splinter and Shredder. Green is an odd color for Shred Head, right? I would have chosen white and treated him like the elusive Great White Shark in "Shark Bites" fruit snacks. They will always be my favorite because of the thrill I got out of finding the white shark. Oh well, Shredder is green!
More proof that TMNT does an awesome job with their packaging. The tiny pouches scream "Ninja Turtles" in every way. Besides featuring the characters themselves, they're green with a yellow tint and contrast perfectly against the box. As somebody who loves graphic design, it's art that I can appreciate. I'm going to keep one pouch unopened and keep it on my wall next to my 2007 TMNT Air Head wrapper. I also plan on buying a 2nd box to keep closed. Maybe, 20 years from now, I'll sell it to today's young nerds in the making.
Okay, so, the detail on these fruit snacks doesn't really live up to the box art, but you can still make out the characters. If they weren't colored, we'd probably have no idea which Ninja Turtle is which, but I'd at least be able to guarantee who Splinter and Shredder are. If I remember correctly, the original fruit snacks released in the 90s were designed to be full-body models. I don't know if it's fair to call fruit snacks "models," but they were highly detailed. These are just the heads and could have used some extra time and effort. But honestly, I couldn't care less! These could have been shaped like Gushers and I would have loved them just because they're branded with TMNT. That's the selling point and, judging by the amount left on the shelf, it's working.
I had to open three pouches to find Donatello. Look at how many red, orange, and yellows there are in that pile. Donnie was killing me. I wasn't looking to eat so many fruit snacks just yet, I just wanted to get a picture of each one before I did the review. Now I have no choice.. Ah, it's a tough job!
When it comes to the Ninja Turtles on Nickelodeon, I'm not the biggest fan of their appearance. I still like 2-D animation, but get that technology has taken cartoons in a new direction. But what I do love about the new Ninja Turtles is that it's sparked an interest with children and they're once again popular. Nickelodeon is doing a great job marketing the show and, because of it, it's giving old school fans, like me, an opportunity to remember the past. It's also ignited a wave of vintage merchandise that directly targets me and takes my money without question. It'll eventually leave me broke, but it's hard for me to pass up on cool TMNT products. The fruit snacks were a hit, but I'm hoping for cereal next. If we get that, that's when you'll know the Ninja Turtles are officially back on top. Maybe in 2014 when the new movie comes out. For now, I'm a happy nerd eating some fruit snacks!