Shellebrating 25+ Years of TMNT History [Infographic]

by Staff & Contributors on September 28, 2012

in Nerd Culture

On the eve of a brand new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show that’s already getting great reviews and its matching line of new toys flying off the shelves, I’m feeling the need to double-check the calendar to make sure this isn’t 1989. For nostalgic Ninja Turtle fans, or really any child of the 80s who remembers when Turtlemania was sweeping the nation, these are fun, exciting times.

While the new show with its younger April and edgier humor takes aim at a whole new generation of TMNT fans, there promises to be plenty of material for us older fans (e.g. those of us who still remember all the lyrics to “Turtle Power”) to enjoy–the new theme song even pays homage to the original cartoon! But will Nick’s new spin on the franchise live up to the expectations of fans who grew up with the Ninja Turtles? The past three decades have been riddled with many different versions of TMNT—some great and others we’d like to forget.

Here’s a look back at over 25 years of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles history and the various incarnations of our favorite heroes in green—the good, the bad, and sometimes the scary.

[click to enlarge]



Don’t forget to catch the special early premier of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tonight at 8PM on Nick, and tune in Saturday morning at 11AM for the full one-hour, two-episode debut.

Tell us! What’s your favorite version of the Turtles?


More0_0Than September 28, 2012 at 8:28 am

Amazing graphic! I never realized there were so many incarnations of the Turtles.

Corey Chapman September 28, 2012 at 8:58 am

well done!!!

Brian (Cool and Collected) September 28, 2012 at 9:12 am

Wow, that is awesome! Great job putting together this graphic. It’s amazing how many incarnations there have been in a relatively short amount of time.

me again September 28, 2012 at 12:04 pm

1984 was 38 years ago…

ShezCrafti September 28, 2012 at 12:22 pm

I think you mean 28, but I’ll just assume that was a typo. Even I’m not that bad at math. 😉

Jason aka SockofFleagulls September 28, 2012 at 9:56 am

Cowabunga! Nicely Done, Ms. Crafti!

ClarenceRHM September 28, 2012 at 10:36 am

Wonderful, Shez!

I mentioned you in my post about the new TMNT theme song:

Dan October 11, 2012 at 4:32 am

Nice graph but where did the picture of Casey from the Adventures comics come from? I thought he wasn’t in them? I can think of a few ways to improve this chart like adding Shredder, and I think you are missing a few of the incarnations like the action figures, the video games, Image comics, Dreamwave, Fast Forward and Back to the Sewer.

Howie Decker October 11, 2012 at 9:27 am

While those additions would certainly be groovy, we did need to keep the chart just a shade under a half mile long, so perhaps those elements could appear in a sequel infographic. Thanks for the comment!

ShezCrafti October 11, 2012 at 10:05 am

Thanks, Dan. I’ve gotten a number of great suggestions from fellow TMNT fans, and I agree this chart could be much more extensive, but I was trying to hit on all the major/important/memorable versions of TMNT while still keeping it manageable. But here are my thoughts in response to your Q’s:

– Casey was in the Year of the Turtle miniseries, which was part of TMNT Adventures, so I opted to include him.
– I struggled really hard with the decision whether or not to include Shredder & other villains. He’s another character that’s not consistently in all of the versions, so with that in mind I kept it focused on the core group of “good guys.”
– The toys and the video games are just that…toys and video games. I was trying to stick to things that actually dictate TMNT canon–comics, cartoons, films. Although I do think a whole chart on the evolution of the TMNT action figures would be cool! (Just a ton of work.)
– I knew someone was bound to bring up those damn Image comics. 😛 The Image comics were created as an extension (volume 3) of the Mirage comics, so I didn’t think they deserved their own line item. However I’m flexible on this point, because I do know a lot of people really like the Image books and the fact that they aren’t recognized as canon by the Mirage line sort of makes them a standalone oddity. Damn…maybe I should have included them after all.
– Dreamwave, Fast Forward, and Back to the Sewer are all just different later seasons of the same 4kids second animated series that began in 2003, which is already on this chart. I chose not to devote separate line items to individual seasons, despite how weird/different they were.

Dan October 11, 2012 at 1:14 pm

I thought Casey was only mentioned in Year of the Turtle not shown? But the Dreamwave comics were a spin-off of the 4Kids universe in the same way that the Archie comics were based off the old show. There also were the RPG books but I guess you could count them a spin-off of the Mirage universe.

onelung March 22, 2013 at 6:52 am

Mutant Turtles: Choujin Densetsu-hen April 21, 2013 at 8:22 am

this is pretty darn cool,

Howard Decker April 22, 2013 at 10:39 am

you know it! April 21, 2013 at 8:23 am

Your idea coincides with mine.and I think its better.

King Browser June 20, 2019 at 9:33 am

It’s time for an UPDATE! Are you game for a revision? It’s 35 years later – the year 2019. But I hope the 4oth (maybe 45th) and 50th anniversary is ready. 2024, 2029, and 2034 is around the corner and looks promising. However, I can’t speak for 2059 and the year 2084. Will you be making another infographic soon?!

King Browser June 20, 2019 at 9:35 am

*ahem* I hope they ARE ready?

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