Tuesday, April 24, 2007


Fads seem to cycle through every twenty or thirty years. My theory is that advertisers and toy CEOs get together and figure out how to cash in on the nostalgia of parents. Since my generation now seems to be producing offspring, all the shows, toys, superheroes, etc. from when we were kids are being dusted off and brought back from obscurity. It always makes me laugh when I see Strawberry Shortcake, Scooby-Doo, G.I. Joe, Cabbage Patch Kids, or Transformers reappearing on the shelves. Though I have to admit I do get nostalgic when I see my kids getting exited about something I loved as a kid.

One case in point is the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or TMNT as they are now known. With the cartoon show coming back and the new movie out, it is a favorite with my kids. Personally, I have a soft spot for those turtles. One of my best friends introduced me to them back with the original TMNT graphic novel. From then on I was hooked. I watched the cartoon and read the comics regularly.

While I was in high school I was really into martial arts. The same friend who introduced me to TMNT also introduced me to martial arts. He was a pretty cool friend. A big highlight of the year was when our dojo would attend a big Tae Kwon Do tournament. For three of the years the tournament coincided with each of the three live action TMNT movies. So a big group of us would go out the night before the tournaments and watch the latest installment getting all jazzed up on soda and cheesy kung fu moves.

So, with that background, it has been fun watching my kids get into the TMNT over the past year or so. It is one of the few Saturday morning cartoons that I enjoy watching with them.

A while back, I was helping a young man work on this Boy Scout Eagle Project. Jack’s project involved making several hundred flannel tie quilts to pass out to women's shelters. There ended up being lots of scraps left over. William was with me and wanted to take several scraps home. I too saw the value in them, but neither of us knew what we were going to do with them. That problem was quickly solved once we got home.

It was Ben’s idea. He was the most obsessed with TMNT at the time (they each take turns for that title). He grabbed a long orange piece and presented to Rebecca demanding to be made into a ninja turtle. Rebecca being both quick and skilled with a pair of scissors soon had four masks that would have made any ninja mother proud. After all the masks were on and the initial bout of wrestling and judo chops the kids settled into the critical debate of who was going to be which turtle. When the dust cleared it was agreed upon that Gwenna was the leader (Leonardo), William the brain (Donatello), and Ben the party dude (Michelangelo). Tim our two-year old (not featured above) was stuck, oddly enough, as the muscles (Raphael). The masks were the number one toys for weeks. Ben wouldn’t take his off at bed. I laugh every time I see pictures with them in their masks. Ah, my little ninjas. I wonder what fad will cycle around for them and their kids to enjoy together.

1 comment:

William said...

I wish I had a friend who had all the TMNT novels. Your lucky.