To be honest I had gone through a few selections for this Toy Chest, and I want you all to know, I take these very seriously. I really enjoy sharing ancient items from my archival room and just reminiscing about the craziness that is toy collecting. Anyways, some of my ideas didn't really fall through because I was missing pieces and what-not, but those toys will show up at a later date. So with all the excitement of the highly successful return of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, it only makes sense to look at an older relic from a forgotten Turtles line, Ninja Turtles: The New Mutation- Venus de Milo!
Venus de Milo was a part of the live action Ninja Turtles show on Fox Kids in the late 90's. The show was made by Saban and also had a toy line by Playmates. (They are smart for never letting that toy license go.) Anyways the live action show featured some big changes from the previous series. First of all Shredder was no longer the main villain. April was gone. And there was a long lost fifth turtle named Venus. In keeping with the theme of being named after important Renaissance players, Venus had a name that fit with the rest of the turtles. She was also a strong dividing point amongst fans. Some Turtle fans think there is nothing wrong with Venus and actually like her, while other fans are ardent in their detest. I personally like her. I also like that she got a few versions of her release, because that will be all we get Venus fans!
Venus came with an assortment of weapons, but it was the overall design that was cool. She had a light blue color that comes off as periwinkle. Her ninja bandanna had a long braid at the back like a ponytail and she also had some brand new unique omni-flex articulation. These toys also benefited from the advancements in toy making that the late 90's provided. There was more detail and cleaner sculpting on this lineup of Turtle toys. I must say though, I remember the show on television thanks to the Power Rangers/TMNT crossover, but I never really watched this show (no April is a no go.) And I do recall seeing these toys in the ToyFare magazine (oh how I miss that lively publication) but I don't seem to recall seeing this new line on store shelves. Am I the only one? I was still collecting in the late 90's, so I feel like I would have remembered seeing these, but I just remember them from ToyFare. In fact a few years ago I had all but forgotten the existence of Venus.
The back of the card was similar to the original TMNT toy line, there was the list of weapons and the line up of the toys. There were even the bios, however the bio look was very different this go around. Instead of the cool clip 'n file system, there was more of a Splinter's "Way of the Turtle" lesson. The fun campy effect of the original line was changed for a more focused style on finding the way of the ninja (turtle.)
The top bio especially reminds the collector that this line is a total re-imagination of the TMNT. This bio sets up the new world of the show by introducing a new bad guy and a new turtle. However the live action look was meant to capture the feel of the movies, and I do believe there was a bit of story continuation. As for the weapons, I love the full-swing fan shield. They don't really make many fans as weapons for figures anymore. I'm still waiting for Jazwares to make a nice Kitana for their Mortal Kombat line. (Seriosuly Jaz, why no MK female figs? What's a dorkette gotta do to get a Mileena with a busted grill?) The side picture also explains the new authentic battle motion that I believe was used on all the new figures.
Collect them all, says Playmates. And like moths to the flame, we go right on ahead. Who doesn't love collecting TMNT? The fab four turtles looked very different in this line as did Splinter. There was more details and color added to these characters. Just look at Splinter, gone is his burgundy colored robe and instead is a robe that looks like it came from a Benetton ad. The villains were mostly new. Dragon Lord and Elite Guard looked interesting, though Rank Warrior looked like an updated Foot Soldier. And even though Shredder was not the focused bad guy in this line, he was still a part of the toys. In fact I kinda like the look of this Shredder.
Her "Way of the Turtle" lesson was simple enough. Venus is painted as a very dedicated ninja and really knows how to use her weapons and fighting skills. Of course time would prove to be very short for this masterful ninja and her training in the mystical shinobi arts. This incarnation of TMNT lasted for one season and since I don't even recall seeing the toys on store shelves that should really let you know that this piece of Turtle history would not leave a big mark.
Even though it may not be one of the better moments of the Turtles, I am fond of Venus. I am also glad to have found this item at my local comic store. It is a unique figure, more so because we will probably never see or hear from Venus again. It has been rumored that the creator of the original TMNT comic book, Peter Laird, detests Ms. Venus something fierce. But that is ok. I still love Venus and am glad to have her as part of my kooky collection!
So does anyone else remember seeing this line in toy stores? Does anyone else like Venus? And I do accept scathing emails, but only by incredibly nice people. So enjoy Toy Chest Tuesday! Be sure to also check back, because I have a special Heroic Hottie for November! (and other cool stuff) Take care everyone!
I'd like to get a Venus figure just for the novelty of a female TMNT.ReplyDelete
It has been said that the original line's Mona Lisa was intended to be a female turtle; the action figure even has a turtle shell sculpted under the back of her shirt.
I barely remember her and did even realize a figure was made of her.ReplyDelete
Yeah there were actually two made to my knowledge. The other one had her with a skateboard and like skate gear. Very. Very. Interesting. lolDelete
Hey Eric! She is a really cool figure. And that is interesting about Mona Lisa. I have her but she has never been opened so i did not know that about the shell on her back! That is cool!ReplyDelete
I did a post about her when I got her a couple years ago but like an idiot I didn't take a pic of her back. I should re-visit her on my blog soon and do so!Delete
Oh that would be neat! I haven't stopped by your site in awhile, I need to do that. There are so many places to visit on the wonderful web that I just get bogged down. I hope you are doing well!Delete
I detest The Next Mutation and anything associated with it, but I won't hold that against you. ;) This was a great review, even if it doesn't contain the words "molded plastic boobs."ReplyDelete
@Eric - Whoa, I had no idea about that. I'm glad they changed their minds and mad her a lizard.
Hey ShezCrafti, I did not want to go there on the molded plastic boobs part. The creepy thing is that it doesn't even look like she has them in the show. In some pictures she looks like Leo. But I am still glad you enjoyed the review! : )Delete
Is Venus cool or what! The Next Mutation was very cheesy, but I liked the character--but no April kind of killed the show, even Bonesteel and Wick couldn't make up for having April removed from the series.ReplyDelete
I keep looking at the photos trying to figure out how the articulation works--are the joints in a skin-like plastic and the hinges are hidden underneath?
The fan is of course cool, they should have included a fan with the Nickelodeon April, that would have been bad-ass!
All in all, Venus looks great, I see price sticker remains, but the card looks pretty good, what a great collectible piece!
...and never doubt yourself if you like something, talk freely and enjoy it, especially on your own website. I read about Laird hating Venus to the point where she didn't exist, however, they both sold their Turtles to Viacom/Nickelodeon, so who cares, right...
Venus is awesome! Display her proudly!
Well I think the joints are hidden underneath and they are like the old turtles, but I think there is better movement. If that makes sense. And honestly, no April in a show is just not good enough. I love april O'Neil and she has to be a part of any Turtles show for sure.Delete
And I don't know that I doubt myself totally, I just know that some posts may not go over as well as others. But I've never really had anyone be rude to me at all, so I don't know why it would change now. And the card does have some sticky residue, but I am still not sure if I will open her or not. I think she is just fun, and a great nod to a very strange time in Turtles History 101! lol
Wow, Never ever heard of Venus before. When was it released exactly? I am writing an article about female action figures as well as action figures from other races than white caucasian, and I'd like to include a reference to this turtle.ReplyDelete
I guess it had to be 1995 or later... and since there's no female turtle in the comics, movies, tv series and so on, where does the idea come from? too many questions... but cool toy!
Hey Gog! Well I believe Venus came out in 1997, because the show lasted from 97 to 98. Probably the shortest Turtle show ever. And the article you are righting about female action figures and figures from other races sounds so cool! I look forward to that. As for the idea to have her as a character and creation, I am not really sure. Though I am sure one of my fantastic readers would have an answer to that. Anyone care to chime in? : )Delete
They should have made Ninjara from the comic books :http://tmnt.wikia.com/wiki/NinjaraReplyDelete
-in fact they should have just made the proposed Mighty Mutanimals animated show instead of the next mutation live action thingy.
Actually I am finding myself enjoying the new Nickelodeon show though. I sometimes laugh out loud at the funny parts. I do have one big complaint with it and that is that-other than Metalhead they don't use any of the old stable of Playmates cheesy characters. I would have loved a show like this to include cgi cartoony versions of like every goofy fan favorite character from Wyrm and Sumbug to Mondo Gecko and Man Ray. I mean they have so many amazing character designs and they never use them! And why in gods name don't they ever bring back Bebop and Rocksteady! We need the punk rock mutants!
you really need to watch "Turtles Forever"
it is a movie that serves as the end of the 2003 cartoon and has three dimensions colliding. The 90's Turtles (including Bebop Rocksteady Krang and the old Shredder) meet the 2003 Turtles AND the original Black and White comic turtles! Beebop and Rocksteady do have an important role in that movie.
Did we already have a conversation about how in the Archie comics series April ends up becoming a ninja and gets her own backup stories where she travels to Japan and fights a dragon guy with Splinter? I forget if we talked about that. They should have done a figure of her inspired by that because it is one of her hotter looks. She has long straight hair and wears a pink shirt all the time and carries a sword!
Oh Ninjara would have been great! And I do like the new show, and I have often wondered the same thing about the older characters like Bebop and Rocksteady. I would like to see them and even some of the older badguys. I understand that they want to create new characters and stuff, but I agree with you. I'd like to see some of the older ones get an update. And Turtles Forever, I don't know if I have seen that, but it sounds really good.Delete
And I do not know if we had a conversation about the Archie comic series and April. I feel like I have heard about that before, so it sounds really cool. I will need to do some digging into that one!
Hi Miss M! I remember Venus and the Next Mutation, although by that time I was barely keeping up with the turtles. I thought they had run their course. I didn't get the feeling they'd be one of those properties that got revived every 10 years or so. Boy, was I wrong. If I see the new Classics versions out in stores, I may pick up the four. I had probably half of the original Playmates line, maybe more. I remember I stopped collecting around the time when they were releasing the four turtles as different crazy things, like sports players or Star Trek crew members. It was about the time those weirdo Neutrinos, or Neutrons or whatever came out (the aliens with the flying car). I had moved on :) I LOVED ToyFare magazine. I still have probably 40 issues downstairs. Their humor cracked me up. I still quote stuff to this day from that magazine like when Thor was considering getting a sidekick (like Robin) and he said "Mayhap I shall adopt a slight boy, and clad him in emerald shortpants!" Freaking slayed me. Keep up the good work!ReplyDelete
Ya know, the Turtles have been one of those few properties that will go away for a year or two, but then come right back. They have been able to maintain longevity. I wish the same could be said for She-Ra and He-Man. I mean He-Man has stayed relevant more than She-Ra, but neither have reached the levels like the Turtles it seems.Delete
And ToyFare was just the best! I remember, issue 7 was my very first issue. A Toybiz Lara Croft was on the cover and I just remember being so shocked, like, "wow! They actually make a toy magazine? For grown folks? Other grown people collect the things I collect?" It was the beginning of the end. lol Thank you for the comment!
Wow thanks for this one! I know that the TMNT have a real live action tv show,( Wich never been aired in Spain )and that they have a fifth turtle, but i never known untill now that it was a girl!ReplyDelete
This "Diary's chapter" is a very good one :)
Hey Nastyroker! I am glad you liked this one! There was indeed a female turtle. Oh crazy times! As for the live action show, maybe you can find the episodes on youtube? I hope you are doing well.Delete