One of my favorite things about looking back at 80s/90s Turtlemania and collecting bits and pieces of TMNT memorabilia is the wide variety of art styles that were used in all the licensed stuff. Some products had horrible character art that made you wonder how it ever got made, while others had awesome art that I could (and sometimes do) frame and hang on my wall.
One of my favorite styles of TMNT licensing art is the half cartoon/half comics style, for lack of a better term. The Turtles don’t look as cartoony as some versions, the lines are usually a little thicker, and overall it looks more serious. The TMNT board game art is a perfect example. I have a few pieces of TMNT stuff that look like they’re all from the same artist, and I wish I could track down who illustrated it all. Some puzzles, children’s books, and stickers have the same style and I can’t get enough of it.
I randomly came across a small set of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stickers from 1989 on eBay a while back that had this style, and I had to get them. I don’t think it’s a full set, but I love these stickers and realized that I should scan them and share them with the world. With the art looking so rough, I would have expected these to be a little older, but they all say 1989.
It brings back so many memories seeing Mirage Studios and Surge Licensing on Turtle products. These stickers are about the size of a printable label, and I have no idea where they came from. Each sticker has an order form on the back to sign up for the Turtle Force Fan Club™, so I wonder if these were from some kind of promotion for that. Sadly I never got to be a member of the Fan Club, unlike Crooked Ninja and X-E.
Shredder is looking particularly menacing on his sticker, which is funny considering how weird and cartoony the Foot Soldier still looks. I’d love to see Rocksteady and Krang in this style, and I bet their stickers exist, I just haven’t found them yet.
My favorite of the lot has to be the Party Wagon sticker though. It would have been cool enough by itself on a sticker, but the addition of Let’s Party Dude! in an awesome 90s font just makes it perfect. I would totally wear that text on a t-shirt.
The Party Wagon sticker makes me think these were used more for promotion of the toys, but who knows. All I know is that these stickers are awesome and I want to find more. One of my favorite things about nostalgia is finding stuff like this. Stickers and promotional items were so disposable and unimportant when they came out, but now they’re filled with nostalgia and keep nerds like me ranting and spending too much time on ebay.
Digging through my stuff lately made me realize that I have a lot of scan-worthy content, so expect to see more in the future.
What pieces of Turtlemania do you remember being particularly fond of?