Retiring a part of my TMNT History

In 1993, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were still going strong in Michigan, with the third movie coming to theaters it was an exciting time.  By this point my family had been doing parties as the Party Turtle for two years. Though my costume began to look very worn out from age and me being over active in the suit, so it was time to make a new one.  The new costume was finished in less than a week, as it was worked on by my dad, mom and I.  We were happy to have it done on March 19th, the same day TMNT III came to the theaters.  19 years later, and that costume is now up for retirement.

I wore this costume to many events through the years, from movie theaters for the release of TMNT III, children birthday parties, comic cons and even anime conventions.  Though in 2004, I got injured at my factory job and RSD brought a fast stop to my costume days.  In 2005, I did wear the costume for one convention and felt as if my arm was being torn off the full time.  So, after that event the costume was put into storage, not to be worn by anyone.  But in December 2011, I had a surgery that made it so I can now wear my costume again.  Though the question comes up, do I really want to?

The costume has aged and is falling part.  Features that were once really cool are fading into the background of the costume as all the new holes, rips and faded paint is starting to show its age.  I decided a few years ago, that the costume was to be retired.  Though never thought about giving my suit a go out party.  It was just landing on the retired floor, as a piece of history I would never wear again.  Though recent events did make me decide to give this costume one more going out party.

The Nickelodeon Universe new ride “Shell Shock” and that they wanted to break the World Record of people in Turtle costumes.  What better retirement party could I ask for?  So I pulled the costume out, dusted it off and added some fresh paint to help hide the age a little.  I did some fast gluing to patch up the handful of holes that covered the suit and packed up the old thing for one last trip.

On March 17th, 2012, I put on my costume at 8:28am and did not get to shed the shell till after 10:30am.  Only breaks I would get would be lifting the head just a little for air, when not facing a crowd.  Though I was rushed to put on the costume, as we were told if we did not get back in 10 minutes, we would not be allowed back in.  So we raced to the car, rushed putting the costume on and jolted back into the event.  Wearing me out before I could even start to see the fans. Though the minute I got into those ropes people wanted to see the Turtle.  So even with two days before its 19th birthday, the costume still draws a crowd.

I spent the full time posing for photos for people there to help break the world record.  I talked with many other TMNT fans who were there, and with the help of my mother, Fugitoid, TurtleNinja and Draco we were handing out business cards to people who showed interest in the costume.  It was not till after 9:30 that they started the 10 minute count down for everyone to remain in full costume, and as soon as that was done the workers mentioned I should go to the blue area to get photos with the official Turtle Mascots that were at this event.

Though once I got there, I learned that the Turtles were not going to be there till 10:10, so I had to sit in that line and wait.  I drank some water as I waited here with a few kids still around me, so trying not to remove the head too much.  Once the Turtles got there, I went out and got my picture taken with Michelangelo and Donatello.

After the photo shoot, it was time to remove the costume for my last time.  We made our way to the car by 11am and I was able to remove the costume and breath.  At 18 years, 363 days this Turtle costume is retired.  The goal is to make a new one.  I will keep this costume in my collection and if I ever get a museum it may even get displayed somewhere in the museum for all of the TMNT events that it took part in.  A great costume with a thousand and one memories still waiting to be shared!

Did you go to the Shell Shock grand opening?  Did you see me walking around in my costume?  Do you have a costume that you’ve had to retire because of age?  Share your thoughts and comments here.  Please remember that all email addresses are kept private.

Entertainment Earth



You needed to start this entry as : " Let me tell you a story ... " =XP , but seriously, nice one =: ), as a cosplayer I was myself for some time, I know the love you can have for a costume or outfit, even pretend to be the characters or act with it, but sometimes, things change ...

P.D. at certain point, I had some ambitions of having costumes of Leonardo, Casey Jones and Shredder in different media versions.

Nice article on your costume. I admire your dedication and would love to hear tips on your costuming and pics if you are on facebook. Please join us on the TMNT costuming group.