On March 17th, 2012, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fans crowded into Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America to help break a World Record of people dressed up like Ninja Turtles. For a few months now, we have been promoting that the Cowabunga Corner Crew will be at this event and we were, in full force. With help from friends Fugitoid, Tokka, TurtleNinja, Draco and my mother, Claudia, we had people throughout the crowd to help cover this amazing story in video, photos and written reviews.
This is my personal review of the “World Record Breaking Shell Shock” Event! I knew as soon as a thrill ride was announced that I wanted to be there when it opened. So I paid attention to the news as it was being released and kept in touch with Mall of America to plan a trip. In mid-February, I got word that there was going to be a huge event being done for the opening to break a World Record that was previously broken in 2008. They wanted to get as many people in Turtle costumes as they could, giving away free T-shirts and masks. There was mention in all the press information about face painting, too. At this point, I started to plan not only to be there, but to bring my Turtle costume which was last worn in 2005. This would be my last time wearing the costume as it is 19 years old now.
We got to the mall at 7am, getting in what seemed to be a short line at the time. We talked with fellow Turtle fans around us as others were showing up. I did not have my costume on just yet, as I wanted to register out of costume in case we had to sign a book or something to prove we were really there. Though there was no such activity. Once they opened up registration, we were given a wristband, a TMNT Shell Shock Shirt, a face mask, a coupon book for Nickelodeon Universe and a wrist band that had six points on it so we could ride Shell Shock for free.
As soon as we were registered, I got a hold of TurtleNinja to come out to the car and help me get my costume on. We were told we only had 10 minutes as I had to be back in the area by 8:30, usually it takes longer than 10 minutes to put on the costume. With the costume so old, we had problems with getting on certain parts of it that is falling apart from the inside. Rushing the costume was not something easy to do. Though Fugitoid came out to help and we managed to get back in the building just in time.
Though now I was out of breath before the event even started as I ran in from the parking garage in full costume. I thought maybe that when we got in, I would get a break. Yet, right away people started to stop me for photos. It was just like a movie theater back in the early 1990’s, and worse than a convention. I couldn’t take one step before the next picture was asked to be taken. I was blind for two reasons. One, the costume head was damaged so I could not see everyone going around me. Two, I cannot wear my glasses in the costume. So no matter what, I was without sight.
Though I knew one thing, the heat was getting to me, as it is my first time wearing the costume in 6 and a half years. I wanted to work my way to a less crowded area. I went towards the blue spot, thinking that would be where they would have the official Turtle mascots. It was not nearly as crowded there and I was able to lift my head just enough to stick my mouth out and get some fresh air. Though people were still wanting photos, and I was not one to disappoint. So I stayed in character the full time. After being off to the side a little bit, I heard that the Turtles were in front of the ride, not over near the blue spot. So I made my way to the front of the ride, the area where the Turtles were was very packed. They were on the other side of a rope so they did not have the body heat of all the Turtle fans packed in right at them. Though where I was, I could barely move let alone breathe. I stayed up there long enough to say hi to each of the Turtles. Fugitoid stayed by my side getting photos and video.
I should have remained there as that would of been a great area to be for the photo, though the heat was just too much. I made my way back to the open space till they mentioned where we needed to be, which is in front of the ride. I worked my way back into the crowd, posing for a lot of photos along the way. We had to remain in the same spot for 10 minutes for the World Record. So once the countdown started, we all stayed where we were until it was counted down to the last few seconds. Breaking a world record.
I said goodbye to the Turtles as they were being walked past us and one of the workers told me to go wait near the blue area. So I went there to do photos, I watched as other people went on the ride and people lined up for photos as well. We were told the Turtles would not be out till about 10:15, which means they were getting a break as I sat there. Though I did not waste this time as I talked with the kids in line with me. And Fugitoid was there to keep me company. He had bottled water for me to drink. Once the Turtles came out, I realized it was only two of them. I knew by this time, I could not wait for Raph and Leo to come out. After these photos, I was going to need to get out of this costume.
I went out and did this photoshoot, and it was so fun. Michelangelo and Donatello were so into it, as we did a few poses. Fugitoid was doing video and photos with our the Cowabunga Corner camera as Draco was taking some pictures with Fugitoid’s camera. Overall we got some great shots and I even got to buy a print. We loved it. After that, I met up with some friends, and we talked a little as I sat on a bench to rest before heading to get the costume off.
The event itself was over, but the day was far from it as Turtle fans stayed around in their green shirts throughout the day riding the rides, hanging out, and getting lots of photos and great memories. It was great to see so many faces from the online fandom. Fugitoid, the administrator of TMNT-L was there, as was Tokka from Go Green Machine. They were both helping out with the Cowabunga Corner Crew. Roseangelo from Ninja Pizza was there covering the story for her site.
This event was something for the fans, as we all deserve to be there and each of us getting a chance to see each other and talk was so fun and great. Other fans to mention that I knew in the crowd my mother Claudia Ivey, and friends TurtleNinja and Draco, the three of them were also part of the Cowabunga Corner crew on this trip. Two other friends that were there was Mica and Soliloquy, who were interviewed in Fan Interviews #1.
Overall, it was an interesting trip with a lot of great people with plenty of fans to help carry the memory of this event on to others. Please do check out the other websites here to see if they put up reviews as well of the event. Everyone will have a new story as we all handled the way we went to this event differently. If you went to this event please share a review of your own in the comment section below. If you have questions or comments, please feel free to say those as well! All email addresses are kept private so feel free to leave us a post!