Rise of the TMNT : Weapons

The internet exploded shortly after the designs for the Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series was released in February.  As fans of all ages found themselves split down the middle upon the new look and feel for the Ninja Turtles, as there’s no question that this is a road they’ve never been on before.  I tried to write one story that would include my thoughts on the Facebook Live, designs, show overall and even the toys.  But it got long and hard to write, let alone read.  Which brings me here, where I’m going to give a short write up about each of the things revealed about “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”.  The new weapons that is very noticable with the Ninja Turtles.

My comments on these designs are my personal thoughts for each character.  Like, dislikes and fun facts.  These thoughts are not final judgement as I have not seen the series yet.  I have always found first reactions as the most hard and harsh for any new form of the Ninja Turtles.  As each of us fans are searching for what we would want to see, making it so not one creative team could ever please the entire fandom.  Let’s go into this with open minds to the ride that Ant Ward and Andy Suriano are bringing us on.

I’ll like to share what scares me first, which is that these weapons glow.  Which goes back to the Turtles getting powers in “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”.  I have expressed it before, and I’ll express it again.  The ideas of the Turtles having powers, takes a part of what I love about the Turtles away.  I hope that it’s not a major storyline or the plot of this series.  Powerful superheroes are entertaining, but heroes that defend themselves without powers are inspiring.  At least for the life I lead, the Turtles helped teach me to stand up for myself and I do feel what I learned helped save my life.  That is totally personal to me and my views, I understand if others are excited about this change.  It just saddens me.

Each of the Ninja Turtles seem to be going through a weapon design change.  With Donatello being the only Turtle that is close to his original weapon, slightly changed to be more techy.  Raphael has Tonfas, Leonardo has one sword and Michelangelo is with his new grappling hook type weapon.  The weapons of the Ninja Turtles is a big topic point for TMNT fans and always have been, and people who don’t know the Turtles well would often use the weapons to tell the Turtles apart from one another.  Anytime there’s a change in the weapons, it is noticed by the fans.

In the comic book world of Ninja Turtles, weapons were changed up before.  In fact, there’s even an issue of the Mirage Comics where the Turtles use Tonfas.  In areas where they had Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles Michaelangelo would be drawn with the bo staff or sais.  As the chucks were limited in those areas.  Even with those rare times of the Turtles using other weapons, it’s true that more often than not they had their normal weapons of choice.

Television had to take a different spin with things, as the original cartoon series was getting hit back from Michaelangelo’s nunchucks.  To fix this, they removed his nunchucks and made it so he used a grapple hook instead.  Fans took notice to this and complained, but the internet was not around so the noise from the fans was not as loud as it is today.  Because of the problem with Michaelangelo’s chucks in the cartoon, the live action series did not even touch the nunchucks giving Michaelangelo the Tonfas.  He got his nunchucks back when the 4Kids series came around in 2003.  Only for his chucks to have a pointless change for the Nickelodeon series, adding a blade to them that was barely ever used. 

Leonardo went through a slight change with the Next Mutation as he got cut down to one sword in that as well.  His sword was like scissors.  It did not look normal at all.  Making it so “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” is not the first series to change Leonardo’s weapon.   The type of Leonardo’s swords seem to vary through the different series as it is.  I always pictured him with a ninja toe, which is more of a throw away sword.  Though often he’s drawn with Katanas which is the blade of the samurai.  

Donatello had an upgraded bo staff in “Ninja Turtles : The Next Mutation” as well.  Which reminds me of what they’re doing in “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”.  Also in the Nickelodeon 2012 TMNT series he was not happy with his bo staff, and wanted to upgrade his weapon which got him to create Metalhead.  Personally the bo staff is my favorite weapon, so it disappoints me to see him feel it needs to be changed so much.  A good smooth wooden staff, makes for the bo staff to move through the hands easier to change your grip.

Now Raphael with the tonfas, as mentioned this is not the first time Tonfas has entered the TMNT series.  Through the comics and other series, this is a weapon of choice for the Turtles.  Just not the weapon I would normally picture Raphael with.  I could see Splinter using these, till he felt that Raphael was ready for an upgrade to sais.  Which is what I am guessing will happen in this series.

Through an interview with Pat Linden from Playmates Toys at Toy Fair 2018 by Pixel Dan, I saw on youtube, the Turtles may upgrade to their more normal weapons as the series progresses.  This news gives hope for the sais and nunchucks to return to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles soon.  I look forward to that day, as I am a fan of the original weapons.  While I am okay with the Turtles working with other weapons, there’s just a peace of mind to see them with their tools of choice.

There's a good video about the history of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles compared to Ninjas on Youtube.  I do recommend it as it shows the comic that most people are bringing up where Raphael is using the Tonfa's.  It's called "The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are REAL Ninjas?"  If you want to hear a good comparison to Ninja Turtles and the history of Ninja, go ahead and watch the video by clicking here.  Video by Gaijin Goombah Media and shared with me through twitter.   

Even if the Turtles were not going to upgrade to their normal weapons, I do not feel that the weapons could make or break a series for me.  As I watched Michaelangelo with his Tonfas in the Next Mutation and still enjoyed the series.  I was inspired to find Hero Turtle books to see which weapon they gave Michaelangelo for fight scenes.  It never got me to turn my head from the Turtles, and I do not think it ever will.  There’s more to a Turtle than the toys they play with.

What do you think of the changes in the Ninja Turtle weapons?  Do you think they’ll upgrade to their normal weapons?  Do you like these weapons more?  Please let us know your thoughts, comments and questions below.


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