They’re back! Those four nunchuck- wielding, anthropomorphic reptiles named after Renaissance artists. Yes, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are returning, determined to lure a new generation of (mostly) boys into their three -fingered grasps.
First introduced in the late ‘80’s and popular via comic books, video games, cartoons, and plastic action figures, these crime-fighting turtles remained popular through the 1990’s. Nickelodeon is reviving the television series and for sure, merchandising is quick to follow. A brief online search revealed the presence of TMNT costumes, outfits and figures already in major stores.
Our boys loved that Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo did martial arts, ate tons of pizza, lived in sewers, wore colored bandit-type masks over their eyes, and beat-up bad guys.
It’s the martial arts that got me. I remember how Jacob and Nathan, around 5 and 7 years old, fashioned their own nunchucks from sticks and rubber bands, donned colored bandanas around their foreheads, and created their own ninja adventures in the yard and house. We were a “no-gun” household; yet boys find a way to create a weapon from any available material. They’d imitate the Turtles, charging around, swinging their homemade nunchucks, yelling, and “cowabunga,” one of the Turtles’ famous sayings.
Their love affair was fairly short-lived, soon replaced by other obsessions: Lego, Magic Cards, then Warhammer.
I always remembered how I wished I’d invented the toy that seemed to grab the attention of children, causing parents to purchase everything from pajamas to toothbrushes adorned with the toy’s image.
But I never did.
Then there’s fashion. I can’t say I’m on the cutting edge with clothing and accessories, but do enjoy looking at a magazine or read the style sections of newspapers now and then. When I saw this creation, Chanel’s Hula-Hoop Bag, being shown during Paris Fashion Week, I wondered who thought of it. How clever! Exercise and a handbag all in one!
Now here’s an invention with lasting power. No need for video games, cartoons, or t-shirts. Hula-hoops date to ancient Greece, made then of willow, rattan and other stiff grasses, they gained popularity in the 1950’s when they were introduced in colorful plastic as children’s toys. They’re used as party games and by dancers, and in exercise classes. But pocketbooks?
I can’t imagine getting in and out of a car, on and off buses or subways, let alone an airplane. It won’t fit under the seat or in the overhead bin. I’m not sure of its commercial appeal – certainly not geared towards kids- and it’s as yet unpriced.
Who knows? Maybe it’s the next big thing?
I like the idea of taking something old and making something new.
I wish I’d thought of it.