Review: Nick TMNT 2012 Mascots


Throughout Ninja Turtle History one of the things a lot of fans have seen is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costumes. Ever since the late 80’s when the cartoon came around, mascot costumes have been made to match the TV show at that time. There’s the mascot costumes from the early 90’s that was seen at store openings and events as well as the other mascot costumes that were made for MGM appearances. These costumes were based off of the original TMNT cartoon. When the Next Mutation came out, there were Mascot Turtles made to match the Next Mutation that went to Discovery Zone appearances and a few other events before the show ended. And of course we have the 2003 Turtles with two different sets. The ones that came out first and went around on a tour to Toys R Us stores and malls. In 2009, new costumes appeared for the 25th tour that went across country. So we all knew there would be mascots made to match the new Nickelodeon series. These costumes have now been seen!

The new Nickelodeon Mascot Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles appeared at the grand opening event of Shell Shock at Nickelodeon Universe in Mall of America. All four Turtles were there taking part in the event for that weekend only. According to the interview with Jennifer Lauerman about the event, these Turtles will become normal characters at Nickelodeon Universe this Fall. For this story I’m going to do my own review of the new TMNT Mascots.

Growing up with costumes around me it was one of the things that means a lot to me. Costumes are great things that brings characters to life to children and people who enjoy using their imagination. And it takes a lot of skill to comes up with costumes that have the comfort and the looks both down. So when I see things like this, I’m checking a few different things. One, how much it looks like the design the character is based off of, two, how much the character is moving around helps shows if they have comfort, and three, if the character matches the personality that we know them for. So these are going to be the subjects we cover here.

Not only do these characters have the looks down, it seems they were made to have the sizes of each of the new designs for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Donatello being tallest, as seen in the images and toys that have been going around the internet. Each of the Turtles look a lot like the CGI photos we’ve been seeing. Donatello even has a gap in his teeth. Each character is made different enough that you know they’re not using the same costume pieces between the Turtles, as even the Plastrons have different markings to match the show. The expressions on the characters are great, and with every head turn it gives just a slightly different look. So overall, the looks of these Turtles get two thumbs up for sticking to the new design. Though this is something we still need to get use too, at least for the fans excepting the new look these are wonderful characters and have already started to make a lot of people happy.

Next was how much the characters are moving around for comfort. These Turtles were all over the place from bouncing, lifting up legs, turning the heads, swinging the arms. There did seem to be a little bit more weight in the lower part to where it was hard to hold the legs up too long, but that is something that if worn a bit, the people can get use to. The Shells did not get in the way of the movement as these characters were very fit and able to keep up with every bit of crowd that got near them. The only thing that did not seem to move with the characters were the hands. This is within the design of these, the arms are longer so the hands are not within the hands. More somewhere in the forearm. So there is a handle within for the actors to be able to move the arm around. But any thing like autographs, picking something up, or even holding their weapons is out of the question. That was the only disappointment. Though it did not stop them from giving high fives, hugs, and blowing kisses. So for comfort level they all seemed very well adapted to the characters and would stay out there for a bit at at time. Making this area also get two thumbs up.

Last of the three things to look for is personality. This is something a lot of these mascot type characters are usually missing. I’ve gone to many events where it’s all hugs, waving and posing for photos. So coming here I was not sure on how well the characters were going to act, until I saw them. Michelangelo was bouncing around a lot, very hyper in how his body moved. Don was a lot calmer with a nice pace to his movements. While Raph showed a bit of his temper even in how he walked and would swing his arms and Leo just flowed nicely. Each turtle was dead on with the characters’ personalities. They knew what they were doing and you could tell this was not any of their first time in public. They had a life to them that is needed to bring characters to life.

Overall, these are the most impressive Mascot Turtles I’ve personally seen and I’ve seen my share of mascots from Turtle Con 1992, MGM in 1993, and even the 4Kids Turtles through New York City Comic Con and the 2009 appearances. These characters here at Nickelodeon Universe were in character the full time, even when they did not have a crowd. They interacted just right. I even witnessed that even when no crowd was near them, Raph and Leo sparring. It was something that made me happy to watch, and made me excited to keep going back to see them.

Congratulations for Nickelodeon at getting some great mascots together for their new show! And a big two thumbs up to Nickelodeon Universe for having wonderful workers who could pull off an amazing job at bringing these characters to life! Overall, this is an event I will not forget and these Turtles will remain in my memory as some of the best I’ve seen live since the early 90’s. 


I look forward to returning to Nickelodeon Universe this Fall in hopes to see these Turtles again, just as active and cool as they were this weekend!

Do you know a lot about Mascot characters or have a comment or question to share? Please do so in our comment section. Remember all email addresses are kept private.   There's footage of the original TMNT Mascots from the early 1990's in this video:

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These are amazing costumes! I was wondering since you are the only one talking about these costumes online if you happened to know what company created them or if they were done in-house? i would love to know more about how and what materials were used. I am in the process of making a turtle cotume for halloween and im really stumped on the masks and body work. Thank you!

Where can u buy mascot costumes?! I saw on but dont trust the site...

Hey guys, always wondered what happened to the turtle suits from the 3 original movies? Especially the first movie, the costumes created by Jim Henson?

Michele Ivey's picture

Bits and pieces are found here and there, some was destroyed, many have not survived the years. I have a few pieces like some heads from TMNT 3, find out more about my heads in Cowabunga Corner #53

Thx Michelle, shame, the costumes from the first movie were epic! the heads though, I bet the rest of the stuff is in a warehouse somewhere....

Michele Ivey's picture

I totally agree, the first movie are my favorite TMNT costumes to date.