Nickelodeon’s 35 Years of TMNT Celebration is in Full Swing.
Interactive Paley Center exhibits, limited-edition action figures, comic book box sets and Comic-Con panels. It’s full-blown. Since crawling out of the NYC sewers in 1984, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have become a pop culture phenomenon and toy aisle mainstay. With a rabid fanbase and an ever-mutating movie and TV presence, the Turtles have been introduced to new generations year after year. Playmates Toys brought McHale Design on board in the early days of TMNT action figures and it’s been a wild ride for over three decades since!
MCHALE DESIGN TMNT CASE STUDY
There came a day when McHale Design concocted our own celebration of the Ninja Turtles. Beginning with pizza parties and ninjutsu tactics, we created a Retrospective Case Study reviewing select TMNT lines we developed in the 90’s.
Join us for a look back into the nitty gritty creative process of the 90’s, when Nirvana and NKOTB were tops, Super Mario Kart invented a new gaming genre, and Aladdin was still animated.
We thought if we were delivering a hot and fresh TMNT Case Study, it demanded an actual pizza box. We dropped into our friendly local pizzeria and came away with a nice stack and a large order of pizzas for later…
WHAT WE DID: Art Direction, Packaging Design, Logo Design, Concept
The best pizza toppings are custom and fresh, just like our callouts. So we carefully selected objects, gathered and transformed them into useful callouts that fit the theme of each playset. Sometimes a basketball hoop, sometimes the Technodrome. Anchovies, anyone? Try me?
TITANIC SUCCESS IN TINY PACKAGES
MINI MUTANTS circa 1994
We sketched concepts and magnified big fun for a wide variety of miniaturized playsets. These blew up big time, generating over $55 million in one year alone! That was big cabbage back in the day..
PIZZA TOSSIN’ TURTLES
Zany Turtle illustrations for these packages provided the right recipe of twisted humor for this cheesy Pizza Projectile line. (Even real-life pizzas from Domino’s!) Mamma mia this project was one spicy meatball!
PROPS TO THE ILLUSTRATORS
Throughout the early development of TMNT action figure packaging, Maureen McHale handled some sketch work herself but we were privileged to have worked with several talented illustrators including Dirk Wunderlich, Kim Passey, and Keith Batcheller.