I was introduced to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) in 1985 on a summer trip to see my older sister in Denver. Her roommate read comic books and he gave me a couple issues of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to read. I was hooked from the start.
After the trip I bought and read any TMNT comic I could find. Then in late 1987 the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV series launched providing even more turtle greatness. Following on to the TV series, Archie Comics published Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures in August 1988.
It was an interesting comic. It started off as a TV adaptation but by issue #5 it morphed into its own story lines.
In February 1991 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #17 hit the stands. Issue 17 is the tail end of a 5-issue arc dealing with environmental issues. The story revolves around the ocean and saving sea turtles, which seems like a worthy cause for ninja Turtles.
The Archie series was geared to a younger audience coming over from the TV series. It was lighter than the ‘original’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
The comic had a decent run, first published in August 1988 running until October 1995 with issue #72. As we’ll see from the ads it produced a comic book spin-off too. If you like the TMNT TV Series you’ll enjoy this comic series.
The interesting thing about this comic is the small amount of ads. There are only five ads in the book, plus a page of letters and a call to support the sea turtles. Also, there are no ads interrupting the story. There is an ad on the inside cover and the rest or at the end of the book, after the story.
Even though the ad count is small, there are a couple of great ads in this book. So let’s get to them!
Side note: The ads have a slight slant to them, it’s not a scanning issue. The entire comic was printed this way…
Tiger was a big name in handheld games in the late 80s and early 90s, securing licensing for popular games like Street Fighter II and Castlevania II. The games featured a LCD screen with decent graphics.
Then in the early 90s Tiger created “wrist games” a scaled-down version of their games built into a wristwatch. What a great idea. Way better than my calculator watch!
I never saw these watches at the store. If I had I would have bought one or all seven! How can you choose between Altered Beast or Ninja Gaiden or Double Dragon.
There are seven, buy them all and wear a different one each day. Monday is RoboCop day, Tuesday is Castlevania day, Wednesday is, well you get the idea.
This is not an ad. It’s letters readers send in to the turtles to tell them how much they love the comic. Reading through them it’s clear the demographic of the comic is a young age.
This is an ad for the upcoming (at the time) new spin-off comic Mighty Mutanimals. They were a superhero team, first appearing in TMNT Adventures made up of mutant animals.
It was a big group made up of 12 members, Jagwar, Mondo Gecko, Leatherhead and Ray Fillet to name a few.
Mighty Mutanimals started out as a mini-series and then a regular series. However the regular series didn’t last long. It ran for a total of nine issues. I guess the world wasn’t ready for Mighty Mutanimals.
One more that isn’t an ad. I guess it could be called an ad to Adopt-A-Turtle. When you adopt a turtle you get a color poster of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, wait am I adopting a Ninja Turtle? That would be awesome!
You also get to name your adopted turtle (not a Ninja Turtle), but why are only females available for adoption? Do they steal the males and dip them in toxic sludge to create more Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? If my adopted turtle has baby turtles do I have to adopt them too? Can I name them?
So many unanswered questions. I called the 1-800 number to get the answers but all I got was a busy signal. I guess all the turtles were adopted.
Back to the Future Part II & III released in 1990 and wasn’t well received. It was based on the movies but bears little resemblance to them. Most of the game is a Super Mario Bros clone with Marty running around instead of Mario.
The game gets a solid 2.5 out of 5 stars from all reviews. If you haven’t played it you can watch someone else play.
As a true retro fan you should experience the game. Head over to the Old Game Shelf and play Back to the Future II & III now!
We’ve seen this one before but I included it because this is the first time it’s a full page ad. The other ads were small, hard to read half page ads.
This one you can actually read what they are selling, access to the Ultimate Game Club. Why should you join, they tell you. Call and join now!
More handheld games, this time by Konami. This ad is for the sports games they offer, all the major leagues and NASCAR. I didn’t own the sports games. I did have a Star Wars Phantom Menace pod racer game that was decent. Wait, that was made by Tiger…never mind.
In a world without smart phones these portable games were great. About the size of the Game Boy but cheaper. It’s a good idea if you don’t want to shell out the big bucks for a Game Boy or Lynx.
In a comic with limited ads (who doesn’t enjoy limited ads) they were still quality. The Tiger wrist games are my favorite. I looked for one on eBay and the cheapest I found was $120! I guess I’ll just admire the ad.
That ends our look at Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #17, another anniversary comic with great ads from 1991.
Until next time, keep your comics bagged and boarded…unless you want to thumb through them to check out the great ads!
Check out the previous installments of
Check Out Those Ads!