Wednesday, May 31, 2017

TMNT Coin-Toons Series 1

Publication date: December 25, 1990
Originally published by: Chicagoland Processing

Story and art: Ryan Brown and/or Steve Lavigne (uncredited, but almost certainly)


Down in the sewers, Michelangelo finds a trail of spare change littering the tunnel and begins to greedily collect the moolah.  Little does he know, the coins were left there by Leatherhead, who springs on him as soon as he rounds a corner.

Leatherhead's ambush has unintended consequences, as he slings the coins from his pouch into the air as he pounces.  Or maybe Michelangelo throws some coins at him?  It isn't exactly clear how they got there, but the coins land in Leatherhead's face, uh, defeating him?  As Leatherhead crumbles into unconsciousness because a nickle hit him on the snout, Mikey reminds him that "a penny saved is a pizza earned."

I imagine both characters keep this comic off their resumes.

Turtle Tips:

*Although the ending says "to be continued" and the book has a "series 1" designation, I have never seen hide nor hair of a second volume of TMNT Coin-Toons.

*The credits in the book mistakenly ascribe the artwork to Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.  I think we can all tell this didn't come from their pencils.  It looks closer to the merchandising and Archie Comics artwork provided by Ryan Brown and Steve Lavigne.

*The collectible TMNT coin embedded in the last page of this book was made of .999 pure silver, 1/4 troy ounce.  It was also forged from waste silver, chemically extracted from trashed Kodak products, as Chicagoland Processing was a recycling wing of the Kodak corporation.  You can thank Reddit for that nugget of history.

*Special thanks go out to Technodrome Forums user "Mechapod" for sharing the scans of the comic with me!


I know I shouldn't be reviewing a piece of piddly little shit like this right now.  There's an IDW comic from last week that I need to get to and another one that just came out today... But god dammit, I'm really sleepy.  Just enjoy this review about whatever the Hell this thing is.  Some sort of folder/picture book with a coin at the end?  I dunno, I just need an easy review today.

For what this is, it isn't so bad.  It has the same minor amusement factor as those Ralston/Purina TMNT Cereal comics or Warriors of the Forgotten Sewer.  We get to see an Archie-style Leatherhead playing a villain, which was something we'd only gotten for one issue of the TMNT Adventures comic, and that's worth a place in the TMNT Entity archive.  Yeah, Leatherhead gets defeated when spare change lands in his face, but... Wow, I wrote myself into a corner with that sentence.  I'd better bail on this paragraph.

As a product, turning the folder/showcase into a TMNT comic was a neat way to get kids to take an interest in a commemorative coin which in any other context would most assuredly have not been on the cooler side of the birthday presents.  This was more of a "grandma gift" that was delicately guided by your parents pointing granny in the right direction.  If the old bag was absolutely hellbent on getting a quarter-ounce of precious metal to teach you the value of diversifying your portfolio, at least this way you'd get a Ninja Turtle comic out of it.

If the Turtle Tips didn't spell it out, I'm honestly clueless on how many of these were produced.  Hell, from all I've been able to dig up, this is the only one that might exist.  I imagine Chicagoland Processing might have had designs on doing one book for each Turtle (buy all four and you get a FULL ounce of silver!), and that may have been what happened, but thus far the internet has only yielded images from the Michelangelo/Leatherhead Series 1 booklet.

Well, I sure half-assed the shit outta this one.  I'll get to those IDW books this weekend.


Killer Moth said...

Beaten by coins to the face, huh? Fred Wolf Season 3 Shredder would be so embarrassed.

Maybe if Leatherhead slipped on some loose change on the ground, conked himself out that way, that would have been a more believable defeat instead of what actually happened. Oh, well.

If nothing else, Mike scrounging the sewers for spare change kinda sorta explains where the Turtles get their "income." As much as I enjoyed Pizza by the Shred, how the Turtles were able to pay for the Starmobile's new or custom parts (e.g., seat belts, gas petal) as implied in the episode's beginning, that was always a head-scratcher for me.

I'm also a sucker for Ryan Brown & Steve Lavigne's take on Leatherhead, so I give the comic extra points for that.

Anyway, no worries about the "sleepy" review. You certainly earned a break, especially after your recent batch of reviews.

Chet said...

At least I smiled all the way through this, ehm, 'review'. :-)

Plus, you gotta love this classic TMNT art style. I think Ken Mitchroney did the box art for this year's SDCC exclusive Neca Fred Wolf style Ninja Turtles action figures, which is energetic and fun, but I would've loved it even more if Brown and Lavigne teamed up for it. If it's up to me, they get to pencil every bit of retro-TMNT-themed packaging.

Anonymous said...

You might as well review the TMNT strip on the back of the early Playmates figures, and the strip on the back of TMNT microwavable pizza (the latter was included in an old X-Entertainment article on TMNT food products) someday, while you're at it.

Adam said...

Haha, I noticed Steve Lavigne put the original artwork up for sale on his Facebook page last week. Is that where you got the idea and images to do this review? Honestly, I had never heard of this, but I really appreciated the plethora of original art and short comics produced for random merchandise back in the day.

Mark Pellegrini said...


Yep, that's exactly what happened. Saw he put the art up and it was the first I heard of the thing. Did some googling until I found scans of the whole booklet and a trace of background info here and there.