Friday, September 07, 2012

Nickelodeon UK Invites Lucky Families To Spend The Day Living Like The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

According to dadzclub, to celebrate Nickelodeon UK and Ireland and Nickelodeon HD UK premiering Nickelodeon's brand new CGI-animated "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" television series from Monday 1st October 2012 at 5.00pm, Nickelodeon UK recently held a very special Nickelodeon event where a few lucky families were invited to spend a day like the Heroes In A Half Shell, which included a Ninjitsu demonstration and a Pizza feast!:
teenage mutant ninja turtles

Remember these guys? The four turtles are heading back to our screens for another generation to enjoy!

When the guys over at Nickelodeon got in touch and told us about an opportunity for a few families to come and spend the day like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, we were both puzzled and excited to say the least!

These cartoon characters were huge when we were kids and the new series coming on the 1st October looks set to be just as massive. So, what did it mean 'spend the day like a turtle'?

Well, the participants were subjected/treated to a fantastic Ninjitsu demonstration by an incredible team of guys. Some of the practical demos were a little too close for comfort for some of the kids we might add, see [the photograph here on the official dadzclub website,]

Following a typical Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle workout, the guys all headed for pizza, a sure favourite for the characters in the cartoon and equally pleasing for all the kids that took part in the event!

About the show

Watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mondays from 1st October at 5pm on Nickelodeon

Series Synopsis

Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello are four mutant turtles who have been trained in the art of ninjutsu by their mutant rat sensei, Master Splinter. Emerging from their hidden lair in the sewers, these reptile brothers, guided by their spirited friend April O’Neil, confront the wondrous and hostile world of New York City, facing villains more dangerous and pizza more delicious than anything they could have imagined. Through battles with their arch enemies Shredder (Splinter’s greatest ninja rival) and the Kraang (an evil race of alien invaders), as well as a rogue's gallery of super-powerful mutants, the Turtles learn to rely

A Slice of History

Created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird in 1984 as a parody pastiche of several of the most popular comic books of the time, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles went on to become a global phenomenon. The original one-shot black & white comic published by Eastman and Laird’s Mirage Studios imprint didn’t result in big sales, but it generated a viral word-of mouth campaign that resonated so strongly with fans that the pair began publishing the adventures of Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo, the four fun-loving, hard fighting brothers, as an ongoing series.

TMNT remained a niche pleasure for a growing group of comic fans until licensing agent Mark Freedman and Mirage Studios made a deal with Playmates Toys to turn the Turtles into action figures. With the help of animator Fred Wolf, Playmates replaced the gritty, urban feel of the original book with a more upbeat, adventurous, comedic tone. The resulting cartoon miniseries aired three times before expanding to a full series in 1987. The series ran for an impressive 193 episodes and along with the escalating Playmates action figure line, which began release in 1987, proved an enormous success.

Fueled by its catchphrases, “Cowabunga!” and “Turtle Power!”, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles became a children’s pop culture phenomenon. In 1989, TMNT generated $69 million dollars at retail in the United States across a variety of consumer products. Aided by the release of New Line’s live action movie, which grossed over $200M worldwide, the retail success of TMNT ballooned to $585 million in 1990. Turtle power, indeed.

In 1991, with the animated series still going strong, New Line released a second feature film. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze grossed $78M worldwide and not even the cameo by rapper Vanilla Ice could prevent the film from propelling the franchise’s overall U.S. Retail merchandise gross to over $1.3 billion.

A third film followed in 1993, with the franchise again grossing over $500M at U.S. retail. Several more videogames, including the popular Turtles in Time, were released on 16-bit console and mobile platforms. The TMNT property posted solid financial results in 1993 and 1994, but the property was clearly on the wane.

After the tenth, and final, season of the original cartoon aired in 1996, TMNT was rebooted as a live action series, The Next Mutation in 1997. The Next Mutation ran for two seasons on Fox Kids but failed to spark fan enthusiasm or significantly buoy sales of consumer products.

A new cartoon, produced by 4Kids Entertainment, was launched in 2003, which was much closer to the original Mirage conception of the characters. The 4Kids show ran for 155 episodes, with later arcs sending the Turtles far into the future (Fast Forward) and then back again (Back to the Sewer). TMNT posted a healthy $230M in sales in 2005 and $108M in 2006. The 4Kids show wrapped its run in 2006 with the feature length Turtles Forever, which placed the 4Kids version of the Turtles into an unusual alternate timeline-adventure with their 1987 counterparts.

In 2007, the Turtles returned with a CG-animated theatrical movie simply titled TMNT. Released by The Weinstein Company and Warner Bros., TMNT was one of the darkest expressions of the franchise yet. Though the movie did not feature iconic Turtles villains, Kraang and Shredder, it grossed a solid $95M worldwide and generated $187M in consumer products sales.

Viacom purchased the rights to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in 2009 and announced a new animated series for 2012. With a new comic book series released to critical acclaim by IDW in 2011 and a live-action feature film from Paramount announced for Holiday 2013, the Turtles are back in full force. With the resources of Nickelodeon behind a coordinated launch, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are poised to retake their throne as the kings of boys’ intellectual property franchises.

Watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mondays from 1st October at 5pm on Nickelodeon
From Den of Geek:
Den Of Geek goes Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle training

Want to find out what happened when one of Den Of Geek's best and brightest went to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles training? Then read on...

“Matt, do you fancy doing a bit of ninja training?”

Of course I fancied doing a bit of ninja training!

Nickelodeon has a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV series to promote and, in an effort to make sure Den of Geek don’t spill ignorance and incompetency all over our coverage of the show, they invited us along to a learn a bit about being a ninja. As Den of Geek's Ninja Turtles correspondent, and the writer most in need of any available education, I was happy to accept the invitation. It also came with a promise of pizza, which didn't hurt. I like pizza.

I arrived in the morning to find myself somewhat perplexed, and not just because I’d only found time for a single cup of coffee.

What surprised me were the other attendees. There were a lot of kids there. In fact, the only other adults appeared to be parents or Nickelodeon employees. Still, this wouldn’t be the first time I found myself in violent combat with a child, so I shrugged off my concerns and prepared to war their smiling little faces off.

We were introduced to our ninja instructors, who proved to be a very pleasant surprise. Perhaps because I based my expectations of them on the film Batman Begins, I had braced myself for a team of unforgiving, emotionless killers. What I got were three guys who were warm, friendly and endlessly patient.

They started out by showing us a wrist-grabby defence thing. It involves twisting someone’s arm about when they grab your wrist, and it’s a bit fiddly. I just about got the hang of it, as did the gang from Nickelodeon, who I’ll take this opportunity to thank for not tearing my hand off.

We were then shown a couple of tricks that involved sneaking ropes around your opponent/attacker’s wrists and tying them up. I question whether it was appropriate to train us to be ninja cowboys before fully training us to be ninjas. Eventually, after having my technique corrected, I got to grips with the ropes, too. Now the string that runs through my coat sleeves isn’t just there to stop me from losing my mittens; it’s also a deadly weapon.

Learning these moves was fun, but seeing them performed by the instructors highlighted the gulf between ‘getting’ a technique and mastering one. To really get these moves right, you’d have to drill them hundreds of times. There are more than a thousand different techniques. Being a ninja is tough.

Of course, ninja skills involve more than just yanking people about by their limbs. The instructors took some time to show us the basics of meditation. The gist seems to be emptying your mind. It turns out that I’ve been in a state of meditation for almost thirty years now.

I also showed a natural take to myth and deception, applying what I already know from being married. It was here we learned that most of what we know about ninjas is untrue. We were told that they would dress in disguises, rather than in conspicuous black martial arts robes. Ninjas would also encourage myths about themselves, leading people to believe that they were supermen, capable of inhuman feats.

Like any normal person who can breathe fire, explode enemies with their mind and watch multiple Chuck Norris films in a single sitting, I attended ninja training with a single hope - that I would learn how to do the twisting neck break. Wisely, the instructors did not show me how to do that. They did, however, bring along some very cool weapons for us to see. They had swords, sticks, mini-blades, throwing stars and more. They had a tool box, like you would get from Wilkinsons or Wickes, but it was filled with ninja accessories. It was much better than the stuff that’s in my toolbox (a few screwdrivers, a hammer, a torch and some leftover bits from Ikea furniture).

Ninja training was loads of fun. I learned some cool stuff (the instructors did also tell us all of the appropriate Japanese names for everything, and generously offered me any assistance I may have needed in this article, but I think if you’re interested you’d be better off learning from them yourself. Check out their website at to see if they have a class near you) and am now 30% more lethal. I’m also better prepared for the upcoming Ninja Turtles TV series. I will not make the faux pas of calling Donatello’s weapon a Bo Staff (which would mean ‘stick staff’), and I will know to tut at Michelangelo for using a karate-based weapon rather than a ninja one.

Time came for us to leave, and as I hadn’t been issued with any smoke bombs, I was forced to discharge a fire extinguisher. We all made a mysterious, stealthy exit.

Our next stop was a pizza kitchen, where we were shown how to make pizza by a professional, Italian chef. I’ve specifically mentioned that he was Italian because he made it very, very clear to us that he wasn’t American, that he didn’t like American pizza and that Americans should seriously stop trying to take credit for Italian things all the time. I really hope that the children in attendance took this on board.

His disdain for New York pizza lead to me question what he even thought we were all doing there on our Ninja Turtles themed day. Still, I was so hungry at this point that I was considering setting off another smoke bomb (er, fire extinguisher) and stealthily sneaking off for a Pizza Hut, so I smiled and nodded and willed him along through the demonstration.

Presented with dough, we were tasked with taking a rolling pin to it (apparently the ‘throw it up in the air and then catch it on your knuckles’ thing is just for show. The pizza making community were clearly familiar with ninja ‘myth’ techniques, too) and then applying toppings. Apparently there’s nothing authentic about the ‘Mighty Meaty’ topping spread I had planned, so I decided to apply economic blobs of mozzarella, a few dainty olives and some salami.

Then I ate pizza until I felt physically sick.

So, I've found out that I’m unsuitable for a career as a ninja assassin or pizza chef, but that I’m terrific at eating pizza and having a laugh. More importantly, I’m basically a Ninja Turtle now.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles starts 1st October at 5pm with a 1 hour special. Be sure to check back with us for coverage of the series.