Which one of you goes “Kowabunga”?

Ever struggled to remember which Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle was which? If so, Dan Ko has provided a handy guide in LEGO form, with some beautifully-made sculptures. I never was that into the show, so I always had a hard time remembering the names (although I do recognise this first one as Donatello). Normally I just wondered how they ended up settling on these particular adjectives for characters in a kids’ show…

“OK team, we need some new animal characters for a kids’ TV show. Any ideas?”

“Turtles! But on their own? A bit four-legged – let’s make them mutant turtles, so they can be humanoids. And let’s make them ninjas too. Ninjas are cool! Still not relatable enough though… How about we have them be teenagers? The Mutant Turtle Ninja Teenagers! And we can name them after Renaissance artists!”

“Uh… Sounds great. The name needs some work though…”

1/4: Donatello

OK, that’s enough of my rambling – Donatello has a purple headband and wields a staff. Got it. Now for the rest: Raphael in red (OK, that should be easy to remember). I like the horn piece used as the end of his bandana here.

2/4: Raphael

So Michelangelo is the orange one with the nunchuks. OK. This is a great shot that shows off how posable these sculptures are. And, er, those two-toed feet. That tooth piece is an excellent choice.

3/4: Michelangelo

And finally Leonardo in the blue headband. You’ll notice that these turtles all share the same base and construction (with a few exceptions for the weapons and headband), and Dan has been kind enough to share a breakdown of the turtle build on his Flickr, should you want to build your own.

4/4: Leonardo

So, to summarise: purple = Donatello, red = Raphael, orange = Michelangelo, blue = Leonardo. That should be easy enough to remember, and built with so much character by Dan. Although if you want more than just turtles, he’s got you covered there as well. After all, what is a ninja without their master? This is one name that I don’t need to look up: Splinter the rat!


1 comment on “Which one of you goes “Kowabunga”?

  1. Winston

    “I just wondered how they ended up settling on these particular adjectives for characters in a kids’ show”

    It was a comic book first, and inspired by four contemporary comics trends–teens (like Teen Titans), mutants (like X-Men), ninjas (like in Frank Miller’s Daredevil), and anthropomorphic animals (like Cerebus the Aardvark).

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