While I loved it as a kid, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze is not a good movie. It’s easily the weakest of the three live-action Turtles films,* and it’s incredibly dated by the presence of Vanilla Ice, who was already a living joke when the film came out. However, the film did produce three memorable action figures: Super Shredder and the subjects of this Show and Tell, Tokka and Rahzar.
In the movie, Tokka and Rahzar are the result of Shredder’s attempt to replicate the results of the original accident that created the Ninja Turtles by dousing a wolf and a snapping turtle with that glowing green mutagen ooze. While Shredder was fairly badass in the first movie, here he seems to be channeling his cartoon incarnation because he makes a minor miscalculation. It took the Turtles fifteen years to become ninja warriors. But Tokka and Rahzar…well, see for yourself.
Even to an eleven-year-old like me, it was confusing as to why the filmmakers created these new mutants rather than just using Bebop and Rocksteady (probably because the film rights were for the original Mirage comic, not the cartoon–things could work the other way around, though, since Tokka and Rahzar showed up in the cartoon later on).
Still, it was easy to forgive all that because, despite their infantile behavior, Tokka and Rahzar were cooler than Bebop and Rocksteady (who weren’t exactly Fullbright Award winners, either).
Turtles II came out near the twilight of my adolescent interest in the Ninja Turtles fad, but not before Tokka and Rahzar became two of my most beloved toys. A large part of their appeal is the strength of their designs…OK, mostly Tokka’s, but he goes with Rahzar like Abbot with Costello. Tokka looks particularly awesome in the film, and there’s a reason for that–he’s based on “The Terrorpin,” a design by Swamp Thing artist Stephen R. Bissette.
To be fair, the Tokka action figure wasn’t quite as awesome as the movie depiction. That’s because it’s mostly a re-use of the pre-existing TMNT figure Slash, an “evil twin” turtle. He did have some new parts, however–the forearms and hands, shoulder pads, and head were all new. That and the vastly different paint job go a long way to making Tokka look much different than his toy predecessor. I particularly love the head sculpt–the bullet-shaped head and pointed beak are a lot more interesting than Slash’s cartoonish face.
Like every other Turtles figure, Tokka came with a slew of weapons (despite the fact he doesn’t wield anything other than the occasional piece of junkyard scrap in the movie). His weapons were simply black replicas of the weapons that came with Slash. They’re referred to on his packaging as “Snappin’ Scimitar, Choppin’ Chuks, Sicko Sai, Big Bad Stick, Belly Bustin’ Belt.”
Rahzar, on the other hand, was an entirely new sculpt with new weapons. I believe the Rahzar you see in my photos is the 1998 re-release version, not the original–there seems to be some slight color variations, particularly in the fur of the torso and the paint around the eyes.
I just couldn’t work up the same level of affection for Rahzar as a toy–his pre-posed left leg, awkward shoulders, and little green loincloth were off-putting. His accessories–“Reinforced Rib Protector, Spider Hook, Gravestone Shield, Skull Shatterin’ Staff”–were cooler than Tokka’s, however, particularly the skull staff with its articulated jaw. But I never really played with their accessories, since they never used any in the movie (I was a stickler for that sort of thing, even as a kid).
Now, as your punishment–I mean, reward for reading this far, please to enjoy “Ninja Rap.”
Go, ninja. Go.
* Full disclosure: I’ve never actually watched TMNT III. I had somehow gotten the impression that most fans considered III the better movie and just went with that in my comments. Apparently that was very wrong–mea culpa, friends. I personally think only the first movie to be worth a damn, Tokka and Rahzar notwithstanding. (Which obviously is still an unfair opinion, having not seen the third one.)