The psychotic pizza chef
Released in 1990
Let’s talk about conviction. Some people hold beliefs so dear and close to their hearts that there is no swaying their opinion. Some people hold to their belief in Bigfoot, a sports team or religion. But some people, some people believe they can crawl into a custom made oven with a canister of Retromutagen and close the door on them, thinking that it’ll give them the power of…whatever their addled mind thinks mutagen does.
Pizza Face has such conviction. This poor guy actually cooked himself in a pizza oven big enough to hold a full grown man thinking it would give him superpowers of some kind. When the Turtles pulled him out of the oven to save his life before his mutation could take effect, he blamed them for ruining his life and turning him into the hideous man he is today. As a result, he became Pizza Face, sworn enemy to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and their friends.
Yep, he’s addlebrained.
This is a truly hideous figure to behold. Even by TMNT standards. This tubby culinary expert is a mass of burned flesh, singed hair, missing limbs and broken teeth. You might almost feel sorry for this window-licker if he hadn’t thought it was a good idea to bake himself in a high powered, industrial strength pizza oven. Pizza Face is truly a victim of himself. Something I think a lot of us can relate to. Just hopefully not to the same degree (the third one) like him.
Pizza Face has the look of a clichéd cook in a pizza place that has so many health code violations attributed towards it, you would think that only the Toxic Crusaders would eat there. I know I talked earlier about how Mutagen Man was something out of a body-horror film, well, this guy is a monster straight out of a slasher film. Looking at this figure today, I get shades of Leatherface or Jason Voorhees. With cleaver in hand, Pizza Face looks like something out of one of Michelangelo’s pizza-fueled nightmares.
Looking over his figure, it’s kind of hard not to miss any of the incredibly gross details across his massive frame. At the same time, it’s hard to look at them to. His arms are a patchwork of stiches where he had to sew his arms back together. Burns peek out of his red tank top. Pizza sauce or blood(?) is splattered across his legs and apron while roaches crawl up and down his limbs, feasting on his scabs. His bulging eyes show off the pain he’s in with every waking moment, but his broken, leering grin reveals how much he enjoys it. What used to be a man has truly become a monster who wants nothing more than to dice u the heroes in a half-shell and bake them in his next pizza pie.
How the hell did this figure ever make it into production?
Probably my favorite bit on this figure is his pizza box peg-leg that plugs into the bottom of the figure where his right leg should be. It can be switched out with his mighty cleaver and used to pummel anyone who gets in his way. While my figure hasn’t held up the best over time, his peg-leg is way too loose, I still think that this is a great design choice that is nightmare fuel plan and simple. This figure shows off just how vast the breadth of creativity is when it comes to the Ninja Turtles. There really are no limits to what they can do, where they can go, or who they can come up against.
My only real complaint for this guy as a character is that there just isn’t enough going on with him. From what I can gather, he was never in the ’87 animated series or comics at the time. The only time he was never implemented within the TMNT, outside of this figure, was in the 2012 animated series, where he is voiced by the great John DiMaggio. Barring that one awesome exception, we kind of had to make this figures character up as we played when we were kids. We can all see what kind of effect it had on me as a kid.
Looking back on this figure as an adult, I kind of wish this figure was a bit taller, while keeping his bulk. I like the sloppy look to this guy and his sturdy, if not tubby, physique. That being said, I really appreciate having another veritable monster in the toy line.
Turtle Trivia: While the concept of Pizza Face was being conjured up, he was named Pizza The Hut, after the same character from the film Space Balls.