This was a big year for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The animated series was going strong with their sixth season debut. There were two live action films that had been huge (to not as huge) financial and critical successes, and the Playmates toy line had hit their fifth anniversary. This may not seem like much, but back in 1987, when the figures were being designed, Playmates told co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird that, at best, they had only prepared for the toy line to be around for one to three years. Three years being the best case scenario. But the toys had shattered everyone’s expectations and eventually lasted ten years. Considering the surprise longevity of the brand, Playmates released a 5th Anniversary Leonardo figure (known as the 5th Anniversary Collector Turtle). While this figure seemingly used the same mold for Leonardo that had been used in ’88, this figure was painted gold and attached to a base for display.
While this may seem like a blatant cash-grab that may border on the arrogant side of things, if you read the box this “statue” came in, you would see that this was (to me, anyway) a way of both congratulating the people that made this toy line possibly, as well as giving out a piece of history to us, the fans, that made the Turtles Longevity possible. Each statue was individually numbered and the one I have is #11,472. Who knows how many were actually made, but it should be noted that this figures existence is a massive feat, as most toy lines usually start to show a decline in popularity at this time.
But for the Heroes in a Half-Shell, they were just getting started.
Turtle Trivia: Figures released during 1992 had a special insignia on each card that displayed a 5th Anniversary crest along with the slogan “New for ‘92”. Also, for an in-depth look at the creation of the toy line, look for a film called Turtle Power: The Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, directed by Randall Lobb and Produced by all around nice guy, Isaac Elliott-Fisher.