Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Had A Fan Club
During the late eighties, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were everywhere. A popular news story during Christmas 1989 was how parents were fighting each other to get TMNT toys for their kids. Out of that popularity came more and more merchandising. Toys were the things most people saw, but in addition to that, there was the cereal, the cartoon series, the musical tour, and as many other popular series got a fan club. Started in 1987, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Fan Club was created by AJM Marketing Enterprises Inc and originally advertised in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles actions figures. If you sent in the order form and $15.00, you got the following:
The bandanna came in several colors, each a different color for each turtle: red, orange, blue, or purple. Along with one bandanna, the kit contained a welcoming letter, a sticker, and membership cards.
The club lasted from the end of 1987 until 1992, with the club still being advertised during the 1990's TMNT "The Coming Out of Their Shells Tour."
In addition to all the other cool items, the TMNT Fan Club Membership Kit also came with an 8-page black and white comic book.
Obscure Comics: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Street Collector's Edition #1
This short six-page comic shows a slow Monday with the ninja brothers until the Purple Dragon's demolition crew starts to ruin April O'Neil's apartment building.
However, the Ninja Turtles come to the rescue knocking the Purple Dragons out and slicing the wrecking ball loose, destroying the machine. April thanks the Turtles explaining her apartment is now trashed, and as the rain begins to fall, April follows the brothers to the sewers to crash for a bit.
The comic has no clear artist or writer, though around this time, Mirage Studios were cranking out lots of artwork, and there is a chance Kevin Eastman worked on this book, though none of the studio mates have claimed this book as their own work. The comic is also a continuity anomaly. It clearly lists April O'Neil as a reporter like the animated series but uses the Purple Dragon gang from the original Mirage comics and is done in the original series art style, making it a comic clearly trying to appeal to both audiences.
This Comic is Worth Way More Than $15 Now
Rarity is an interesting thing, and for comics, this almost always leads to a great increase in value. Mail-In offers tend to always create a rarity, as previously stated, and comics in the ashcan size are often rarer because of the limited print run. In particular, though this comic's rarity is probably due to many fans not joining the fan club and the thousands of kids who did, did not keep their comics, let alone in good condition. Nostalgia for the 1990s and the Turtles drives up value quickly, and lack of good quality copies drives the value up even more. For this comic, it means that copies costing around $15 disappeared years ago, and the cheapest copies that can be found are at least $50, with most copies costing $100 or more for ungraded copies and costs jumping up far higher for graded copies.