Pamela Kaufman, Brandon Mychal Smith and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at Viacom's White Box
At a Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles consumer products preview yesterday at New York’s Viacom headquarters, Viacom/Nickelodeon global consumer products president Pamela Kaufman noted that even after 35 years of the Ninja Turtles franchise, it remains hugely significant, not just to the company but to consumers.
“It’s about brotherhood, friendship, fighting evil,” said Kaufman, “and reinvention is in its DNA.”
The hand-drawn Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle animated series premieres on Nickelodeon on September 17, though the first five episodes were released online on July 20 simultaneously with a Nickelodeon sneak preview. Hence the full array of all-new Nina Turtles merchandise from Playmates Toys on display in Viacom’s White Box exhibition space on the lobby floor of its Midtown Manhattan building.
The new Ninja Turtles toys are due in-store in October and include action figures, vehicles, playsets and role play product.
“We can’t be more excited about this generation of Turtles,” said Kaufman, noting that the now venerable franchise is one of the biggest ever created, with sales of 35 million action figures, a $1 billion box office and 2.5 billion social media content views.
Kaufman also introduced four live costume-clad Ninja Turtles representing the main animated characters and manifesting what she called the “complete re-imagining” of the franchise, which has also involved films and comics in addition to the toys and TV series. Also on hand was award-winning actor Brandon Mychal Smith, who voices Mikey (formally, Michelangelo) in the new series and demonstrated several perfect “cowabunga” cries.