Film & Television Series Toys & Collectibles

Towers of Power: John Cena & Playmates Toys Boost Nickelodeon’s Newest TMNT Series

wwe, John cena, nickelodeon, kids choice awards, teenage mutant ninja turtles
WWE Superstar John Cena returns to host the 2018 Kid’s Choice Awards on Nickelodeon.

Cena on the Scene…
WWE Superstar John Cena is flexing more than his muscles this season. Thanks to Nickelodeon his vocal chords are also getting a thorough workout. First, he is set to host the network’s 2018 Kid’s Choice Awards which will air live Saturday – March 24 at 8:00 PM ET (with tape delayed broadcast on the U.S. West Coast). He will be joined by a cartload of youngsters’ favorite stars in film, music, television and digital markets. Expect to see Dwayne Johnson, Zendaya, Camila Cabello, Kristen Bell, Channing Tatum, Shawn Mendes, N.E.R.D (performer), JoJo Siwa (performer), Hailee Steinfeld, Candace Cameron Bure, Nick Cannon, Yara Shahidi, Anthony Anderson, Marsai Martin, Grant Gustin, Laurie Hernandez, Storm Reid, Miranda Sings and Alex Wassabi hit the stage over the course of the event. You’ll also see cast members of Nick’s new series Knight Squad (Daniella Perkins, Lilimar, Owen Joyner), Game Shakers (Kel Mitchell) and Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn (Lizzy Greene).

Mo’ Mutants, Mo’ Better…
Cena is also lending his voice to “Maker of Mutants” Baron Draxum, the vexing villain of Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The character is a warrior alchemist bent on turning all humans into mutants. Nickelodeon just dropped the first trailer for the 26 episode reimagining of the stalwart shell-dwellers.

(L-R) Brandon Mychal Smith (the voice of Michelangelo) with co-producers Ant Ward and Andy Suriano, at Playmates Toys’ Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Toy Fair Event.

Mr. Dojo Risin’…
At a special Playmates Toys event held during The Toy Association’s 2018 North American International Toy Fair we met Rise of the TMNT series co-executive producers Ant Ward and Andrew Suriano. They gave us some insight into their new spin on the terrapin titans. The series is described as breathing “…new life into the classic characters, with jagged-shelled Raphael as a snapping turtle, wielding twin tonfas as his weapons; Leonardo as a red-eared slider, using an odachi sword; Donatello as a soft-shell turtle, sporting a tech-bo staff; and Michelangelo as a box turtle, arming himself with a kusari-fundo. Along for the adventure is the Turtles’ most trusted ally, April O’Neil, a street savvy native New Yorker, and Splinter, father figure and sensei to the Turtles.”

Cena’s character co-stars, Kat Graham as April O’Neil, Omar Miller as Raphael, Ben Schwartz as Leonardo, Josh Brener as Donatello and Brandon Mychal Smith as Michelangelo, are also featured on the Kid’s Choice show. We met Brandon was at Toy Fair where he gave us a great big “Cowabunga” shout out ala Mikey.

wwe, John cena, nickelodeon, kids choice awards, teenage mutant ninja turtles, ant ward, Andy Suriano, Brandon Mychal smith, playmates toys
Playmates Toys’ TMNT Epic Lair Playset is a massive multilevel experience.

SkeletonPete Says…
The Playmates Toy Fair reveal afforded Andy and I an early look at the expansive line of action figures and accessories that the company will offer in affiliation with the new TMNT series. We’re happy to share our photographs in the gallery below.

We were particularly impressed by the magnitude and inventiveness of the Epic Lair Playset. A  tower of turtle power indeed. The “my size” construct is a multi-level NYC skyline to subterranean sewer adventure space. It measures 43 inches high and includes 7 rooms and more than 20 fun features. There’s plenty of inspiration for imaginative play as kids explore Splinter’s Dojo, Raphael’s Weight Training Room, Leonardo’s Rotating Weapon storage wall, Michelangelo’s arcade, a catapult Basketball hoop, hidden projectile launchers, a rotating skateboard ramp and even a collapsing balcony. The Epic Lair is scheduled for release in Fall of 2018. Figures are sold separately.

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