Animation domination: A look at what this year holds for the TMNT animated series

Back to matters on the small screen, over 12.5 million viewers have tuned into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series since its debut in 2012. As both the series and toy line are intrinsically linked, ToyNews looks at how this year will see them embrace new villains, mutants, and the land of Dimension X.
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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has a rich history on television.

Different animated series ran between 1987 and 1996 and 2003 and 2009, while a Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation live action series graced the small screen from 1997 and 1998. There was even a two-episode anime spin on the brand, Mutant Turtles: Choujin Densetsu-hen, which aired in Japan in 1997.

However, the current CGI-animated series from Nickelodeon first hit screens in 2012 and has gone on to be a great success for the firm, with over 12.5m viewers tuning into the show since launch.

Airing on Nicktoons last year, the series has continued to be a hit for the channel with viewership up year-on-year and on Channel 5, the programme’s reach has also increased. Offff air, the series is currently available to watch on Netflix, Google Play and a number of other on demand services in the UK and across the globe.

It’s the wide appeal, and reach, of the animated series that Nickelodeon credits with making the accompanying toy line a smash hit.

“While the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles range appeals to kids as stand-alone products, and although parents will make purchasing decisions based on their own interest in the product, the real success behind the toy line is the presence of the show on air which gives it a huge level of exposure,” explains Marianne James, vice president, consumer products UK and Ireland and European retail sales and marketing at Nickelodeon Viacom Consumer Products.

“Kids who watch the current series and are fans of the show will be more likely to buy into the consumer product range and play with toys that link directly to what they see on air. We all know that kids’ interests are varied and ever changing, so the series having a regular time slot allows the brand to stay front-of-mind.”

Nickelodeon has also gone out of its way to ensure that the toy line and the animated series are intrinsically linked, with themes from the show’s creators feeding directly into the workings of the product development team, something James explains is apparent with the upcoming season four.

“Fans will see the Turtles leave New York City and travel to Kraang’s home of Dimension X,” says James.

“With the Turtles now in space and seen wearing space suits, the new Metal Mutants toy range, set to hit shelves this year will complement this theme and give kids the chance to interact with the toys in a brand new iteration.

“Alongside these themes we are also continuously developing new fast fashion packs and style guides in order to help link product development with themes from the show.”

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