Kevin Eastman Interview & Super Bebop and Mighty Rocksteady Reveal

Kevin Eastman Interview & Super Bebop and Mighty Rocksteady Reveal

Since its debut, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, has captivated fans through the astounding and fantastical heroic adventures of Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael that have been brought to life across a number of mediums including comic books, animated series, and films. While reading and watching the Turtles kick badguy-butt brings fans into the world of TMNT, it is the figures that allow fans to bring a little piece of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles into their world. Now, two all-new TMNT figures have been announced, characters that stem from the ‘80s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series: the 7” scale NECA action figures Super Bebop and Mighty Rocksteady two-pack figure set.

SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY

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Screen Rant spoke with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman about the figures’ release ahead of the official debut at Haulathon during an exclusive first look at the Super Bebop and Mighty Rocksteady two-pack figure set, as well as the characters’ future in the TMNT comic book continuity, and much more.

Screen Rant: How excited are you about this new figure set?

Kevin Eastman: Incredibly excited, only because I love the original Bebop and Rocksteady set. You have some of your favorite characters – certainly the captain characters – change an outfit or change fully from what they were to the super robotic Bebop and Rocksteady.

I love that particular story in the animated series, so it’s great to see them brought to life with such wonderful detail, right down to all the little accessories, the parking meter, the guns, the weaponry. It’s such exacting detail, and it’s really a treat to take you all the way back to that moment when you first watched that episode.

How involved in the design process were you?

Kevin Eastman: Luckily, not much beyond watching the artisans at NECA perform with such love and passion and exacting detail to bring these things to life, much like they were done back in the day.

When Pete and I would work with the animation studio on the designs, we were part of the crew and we had input on the creative process, saying, “This looks good, this looks good. This doesn’t, so change this or tweak that.” We got to have our say and our input back on the original series. And once it’s put onto celluloid or put out there for the world – back in those days as a hand-painted cartoon – that’s kind of it. Then the rest is up to the fans if they dig it.

Now here we are, all this time later, watching these sculptors bring it to life just the way we remember it. Which is wonderful; absolutely wonderful.

What is the inspiration behind these figures, in terms of linking them to the original animated series?

Kevin Eastman: I look at the evolution of these characters in the original creation, developed as super mutants and mutants for the Turtles to fight, and how we brought them from that particular universe into the Turtles’ cartoon universe.

That was almost the original first generation – yes, we had the black-and-white comic, but the world got to know the Turtles through the original animated series. Everything sort of was ported into and transitioned into that series creatively and concept or story wise; the origins and related storylines were brought into that universe and built that into the original Turtle universe that we love so much.

It seems like everything has sort of evolved from there, which is such a treat to see now as full-blown toys with all the accouterments. That’s even cooler.

Super Bebop and Mighty Rocksteady 2-Pack Revealed!

The Punk Frogs made a recent appearance in the comics. Could Super Bebop and Mighty Rocksteady be making an appearance in the comics soon too?

Kevin Eastman: Man, that would be awesome. What’s interesting about the IDW Turtles universe is that when different characters transition from the different Turtle universes into the IDW universe – which to me is a great Turtle universe within itself, and one that’s been able to pull from a little bit of the animated Turtles, a little bit of the original black-and-white comic series and things, and bring it into the universe – we sort of nudge it a little to the left and a little to the right. But we make it wholly a part of the IDW Turtle universe.

I’d love to see something like this happen because Bebop and Rocksteady have had such an awesome presence in the IDW series. It would be only natural that this next evolution that was brought to life in the animated series also be given a chance to come to life in the IDW series. You never know, and that’s the tricky part. You never know.

Going back to the figures, what is it about them that you think fans will love the most?

Kevin Eastman: Well, to me, I think it’s just the level of detail. It’s not just something that’s in a box. It’s a great display item, just as it is in the box, with all the accessories and the details. But when you can take it out and enjoy it, the same detail that you can see through the window, you see on all views, all angles – top, bottom, left side, back, everything. All the details are there.

Again, the passion and the love has gone into it, as well as the artistry to create it. As a 3D item, it’s just stunning to really look at as a whole piece.

As characters, how much of a threat do they pose to the Turtles compared to other villains?

Kevin Eastman: That was always my favorite part. My opinion and feeling is that to make a great hero even greater, you need a villain that’s just the worst. The more dreadful and awful and nastier you can make them, the bigger the threat – which makes our heroes having to overcome that threat look even more heroic.

So, yeah, these guys pose a pretty serious threat. The Turtles have to bring their A-game to the table.

Will there be any other figure surprises at Haulathon with this debut?

Kevin Eastman: I think that’s the fun part of the Haulathon: there’s a number of surprises and a number of things. I know what I’ve seen, and I don’t want to put any spoilers out there. But I think that I’d say to the fans, “Stay tuned in.”

Stay tuned in. There’s some exciting stuff coming up at the Haulathon. You’re gonna love it.

Next: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ Bebop Gets Detailed 16-Inch Statue

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles NECA 7” Action Figure Super Bebop and Mighty Rocksteady two-pack figure set is $59.99 and is available exclusively at Haulathon and Target on March 18, 2022 and will be available for online purchase on March 25, 2022 only at Target.com and Haulathon.com.

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Spencer Connolly
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Spencer Connolly is a Staff Writer for Screen Rant. With years of writing and journalism experience under his belt, Spencer joined Screen Rant in 2020. Prior to writing for Screen Rant, Spencer was a Photojournalist and News Producer. Throughout his career as a journalist and even his entire life, Spencer always had a deep love for comics and is now applying everything he has learned throughout his career to the fun and informative articles he writes for Screen Rant. You can follow Spencer on Twitter: @TheSpencerVerse.

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