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Robotic Bebop and Rocksteady by Playmates

Robotic Bebop and Rocksteady by Playmates

I don't want to go too much into the history of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) action figures by Playmates, but just know they were released regularly for about 10 years and with each new series, the character variations got more and more varied (and absurd). The thing is, the toys and characters were always really quirky, fun and well-designed no matter how lame the variant themes were.

Case in point – Robotic Bebop and Rocksteady.

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Robotic Bebop and Rocksteady

Truly awesome.

Anyone familiar with TMNT knows that Bebop and Rocksteady are the mutant henchman who are always up to no good and always trying to put a damper on the Turtles' day. Here's a list of all the original toy variations of Bebop and Rocksteady:

  • Head Spinnin' Bebop
  • Giant Bebop
  • Mutatin' Bebop
  • Ninja Knockin' Bebop
  • Private Porknose Bebop
  • Mighty Bebop
  • Night Ninja Bebop
  • Cave Beast Bebop
  • Cyber Samurai Bebop
  • Supermutant Bebop
  • Warrior Bebop
  • Machine Gunnin' Rocksteady
  • Dimwit Doughboy Rocksteady
  • Giant Rocksteady
  • Mutatin' Rocksteady
  • Power Punchin' Rocksteady
  • Night Ninja Rocksteady
  • Rhinoman
  • Gatekeeper Rocksteady
  • Kung Fu Rocksteady
  • Supermutant Rocksteady
  • Warrior Rocksteady

Yeesh! So after all that, at least they threw some awesome robots in the mix.

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Robotic Bebop Robotic Rocksteady
Robotic Rocksteady

Let's take a closer look at these guys.

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Robotic Bebop Robotic Bebop

Well, one of the first things you may notice is the "chrome," vacuum-metalized finish on these figures. That's the main reason I noticed them to begin with.

"Ooh. Shiny!"

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Robotic Rocksteady Robotic Rocksteady

How cool is it to have super-shiny, clunky, bad guy robots? They're just so quirky and fun. I wish they'd made a whole robot series of all the main TMNT characters.

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Robotic Bebop

These robots even come equipped with super-bright, neon-colored weapons and accessories.

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Robotic Rocksteady

Giant claws, guns, and knives.

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Robotic Bebop

You wouldn't think these guys need weapons to get the job done, but they're cool looking nonetheless.

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Robotic Rocksteady

(Another random detail worth mentioning is the Robotic Rocksteady I have comes with neon purple-colored weapons instead of neon orange. Not sure if it means much, but I thought I'd mention the color variation.)

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Robotic Bebop and Rocksteady

As I mentioned before, I love these blocky robot designs. The metallic finish is an awesome way to reinforce the idea that these guys truly are robots. But the most surprising and effective robo-detail is the translucent colored plastic in their heads which catches light, giving them the glowing-eye evil robot look. Priceless. It's a classic toy gimmick which makes these figures absolutely perfect.

So, we've established how great these figures are, but there's yet another detail that makes them a bit more interesting for you Turtle cartoon fans. It turns out these aren't just another wacky TMNT toy variation, these robo-mutants appeared in the original Ninja Turtles cartoon .

Robotic Bebop and Rocksteady

They appeared in an episode called Super Bebop and Mighty Rocksteady although in the episode, they are actually referred to as "Super Rocksteady" and "Mighty Bebop" (And to confuse things a bit more, there was actually a Turtles toy called "Mighty Bebop," which depicts Bebop as a superhero. Sheesh).

Here's a clip from that episode.

The toy designs are a fairly accurate depiction of their cartoon counterparts. The only real difference is their color scheme.

While researching these characters and the episode, I stumbled upon a pretty cool site called ZMFTS (Zobovor's Multi-Faceted Talent Showcase). This guy, Zobovor, repainted the Robotic Bebop and Rocksteady to create these cartoon-accurate customs. Nice job!

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Robotic Bebop and Rocksteady

The site actually features a bunch more awesome TMNT customs. Here's a breakdown of how he created the cartoon-accurate Super Rocksteady and Mighty Bebop.

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Robotic Bebop and Rocksteady

So what have we learned today kids? Reinterpret any character as a clunky, shiny robot, and I will fall in love with it.


26 Responses

  1. ShenaniTims says:

    Wow. I didn’t have these two, but I remember having the Cockroach guy on the package’s back, along with the Bat-dudee. Wingnut I think his name was (the Batguy, not the ‘roach.) Thanks for the walk down memory lane!

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Justin Gammon, A ANDERSON. A ANDERSON said: Toys: Weirdo Toys » Blog Archive » Robotic Bebop and Rocksteady by Playmates: They appeared in an episode called… http://bit.ly/ghYbtW [...]

  3. Armabot says:

    Didn’t know this figures exist. Nice chrome robots, indeed.

  4. Ben says:

    As a kid, I was never a fan of the countless variations on main characters. However, these were different enough that I would have loved them!

    One detail that I love about these figures (and many figures from the early-to-mid-1990s) is the clear plastic at the top of the head to give the effect of light-up eyes without actually having to include a light-up mechanism with batteries. It worked better on some figures than others. With these robotic characters, it seems to make sense.

    Given you love of clunky, robotic versions of characters, it seems like you’d have to own Metalhead from TMNT. He’s also a heckuva lot easier to track down. These two are from the same series as Scratch, Hot Spot, and Sandstorm, which means they couldn’t have been too easy to find!

    • Yeah, I didn’t have many Turtles toys growing up. They came out on the verge of my getting out of the toy mindset. They are definitely cooler than most of the Turtles variants.

      I also love that glowing eye gimmick. Pretty clever, low-tech toy gimmick.

      Also, I do know about Metalhead. I considered adding him to the blog entry, but 1. I don’t have him… and 2. He’s not all cool and shiny. Screw that guy.

      These figures weren’t terribly difficult to track down. eBay helped a lot ;)

  5. the pizza says:

    cool. I didn’t know these existed either. I want them now. I own exactly one TMNT video (I got it for free, never watched it) – it’s Super Bebop and Mighty Rocksteady. It’s funny that you wrote about it

    • Ha! That is so great. They look pretty “bloopy” and round in the animation, but the sculpts on these guys definitely are more hard-edged and robotic. They’d go perfectly with your chrome, anniversary Leonardo.

  6. Jason says:

    Goofy characters in robot form. Perfect variant. Much cooler than the original mutants.

    I found Bebop robot in Kaybee Toys years and years ago and picked him up. Now i must get the Rocksteady. Thanks for sharing these. Great looking pics!

  7. brad says:

    I can’t believe I haven’t seen those before. I thought I was a pretty down with all the turtle toys, but judging by all those Bebop and Rocksteady variants I’m sorely mistaken! Great post!

  8. jestergoblin says:

    @WeirdoToys I loved those figures as a kid! It’s a shame that the paint got dulled into oblivion

  9. BubbaShelby says:

    I’ve got to get these guys into my collection someday!

  10. motorbot says:

    @WeirdoToys I need those

  11. TriclopsApeman says:

    RT @WeirdoToys: Check out the latest – Robotic Bebop and Rocksteady http://www.weirdotoys.com/2011/01/24/rob

  12. Well I knew these existed and in fact had them. I think a friend ended up stealing my Robo Rocksteady, but Mecha Bebop is still in my collection. These were great figures.

  13. PrfktTear says:

    I vaguely remember these… now of course I want them…

  14. adam says:

    Rocksteady is totally a Cylon Centurion homage!!!

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