This past weekend I went spelunking for priceless childhood artifacts over at my parents’ house and didn’t come away disappointed. Between their attic, basement and crawlspace I was able to find a number of items I probably haven’t laid eyes on in over 15 years, having long ago chalked them up as rotting away in some landfill. One of those items–this stuffed Michelangelo, circa 1989–may as well have been.

Michelangelo Plush - Front

Michelangelo Plush - Back


Poor Mikey. He’s seen better days

Judging from the chewed-up appearance of his belt, I have a feeling he may, at some point, have been a plaything for my family’s old dog, which was Raphael’s fate:

Elky frequently ate stuffed animals...

(Also, my dog was possibly a Terminator.)

Now Michelangelo is the only surviving member of my foursome of plush green heroes, which back in the day I would not have hesitated to call my most cherished possessions.

By day “the guys” hung out in the most coveted spot in my room–front and center on my bed–and by night they slept snugly in my arms (or, if Raph and Leo were fighting, in groups of two on either side of me). The Turtles accompanied me on play dates, beach vacations, camping trips (bet you didn’t know I was a Girl Scout!), that time I “moved out” into my playhouse, and I wouldn’t dream of opening up my presents on Christmas morning without them beside me to share in my–I mean our–delight if I got something TMNT-related. I told them all my secrets and would often seek their advice on everday matters of importance, like what Sega game to rent, or if I should cheat on my math test. Which Turtle I asked depended on the answer I was hoping to get.

They were, in short, my best buds.

Outside the cartoons and movies on VHS, my plushies were one of the few tangible pieces of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fandom I was allowed, which is part of the reason I loved them so much. My mom never liked the idea of me playing with “boy toys” so I barely had any TMNT action figures to speak of, even though I always asked for them at Christmas (aside: that’s how I originally started to suspect the whole Santa thing might be a sham) and birthdays.

Speaking of birthday parties…

TMNT Birthday Party

Yes, I’m well aware I had the worst haircut ever. It was a combination of a perm gone wrong and me trying to take matters into my own hands with the scissors. It’s a miracle I even had any friends left to invite to this party. By all means, make fun of my hair if you must, but if you’re going to make fun of anything, it should be my pants. I have no excuse for those.