3/3/11

Mona Lisa Smile

First: Not a dolly!

Second: The toy that blew February's 28 Day Challenge for me arrived yesterday, and it is none other than this green grinning beauty known as Mona Lisa!

Mona Lisa was released in 1993 as part of the original TMNT toyline by Playmates, and besides April O'Neil was (as far as I am aware) the only other female character in the toyline, and the only one who was an actual mutant.

EDIT: According to Tom of Freak Studios:
"There was a grand total of 5 women in the vintage TMNT line.
April O'Neil, Mona Lisa, Kala the Neutrino (an alien), Irma (the nerd chick from the cartoon) and She-Dragon from the Ninja Turtles/Savage Dragon crossover
." 

Mona Lisa is billed as a lizard on her profile card, however she was a salamander on the cartoon in the episode entitled 'Raphael meets his match.'

Adding to her species-confusion, Mona Lisa was originally intended to be a female turtle. According to Peter Laird:

"The character of Mona Lisa was created for the old show by someone working for Fred Wolf. What many people do not know was that she was originally supposed to be a female mutant turtle, but Kevin and I put our foot down (this was back when we both agreed that a female turtle was a lame, stupid, creatively bankrupt idea) and they changed her to some kind of lizard."

Haha 'creatively bankrupt.' That's funny for so many reasons.

Anyways, Mona certainly resembles the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. In fact she also appears to have a turtle shell under her shirt when viewed from the back. They must have had the toy mostly designed when they decided to change her into a lizard. I guess one could still imagine her as a turtle, but the long tail kind of puts that thought out of mind. Unless there's a turtle species with a huge tail roaming the Earth somewhere? Hell, there aren't any turtles with hair and boobs so I guess we are all free to imagine her as whatever the heck we want!

Like all other TMNT figures, Mona comes with a plethora of character themed weapons. She has a 'Gila Stun Gun,' a 'Blow Fish Mace,' a 'Ninja Nail File Sai' (which to me looks more like a curling iron,) and a 'Venemous Mace Spray Can.' And of course they are all pink.

I really like Mona Lisa's design. She's a real stand-out figure in the sausage-fest that was TMNT.

The bandana around her neck (instead of as a mask ala the original turtles) is a neat design touch as well. Too bad they couldn't stick with keeping her as a turtle, that would have been a fun toy, but she's still pretty cool and very unique as the only non-reporter mutated female in a line that put out tons of different characters over it's many years as reigning champ of the toy aisles.

6 comments:

  1. There was a grand total of 5 women in the vintage TMNT line.

    April O'Neil, Mona Lisa, Kala the Neutrino (an alien), Irma (the nerd chick from the cartoon) and She-Dragon from the Ninja Turtles/Savage Dragon crossover.

    As you say, Mona was the only mutated non-alien TMNT canon chick. So pretty unique, right?

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  2. Thanks for the info Tom! I am not sure what She-Dragon is considered (is she a mutant?) but as far as TMNT canon, I was at least right about Mona being the only mutated female in the line!

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  3. I dunno dude, the Venus Turtle character kinda sucked. In a creatively bankrupt kind of way.

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  4. Yeah, was Venus in the vintage line too? Or did she JUST miss it?

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  5. Venus as a character came out in the late nineties and her toy was part of a later iteration of the toyline, so she isn't considered part of the vintage line.

    And yeah, one could argue TMNT went creatively bankrupt long before Mona Lisa was created, let alone Venus!

    All that being said, I still kind of want a Venus DeMilo toy and will probably track one down soon!

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  6. I must put this figure on my "To-Get" List Bubba. : )

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