So, I was watching The Angry Video Game Movie Nerd give his two cents on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III from PoI last night, and I noticed one recurring piece of video, that of the toys.

Like a lot of people who probably read this, I grew up right smack-dab in the middle of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles craze, cartoon and all (the Archie comic was still better). And of course, like many, I had a bunch of the toys.

Still do, in fact. Once of these days, I’m probably going to dig out the ol’ Footcruiser just so I can plunk Wario down into it, an idea I got after seeing Robot Chicken‘s Mario in Vice City skit.

So yeah, had several versions of the Turtles, fortunately staying further away from the lamer ones, the van, the Cheapskate, the blimp, and even the sewer playset (which I’d even decked out with lights for Christmas one year). All buried away in my grandparents’ basement a country away, I’m sorry to say.

One item I never did have, though, which appeared numerous times in the video, and most toon-based media at that, was the Technodrome (whose place I dispute there, as I am SURE that it wasn’t out in the first wave, and that the sewer came first).

On a side-note, though I had the sewer, I think I might’ve preferred to have the Technodrome. I mean, that was THE base for Shredder, Krang, and company, and there’s nothing else quite like it. And the Turtles… well, they live in a sewer. Let’s face it, for a kid with imagination, you can pretty much make do with anything for that. And it’d probably look nicer, too (especially given Playmates’ obsession with “grossing out” everything high-tech or low).

But on the other hand, the sewer’s pipes work just dandy as Mario pipe props.

I have to admit, the Technodrome was a pretty badass piece in itself, even though it became something of a rather mundane plot device throughout the Turtles’ first cartoon series. But perhaps it was done so for good reason, as it seems the toon started to slip once they wrote it out. Or perhaps it was written out because they were slipping, hard to say.

So yeah, after watching The Nerd have his say (and for what it’s worth, at least the third movie let them use weapons that weren’t yo-yo’s again), I got a little nostalgic and decided to look up that mobile fortress of fear on Wikipedia. See what I could learn that I may not have known about the thing from back in the day, and whatever happened to it.

I’m not sure why, but somehow I missed the final fate of the Technodrome, after which there were two or so more seasons. They switched animation companies to begin what’s sometimes known as the “red sky” episodes, featuring a remixed theme, new models, and a darker tone. Until the last season, where the animation went all to Hell and I just couldn’t bring myself to watch it.

Now, people who know me know that these days, I’m not huge on the old toon, but I don’t really hate it. I just think the new one is a whole lot better. At least it feels like more than a toy commercial, and doesn’t break the fourth wall every other episode.

That said, I have to admit that seeing the following is just sort of creepy:

There it is, the last shot of the Technodrome, “long deserted and abandoned at that point” in 1996.

Creepy, and sort of depressing, to see the setting of so many adventures from when I was growing up in such a run-down and derelict state. A place so alive with technology beyond what we know, effectively an oversized junked-out ruin now.

Such is life, I suppose. At the same time, it’s kind of good to know that the old story at least had a sense of closure.

And with that, I bid a fond farewell to the Technodrome, may its memory continue to live on through DVD and the rare re-release of the old video games.

–LBD “Nytetrayn”