Promotional Consideration: Sewer snacks

Eric Caoili
E. Caoili|01.27.08

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Promotional Consideration: Sewer snacks

Promotional Consideration is a weekly feature about the Nintendo DS advertisements you usually flip past, change the channel on, or just tune out.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters for the Genesis was not a game I actually purchased, as our family was one of little means, and I knew better than to let money go to waste. It was loaned to me by a "friend" in exchange for The Ren & Stimpy Show: Stimpy's Invention, a deal which my pal falsely assured me I was getting the better end of.

The trade wasn't meant to be permanent -- that was explicitly stated in the contract -- but my business associate suddenly moved away, Spanish For Everyone-style. Except in my case, I didn't have a sultry Spanish aunt offering to teach me "many things." Also, I learned nothing from the experience.

But before we reminisce about terrible games and the bad decisions I've made in my life, let's discuss this week's Promotional Consideration topic: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Fruit Snacks.

Mean. Green. Fruity Machines.

In the early 90s, at the height of turtle mania, Farley Candy rounded out your TMNT-branded meals -- TMNT cereal, TMNT "Crunchabungas," and TMNT microwave pizzas, hold the anchovies -- with fruit snacks bearing the heroes-in-a-half-shell license. They were pretty tasty, surprisingly, and in addition to the sugary shapes of Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael ("Gimme a break!"), there were also fruit snack versions of Shredder, Bebop, Rocksteady, and Leatherhead. Later editions even added characters like Splinter and, uh, the Turtle Van.

Konami slipped in a set of six Game Tip trading cards with the snacks to promote the release of TMNT: Tournament Fighters on the NES, SNES, and Genesis, inviting collectors to buy and gobble up the unhealthy candy. And if you didn't have enough cash to buy yourself a pack, there was a 25¢ coupon included with the instruction manuals for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time that you could use! Everyone had something to be happy about with this arrangement:
  • Farley's enjoyed increased sales from added value to its product
  • Konami advertised the game to its target audience
  • TMNT creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird raked in licensing fees
  • Children rotted their teeth with their favorite cartoon characters

Unfortunately, Tournament Fighters for the Genesis is a mess. The music and sound effects are weak, throws are highly abusable, and the playable characters just don't make sense. The Rat King replaced with a mutated manta ray? A Clone Michaelangelo shooting cyclones with his nunchucks? April O'Neil dressed in a mini-skirt, suplexing a Triceratops? Turtle, please.

Also, the Genesis version doesn't allow you to fight or play as Shredder! Can you believe that? No Shredder! Who in their right mind would leave Shredder out of a TMNT game? That's like a box of Lucky Charms without the marshmallows! Do you know what's left after you take out the marshmallows from a box of Lucky Charms? Something I don't want to eat. And I'm stuck with the game for the rest of my life.

Thanks for the delicious fruit snacks, Farley's, but you can keep the Game Tips!
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