Legendary Cartoon Created in Dover, New Hampshire, Set to Mark Major Milestone
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions, or personal experiences.
Dover, New Hampshire was recently the victim of yet another of New Hampshire’s strange, unsolved mysteries.
It appears someone stole a bunch of "green turtle guys” typically placed at the end of driveways, and dumped them in a pile in the middle of a field.
What’s ironic, though, is that Dover saw the formation of the most iconic group of so-called turtle guys, who are about to celebrate their 40th anniversary.
Nothing dominated pop and playground culture in the early 1990s like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Coming along as just the Ghostbusters were losing their luster, and right before the Power Rangers took off, the Heroes in a Half Shell made pizza, karate, and even Vanilla Ice cool.
And it often goes unnoticed, like the sewer-dwelling crimefighters themselves, that they were created right here in New England; in Dover, New Hampshire.
Creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird met in Massachusetts before rooming together in Dover in 1983, according to a 2021 feature in Foster’s Daily Democrat.
The Turtles initially began as a comic book series, parodying other superheroes and villains. The comics sold rapidly, and then came the key to mainstream success in the '80s: a toy deal.
In 1987, Playmate Toys purchased the manufacturing rights to the characters, according to Rolling Stone. Hence, the ensuing cartoon series designed to enthrall children and move merchandise.
Not long after, t-shirts, lunchboxes, and even a video game followed. And in 1990, the film “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” grossed more than $200 million at the box office, per the New York Times.
Four decades later, the Ninja Turtles are a global phenomenon. As with a world-famous fast-food chain, they were quietly created by two dudes with Granite State roots.
And it all began in Dover, New Hampshire, famous for its mysterious green turtle guys.