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April 23, 2011 5:12 AM   Subscribe

 
Not to be confused with April O'Neil, geek pornstar (NSFW).
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:17 AM on April 23, 2011 [9 favorites]


Wow. Can I just go ahead and flag this as "Male Gaze?"
posted by converge at 5:49 AM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Damn. I thought she was going to evolve like one of those Pikachu things, into a Bulbasaur or something.
posted by orthogonality at 5:55 AM on April 23, 2011 [16 favorites]


Oh April O'Neil
Without your yellow jumpsuit
You are not so tough
posted by Beardman at 6:03 AM on April 23, 2011 [4 favorites]


Damn. I thought she was going to evolve like one of those Pikachu things, into a Bulbasaur or something.

Depressingly, the restriction of her abilities to repeating her own name and tackling enemies every forty-five seconds would probably still give her an advantage over most journalists today.
posted by doublehappy at 6:06 AM on April 23, 2011 [25 favorites]


That's really something to see, as female characters were mostly tokens in just about any male dominated toy line. The weird thing is that male action figures have also undergone a transformation. The original Luke Skywalker figure was trim and...well, more lifelike compared to a newer one where it looks like Luke is about to bust out into a roid rage (if not his leggings).

I'd love to see more action figure comparisons like this because it is interesting to see them change over the years. Whether it's fashion like Barbie or safety standards like Fisher Price Little People, toys are a kind of mass medium.
posted by Calzephyr at 6:12 AM on April 23, 2011 [10 favorites]


In another 20 years April will weigh 50 pounds and most of that will be gun (at least according to the file card).
posted by drezdn at 6:39 AM on April 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


To be fair, that yellow jumpsuit was hideous.

What was fashion smoking in the eighties?
posted by jenlovesponies at 6:48 AM on April 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


> Luke is about to bust out into a roid rage

Man, you weren't kidding. He looks like a cross between the Incredible Hulk and John Daly (who is kind of like the Incredible Hulk, now that I think about it).

"The Ninja Newscaster"? You're not going to scoop many stories dressed like that, unless you're trying to infiltrate a '50s pin-up convention. Anyway, seeing as how the first action figure's profile says the turtles "always end up saving this damsel in distress," she was never the world's greatest role model, but the continued sexification of...everything...makes me sad. "Lipstick nunchaku"? "Bodacious bylinin' babe"? "DETACHABLE SKIRT"? *heavy sigh*
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:48 AM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


To be fair, that yellow jumpsuit was hideous.

You take that back, and go sit in the corner until you've learned your lesson!
posted by Malice at 6:55 AM on April 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


To be fair, that yellow jumpsuit was hideous. What was fashion smoking in the eighties?

Cocaine.
posted by lemuring at 6:55 AM on April 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


Oh hey, let me just check out the website for the guy who drew that good picture of April at the beginning of the artiAHHHHHHH GET AWAY FROM ME DR BAXTER PLEASE GET AWAY
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 6:58 AM on April 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


Also, have you seen the new new new April? She looks like an anorexic 16 year old teeny bopper, wears a short tank top, baggy low cut jeans and sneakers.
posted by Malice at 6:58 AM on April 23, 2011


Here is the new April. SFW.
posted by Malice at 7:01 AM on April 23, 2011


I enjoyed the TMNT, but although I was usually a sucker for the One Girl Character that I could identify with -- to this day I can only play SMB2 as the Princess -- I just ignored April. She was so useless. There was also the question of . . . what, exactly, she saw in them . . . and why they were such good friends . . . Luckily I did not pursue this inquiry as a child, because it would have been SO GROSS, but I can't say it didn't occur to me. I am sure it has occurred to the rest of the internet and will not inquire therein.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:03 AM on April 23, 2011




Well, I've heard turtles have massive genitals in comparison to body size, Countess Elena.
posted by Malice at 7:06 AM on April 23, 2011


For a minute, I was confused: "Wait, wasn't there a version of April O'Neil that had a pink jumpsuit?" I was going to comment on how sexist it was that they ultimately changed that yellow jumpsuit to pink! Pink!

But no, I was thinking of Janine from Ghostbusters.
posted by limeonaire at 7:08 AM on April 23, 2011


Maybe it's just that I had Janine play the role of April when I was playing Turtles, 'cause I didn't actually have an April O'Neil?
posted by limeonaire at 7:09 AM on April 23, 2011


Oh good Lord, the new April is just awful! I had no idea.
posted by Calzephyr at 7:09 AM on April 23, 2011


Oh good Lord, the new April is just awful! I had no idea.


She's also voiced by Sarah Michelle Geller....sp? Buffy.
posted by Malice at 7:13 AM on April 23, 2011


Oh my god, they give her Michael Jacksons face on the back of that last one.

/blows brains out with 52mm News Makers’ Special.
posted by Artw at 7:19 AM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]




Thanks Malice...I guess I'm just totally in a "everything from my childhood is ruined!" funk right now :-D At least they bumped up April's weight to 125 lbs according to the official website.
posted by Calzephyr at 7:26 AM on April 23, 2011


The changing of the figure is depressing

that said, who ever wanted to be April? I'm a girl, and when I played turtles I always wanted to be Donatello or Raphael (trade off between nerdy-smart and snarky-cool). My brother liked being Leonardo because he had a sword and was the leader, while our friend Ewert always has to be Michaelangelo and play with nunchucks.

oh for those concerned - the current star wars figures are actually really well-made. The ones based one the films - as opposed to the clone wars animated series - really look like the actors. what? I have a Star Wars obsessed niece who makes me play with her....
posted by jb at 7:27 AM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


The 99.9 lbs is what stood out to me. That sounds like a pricing decision. "Parents won't buy the thing if it's $20, so price it at $19.99." "We'll get crushed if she ways less than 100 lbs, but models are around 95 these days, right? Make it 99.9."
posted by Taco John at 7:45 AM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Did anybody else here read the original April (as in: Eastman and Laird original) as a fair-skinned African-American woman? It was probably just because of the tight curls of her hair, but until the TV show came on, that was how I thought of her.

... after a few minutes of research ...

Oh, hey! Look! I'm not the only one: "Eastman says that he thought of her as a fair-skinned Black woman like her namesake (and his first wife) April Fisher. The last name O'Neil and the later comic/other media look as a white redhead was Laird's vision."
posted by Alt F4 at 7:57 AM on April 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


The Evolution of Fictional Characters
Female Characters is the 4th one down and it nails this.
posted by nooneyouknow at 8:03 AM on April 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sigh. I guess this was interesting, but thought it was going to be about how the Baxter-Stockman-assistant got turned into a news reporter via a cartoon and then eventually gained ninja skills or whatever happened when I stopped paying attention.
posted by Brainy at 8:11 AM on April 23, 2011


Oh good Lord, the new April is just awful! I had no idea.

You also had no idea that this is actually the original freaking character.

April O'Neill started in the comics as a computer-geek employee of Baxter Stockman. The news reporter character was made for the television show.

This is a fun discussion but an incredibly lame FPP by someone who apparently decided that picking 4 types of action figures made in a three-year period based on one version of a 26-year old character is a documentation of her "evolution."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:31 AM on April 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


The Evolution of Fictional Characters
Female Characters is the 4th one down and it nails this.


I've noticed recently that Samus from Metroid has been more and more sexualized. It's been really upsetting to see. She was always the badass in the suit, and now, there she is, a blond (of course) in blue spandex.

I just...
posted by gc at 8:39 AM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


You're so right, gc. When I was a kid, she was a badass secret in 8-bit. Now she's basically Cammy in a suit.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:40 AM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


“Oh, haha! She won’t tell us her weight! That’s a thing girls do!” Well, this lady isn’t afraid to tell you: I’m four hundred pounds, three feet tall, and shaped exactly like a steak fry. There.

Samesies!
posted by codacorolla at 8:47 AM on April 23, 2011


That's one of the things that I liked about Ripley in the Alien movies--she went in the exact opposite direction.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:51 AM on April 23, 2011


Samus was sexualized in 8-bit, too.
posted by ofthestrait at 8:51 AM on April 23, 2011


You also had no idea that this is actually the original freaking character.

True! Reading the originals is something I haven't gotten around too. Comics were verboten in our house growing up, so goodness, I still have tons to catch up on. I guess that speaks to the palatability of the cartoon version to most parents back in the day.
posted by Calzephyr at 8:55 AM on April 23, 2011



This is a fun discussion but an incredibly lame FPP by someone who apparently decided that picking 4 types of action figures made in a three-year period based on one version of a 26-year old character is a documentation of her "evolution."

Sure, but this is someone who knew thre character from the show, not the original comics (which I didn't even know existed until years after Hero Turtles came off the tv).

I have a red bob and a yellow mac - I could cosplay April if I wasn't five inches taller and about twice what she weighs - guess ninja and pizza cancel each other out.
posted by mippy at 9:00 AM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


I really enjoyed the 10 worst female action figures link. I still find it puzzling that making a female figure is so perplexing. Since the blog author mentioned She-Ra, I went a-Googlin' and there's something about this new version action figure that I can't put my finger on. Either the ball and joint articulation doesn't suit the figure or she lacks some sort of...feminine grace. Ha! I'm a toy nerd, so I appreciate these things about toys. I can't see She-Ra being tarted up in the same way; maybe it's simply amazing that she still looks the same after all these years.
posted by Calzephyr at 9:06 AM on April 23, 2011


That was much more limited than I expected, considering April started out as a black research tech.

I thought the deal with the jumpsuit was she was supposed to be a prepared-for-anything investigative reporter who spent lots of time walking around in NYC sewers. It was yellow to stand out from the turtles' colors.

I had more trouble (in the first cartoon series) with Master Splinter's pantsless pink smoking jacket ensemble.
posted by zennie at 9:07 AM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


My friends and I watched the new updated Ninja Turtles series in high school for nostalgia's sake. We all still remember the shot of April O'Neil, news reporter who wears the midriff exposing top, with her back to the viewer-

And you could see her ass cleavage.

On a Saturday morning kid's show. Someone actually made the call to draw April O'Neil's ass cleavage.
posted by riruro at 9:12 AM on April 23, 2011


Also, you have to think that April must have smelt horrible and gotten sick a lot with the amount of time she spent down in the sewer.
posted by riruro at 9:12 AM on April 23, 2011 [6 favorites]


Vital babetistics?!
posted by brundlefly at 9:13 AM on April 23, 2011


You know, as a kid it annoyed me that Captain Planet's licencers only made the male Planeteers into action figures. SO HOW DO WE CALL CAPTAIN PLANET THEN?

This is why we now have to carbon offset, y'know.
posted by mippy at 9:14 AM on April 23, 2011 [7 favorites]


Also, you have to think that April must have smelt horrible and gotten sick a lot with the amount of time she spent down in the sewer.

Down in the sewer... eating pizza.
posted by Artw at 9:17 AM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


She’s the master of the tossin’ tape player and no one can scream for help louder.

Wowsers.
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:40 AM on April 23, 2011


You'd scream pretty loud trying to use samurai sword hair tongs, I'd bet.
posted by Artw at 9:44 AM on April 23, 2011


You also had no idea that this is actually the original freaking character.

April O'Neill started in the comics as a computer-geek employee of Baxter Stockman. The news reporter character was made for the television show.

This is a fun discussion but an incredibly lame FPP by someone who apparently decided that picking 4 types of action figures made in a three-year period based on one version of a 26-year old character is a documentation of her "evolution."


YES. THIS. ALL OF IT.

The new April is actually awesome, as is the entire show she was on, other than the writer's fondness for using "shell" as a euphemism for "hell."

But then, I actually liked Venus De Milo, so (despite my twenty-one year tenure as a TMNT fan), I probably have no right to talk about any of it.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:59 AM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh man, I had that 1988 action figure! I remember thinking that the word PRESS on her jumpsuit was an instruction...in retrospect I bet my parents were a little disconcerted that I kept fondling her left boob.
posted by danb at 11:32 AM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


On a related note, one of my biggest pet peeves about crime fiction is the way male others seem to have this total disconnect between weight and what women actually would look like that that weight. For example, describing as character as 5'7'' and 115 pounds, yet being thick and cutting an opposing figure from the distance. No--she would look like a model. 5'7'' and 115 pounds is thin. Even if she is hugely muscular, she is still thin.

Or, Michael Connelly, in the novel about the female FBI agent who does missing, describes the agent (who is in her 40s and works a desk job) has having 10% body fat, which is just so insane. That's, like, elite Olympic athlete levels of body fat. Even if she is in good shape, 10% is really, really low--slightly more believable for a man, but just crazy for a woman.

It drives me crazy that they, or their editors, can't research what might actually be appropriate.
posted by Ideal Impulse at 12:04 PM on April 23, 2011


This is a new recent April O'neil in a fan video.
fight the foot/beware Michael Bay
(also, it was weird to see toys for her labeled as "ravishing reporter" version)
ravish
c.1300, "to seize (someone) by violence, carry (a person, esp. a woman) away," from O.Fr. raviss- , prp. stem of ravir "to seize, take away hastily," from V.L. *rapire , from L. rapere "to seize, hurry away


Though I guess she is constantly being kidnapped, and requiring saving by a team of teenaged turtles. Hey, someone should write a story about them where they go to 13century medieval feudal lands, and she could go along, and they could have to fight with king arthur, and roll down hills on round tables... it would be Awesome guarenteed, who would not love it?
posted by infinite intimation at 12:39 PM on April 23, 2011


(which fizz already linked oops'sorry [wasn't it Sarah Michelle Geller who did a good job with the voice of the movie from '07?).
This was suggested to be a concept head, it was later shown to not be from the rumored reboot.
Pixars TMNT
Baxter Stockman, and a Batman Begins style reboot
There seems to be an arbitrary scale of quality; where, the ["more" x Variety] clothes that anthropomorphized turtles are shoehorned into wearing, the lower the ensuing quality of the story. The corollary to this is that the less clothing April O'neil wears, the apparent quality degrades on a scale as well.
posted by infinite intimation at 1:01 PM on April 23, 2011


Turtles Forever
is the newest show's answer to all of this, with the newest incarnation of the turtles going back in time and meeting their 80's counter parts and finding that they, compared to themselves basically bumble their way into success. They even comment on the fact that April O'Neil needs to be rescued constantly. They then even go back to meet their comic selves from 1984 and find them to be infinitely more bad-ass and gritty.

I'm even saying this as a fan who grew up with the 80's turtles and owned all of the action figures, it was a pretty fun take on the turtles and adaptation differences in general. They were even drawn in their respective styles (and it was pretty awesome to see the original gritty turtles from the comics ANIMATED and on the screen)
posted by FireballForever at 1:43 PM on April 23, 2011 [3 favorites]


...other than the writer's fondness for using "shell" as a euphemism for "hell."

Something something "carapace" ahahaha. I tried.
posted by doublehappy at 2:09 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ravishing has long been a synonym for attractive in modern English, though. It's unusual to hear someone describe rape as 'ravish' these days.
posted by mippy at 3:27 PM on April 23, 2011


Sealab 2021 commented on this early on.

Sorry for the 30s commercial...
posted by rhizome at 3:33 PM on April 23, 2011 [1 favorite]


drezdn: "In another 20 years April will weigh 50 pounds and most of that will be gun walkie-talkie"

Spielberg'dTFY
posted by Riki tiki at 6:20 PM on April 23, 2011


no one can scream for help louder.

She's just like River Song!

Oh, wait, not like River Song. In fact don't go there.
posted by Artw at 10:59 PM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


The most recent Ninja Turtles series was great. Complicated storylines, great action, Usagi Yojimbo...
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 11:59 PM on April 23, 2011


Yes, you don't often see multiple episode "to be continued" story arcs in a kids' show. And some rather dark stuff and high implied body counts. Very different from the 1980s show, which was made by the same folks responsible for Muppet Babies.

I'd never seen Turtles Forever, but the IMDB quotations page is hilarious!
Hun: You're going to pay for what you've done to me!
1988 Raphael: [breaks the fourth wall] Some people just can't handle change.
[shrugs to the camera]
[Hun glares and squints in the direction that 1988 Raph is talking to]
Hun: [picks up 1988 Raph and begins to violently shake him] Why do you keep doing that? Who are you talking to? There's no one there!
posted by zennie at 8:02 AM on April 24, 2011


FROM THE DESK OF MR. SPATCH
To: All the toy companies

The 90s are over. You can stop being radical to the extreme with an attitude.


On your collective case,
S.
posted by Spatch at 8:49 AM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd never seen Turtles Forever, but the IMDB quotations page is hilarious!

Turtles Forever is awesome. You should correct that immediately.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:06 AM on April 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Corrected. The ending was too perfect. It felt like goodbye.

Life at best is bittersweet.
posted by zennie at 10:29 PM on April 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is a fun discussion but an incredibly lame FPP by someone who apparently decided that picking 4 types of action figures made in a three-year period based on one version of a 26-year old character is a documentation of her "evolution."
God, wow. Those were the four action figures Derek bought at the comic book store earlier that afternoon. Sorry.

(Also, not my FPP, so...?)
posted by jennanemone at 11:51 PM on April 25, 2011


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