Monday, June 20, 2011

#0018: Ace Duck

Alright, I’m going to really crack my knuckles on this one, plunge my fist into that mound of toys like an overzealous porn star, and yank out my prize. A toy of relative mediocrity, but with ties to something grander.

And to me, there is and never will be a greater set of toys than those in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line. I know you’re excited, quivering in your chair with anticipation… Will it be the underappreciated Baxter Stockman? Or perhaps that trusty standby, Metalhead?

Well, no. And frankly, I don’t know why you’re quivering, you’ve already seen from the headline and the preceding photo that the toy is Ace Duck. Seriously. Stop quivering, fatty.

Suffice to say, Ace Duck was not the most prolific of all Ninja Turtles figures. He was one of those cheeky toy-borne creations that was later written into the show so that kids would get an eyeful of lovely duck and race out to get the toy. Although in most cases, the character was ushered to the forefront of an episode in order to emphasise how cool and awesome they were (and how many foot-flingin’ abilities they had), but in Ace Duck’s case, his presence was lame and forgettable.

It was hardly a presence at all, in fact. We briefly see him on television, quacking like Donald Duck. That’s it. That was Ace’s chance to make himself a star, and we got nothing but quacking. His bio card is much more ambitious, claiming that Krang was hungry for duck brain (I shit you not), so he attempted to send a duck from Earth to Dimension X for him to gnaw on at his delight, but test pilot Ace Conrad flew into the beam, blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda, quack quack quack.

The bio even makes the audacious claim that the Turtles end up hiring Ace to fly their blimp. I cry fowl. Donatello flies the blimp, and that’s all there is to it. Donny built the blimp, Donny knows the blimp, Donny loves the blimp. Adding an auxiliary duck into the mix just ruins both our sense of on-flight Zen and our carefully crafted Turtles lore.

Really, imagine how that conversation would go?

Leo: Shredder’s getting away!

Raph: Let’s down that clown in the Turtle Blimp!

Mike: Cowabunga or similar!

Ace: Quack quack quack.


See? It totally didn’t make sense.

The staple of Turtles figures (besides a shitload of buff anthropoids) is their ‘wacky weapons’, and Ace has got his. A weapons belt with egg grenades, a removable pilot’s hat and plug-in wings, and a service .45 pistol – wait, what? Ace Duck comes with a handgun?

Yep, you heard right. Ace Duck comes packaged with a pistol. Granted, it’s green, and obviously won’t shoot anything, but such a weapon seems mildly out of kilter in the friendly, cuddly world of Ninja Turtles, eh? Bebop and Rocksteady’s guns clearly shot lasers, which are far less threatening than bullets, but Ace Duck hits the scene and busts a cap in your ass.

Something about the whole thing seems uncouth, but fortunately for all you safety-concerned parents out there (the kind of parents who got Mulligrubs cancelled), my Ace has long since turned his pistol in. And his grenades, his belt, and even his wings. Shit, I’ve lost everything on my Ace Duck except his goddamn hat, which is the uncoolest thing he had.

I truly wish I didn’t have this tendency to lose all of the little knick knacks to my Turtles toys, but the beneficiary of Mr. Duck will ultimately be the one who takes the loss. I can just see it now, a bigwig businessman who wasted his youth trying to track down that elusive Ace Duck he so sought after as a boy. Whether it’s because he thoroughly enjoyed the brief on-screen appearance or the man just genuinely loves ducks, it’s irrelevant. He hoists the newfound toy to the air, and whizzes about the room with glee.

Then, suddenly, Foot Soldiers approach, their lasers in hand. The businessman gasps at first, but soon realises that he holds in his hand the Aero-dynamic Adventurer, ready to do battle with these ruffians!

Tragically, the businessman searches Ace Duck’s person, but is unable to locate the service .45 pistol, or the egg grenades. In desperation, the businessman tries to fling Ace to safety, but without his wings, he tumbles to the floor.

As a last resort, the businessman throws Ace Duck’s hat at the Foot Soldiers. It’s largely ineffective. In his final moment, the businessman wishes he had instead pursued Launchpad McQuack.

…I’m sorry, what? Ace Duck? Oh yes. Let’s proceed.

The primary thing you’ll notice, once you pop off his hat, is that shit, Ace Duck is intense. His eyes are wide and his pupils are dilated.

Just what is it that he’s looking at? Is it the fact that he’s just noticed that he appears to be under the complete control of a gigantic human child? Or is he just pissed off that you took off his hat? I’m none too sure, but I for one prefer to keep it on…

He has other, less frightening features, too. His right foot is raised as though in the middle of a toe-tapping jig, his jacket is open, revealing his manly feathered chest, and he has the turtles’ logo emblazoned on the back of his jacket. Curiously, this logo is a registered trademark. I wonder who trademarked it, exactly? Seems like a Michelangelo idea.

His arms feature more maneuverability than most others of his ilk, allowing him not only to move his arms up and down, but turn them back and forth, useful in situations of combat, pro wrestling or iffin he wants a cuddle.

And, speaking of pro wrestling, those familiar with the Turtles’ Archie comics may know of Ace Duck taking on a different, and vastly superior role…

That picture is just impeccable (or impeckable). There is nothing I can ever say to top the majesty of that image, and my puny little Ace Duck figure simply pales in comparison. If only they had taken the plunge and released a figure of that iteration. Then parents the world around could unite, expressing their bewilderment about how their child so desires the ‘big sexy duck toy’ for Christmas.

Fuck it; I’m manufacturing my own line of big sexy duck toys. Either get in, or get out. It’s a revolution that you can be proud of, whether you’re a fan of Wildwing Flashblade or Count Duckula. I just hope that a poorly spelt ‘duck’ logo doesn’t ruin our chances of age-appropriate approximation. Because yes, sexy ducks are fun for all ages.

Oh god. I don’t know what’s happening to this entry. I thought I’d already gone far enough with that businessman story, but now I can’t stop thinking about sexy ducks. I best end this now, as I send Ace Duck off on his last mission. …One more dangerous and exciting than any he’s ever been on before.

…Sexier, too? Only time will tell…

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