Tuesday, May 1, 2012

#0054: Halfcourt

Were you aware that a new Nickelodeon Ninja Turtles CGI cartoon is due to hit our airwaves soon? Featuring such radical voice talent as Greg Cipes, who is about as perfect a Michelangelo as I could imagine, and my boy Rob Paulsen: formerly Raphael, now Donatello. Am I the only one who thinks he made this change so that he could add more length to his weaponry? Raphael was useless in the original NES game, so you’d send him out into the thick of things to protect the precious commodity that was Don and his ever-reaching bo staff.

I’m excited for it. No telling at this point what it'll be like (it certainly has the voice talent to be amazing), but I’m a sucker for those Turtles. As long as they’re done justice, I love seeing them kept alive through all these years.

Were you also aware that a new Michael Bay Ninja Turtles movie is due to hit theatres soon? According to Bay, the Turtles are no longer teenage mutants, but aliens from another planet. They’re going to be ‘tough, edgy, funny, and completely lovable’.

…Do not want. Michael Bay seems to be under the impression that every beloved 80s franchise suddenly needs to operate under the premise of aliens. The Transformers ARE ALIENS! The Ninja Turtles? ALIENS, TOO. You best watch yourself, My Little Pony, because your alien ass is next…

Anyhow, my un-fan-blinded opinion is that the movie will likely turn out to be entirely watchable, and he probably won’t do any greater injustice to the Turtles than he did to Jazz. Jazz as in the Autobot, not the genre of music. Unless I’m mistaken, Michael Bay is still yet to declare that Louis Armstrong is an alien.

Good, bad or otherwise, it’s undoubtedly an exciting time to be a Ninja Turtles fan. To celebrate all that’s happening to our team of green, here’s a character that is sure to feature prominently in the series and the movie. In fact, he may even become the main character, nay, the titular role!

Time to ball out with Halfcourt, yo.

What was happening in basketball in 1993? The world was still abuzz over the dominating performance by the Dream Team at the recent summer Olympics, Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls beat the Phoenix Suns in six games to claim the NBA title, and gracious me, a batshit crazy giraffe was lolloping about the courts.

Because of course, by ’93 the Turtles were in their most cash-cowiest stage, and every new set of figures was weirder than the last. This basketball themed toy was actually comparatively normal, all things considered, though as far as I’m aware, he never resurfaced ever again. The only knowledge we have on him lies within his miniature biography on the back of the packaging, and all of the eBay images are blurry as hell. All I can make out is that he’s the ‘Jumpshot Jammin’ Giraffe’, and I probably could have come to that conclusion myself.

In my opinion, obscurity aside, this is actually a pretty cool figure. He’s got all of the usual nice little details, and hinged elbows, which was fairly uncommon in the series. My favourite feature is that his neck can extend a little bit, which I assume he uses to great advantage on the court. Like blocking shots with his face. That would be funny.

He also has a basketball net around his neck (used to come with a backboard accessory, too), a little trick that Dwyane Wade likes to do every now and then in today’s game. Though in my opinion, it’s more amusing when Wade does it, because it kind of looks like he’s being born.

Of course, I’ve lost all of Halfcourt’s accessories, but I’m not particularly fazed in this case. It’s not like he needs all of the dapper little knick-knacks, he just wants to shut up and jam. Furthermore, the only thing that made sense was the rather ugly-looking putrid green basketball he was equipped with. Judging by the imagery, the other accessories were a mutated kung-fu chicken, and either a pogo stick, or a machine gun. Come on man, not even Rodman would have used those, and he was weird as fuck.

He’s not without his faults, however. When I was a kid, I assumed he had a malformed left food, because it’s circular in the middle. I later realised that this was a deflated basketball that Halfcourt was stomping upon, and it just so conveniently happened to match the colour of his shoe. The 34 upon his back and the spots peeking out from the rear of his jersey are uncoloured as well, and I can’t help but scratch my head over that one. Perhaps Playmates assumed that nobody would ever look at Halfcourt’s back? I sure as hell did, because I wanted to play with his tail. Whee! It spins!

I wish Halfcourt had been given an opportunity to see the light of day in the cartoons or comics. Yes, he was made with the sole intention of pushing product, but he looks pretty damn cool. Jim Cummings would have given him a perfect voice, like Don Karnage mixed with Mayor Manx.

Alternatively, he could have been voiced by Dikembe Mutombo. Or whoever was voicing the Cookie Monster at the time.


  1. I remember this figure when he came out i thought it was a fun one and i still do. : )

    1. Absolutely! He's much better than some of the other ones who came out.

  2. He's awesome! And I too am lookig forward to the new cartoon - the new movie...yeah notsomuch.

    BTW if you haven't already mailed Krang, feel free to toss this guy in the box with him - preferably from the free-throw line.

    1. I absolutely would, but I sent Krang ages ago! The fact that it hasn't arrived yet has gotten me mildly concerned... I may have to follow that up with the postal service?

    2. Oh no sweat, and I imagine he's making his way here slowly but surely. I'll keep my eyes peeled and let you know as soon as he arrives!


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