Rad Plastic: Art & History of the Original TMNT Toy Line

Tracing the entire history of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toy line from concept development in 1987 all the way to unreleased toys from 1999, Rad Plastic reveals the history of one of the most popular and iconic toy lines in history. In this unique new book from Chris Fawcett, you’ll learn about how toys are made, from napkin sketch to store shelves, and every step in between.

Packed with interesting photos of every step of the process, Rad Plastic is not only a fantastic visual resource, but also an educational guide to the toy industry in the 90s. Explore the original artwork and sculpts that spawned the toys you love. Discover alternate variants and even unreleased figures that never made it to the store shelves.

Join the original creation team as they explain how the line came to be. The Ninja Turtles were RAD in comics. RAD on the TV screen. And now for the first time RAD in a 400 page hardcover tome fit for the coffee table. It’s RAD PLASTIC!



Chris Braly: Tell our readers your elevator pitch for Rad Plastics.
Chris Fawcett: The book is a history and art book about the creation of the original toy line from 89-98. It tells stories about how the line came to be, how toys are made, and showcases the amazing artistry of the artists and designers who worked on the line.



CB: What was the genesis for this project, and what led to you deciding to crowdfund it?
CF: I have already printed 1200 copies and they sold out very fast. I want to do a second printing, but I wasn’t sure how much demand there would be. There’s a minimum order on making a second printing, so I went to Kickstarter to see if we could reach that goal. We’re almost there and it looks like it will fund.


CB: Is this specifically for TMNT toy fans, or will it appeal to other audiences?
CF: It will appeal mostly to TMNT fans, but anyone looking for a deeper understanding of how toys were made in that era would benefit from this book. All the toys at the time were done in basically the same manner. Lots and lots and lots of cool pictures. 🙂



CB: When did you first get involved in the toy industry? How did it all begin?
CF: My family has been in the toy industry since I was a kid. In my early career I did a lot of work for Little Tikes and Fisher Price. Probably the one that people would recognize most is the line of Rescue Heroes action figures from Fisher Price. I worked on the fireman and the construction worker.



CB: Let’s get into the creative and production side a little. Tell us a bit about the folks that contributed to this project and helped you make it a reality.
CF: My crew was my wife Melinda and my four friends Gary Borbidge, Matt George, and Stephen Ward. They helped with everything from research to photography to digging around in dirty attics and crawl spaces. After that it’s mainly the artists and designers who were willing to supply material for the book. It couldn’t have happened without them.



CB: I understand the book is finished, and was well received, so is this for a second printing and do you expect to make other books after this?
CF: This is the second printing. I do have some ideas for other books, but they won’t be exactly like this one. I don’t expect I’ll be able to pull together the breadth of material I discovered for this one ever again. There are some ideas percolating, but we will see.


Rad Plastic - TMNT Action Figure Book of Concepts & Prototypes | Interview with Chris Fawcett


CB: What have you been learning from crowdfunding and creating through this process?
CF: I did a crowdfunding with my brother years ago that started his company (Fuse Chicken), so I learned a lot on that campaign. But that was a different beast as it was a consumer product, not a book. This time around I’m mainly relying on social media and getting interviews with some of the good channels. The interview with Pixel Dan was seen by more than 6000 viewers, so I’m sure that led to a lot of backers.


CB: Thanks for chatting with Chris! Sounds like a fascinating book!
CF: Thank you!


Check out the campaign at Kickstarter


Chris Braly

I'm a collector, a speculator, and one opinionated, based geek. My friends call me Braly, but those who know me within the hobby generally refer to me as Bralinator. I can be heard monthly on the Comic Book Page Previews Spotlight podcast with several other comic book nerds. Follow me on Twitter @ChrisBraly