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Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raph, the Space Cadet Playmates, ca. 1990
Day #400: March 16, 2012
Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raph, the Space Cadet Action FigureRaph, the Space Cadet
The Zero Gravity Good Guy!

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Action Figure
Item No.:
n/a
Manufacturer: Playmates
Includes: Helmet, gun, hose, sword
Action Feature: Hose plugs in to chest
Retail: $4.99
Availability: ca. 1990
Other: Raphael as you've probably seen him before

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Raph, the Space CadetIt's amazing to think that Raph, the Space Cadet was, at one point, something genuinely fresh. For the first couple of years, Playmates kept the turtles in their more-or-less classic costumes. And then they realized they could be cowboys, rock stars, or just about anything, which would allow them to sell more of the four main turtles because, oddly, that's what kids tend to gravitate toward. One of my neighbor's kids, in the 1990s, had about a dozen turtles but had no interest in any of the other characters in the line for whatever reason.

Raph, the Space CadetSo for whatever reason Raphael need to go into space. Let's accept this as a reasonable fact, and then look at his suit. This 4-inch figure has a removable clear helmet, and a surprisingly well-designed sticker on his chest showing all sorts of vital functions... like his Ooze levels. Other abstract dials and waves don't seem to have any obvious purpose, and a splat of the aforementioned ooze keeps this figure in line with the popular "gross-out" style on a lot of toys of this era. There are numerous straps and zippers sculpted to his surprisingly detailed suit, which even has little silver rivets painted just below his neck. These sorts of sculpted details are usually left unpainted on most kid-driven figures, but Playmates didn't skimp on this one. On his back is a bizarre extra: some sort of alien splattered to his suit, presumably attacking him. Of course, it was trendy to have creatures sculpted to your figures for no good or obvious reason in the 1990s.

With the new outfit came new accessories, like a ray gun which could plug into his chest and a sword which is, frankly, sort of baffling. It would make a little more sense were this figure Leonardo, but it's not, so Raph gets to enjoy this overly ornate sword. It looks like there's a gun stuck to it, it has some unnecessary tubes and wires sculpted to it, and (at least) it's silver. The matching gun isn't particularly amazing other than it also included a yellow tube which could connect to his suit, which is a nice touch.

Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raph, the Space Cadet Action Figure

This wasn't the only space suit turtle in the line-- a set of arguably more realistic Apollo 11 turtles were sold a couple of years later, and there were some space suit turtles in the 2004 line as well. Today, the original Raph, the Space Cadet goes for about $1-$10 eBay, depending on the day. I like this figure because it was pretty imaginative, although "space" as a place for adventure seems to be a little less popular since the moon landing (with the exception of Star Wars.) I won't demand you buy it because it's awesome or a classic, but it is weird and a little ugly enough to make it worth your while if you're in to weird toy figures from whey still designed them primarily with kids in mind.

--Adam Pawlus

Additional Images

Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raph, the Space Cadet Action Figure Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raph, the Space Cadet Action Figure
Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raph, the Space Cadet Action Figure Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raph, the Space Cadet Action Figure
Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raph, the Space Cadet Action Figure Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raph, the Space Cadet Action Figure
Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raph, the Space Cadet Action Figure Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raph, the Space Cadet Action Figure
Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raph, the Space Cadet Action Figure Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raph, the Space Cadet Action Figure
Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raph, the Space Cadet Action Figure

See more Playmates figures in Figure of the Day:
Day 54: Playmates Classic Star Trek Spock Action Figure
Day 57: Playmates Classic Star Trek Dr. McCoy Action Figure
Day 61: Playmates Classic Star Trek Scotty Action Figure
Day 71: Playmates Classic Star Trek Uhura Action Figure
Day 81: Playmates Classic Star Trek Sulu Action Figure
Day 89: Playmates Classic Star Trek Captain James T. Kirk Action Figure
Day 105: Playmates Classic Star Trek Chekov Action Figure
Day 149: Playmates Star Trek Combat Action Worf
Day 229: Playmates Gormiti Multiplep and Steelblade
Day 237: Playmates Gormiti Blind Fury and Ancient Jellyfish
Day 243: Playmates Gormiti Florus the Poisoner and Clear Ancient Jellyfish
Day 259: Playmates Gormiti Mantra the Implacable and Clear The Severe Guardian
Day 312: Playmates Gormiti Barbataus, Tormenter, Bullrock, and Dedalus
Day 327: Playmates seaQuest DSV Darwin the Dolphin Action Figure
Day 335: Playmates Gormiti Spores, Cannon Trunk, Hypnofrog, and Carrapax
Day 342: Playmates Gormiti Alos the Hypnotiser and Clear Delos The Count of the Seas
Day 354: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mike, the Sewer Surfer Action Figure
Day 400: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raph, the Space Cadet
Day 488: Playmates Star Trek: The Next Generation Lieutenant Commander Data in First Season Uniform Action Figure
Day 513: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles The Mutant Raphael
Day 514: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mike as Frankenstein
Day 515: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Bride of Frankenstein April
Day 516: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raph as the Mummy
Day 517: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Don as Dracula
Day 518: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Leo as the Wolfman
Day 519: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Invisible Man Michaelangelo
Day 520: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Creature from the Black Lagoon Leonardo
Day 525: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics Michelangelo
Day 673: Playmates Gormiti Murena Den Playset with Hammer the Predator Figure
Day 731: Playmates Star Trek: The Next Generation Counselor Deanna Troi Action Figure
Day 755: Playmates Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Quark Action Figure
Day 762: Playmates Star Trek: The Next Generation Lt. Commander LaForge as a Tarchannen III Alien Action Figure
Day 767: Playmates Star Trek: The Next Generation Captain Picard in Duty Uniform Action Figure
Day 772: Playmates Star Trek: The Next Generation Klingon Warrior Worf Action Figure
Day 777: Playmates Toys Monster Force Creature from the Black Lagoon
Day 815: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics Bebop
Day 832: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics Rocksteady
Day 964: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics Raphael
Day 986: Playmates Star Trek: The Next Generation Dathon Action Figure
Day 991: Playmates Star Trek: The Next Generation Ambassador Spock Action Figure
Day 1,048: Playmates Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Chief Miles O'Brien Action Figure
Day 1,061: Playmates Star Trek: The Next Generation Q Action Figure
Day 1,173: Playmates Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Morn Action Figure
Day 1,181: Playmates Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Commander Gul Dukat Action Figure
Day 1,271: Playmates Star Trek Grand Nagus Zek Action Figure
Day 1,309: Playmates Star Trek Elim Garak Action Figure
Day 1,316: Playmates Gormiti Insecticus and Branchtearer the Furious
Day 1,317: Playmates Star Trek: The Next Generation Lieutenant Worf in Starfleet Rescue Outfit Action Figure
Day 1,331: Playmates Star Trek: The Next Generation Captain Scott Action Figure
Day 1,359: Playmates Star Trek: The Next Generation Vorgon Action Figure
Day 1,701: Playmates Star Trek: The Next Generation Ferengi Action Figure
Day 1,819: Playmates Star Trek: The Next Generation Mordock the Benzite Action Figure

See more Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures in Figure of the Day:
Day 354: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mike, the Sewer Surfer Action Figure
Day 400: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raph, the Space Cadet
Day 513: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles The Mutant Raphael
Day 514: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mike as Frankenstein
Day 515: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Bride of Frankenstein April
Day 516: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Raph as the Mummy
Day 517: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Don as Dracula
Day 518: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Leo as the Wolfman
Day 519: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Invisible Man Michaelangelo
Day 520: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Creature from the Black Lagoon Leonardo
Day 525: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics Michelangelo
Day 815: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics Bebop
Day 832: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics Rocksteady
Day 964: Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics Raphael
Day 1,120: LEGO Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Mikey's Mini Shellraiser
Day 1,657: Funko x Playmobil Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Black and White Raphael
Day 1,739: Mega Bloks Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Eastman & Laird's Collector Series Leonardo Action Figure

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