The Wiggly Weirdo Warrior
Released in 1991
Around the fourth series of figures in the original Playmates TMNT figure line there was a strange mandate that was seemingly put into place that saw some figures wearing a single boot or shoe, while the other leg was completely mutated into the limb of the animal in question. Every now and then, you’d have a figure that had a hoof or talons, but the figure that I think captured this feature the best was also the first one to have been given this treatment; Wyrm.
Before he was mutated, another mild-mannered sanitation worker had run afoul with some mutagen. This time, instead of a pile of garbage, this poor guy was mutated into a massive flatworm, that seemingly doubles as a host for other worms.
I don’t know how someone thought to create a humanoid worm, even writing it sounds impossible, but the figure we got is somehow incredibly appealing. While he may look nothing like an actual worm, he makes up for it with his incredibly bright color palate that, while mainly only being blue and green, is almost refreshing and is a great indication as to what direction the line will look like going forward.
Wyrm is dressed in the same green hat and coveralls that he had while he was human, but his skin is a festive-looking, cotton candy blue that compliments his coveralls and really helps the smaller details in his sculpt pop out to the owner. Those details found in his sculpt are an incredible sight as well. I think that the sculpted details in his fingers is truly a sight to behold as each individual digit is a worm itself with intricate, detailed lines which standout thanks to being a darker purple against Wyrm’s blue skin. The aforementioned animal limb on Wyrm is a large tentacle that replaced his human leg when he was mutated. It contains a bright yellow streak down the middle of the limb that is accented nicely by what appear to be purple suction cups. The bottom portion of the limb is flattened out, making for easy posing. But perhaps the best part of this figure is the head sculpt and all its eye-popping glory.
Curled blue lips, purple gums, baseball card-sized teeth and an ear to ear grin that reaches past where his ears should be. I can’t lie; this guy looks like he should be a villain. I know that I’m not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but be honest, you know what the cover of a horror book looks like, therefor, this dude looks like a bad guy that’s going to wrap you up in a blanket and make you worm food. I mean, this guy pummels his victims, I mean, the villains, with a pipe wrench and a friggin mallet. All this guy needs is a final girl to chase around the sewers and he’s ready for his close up.
Wyrm’s head sculpt actually contains a pseudo point of articulation with the purple tuft of hair at the top of his head. If you (gently) pull up you’ll lift of the upper jaw and his eyes will bulge outward; which is what happens to most of us when our hair is pulled, gently or otherwise.
Wyrm, as a character, has been criminally underused since his debut in 1991. He is one of the more visually outlandish characters in the entire line, and that is no small feat. Honestly, this guy looks like he and Muckman should be teaming up to fight off Eco terrorists in the hope of ridding the world of pollution. But, alas, he was not used until very, very recently. While he was first seen in the pages of the TMNT comics from Archie, he sported a passing resemblance to the mutant we all know. Thankfully, Wyrm’s lack of a solid backstory has opened p the creative writing gates wide on this guy given his appearances in the 2012 TMNT series as well as the (AWESOME) appearance in the 2016 issue of the IDW published book Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Universe. With both appearances, the character of Wyrm differs greatly from what was created back in ’91, as well as from each other. I won’t spoil the story of either appearance, but I will say that IDW did it best.
Wyrm is an awesome figure that finds a way to stand out from the pack. While he may seem like just another mutant in a long line of mutants, this guy captures, I think, the essence of the term “mutant” more than any other figure. While the figures look more like jacked up animals, Wyrm could also double as an invading alien or some type of sewer demon if he were so inclined.
Turtle Trivia: While Wyrm never appeared in the ’87 animated series proper, his one contribution to the show was an action figure commercial that showcased the various new villains that were being introduced to the line at the time.