The Guerilla Good Guy!
Released in 1991
When I look at this figure, I can almost sense my father’s eyes rolling. I never had this guy as a kid and God do I wish I had. It is everything that is both great, and kind of lame, about the toy line as a whole. Sergeant Bananas is a massive gorilla dressed to the nines in military fatigues. Complete with Kevlar helmet and corporal ranking; although, what a sergeant is doing wearing the wrong rank is beyond me.
Now to this day, Sergeant Bananas has not been featured in any form of media from the TMNT, outside of his one appearance in the spring 1991 issue of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Magazine, where he was referred to as the Guerilla Gorilla. In the magazine, he was an African Gorilla that was traveling through the rainforests in Central America (naturally) and defending it from lumberjacks. This is a great intro to a character that seems quant nowadays. Back in the nineties, there were a lot of cartoons that advertised the importance of our environment and its safety. Given our current ecological state, I would say that it’s time for these role models to make a comeback.
The figure itself is another that finds its character within its own simplicity. This is a gorilla that found itself in the Army. It happens to the best of us.
I know I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again but it is amazing that these sculpts can covey the texture of fur and hair while also being a lump of plastic. Bananas may not have much variety of color found within his fur, but this isn’t a smooth character that you’re told is covered head-to-toe in fur.
While the figure boasts the same seven points of articulation as everyone else, he is hunched over slightly to show off the ways which real gorillas both stand and move around. But what really sells this figure is his blue buddy, Larry the Lemur.
I know that these figures are usually just placeholder characters with no articulation, Larry sports articulation at his left arm and his tail. Much like another little buddy of the mosquito variety, Larry is intended to ride on the Sergeants back while gripping onto his helmet while they save the world from Eco terrorists. While it can be tricky to balance Larry on Sergeant Bananas’ back, when you hit the sweet spot, he holds on surprisingly well, and is not easily knocked off. While it would’ve been great to have a peg on Larry’s foot, it would have made standing him on his own impossible. Take what you can get.
I would like to comment on Sergeant Bananas’ accessories, but I bought him loose with no accessories outside of Larry the Lemur. But honestly, this guy doesn’t need much else. He’s an imposing figure that looks to send environmental-haters like Shredder and Krang back to whatever hole the crawled out of with ease.
Turtle Trivia: Despite being named Sergeant Bananas, this seems to be a last minute change on the part of Playmates, as Sergeant Bananas’ name is displayed as “Guerilla” on a patch on his intricately painted BDU top.