Sunday, February 3, 2013

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles MONA LISA!

TMNT's Lovely Lady Lizard, Mona Lisa - Playmates 1993

Mona Lisa is a prime example of the type of toy I wanted to review when I first created this website.  Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a staple of late 80s/early 90s kid culture and was a total boys club.  The titular characters were four boys, all the villains were boys, the sage master was a boy.. the only girl was April O'Neil, who was definitely an important character in the series, but compared to the rest of the colorful anthropomorphic cast, she was just boring.  Then comes Mona Lisa.  She was a salvaged attempt by the TMNT creators to make the first female turtle.  That idea was scrapped, but they tranformed the character into a lizard.  The reason I love characters like Mona Lisa is the fact that she isn't a sexy add-on character or a damsel in distress, she truly is a female version of the main characters.  I think her design is great.  It's cute, fun, and totally fits in with the rest of the cast.  It was 5 years later until we got a Venus de Milo toy, but Mona totally filled the cool female quota in the meantime.  Let's check her out!

Note the turtle shell pattern on her back?  hmmm

Mona Lisa came with several really fun weapons:  Venomous Mace Spray Can, Gila Stun gun (I thought this was a fish), and a Blow Fish Mace.  She also came with a Katana Blade Curling Iron which I unfrotunately don't have.

Here is an image of her from the cartoon

Time for a Comparison Pic!



  1. I started collecting TMNT in 2003 with the new series airing at the time.

    After that I went back & bought a few vintage line items. Most of the main characters & some vehicles. Bought 3 or 4 April figures, though all versions in the jumpsuit. Never got Ravishing Reporter or Ninja April...or Bride of Frankensien April! lol

    Mona Lisa was amongst the figures I bought. Still have to watch her apisode(s) actually. I didn't know the origins of the character until you mentioned it above.

    Tracked down Venus De Milo last year. I don't care what anyone says...Venus was a cool character. Nice toy too.

    1. I really hope Venus makes an appearance in all the new toons and Playmates lines. Those new toys are all so cool (except I really don't like the new April). I was always overwhelmed by the number of vintage Aprils so I actually don't own any.. I should definitely choose a good classic yellow one and add her to my 80's shelf though.

  2. I knew about Venus de Milo, but I never knew about Mona Lisa! Thanks for the knowledge. Great post and photos.

  3. Kevin Eastman hated Venus!as a result, part of the deal selling tmnt rights to nickelodeon was they had to scrap her character forever. Google it.

  4. Mutant females were so insanely rare. Actually, they still are. We've only ever gotten 5 female mutant figures in the entire history of the Ninja Turtles franchise, and two of those were mutated variants of characters that are normally regular humans. Mona Lisa and Mutatin' April in the original line, then Venus in The Next Mutation, then Quarry in the 2003 series, and finally the mutated Karai Serpent from the 2012 series. If you extend that to include all non-human female figures, you can also add Kala from the original series (making the original toyline the one with the most non-human females so far, with three total) and Viral from the Fast Forward series. So seven non-human female figures in a franchise with hundreds of wacky and creative non-human characters. A pretty sad ratio.