Flashback Figure Friday: Mondo Gecko

At the height of the Ninja Turtle craze, Playmates was banging out some awesome figures. Most of which we remember fondly, some not as much. But today, I present to you a figure we all remember: MONDO GECKO

The First Mondo Gecko circa 1990

As with most of the toy line, the figure itself was pretty outrageous. Playmates touted the fact that they could make unusual creations out of plastic and coat it in neon and Mondo Gecko may be one of their best offerings. Between his "move aside, I'm a rebel" look, rad street gear and gnarly skateboard, his presentation made every 7 year old boy beg their parents for just one more figure and it sure as heck wasn't gonna be Fugitoid. No. This was one figure we all NEEDED. Mondo Gecko seemed to be an ally of the Turtles, and while my knowledge of his appearance of his appearance in the cartoon is fuzzy, I'd imagine he sounded like a stereotypical 80s/early 90s radical party dude/surfer who was always repeating stuff Spicolli would say to Mr. Hand.
I can't figure out a good caption that would do this justice.

Getting back to the figure itself, the oddness that is Mondo Gecko always seemed to stand out even in the weird world of the Turtles. And quite frankly, it's not one thing you can point to. It just stands out. Sure, by 1990, a skateboarding lizard shouldn't shock us or even wow us, especially when we have Turtles traveling to space, but it did. And to this day, I still can't put my finger on what made him such a cool figure.  Sadly, messing up a great concept is what Playmates was known for in the later series by giving fan favorite figures a lot of awful variants. And in 1992, Playmates decided to make a second version of Mondo Gecko. This time bedecked in hippy gear resulting in what looks like a giant acid trip gone wrong...
"Rock N Roll Mondo Gecko" circa 92. Just Say No.

As far as his return, I haven't kept up with the new series like I should, but I have serious doubts Mondo Gecko would return as a figure. It's a pretty solid figure, but one that was very dated. I sincerely hope I can walk into a store again and see Mondo on the shelf again, but alas, it may be just a dream.


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Photo Credits(respectively):  StrangeKidsClub, The TurtlePedia, and The Sewer Den.

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