One thing I love about the original Playmates TMNT toyline is the card backing art. The figures came in the usual blister pack – and behind the figure on the shelf we get all sorts of cool illustrations and bursts of color that would grab your attention in the toy aisle.
I really miss this old packaging -which had an average of three illustrations of the featured character on the front side of the card behind the figure, sometimes fighting another character while showing off the often bizarre accessories.
The wicked Wyrm – or just Wyrm – is a flatworm and truly one of the most disgusting character toys in the vintage Playmates TMNT line along with Muckman, Mutagen Man and Pizza Face.
Wyrm’s face and jaw are partly comical and part scary, and his colors are just outrageously gaudy in the best possible way.
Tilt his head back, and that jaw opens up (to munch on worms) and he looks downright frightening. His colors are a weird mix bright and gaudy blue, purple, green and yellow. It’s like they wanted to make something really disgusting, but still make it appealing to young kids with the weird color scheme.
Over in the Archie comics he was yellow, and rather fierce looking. He had a sort of vendetta with Scumbug in that he tried to eat him, but Scumbug disagreed with that menu plan.
He appeared in issue #10 of Archie’s TMNT Adventures, the cover I remember vividly to this day as it was one of the first ever ninja turtles comics I owned as a kid, and it’s still one of my favorite covers out of the whole run. For whatever reason it’s done in a Kaiju / Godzilla style with Wyrm and Scumbug appearing as giants smashing up the city and the Turtles trapped in the middle looking shocked and helpless.
Hey dude, stop trying to eat me!
The main visual differences from Wyrm the toy and animation model (he never actually appeared in the show, just toy commercials) to the Archie comics versions are the yellow color and his tail. The Archie version has a proper tail, while the figure has a weird tentacle leg and no tail, and of course the strange colors. Both versions have the bug out eyes, but the yellow comics version has a very Giger alien like extra mouth/tongue that can extend from his mouth to eat or impale things.
The comic version of Wyrm turned up fighting Scumbug again in issue #52 on the cover and in the middle of the book in a big fight with a new character as well as Scumbug. Wyrm manages to be even more disgusting, and seems to have taken on some secondary mutation where he appears as lots of tiny flatworms that merge into one big one.
I find the Archie yellow version to be more threatening, while the toon version looks like he would fit in well with the Toxic Crusaders. Both looks I really enjoy, I’m glad we get the nutty cartoon/toy version AND the more threatening Giger Alien-like flesh eating comic version.
Wyrm’s accessories (around here somewhere) are a bunch of weird random junk with cool names. The grossest is a bunch of small worms that go in his mouth for him to eat.
I’ve never seen Wyrm out of package before, I picked him up from another toy collector here in West Australia along with a couple other figures, and a Turtle Cycle. I was going to do a post on the turtle cycle, but I gave that away to yet another local collector who wanted it more than I did.
The other action feature Wyrm has is his bug out eyes, they move only a little. But it’s ca ool feature that doesn’t interfere with the figure in any way, and enhances it for me in just the right way, making him even more disgusting.
While looking up other classic Playmates toys from this line, I found this wicked fan art by John Decampos playing up the old rivalry of Wyrm vs Scumbug, he’s done a bunch of other amazing TMNT related art, check out the link below.
Scumbug vs Wyrm by John DeCampos