Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Original Costume Restoration

    Original Movie Prop Costume from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Restoration and Display Project


On arrival at our studio, Leonardo had seen better days!  The costume had sat in a box for many years, as the client was unsure what the best approach to preserving it would be.


After extensive discussion and planning, we set about preserving and restoring this amazing foam latex and polyfoam costume.


A custom mannequin would be required, both because of the suit's small stature and because of its unique nature.  A normal mannequin just can't flex and bend into a tight foam suit the way a stunt man can!


Tom Spina created the custom body form and handled all restoration personally.


While the costume was mostly complete, the elbow/knee pads and belt were missing.  Kitty Hebert recreated the elbow pads, completing the costume.


A custom manhole cover base, also by Tom, added some appropriate theming and context and really finished off the display.



As with all of our conservation work, our approach to this project emphasized maintaining the integrity of the original foam costume, preserving the original "feel" and vibe...  and especially any evidence of age and use in the production.


The goal was, as always, not a result that looks "brand new" (the way a replica might look) but to gently bring a piece of history back to life... to make it look "great for its age."



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If you've got an original movie

costume in need of repair or display

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Click any of the below for larger images

BEFORE: original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Leonardo costume with many dry, cracked & brittle areas in need of attention

AFTER restoration: Neck, crotch, inner shell & other areas have been rebuilt & carefully blended. Peeling paint & many cracks were also addressed

At the client's request, the snout was repainted and blended to improve work that had been done prior to its arrival at TSD

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle lifesized custom mannequin display from original movie costume
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle lifesized display custom mannequin for original movie costume
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle lifesized display custom mannequin for original movie costume
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle restoration of an original Leonardo movie costume
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle restoration and custom mannequin for original Leonardo movie costume

The custom mannequin was posed as dynamically as the costume's limited flexibility would allow.  The themed base really makes the display pop!

TMNT puppet movie prop restoration

BONUS PROJECT!

This little production-made TMNT puppet came to us for some minor touch up and repair... for good measure, we gave it a little manhole cover base as well!