A toy Michelangelo the ninja turtle plays a scaled down TMNT arcade machine

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Review: Kirby by NECA from Mirage’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

If you like anything that’s related to comic book, it’s hard to overstate the influence that Jack Kirby has had. I grew up learning to read with the original Archie and Mirage Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic books. My parents didn’t know the content difference between them or that the Mirage books were much more violent than the Archie books. The general rule in the house was that if it had a traditional-looking gun, it wasn’t allowed in toys, so G.I. Joe and Transformers were out and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and He-Man were in. Throughout my life, comic books have had an oversized influence on me, meaning Jack Kirby is responsible for much of the pop culture that I enjoy.

Jack Kirby Petition page from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 6
A scanned page from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #6

In issue six of Mirage’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird included a full page appeal for readers to fill out a petition demanding that Marvel Comics return Jack Kirby’s original art, including their own plea as well.

His work had a tremendous effect on us influenced our drawing styles, and helped to inspire us to get into the comics field. It is not an exaggeration to say that without Jack Kirby, there would probably be no Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

They tell readers to read The Comics Journal issue 105, which can’t be found online as far as I can tell, which has a large portion of the issue dedicated to Jack Kirby, including an interview with Jack and Roz Kirby, a statement of principle by Frank Miller, a roundtable conversation, and the petition.

The cover of The Comics Journal issue 105
The cover of The Comics Journal issue 105

I first saw the Kirby figure at New York Comic Con 2023 in the NECA booth. There were a few standouts in that booth, but I’ll admit that I kinda lost my mind seeing Kirby. Making an action figure of Jack Kirby from his single appearance in a TMNT comic was a bold move.

I also lost my mind at the Professor Perry figures from Secret of the Ooze, but that’s for another post.

Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s appreciation of Jack Kirby’s work led to them including Jack Kirby in the Donatello Micro-Series in 1986. It’s a fun story where Donatello encounters Kirby himself, goes on a journey, and returns home with a sketch from Jack Kirby himself with the inscription “life at best is bittersweet.” That phrase is a Kirby quote from DC’s Mister Miracle #18 in 1974.

It’s from the Donatello comic that we get the Mirage Kirby figure from NECA as part of the 2024 Haulathon from Target. I don’t love how Haulathon is executed, but I’m glad that it brought us the Kirby figure.

A photo of the Jack Kirby action figure from New York Comic Con 2023
My photo of the NECA Kirby action figure from the NECA booth at New York Comic Con 2023
An animated gif showing details of the Jack Kirby action figure
Detail of the Kirby figure’s face
The Jack Kirby action figure photographed along side the Business Suit Casey Jones action figure from NECA
The NECA Kirby figure with the Business Suit Casey Jones in the background

This figure brings me an immense amount of joy. The Donatello comic is a wonderful celebration of Jack Kirby and this figure it a fantastic representation of the representation of Jack Kirby from the comic book. Each day this figure has been on my desk, it has brought me joy.

The real standout of this figure is the hand-in-hand work of the sculpt and paint job. Richard Force was responsible for the sculpt and the paint was by Geoff Trapp and Mike Puzzo. The paint does a fantastic job of bringing the sculpt to life, recreating the Eastman and Laird artwork, and bringing that artwork into three dimensions.

The details on his sweater, his shoes, and on his pencil! I could gush about the small things on this figure for a long time. I haven’t made attempts to pose this figure in too many diffrent poses because once I got him into a position to look at his sketch pad, holding his pencil (with the attached crystal), I didn’t need to see anything else from him. The same goes for the additional hands that come with the figure.

The monster from the comic is a nice addition. It’s comic accurate, including its weapon. The monster has five-points of articulation and I’ve had some issues keeping it standing upright on its own.

A rotating gif of the Jack Kirby action figure along with the monster the action figure comes with
A 360 of the NECA Kirby figure with the red monster.
The Jack Kirby action figure from NECA
I can’t get over this figure.
A rotating gif of the Jack Kirby and Donatello action figures together
Kirby with a Mirage Donatello, wearing the anti-gravity gun

In addition to the figure, extra hands, sketch pad, pencil, and two pairs of extra hands, you get one of the monsters from the comic, and the “gravitic equalizer.” The gravitic equalizer / anti-gravity gun fits on the 2008 Ninja Turtles from NECA. My Donatello doesn’t have a red bandana, so it’s not a 100% authentic figure, but it still fits well on the hand.

I can’t imagine a worse figure for me when I was a kid. An old guy in a sweater? In the form of an ACTION figure? Worst. As an adult? This is instantly in my top five of all time.

This figure is a lovely tribute to Jack Kirby.

From the packaging:

The use of Jack Kirby’s image is used with permission granted by the Rosalind Kirby Trust, all other rights reserved 2023.

For more information about Jack Kirby, please visit

The Jack Kirby Museum & Research Center: www.kirbymuseum.org

To support the Kirby for Hero’s program, please visit www.heroinitiative.org

  • Director: Randy Falk, Trevor Zammit
  • Sculpt & Fabrication: Richard Force
  • Paint: Geoff Trapp, Mike Puzzo
  • Photography: Stephen Mazurek
  • Packaging: Travis Hastback
  • Illustrations: Kevin Eastman