Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Kevin Eastman's TCRI Ooze Canister

original movie prop

This is a production-made TCRI ooze canister from the set of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990). Measuring 13” in height and 3” in width, the canister is made entirely of aluminum and comes from the personal collection of Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman. This example retains the comic book name TCRI (short for “Techno Cosmic Research Institute”) with a “Warning: Hazardous Material” cautionary caption underneath the lettering. According to Todd Langen, the sequel's screenwriter, the acronym was later changed to TGRI due to the existence of a real laboratory with that name in California. A radioactivity symbol appears on each of the end caps, just like the canister seen in the original movie when Splinter recounts his and his sons' origin story to April O'Neil. However, perhaps due to the fact that the first film does not delve much into the back story of the ooze like the sequel does, the TCRI name is not shown on screen. Instead, the screen-used canister simply displays a generic “Radioactive Material” label.


When this prop was made, the canister design was still undergoing several cosmetic changes. For example, it appears that the vinyl lettering was originally a dark burgundy before being colored black. Also, the “R” on one side shows evidence of font style experimentation, with an extra piece of vinyl tape producing a different downward slope. This canister is slightly shorter than the ones used in the second movie, but is much more substantial and sturdier due to the heavy-duty metal material (the canisters in the sequel were made of either PVC or foam, depending on whether they were hero/background or stunt versions).


Interestingly enough, a similar-looking TCRI canister was discovered in a lot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991) props from an Azalea Auction event, which was held in Castle Hayne, North Carolina on January 24, 2004, where the Turtles II prop master sold hundreds of props that were previously in storage.


This item was obtained directly from Kevin Eastman Studios.

prop: collector:
category: original / screen-used
type: movie props
movie: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
original (11)  |  replica (10)
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