The Turtles Creative Genius

About This Vintage Toy

Donatello, also known as Don, is one of four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles protagonist characters in the franchise. Created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, Donatello first appeared in their self-published, independent black and white comic, Teenage Mutant Ninja  No. 1, in May 1984.

Donatello is the most clever and the brains of the four turtles. His master, Splinter, named him after Florence, Italy’s early Renaissance Italian sculptor. He preferred to invent a cool gadget to foil an enemy rather than use his weapons. He designed many of the Turtle’s vehicles and even invented his own turtlevision. Donatello’s signature weapon is a bo (staff), and he is often depicted wearing a purple bandanna around his eyes.


The Donatello action figure stood five and one-half inches tall. The action figure offered 5 points of articulation with the hips, shoulders, and neck. The action figure featured a chest and belt strap that allowed the primary accessories to be sheathed when not in use.

Included Accessories

Two Bō Staffs
Small Turtle Fist Dagger
Large Turtle Fist Dagger
Two Ninja Stars
Weapons Rack

Action Figure Variations

SOFT HEAD VS HARD HEAD: This action figure was originally produced in 1988 with a “Soft Head” version that was manufactured with a soft rubber material and was attached to the action figure, similar to the style of Mattel’s Masters of the Universe toy line. The soft rubber heads were rumored to have been economically produced in the early releases at a lower cost to keep their tooling costs lower in the event the line may not succeed. When the toy line became more popular, Playmates switched its manufacturing process to the more durable and rigid plastic heads commonly known as “Hard Heads.” This action figure was produced in a “Soft Head” and later “Hard Head” version. The “Soft Head” version also appears to be manufactured as a slightly lighter and duller color, and the belly/chest also features a somewhat lighter color paint.

FAN CLUB FLYER: The original debut Playmates releases of all four “Soft Head” turtles included a folded fan club flyer that was packaged with the accessories. The fan club flyer was later removed from future packaging in 1989; however, Playmates still packaged carded “Soft Head” action figures without the included fan club flyer. It is rumored that Playmates needed to move some remaining inventory before changing its manufacturing process to a more durable “Hard Head” figure and the fan club launch promotion had at that point run its course.

Original Packaging

The packaging for the Donatello action figured a 10 back, collect them all marketing advertisement.  The original first launch card back with the included “Fan Club Flyer” is more valuable and sought after on the current collectors market.

Packaging Front
Packaging Back

The 1988 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV Commercial

Play Video

Collector’s Price Guide

ImageProduct NameAllianceTypeSeriesYearMLCMIB / MWCMISB / MOCLast Modified Figure11988$45$55$300 Figure11988$45$55$300 Figure11988$45$55$300 Figure11988$50$60$310 O'Neil (No Stripe)GoodAction Figure11988$65$75$180 Figure11988$45$55$200 SoldierEvilAction Figure11988$35$45$305 Figure11988$35$45$265 Figure11988$40$50$250 Figure11988$35$45$170 Vehicle11988$35$55$120 Vehicle11988$45$90$165 TrooperGoodAction Vehicle11988$35$50$130 BlimpGoodAction Vehicle11988$155$230$550 Party WagonGoodAction Vehicle11988$150$225$480 Whole CollectionNASERIES 1 TOTAL11988$860$1,190$4,025 O'Neil (Blue Stripe)GoodAction Figure11988$40$50$80 O'Neil (Orange Trim)GoodAction Figure11988$30$40$55

How To Use This Price Guide

MLC = “Mint Loose Condition” This is when the action figure or Vehicle is in excellent condition,  and is loose and “complete” with all original accessories, but without the packaging and original included paperwork.

MIB = “Mint in box” This is when the collectible is in excellent condition,  and is loose and “complete” with all original accessories and original included paperwork.

MWC = “Mint with Card Back” This is when an action figure os is excellent condition,  and is loose and “complete” with all original accessories, however included the original card back fully intact. If the original blister bubble is intact, It can bring additional value depending on the condition of the blister bubble.

MISB = “Mint in Sealed Box” This is when the Collectible is in excellent condition,  and is factory sealed and was never opened or used.

MOC = “Mint on Card” This Is when the action figure is in excellent condition and is factory sealed and it’s original blister bubble and was never opened or used.

COMPLETE = “Complete” This is when the collectible is 100% complete with all of its accessories. Additional paperwork included with the original package does increase the overall value but does not necessarily consider the item complete

DISCLAIMER: Retro Toy Quest holds no responsibility for any possible inaccuracies displayed within this reference guide. Values may often fluctuate in the current collectors market prior to or after published updates. All values are estimated by Retro Toy Quest and subject to change and discrepancy, depending on the advanced nature of any collector. This collectors price guide is for informational and reference purposes only. Retro Toy Quest is not affiliated with any product or toy company referenced in this guide.

PLEASE NOTE: Variants, Unpunched, Graded, Early Releases, International, and other unique variations may fetch a higher price point on the collectors market. This reference guide is is designed for evaluating complete, in mint condition items only. Incomplete and lower quality conditioned items may fetch far lower price points, and need to be taken into consideration when evaluating your item.