Eastman and Laird conceived the characters as a parody of elements popular in superhero comics at the time. In 1984, they founded Mirage Studios and self-published the first issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in 1984; it was a surprise success. They licensed the characters to Playmates Toys, who developed a line of Turtles action figures. About $1. 1 billion USD of Turtles toys were sold between 1988 and 1992, making them the third-bestselling toy figures ever at the time.
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