Karate. Either you practiced it, or if you’re like me, you grew up seeing it referenced in shows like SpongeBob SquarePants. However, what if I told you that it spawned a toy that spawned the greatest epic hero that you have never heard of.
I am of course referring to the one, and only, Tommy Nitro.
In 2005, Spin Master Ltd. released Black Belts, a toy tube that you can wail on to learn karate. To teach you the moves, however, they included a DVD called Tommy Nitro’s Karate Adventure to teach you techniques. To accomplish this, they created a legend so rich that it stands alongside Beowulf and Odysseus of The Odyssey as one of the great epic heroes. A teenager that goes by the obviously badass name Tommy Nitro. I remember having this DVD, and toy, years ago, but it eventually vanished. I thought about it a while back, and thanks to the magic of YouTube, I can relive the legend. This was uploaded by Jason Jones and is owned by Spin Master Ltd.
But does he qualify as an epic hero? There are six criteria that need to be filled, and I’m here to analyze them and uncover the truth.
Tommy Nitro, played by Lucas Lynette-Krech, has his fans. He has Sensei Nobu and his two students, Scotty Karate and Amazin’ Jason (his man).
Surely someone else bought this toy, so he has to have fame, right? How can you not scream in excitement when you hear the singer go “GET READY, IT’S TOMMY NITRO!” Well, I remembered the toy and that line, so he has fame. Confirmed.
Tommy Nitro is a warrior who can go up against three sentient (and extremely unthreatening) Black Belts tubes known as “The Crimson Sausage,” “Booger,” and the best character in this feature, “Zipit!”
They’re so evil that the sausage himself laughs at the mere concept of a team. Well, it’s not exactly like he hits them, him, Scotty, and Jason (his man), have a sort of karate move dance-off. Still competition, though, so it’s combat. Confirmed.
He is shown to be a good kid before Sensei Nobu taught him karate. He’s a good guy after. One of the most complex character arcs of all time. Confirmed.
Trip To The Underworld:
DID YOU SEE HIS POORLY RENDERED NEIGHBORHOOD? That is a hell if I’ve ever seen one. Confirmed.
He’s Tommy Nitro. While he may lack traditional muscular strength, he makes up for it with his heart. This is seen in his friendship with Scotty and Jason (his man). Their karate-off in the climax shows their teamwork clearly takes more than the human limit of strength. Confirmed.
It can probably be inferred that he can perish, but he will always live on in our hearts. Confirmed.
There you have it, folks, Tommy Nitro is the epic hero of one of the most obscure toys of all time. However, a hero is a hero, and they should be discussed, no matter how obscure. And, in case you couldn’t sense my sarcasm, this 29-minute feature is hilariously awful. The songs are bad, albeit catchy, the acting is plain, and the cheesiness factor is way too high. Although it can still be enjoyed in the right mindset.
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