Tales of the TMNT or Turtle Soup?

Yesterday, while sorting through some of my TMNT comics, I came across a bit of an anomaly that, due to the sheer size of my collection, I never noticed before. It’s presented me with enough of a conundrum that I want to document this here to see if anyone can help me sort this out.

First off, let me set the stage a bit. In my database I list every TMNT comic that I know exists, regardless of whether I own it or not. I do this to ensure my database is as comprehensive as possible. There are very few that I don’t actually possess but there are still some that have eluded me (which makes this such an interesting hobby :-). For those issues that I don’t currently own, I try to at least find pictures of them so I know what I’m looking for. If I’m able to find a picture I link it to the listing in the database and mark it as a “WANT.”

As I was scouring my database for items that I needed, I noticed that there were two separate entries that had pictures of the exact same cover, Tales of the TMNT #3, Oct. 1987.
  • The first entry was Tales of the TMNT #3 Manufacturing Error, Oct. 1987 – manufactured with the interior of Turtle Soup #1. It was listed as a “WANT” and had the following picture (FYI – I can’t remember where I got this picture from so if it’s yours, please inform me and I’ll properly credit you):
  • The other was listed as Turtle Soup #1 Manufacturing Error, Sept. 1987 – manufactured with the cover of Tales of the TMNT #3. It was listed as “OWNED” and had the following picture:
Turtle Soup 01_1st print misprint variant cover (September 1987)
I thought at first I had incorrectly linked the picture for the Turtle Soup #1 Manufacturing Error entry so I did some investigation. I went and found the issue in question (pictured in the 2nd bullet above) and what I found inside is pictured to the right.
The inside cover reads “Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Volume 1, Number 3” but the first page starts with the story “Turtle Dreams” which is, of course, from Turtle Soup #1. Given the information from the label of the CGC-graded version above (which says, “Manufactured with the interior of Turtle Soup #1“), I know that the issue I have in hand (labeled in my database as Turtle Soup #1 Manufacturing Error) is the same as the one I thought I needed (labeled in my database as Tales of the TMNT #3 Manufacturing Error). Confusing, I know.
But this is great news! Based on my investigation I can logically deduce that there is only one issue with a Manufacturing Error (not two) and I’ve eliminated one more comic from my “WANT” list (all without having to spend any money – how many times can you say that’s happened?).
But now I’m divided on how I should list this issue in my database. There are two possibilities:
    1. Turtle Soup #1 Manufacturing Errormanufactured with the cover of Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3
    2. Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #3 Manufacturing Error – manufactured with the interior of Turtle Soup #1

Given that CGC has determined it to be Option 2 above with a Qualified label (i.e., a book that has a significant defect that needs specific description) and they are the experts in the industry, maybe I should trust that they’ve done their research and list it as such. I’ll be sending mine in to get graded soon so I’m sure it will return with the same label and I’ll likely have to list it that way anyway.

However, it doesn’t make sense to me to list a book simply by what it’s cover states when the entirety of the issue (with exception of the cover) is something else. Think about it. Everything inside is Turtle Soup #1. Only the cover is wrong. The only reason I can think of labeling this as Option 2 above is if it was shipped with, and sold as, Tales of the TMNT #3. Meaning, when people got home to read their newly purchased issue of Tales of the TMNT #3 they realized they actually just had Turtle Soup #1. Even then I still feel like that’s a stretch.

I could go on and on about my thought processes in all this but I just can’t reconcile it either way. I’ve searched and searched but cannot find any worth-while information about this Manufacturing Error anywhere. I’m going to have to lean on my fellow TMNT fans to assist me with this. I need to know the history of this issue and I’m sure someone out there knows it.

Thanks in advance!

Turtle Soup 01_misprint variant inside cover & front page


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