Stone Protectors was an ineffective marketing attempt in the mid-nineties to fuse the Troll Doll craze with the popularity of the Ninja Turtles in order to sell toys. I absolutely loved my Mutant Turtles, but as for Trolls, I'll never forgive those cute exhibitionists for giving me a mild case of trichophagia when I was very young. (The synthetic hair smelled so non-toxic nice and was as colorful as cotton candy, who was I to resist a taste?)

Troll Dolls actually go as far back as 1959 when a Dane named Thomas Dam began making wooden collectibles modeled after the trolls of Norwegian folk tales. In the nineties, a resurgence of Troll Dolls hit America hard as one of the biggest fads of the time, overshadowing other hard-hitters as slap bracelets and temperature-controlled neon color-changing clothing. The nineties were a wonderful time in this country's history.

Most Trolls of that era came from one of two toy companies: Russ or Ace Novelty. The latter manufactured and sold a line of dolls called Treasure Trolls that differed from Russ in that the trolls contained little jewels in their belly buttons. Commercials emphasized that the tummy jewels were meant to be wished upon when there was something you really wanted, such as wishing for cherry cough syrup to really taste like cherry. (Ah, the simple demands of an innocent child as determined and written by a shark marketing exec.)

Both companies catered toward young girls until 1992 when a third toy company, Hasbro, looked to expand the market by introducing Battle Trolls, which were aimed squarely at boys. Despite having all of the essential ingredients to a win a small boy's heart, like "rude locker room smell" and weapons that shot plastic projectiles at bothersome cootie-crawling sisters, Hasbro was not very successful. That same year, Ace also tried its hand with a boy-targeted troll line of its own: Stone Protectors.

A year later, one 13-episode season TV show based on the Stone Protectors property broadcasted to drum up support for the toys. I would not have mentioned the cartoon otherwise if not for the rock 'n roll song in the opening with the chorus lyrics: "We're the Stoooone Protectors! Our stones of power glow!"

Yes, but apparently their games didn't. Stone Protectors was released only on the Super Nintendo by Kemco, and was developed by Eurocom. The Genesis version was also developed by Eurocom, while Vic Tokai (Golgo 13, Clash at Demonhead, The Krion Conquest) would have been the publisher, and had it been released, would have sat on store shelves in May of 1994 with a "T" for Teen rating that was assigned by the newly-formed ESRB.

According to, only the Vic Tokai published version of the game (the SEGA Genesis version) was ever rated. For reasons unknown, the Super Nintendo version was able to slip by the ratings board when it saw a later release in November of that year.

The "T" rating might have been reason enough for the Genesis version's cancellation, as what 13+ kid would want to play a troll game? But, really, it's the marketing team's own fault. What rating did they think they would have earned after placing a frightening mohawked wrestler prominently on the game's cover? He's wielding a makeshift whip made of rotary telephone parts, for crying out loud. Did they think a child's parents would would have gone for that? Children whipping their siblings with the telephone in the kitchen?

In the second TMNT movie, the director was clever enough to skirt the violence issue by having the Turtles attacking the bad guys with yo-yos and sausage links and not with their deadly katanas and nunchucks. It's all about compromises when you're dealing with killing people and wholesome family fun.


To remind kids of the Stone Protectors so that they could ask for them by name and order them alphabetically on their Christmas wish lists, every episode of the TV show opened with each of the Protectors introducing themselves through a ridiculous rhyme. They did the same thing with their toy commercials, too. For instance, did you know the one named Chester the Wrestler likes food? It's totally true! I can 100% relate.

Like all Ninja Turtle rip-offs at the time, the Protectors had an origin story. Before they became the Stone Protectors, the guys played in a failing band called The Rock Detectors. On one fateful day, after getting thrown out of another gig, they find glowing magical crystals that give each of the band members a special power, like super-human strength or the ability to climb shit. One of them gets roller blades.

With new power and roller blades comes great responsibility, as the Stone Protectors must now protect their stones from the nefarious Predators. Led by the evil Zok, he and his number one henchman, Zink, will stop at nothing to grab at their rocks!

There's probably more to the plot than that, but here's the cast of crazy characters for you to collect on eBay and out of landfills!


Instrument: Electric guitar
Quotes: "I'm Maxwell, and I rip on lead guitar… killer licks!"
"The name is Max, I'm a skater blader! One slice from me and it's see ya later!"

Instrument: Drums
Quotes: "I'm Cliff, and I scale the drums… let's get vertical, have some fun!"
"They call me Cliff and I like to climb. Put the drop on bad dudes anytime!"

Instrument: Electric keyboard
Quotes: (in terrible Scottish accent) "I'm Angus on keyboard and I can lay back, but it's great to rip with a fast attack!"
"My name is Angus. Gus, to my pals. I'll make anything into an ars-e-nal."


Instruments: Bass guitar and saxophone
Quotes: "Me, I'm Chester on electric bass… thumping licks all over the place!"
"Chester's my name and I like food. Like to squeeze bad guys with my wrestling moves!"


Instruments: Rocks the mic, sometimes the electric guitar
Quotes: "I'm Cornelius the singer, front man of the band, got a voice that can stun… yeeeeeeaaah!"
"Cornelius is my name, Samurai is my thing. Fight like a warrior, sing like the King."


As pointed out before, Stone Protectors saw a release only on the Super Nintendo. Below is an incomplete list of differences between the released Super Nintendo version and this unreleased Genesis one.

  • The copyright at the bottom of the title screen is slightly different. Instead of Kemco Presents (as seen on the Super Nintendo version), it's Vic Tokai Inc.
  • Intro movie breaks down the text differently.
  • The Genesis prototype includes a level select option in the Options menu.
  • Some general things: the background at the beginning of a level no longer scrolls but remains static, and gone are the character poses at the end of each stage.
  • First stage begins with an enemy facing the wrong way and the addition of a little birdie.
  • On the mine stage, lantern lights flicker and the mice in the background are moved. Also, enemies riding in the mine carts are not the same. When you hit the boss, he freezes and turns blue.
  • On the third stage, only one enemy falls down at a time to fight (on the Super Nintendo, up to three fight together) until the little lava monsters come out--then it's two at a time in the Genesis version, three at a time on the Super Nintendo. Also, the pit where you fight the boss is not the same shape.
  • The beach stage has a NEW SNAIL! There's also a snake in one of the barrels (and not a mouse). These developers were too ambitious! Characters no longer leave their footprints in the sand.
  • The dogs sniffing around the bazaar are placed in different areas.
  • There's a different background shown during the final boss fight.
  • The game rushes through the ending and goes straight to the credits, which loop. There are some new names in the credits (they must have designed the snail).

See how many more differences you can find after you...