The original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series involved the heroes using a lot of questionable gadgets and vehicles, almost as if they were there just so toys could be sold. One example was the Pizza Thrower, released in 1989. This was basically a tank that fired entire pizza pies at villains, which is crazy because turtles know that pizza is delicious and should never be thrown away (even the commercial advertising the toy admitted this weapon made no sense).
But now this sucker exists in real life! Tying in with the upcoming live-action movie that is already dividing fans, Pizza Hut has teamed up with Synn Labs and their affiliate Special Effects Unlimited to create a life-size, working Pizza Thrower for Comic-Con International 2014. This isn’t the first time Pizza Hut has done a Turtle related ad campaign (remember when they rebooted the heroes as a rock band and sold the “Coming Out of Their Shells” album?), but I think it’s fair to say that no one expected the company to fund a tank that is designed to launch pizza 30 feet through the air.
Check out more info images and a video about this vehicle after the break…
Apparently, the life-size Pizza Thrower is made from molded fiberglass, steel and plywood. It’s built on the chassis of a 2002 Toyota Tacoma and is mounted onto a modified air suspension. This allows the body to rise eight inches when necessary. It stands 12 feet, is 9 feet wide and 16 feet long, weighs two tons, and can reach 75 mph. Operators climb aboard with the aid of chrome ladders. The turret itself, powered by an electric wheelchair motor and mounted to a 3-inch metal shaft, can swivel from a 9 o’clock position to an 11 o’lock position in less than 5 seconds.
According to Adam Sadowski of Special Effects Unlimited, launching pizzas effectively was definitely a “unique challenge.” But they figured it out. “The solution we settled on is actually a pneumatic ram. We take compressed air and inject it very quickly into a cylinder which will propel our pizzas right out the barrel… it’s gonna be a sight to see.”
According to its creators, pizzas are loaded by a gunner in the belly of the Pizza Thrower. A trigger causes compressed air to fill a pneumatic actuator, causing a plunger to rapidly extend, launching the pizza at its target. If all goes well, the Pizza Thrower will demonstrate its power at Comic-Con, proving to the world that Americans are crazy enough to build a machine that literally throws food away just because a toy company showed imaginary turtles doing it.
We’ll be at SDCC, so with any luck we will be able to show you this thing in action.
In the meantime, check out the official video on the Pizza Thrower’s creation:
(via Truck Yeah)