A Scottish father has teamed up with his childhood crime-fighting superheroes to create a tank to help teach kids to swim.
Livingston entrepreneur Michael Harkins and his company Turtle Pack have teamed up with Nickelodeon, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) and ViacomCBS Consumer Products to launch the new swim aid.
Former swim teacher Michael, 28, developed the original Turtle Pack Swimming Aid, a turtle shell-shaped float that keeps the child’s arms free to learn proper swimming technique, as he was still in college.
While the new product will provide in-pool support like the award-winning original, it will also give kids the chance to dress up as their favorite TMNT – Raphael, Michelangelo, Donatello or Leonardo – while swimming.
The TMNT-themed Swim Float is now available for pre-order in the UK and America.
Michael, who first became a dad last month, said Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was his favorite show as a kid, so the deal is a “dream come true”.
He said: “Having become a parent for the first time earlier this year, this deal is a dream come true.
“I have loved TMNT since I was little and really feel like we have come full circle with this new product.
“As a swim teacher and now a new parent, I hope the connection with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will encourage more young children to spend time in the pool and have fun while learning a lifelong skill for their health. and their future safety, especially since so many children have missed lessons because of the pandemic. ”
The deal will help Turtle Pack, which has already sold thousands of their original products, to create a sensation on both sides of the Atlantic by capitalizing on the growing trend of nostalgia. Loved around the world, TMNT’s appeal spans generations, with many first-generation TMNT fans now parents.
Experts have warned of a “lost generation” of swimmers due to a million children missing from swimming lessons over the past year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Designed to cater for the large number of children in the UK who are unable to swim by the time they leave primary school, it is hoped that the new TMNT Turtle Pack design will encourage even more children in the pool.
Among Turtle Pack fans is Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, whose grandchildren learned to swim using the original Turtle Pack Swimming Aid.
Mark Kingston, Senior Vice President, International Licensing, ViacomCBS, said, “We loved the product development of the Turtle Pack team.
“We’re excited to be able to bring to market a product with a real purpose that can help kids swim, have fun and be active. “
The new TMNT Swim Float Turtle Pack is available for pre-order for £ 34.99 at www.turtlepack.com/tmnt and through Main Street retailers from October 3, for a limited time (RRP £ 39.99 ).