Tuesday, March 9, 2010
The 3rd Dimension: Madballs!
You might have guessed from last week's wallpaper, but I am a fan of Madballs.
For those of you too young to remember (not that I think anyone reading this blog doesn't remember Madballs, frankly), Madballs were a brightly-burning-but-short-lived toy fad in the mid-80s, right in the prime of my childhood. They were balls that were, well, mad, adorned with crazy or gross faces which boys just loved. From the Harryhausen-esque cyclops Hornhead to the maniac baseball Screamin' Meemee, these crazy playthings were equal parts zany, nasty-looking, and just plain fun.
And now they're back.
My brother started this whole thing by getting me the new version of Oculus Orbus, which was the first Madball I had as a kid, for Christmas this past year. The original Occy was a straight up, bloodshot eyeball, but this new one ups the ick factor a little bit, with a few slime and ooze-leaking cuts, and a purple worm who has decided to make a meal of him. It's not as simple as the old design but it retains all of it's charms. My son seems to love me holding Oculus Orbus up and saying "Eye See You!"
This lead to me going on The Ebay and getting more of the little buggers. I got a Hornhead for my brother (his from the 80s), and then picked up a Slobulus and Blech Beard. Slobulus is the other guy I had as a kid. I always dug the color green, and if that green thing could also have one of it's eyeballs falling out of the socket, that's even better. The new Slobulus is about as much of an upgrade in the nasty department as Occy is, although the original Slobulus was certainly more gross than Occy. Now, his eye is so distended that can't even look you in the eyes, and he appears to be licking his own eyeball! Yikes! He's lost his hair but he certainly keeps his slimy asthetic, making him another strong Madball.
Blech Beard is one of the new Madballs for the revival, and as his name suggests, is a pirate. His seafoam-colored skin suggests some sort of rotting zombie pirate. He's also rocking a goatee and an eyepatch, and, amusingly, has a fishhook holding his eye open. Blech Beard looks so good that he could easily have been one of the originals.
All in all I am in love with these three. They are boyhood cast in foam rubber. All of them embody the awesome gross-out fun of the old Madballs while retaining the old line's irreverence and low price point. I am having a ball throwing these guys around, and I can't wait for the time, a few years down the road, when my son and I can toss them around the house and he can try to gross out his Mom.