Sunday, July 16, 2017

Madballs: 2017 blind bag minis


A few months ago, American Greetings and Just Play re-launched some of the most iconic weirdo toys from the '80s. Madballs are back!

The new Madballs have hit store shelves (Target, Wal-Mart, Toys R Us) in two different sizes -- a standard size that's in line with vintage Madballs, as well as a mini size that measures a little over one inch tall. This post will focus on the minis.

Even though they're small, the Madball minis are made of the same squeezable foam used for both the vintage and new standard-size balls, and include fully painted details. They are sold in secret blind bag packages, with two different series released so far that each consists of 13 different Madballs. So, there's currently a total of 26 different mini Madballs to collect -- 18 are unique characters/sculpts and the rest are "Mix-Ups," which are some of the same characters repainted in different colors.

Here's the complete ghastly gang of 26 from Series 1 and 2:


And here's the back of the Series 1 and 2 packages showing the illustrated checklists for each:


Design-wise, the new Madballs look more cartoonish than their vintage counterparts, which works better on some characters than others. Some of them, like Slobulus and Horn Head, look pretty similar to their '80s versions, while others, like Lock Lips and Snake Bait, are completely re-imagined.

Overall, I'm quite pleased with them and prefer to have designs that have a new spin rather than simply re-hashing the same vintage looks.

Here's a closer look at both series:

SERIES 1


Series 1 was released in two different batches, with 7 coming first (Horn Head, Dust Brain, Screamin' Meemie, Slobulus, Oculus Orbus, and 2 different Skull Faces) and the additional 6 following shortly after (Swine Sucker, Lock Lips, Bruise Brother, Fist Face, Snake Bait, and Buzz Off). The later 6 have been tougher to track down in most areas. The "chase" character from this set is a glow-in-the-dark version of Skull Face.

SERIES 2


Series 2 expands on the first set with 6 additional characters (Freaky Fullback, Slobbernaut, Skunkvenger, Wolf Breath, Aargh!, and Sushissasin) and 7 repaints of Madballs from Series 1. This set's chase ball is a monochromatic gold Horn Head.

Madballs are absolute classics and it's good to have 'em back! What do you think? Have you picked any up yet?

You can check out the official site of the relaunched Madballs at Madballs.com.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Mono Minis of the Day: 6/23/17 to 7/8/17



Here are the latest batches of Mono Minis of the Day--as posted daily on the Little Weirdos Instagram, Twitter and Flickr. The lineup in the photo is as follows, from left to right, top to bottom:

1. Gyan Gundam from Mobile Suit Gundam
2. The Towering Terror from SLUG Zombies
3. Ecto-Plazm mask ghost from The Real Ghostbusters
4. GeGeGe No Kitaro keshi
5. Alu from Monster in My Pocket  
6. Nostradamus from Cosmix
7. Tehnolog skeleton warrior
8. Telesdon kaiju from Ultraman "Great Monster the 30" set
9. Pazuzu from Neclos Fortress
10. Zoids bootleg keshi
11. Blarf from Mini Boglins
12. Geddes mini monster eraser
13. Buzz-Off from Masters of the Universe MUSCLE
14. Tendril from Fistful of Power
15. Okamaras from Kinnikuman keshi
16. Zombie board game figure

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Thor Lords: bizarro '80s fantasy pull-back toys!


Have I mentioned before how much I love toys that came out of the early 1980s "sword and sorcery" fantasy craze? Yes, about 100 times? Well, I'm saying it again because this post is dedicated to one of the most wonderfully weird '80s fantasy toy lines there is...THOR LORDS!

First of all, "Thor Lords" has got to be one of the greatest names for a toy line ever. It just sounds cool. Without even seeing the toys, you just know they're going to be awesome based on a name like that, and they most certainly are. Well, that actually might depend on how you define awesome. At the very least, they're unique.

So what's the deal with these little weirdos? Let's review some basic facts:
  • Thor Lords are small (around 2 inches tall), rubbery creatures with (crudely) painted details that were billed as "motorized beasts and bad dudes," in that they have a small plastic piece with wheels glued on their bottoms that allows them to zoom forward when pulled back and released.
  • They were released in between 1982-1984 by Creata International in the U.S., and licensed for released by Hales in the U.K. The packaged example you see here is from the Hales release. 
  • There are 8 different sculpts known to exist, including some dragons, a robot and some more unusual fantasy beasts. These 8 sculpts can be seen in the below photo from Instagram user bachamn.
Photo credit: bachamn via Instagram

I own 4 of these bad boys and will hopefully eventually track down the others. Let's take a closer look at the ones in my collection.



First up we have this winged, 2-headed baddie, which in my opinion is clearly the star of the set. He reminds me of a creature that could have been included in Fleetwood's The Sword and the Sorcerer line, another excellent cheapo fantasy line from the early '80s. Look closely--his base is actually a curled-up lion!


Here's what appears to possibly be some sort of cross between a dinosaur and a walrus. I have no idea. It's a weird-lookin' critter though.


A kali riding a manta ray? Sure, why not.


This guy is pretty much a garden variety 2-headed dragon, and looks too friendly to be anything called a Thor Lord, but I still like him.

And there you have it -- Thor Lords, a toy line for the ages...or at least for toy store clearance bins circa 1984. Not sure about you, but I love 'em.

For additional discussion on Thor Lords, check out the thread devoted to them over at the LittleRubberGuys.com forums.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Mono Minis of the Day: 6/7/17 to 6/22/17


Here are the latest batches of Mono Minis of the Day--as posted daily on the Little Weirdos Instagram, Twitter and Flickr. The lineup in the photo is as follows, from left to right, top to bottom:

1. Unknown keshi
2. Goblin from Monster in My Pocket (Mexican Sonrics version)
3. Popy mini Kinnikuman keshi
4. Putty from Power Rangers
5. Fling from Mini Boglins
6. Pigmon from Ultraman keshi  
7. Alien party favor figure
8. Kickback from Transformers Decoys
9. Witch figure from Halloween spinner toy
10. Kaiju from Ultraman keshi
11. Triceratops from unknown dinosaur set
12. Boneapart from Carzillas
13. #171 from MUSCLE
14. Robot from Cris Rose Bits n Bytes set
15. Godzilla Junior keshi
16. Monkey pencil topper

Mono Minis of the Day: 5/22/17 to 6/6/17


Here are the latest batches of Mono Minis of the Day--as posted daily on the Little Weirdos Instagram, Twitter and Flickr. The lineup in the photo is as follows, from left to right, top to bottom:

1. Mushy Marsha from Garbage Pail Kids Minikins  
2. Top Toupie Pull Spin Battle figure
3. Battle Fever Robo capsule bootleg
4. Brontosaurus from dinosaur counter set
5. Gold Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean Battle Figures
6. #23 from MUSCLE
7. Alien from Aliens vs. Colonial Marines set
8. Weirdo capsule figure
9. Harvaax from Meteorite Aliens
10. Skeletor from Masters of the Universe MUSCLE
11. Ichthyosaur from Matutano Dinosaurs set
12. Turninge from Funny Fringes
13. Sand-Man from Neclos Fortress
14. Unknown robot/space figure
15. Woolly Mammoth eraser
16. Orc from Crossbows & Catapults

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Mono Minis of the Day: 5/6/17 to 5/21/17


Here are the latest batches of Mono Minis of the Day--as posted daily on the Little Weirdos Instagram, Twitter and Flickr. The lineup in the photo is as follows, from left to right, top to bottom:

1. #150 from MUSCLE
2. Dino from Matutano Dinosaurs
3. Kaiju from Ultraman "Great Monster the 30" set
4. Maximus Cadaverous from SLUG Zombies  
5. Elephant from Zveronics 
6. Kinnikuman keshi figure
7. Murdroid from Gorelords
8. Skeleton pirate from Patitas Piratas
9. Hibernatus from Cosmix
10. Ten-Faced Demon Gorgos from Kamen Rider keshi
11. Medusa from Monster in My Pocket (Peru Juguete Halloween version)
12. Dragon from Neclos Fortress
13. Musclemania figure
14. Trap from Mini Boglins
15. Pansear from Pokémon keshi
16. Kaiju from Ultraman "Great Monster the 30" set

Friday, May 26, 2017

Little Weirdos' best fast food toys!


When you're a kid, the best part about going to a fast food restaurant is getting the toy in your kids meal. Sadly, most fast food toys are actually pretty boring. Only occasionally do really great examples surface, although cool kids meal giveaways were a bit more common in past decades, especially the 1980s and 1990s.

In this post we'll take a look at some of the greatest, Little Weirdos-approved fast food toy offerings from over the years -- and by that I mean fast food toys that are mini figures, have a monster, alien, or robot theme, or generally look awesome!

Disclaimer: there's been about a billion fast food toys released over the years, so I'm sure I missed some notable ones. Be sure to let me know your personal favorites in the comments.

Okay, here we go, in no particular order:


GLOW MONSTERS (WHITE CASTLE, 1992)



Universal Monsters have been featured as kids meal toys at least a couple times (read on for another time they made an appearance), but this set of 3 soft plastic, 4-inch tall, glow-in-the-dark baddies released at "the home of the Slider" (you might need to be an American Midwesterner to get that) were probably the first. It's an amazing set, even though Dracula is sorely missing.

More on White Castle glow monsters here.


STONE PROTECTORS (LONG JOHN SILVER'S, EARLY 1990s)


One of life's greatest mysteries is why Troll dolls keep making comebacks, but there was a brief period in the early 1990s when they were particularly hot. So hot that marketers thought it would be a good idea to try to market them to boys as well, which resulted in a cartoon and corresponding toys called "Stone Protectors," about Troll heroes and bad guys. In addition to action figures, a lesser-known mini figure set was offered through kids meals at Long John Silvers. They seem to have been inspired by MUSCLE figures, except with a few minor painted details, including a different stone color in each characters chest (a bad guy with a purple stone is missing in the photo above). I've never seen the cartoon, but I think it's safe to say these minis are probably the best thing to result from the creation of "Stone Protectors."

More info on Stone Protectors minis here.


CHANGEABLES (MCDONALD'S, 1987-1990)


Changeables (a.k.a "McRobots") are widely considered classics in the world of fast food toy collecting, and for good reason. These robots, which transform into McDonald's food items, are very well designed and just a lot of fun. They were popular enough to result in a few different series, including a third and final one that consists of transforming dinosaurs instead of standard robots.

For a closer look at all of the Changeables series, check out this very detailed post on Dinosaur Dracula.


WEIRD WRITERS (WENDY'S, 1993)


Wendy's hasn't had the greatest toys over the years, but they really did hit it out of the park with this set from 1993. Weird Writers are 5-to-6-inch tall figures of bizarre creatures that also double as markers (they come apart into 2 pieces to reveal the marker tips). These designs and sculpts are incredibly imaginative and well done. My favorite is the yellow goo-monster, which is just an all-around glorious chunk of plastic.

More info on Weird Writers here.