Moose Toys keeps trying to find new ways to take my money, and they keep succeeding.
This time they've come out with an entirely new brand that has an appeal similar to their long-running, popular Trash Pack line, but with a few twists. These new little weirdos are called Mutant Mania.
Mutant Mania features mini figures that, like The Trash Pack, consist of monsters, humanoid animals and other strange creatures with designs that are supposed to be gross or freaky. But unlike The Trash Pack, the figures are made of a firm plastic, are multiple pieces, and are twice as tall at around 1.5 inches each. The line is also wrestling themed, although to me they come off much more as general monster toys than they do wrestling toys.
The major gimmick here is that the figures are "mix-and-match," meaning you can connect pieces from one character into other characters to make a ton of different figure combinations. Each character is made up of three separate parts--a head, a torso and legs--which are held together by a rubbery "spine" that plugs into each piece. This also allows for some basic articulation by being able to turn the figures' heads and waists. I actually think this is a pretty creative, simple way to make the mix-and-match concept work, but I have seen some people say they dislike the fact that the rubber spine is exposed when looking at the figure from the back, and that it doesn't hold the pieces together as strongly as they'd like. Those gripes are understandable, but I personally haven't found those factors getting in the way of me enjoying these toys.
While there are between 60-to-70 different sculpts in the line, there's actually twice as many figures to collect because nearly all the sculpts come in two different versions: A basic version with fully painted details and a clear, nearly monochromatic version. I really like this, because not only does it make the line more collectible, it should also make the figures appeal to a wider group of collectors.
As with The Trash Pack, Mutant Mania characters are grouped into different sets by theme. Each figure is assigned a particular classification--either Common, Rare, Ultra Rare, Special Edition, or Limited Edition. This groups include:
- Mutant Men
- Evil Zomboidz
- Brutal Beasts
- Robo Mutants
- Reptiles of Rage (Special Edition, glow-in-the-dark plastic)
- Astro Mutants (Limited Edition)
The figures are available in single packs (in mini can containers), carded four-packs and carded eight-packs. From what I can tell, each four-and-eight-pack includes an even number of clear and fully painted figures.
Each eight-pack also comes with a "Mutantade Mutant Juice" storage container, which is designed to look like little soft drink can and can hold around 10 mutants. The cans also include pegs on the lids, so you can plug two figures in and pose them to battle it out on top of the can. These containers are a great little touch, and I love how they seem to be a nod to the classic MUSCLE garbage cans.
There's also a couple playsets released already, including a "Mutant Masher" truck and a "Rampage Arena" wrestling ring, which I believe both come with exclusive mutants.
Overall, I think Mutant Mania is an incredibly fun line and I'm sure I'll be picking up some more. So far I've only seen them at Toys R Us, but I'm guessing they'll eventually make it to other stores like Target. I can really see both kids and adult collectors getting into these. To me, they have a distinct late-'80s/early-'90s feel; I've been thinking of them sort of like the toy offspring of Socket Poppers, MUSCLE and Weird Ball Wrestlers, and that's a winning combination!
|A Mutant Mania figure with a Socket Popper & Weird Ball Wrestler|
What do you think of Mutant Mania? Do you plan to collect them?
Check out the official Mutant Mania website.