Madballs, Weird Balls, Super Bouncing Weird Balls, Monster Balls, Blurp Balls, Krazy Balls, Freakballs, Squirt Devils and other nameless imitations.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

King Kong Played Ping Pong...

"Once More...No Comment"

Hey boils and ghouls! I know I said I was gonna post about Bizarre Balls next but I think I'll save that for my first post of the new year. Especially since I already had the photos of these turds ready to go.

These are a type of fake Madball I've never seen before. They're about the size of a table tennis ball, hollow and poorly painted. I don't think they're a set, since they have no manufacturer stamped on them and the colors of the plastic vary. There are three distinct sculpts, one of which we're already familiar with. Let's look.
First up is a melty Slobulus-style ball in two colors . She's got a bunch of gross stuff, like missing teeth, bandages, a wandering eye and stitches. It's too bad the paint jobs on these are sooooo bad, because no paint at all would probably be less distracting from the cool design. That eye really bothers me. In a cool way. It's disturbing to think of how it got that high and crooked.
Next up is my personal favorite. He's an angry looking dude that's biting a snake that wraps around his head and goes under his eye and out again!! Ewwwww! The under-the-eye thing may be the grossest thing I've come across in the monster head wrangling business. His paint job is the best out of all of them (he's still go an unexplained patch of black on his nose) and it makes me wonder if the hard plastic they're made out of just doesn't hold paint very well. In honor of my friend Josh (who's obsessed with G.I. Joes), I'll name this guys Snake-Eye (or Veyeper Pilot, or Serpentorn)!
Next up is a small red version of the Sadball, Blood Bulge. You should recognize him! You guys have met before...thousands of times! Ok, maybe once before on this blog...
As you can see there is no difference between the two other than size. The gross mouth muck is still there and the odd triangle nose complete with his three hair mustache! The paint really didn't hold to this dude but the sculpt is good despite being unoriginal.

In conclusion, these are neat little monster heads and cool designs. They're also pretty durable (excluding the paint). I'd recommend them but I've hardly ever come across any. The one's I've gotten were from a trades on Little Rubber Guys and with Justin from Weirdo Toys.

So, I won a few more of these guys as parts of lots in a recent Ebay bonanza (December and January have been good months for Madball hunting!).
This first guy is probably my favorite out of all of these ping pong guys. A ton of detail but not muddy like Slobulus and well sculpted. He's a bumpy skull with a pig nose and a disgusting centipede crawling on his face. The teeth are very reminiscent of Skull Face but other than that he's a pretty new spin on the skull ball idea. Not to mention that he's got a bat on his butt! Maybe he's some sort of gross skull head taxi that takes night creatures to their seedy destinations.

Next we have the standard Argh rip off. He's well scuplted for how small he is but nothing new. Yawn. However, both these guys have stamps on their rears! A "PG" in a circle and...gasp...names! Turns out our vermin infested friend is named Trog (this name delights me), while our Argh wannabe is named Boo. Boo-oring is more like it. You're friend is way cooler than you, Boo.

All searches for "PG Toys" are fruitless. Unless, family friendly toys are your idea of a good time. Anyway, I'm into these guys despite Boo's lack of motivation to be innovative. Trog rules the day!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas To Mike, and To Mike a Good Night!

Hey dudes, this is just a preview of some stuff I recently found myself while shopping for other people. It all arrived 2 days before christmas! Those Bizarre Balls were an excellent score, and will probably be my next post. The water squirting Oculus was a sweet gift from a person who follows this blog in Australia! And that little suction cup Swine Sucker was an ebay purchase. Sorry to keep this short, but I'm gonna go watch Gremlins for the 4th time this season, hope your holidays are gross and yucky!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Small Round and Out Of Control!

"Still...No Comment"

Ok buds, this week we have another mystery set I scored on eBay...and they're tiny! As much as I love the full sized rip offs, the tiny bouncy balls are probably my favorite because everything is cooler in miniature.

The seller had a bunch of these and said that anyone who purchased them would get a random six, so I'm not sure if this is a full set or not. When they arrived I was surprised at how detailed they are for being 1" in diameter.
Here's our lineup, and it's a pretty handsome group, if you ask me. First off, there's the fake Dust Brain, but with bulging eyes and a really pristine grin. I like his Christmas colors! He's followed buy a mutated gorilla of some sort with a gnarly overbite. The twisted flesh around his eye and the jagged irregular teeth really get me. The next two friends look a little familiar.
They're almost exact replicas of these tiny Japanese dudes I wrote about a while ago! The only difference is the color, size and lack of pencil hole at the bottom. Buck Tooth Terrance and Yellin' Meemie make me wonder if this entire set is just a redux of those pencil toppers.
Bringing up the rear, are these amazingly monstrous twins. This guy looks dangerous, like a Critter. I really like his bug eyes, which seem to be a signature of this set, and his fangy mouth. I'm not really sure what the symbol is on his head but it does look like something that would be on a M.U.S.C.L.E. figure, furthering my Japanese theory.

Anyway, I wish I could tell you where I got these and forward you the link to the eBay store, but it was so long ago that my history has erased it. Since they're nameless and have no manufacturing info, this post is especially useless. Oh well, sighhhhh. If you can find 'em, get 'em, cus they're neat.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Something Weird This Way Comes

"Dissatisfaction Guaranteed"

Hey boils and ghouls! It's been a very long time since I updated this disgusting blob of a blog. A lot's been goin' on since August. I had a show at Benna's Cafe (20 drawings of monsters inspired by D&D Monster Manuals), I went to Romania with Jeanne to hunt for Dracula, and had a bunch of last minute freelance work. Anyway, I'm back now with a second cool post about Weird Balls!
We've already discussed (or disgust) Mel Appel's unsurpassed dedication to knock offs in a post about the giant sized Weird Balls. A quick recap, TMAC (The Mel Appel Company) not only copied Madballs and Super Madballs, they also had a Garbage Pail Kids-esque trading card series, a M.U.S.C.L.E. style little rubber guys line and even a WWF inspired action figure set. I think it goes without saying though, that their attempt at fake Madballs was by far their most inspired moment. Not only did they manage to create their own stable of vile characters but they even delved into football shape before TCFC (Those Characters From Cleveland) got around to it.
Aside from the toys themselves, the packaging for Weird Balls was also top notch. A drippy logo, putrid slime colors and similar blisther packaging helped this gross group seem legit. While Madballs went for clean drawings (clean line work but still gross stuff), the Weird Ball drawings are looser and grimey, reminiscent of Mad Magazine (and Tales From the Crypt) artist Jack Davis. TMAC also realized the value of the art itself, allowing kids to "own" the art in trading card form. This is a big plus for me, since i love the drawing and design part of these dudes so much.
There was no stone left unturned...Madballs packages said "Freaky Fun For Everyone"? Well, Weird Ball packaging has about 5 crude slogans and boorish phrases (not including the ones on the trading cards!). Their marketing technique is to highlight their production flaws, knowing kids love stuff that's cruddy and half assed! "That's right you won't be satisfied with our stupid unoriginal toy...what're you gonna do about it?" Any connoisseur of awfulness, such as Ren and Stimpy or Beavis and Butthead, will let you know, the worse the better.
Let's check out the first group of dudes here, the traditional round guys. First up is Shrink Head, a guy that I first thought was a half-ruined android, but it turns out he's a dessicated zombie-type thing. His skin is all wrinkley and shriveled and his skull is showing through in parts. His upper lip skin does kinda look like a Burt Renolds' mustache but his red bulging eyes make up for any lack of creepiness his faux facial hair may have caused. The second guy here is Sewer Face. He appears to be a Muppets-type purple monster with a slimey, pus-caked nose. He's maybe the least defined out of all the Weird Ball, because he looks like a ball of clay that someone rolled up in their hands and then painted yellow eyes on. He's cool but lacks details. Snot Nose is the third roundy and probably my favorite of all. He's a giant ball of boogers with a bulgy eye and buck teeth. Where his other eye should be is a gaping socket filled with maggots! Great!
Here's where Weird Balls get really innovative (as far as monster shaped balls go!). The football shaped dudes. Wart Hog is the hideous Frankenstein on the the left. His stitched shut mouth, plentiful warts and bulging blood shot eye are super gross. His friend Spit Ball Louie has the counterpart bulging eye with a really nasty heavy lid and some sort of mustard slime oozing out of his goofball mouth. This is also where things get weird. I have no idea where this guy came from. He's obviously a Weird Ball (he's stamped with the Mel Appel logo on his hinder) but the packaging has his name listed only as Spit Ball and he's round. I would've thought that there was just a packaging error but I've seen pics of the round Spit Ball. I also don't know about a second series, but perhaps he's from that. If you have any insights into this mystery let us know!
Lastly, is my favorite of the oblong nerds, Worm Skull. He's one of the better sculpted and executed of all the Weird Balls and a pretty cool stylization of a skull. When I reviewed the giant version of him a few posts back I mentioned how I thought he would look better scaled down and you can see in that comparison photo how he looks much better tiny.

Sooooo.....Weird Balls are probably my favorite of the Madballs rip off family. They took the Madball formula and ran with it. They were definitely copying but they were creative enough to make their own characters, sculpt them well and up the insolence. If you can get your hands on some of these guys, go for it! They're pretty hard to come by, but I think there's one up on eBay right now. Again, sorry for the delay, expect the next post soon!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Savings and Groan

"Wacky Cash"

Hey dudes and dudettes! Sorry for the lapse in posts but I was on vacation in Maine, tirelessly hunting in New England flea markets for toy balls with monster faces on them. Alas, I came up short. Before I left though I won these two bad boys in an eBay auction for one smacker! A single buck for these two gems of gross out nostalgia. Check it out!

This recession has us all concerned about the safety of our money. Just like a Depression era grandmother, many of us no longer trust the big banks to hold our money securely. Well you don't have to rely on them any longer! What could keep your money safer than Screamin Meemie's horrible visage? What bank has the security of Swine Suckers bile coated lips? WHICH BANK I ASK YOU?! That's right Arco, the people that made the Water Squirting Madballs are back with another Madballs licensed product...piggy banks called Wacky Cash!!
These dudes are super cool. Made from a hard sturdy plastic and really well painted. Check out Screamin Meemie here. This character doesn't have too many details to begin with but the ones that are present are well sculpted and exquisitely painted. Exquisitely? Yup, exquisitely. They even put him on a pile of slime!
Here you can see the size difference between the balls and the bank. The Wacky Cash Meemie looks much more like their Water Squirter mold (which I like better) than the original design. Maybe he's a little more wall-eyed than he needs to be but whatever. He's still cool!
Of course, you couldn't make a Madballs piggy bank without using they're ungulate incarnation Swine Sucker! This porky monster has a lot more detail than Meemie and it all looks great. From the bile and snot to the warts and stitches, this guys got it all.
Arco resculpted Swine Sucker for Wacky Cash and I have to say I think I like their version better here too. The gums are a little more enflamed, the teeth a little more jagged, and even the pupils and retinas have texture and depth. They also go the extra mile and really make the warts pop out.
Here's some detail shots of Swine Suckers hinder. Both Wacky Cash banks, have the Arco logo stamp and a sticker with the Madballs logo and characters name right beneath the slot.
The base of both have this wrap around sticker with Wacky Cash printed next to the logo. Also a really cool Madballs seal of approval, so you know you're not trusting your savings to a Super Bouncing Weird Ball bank. Or god forbid a Foul Ball bank. Ugh. Instantly bankrupt.

In conclusion, these rule! One of my favorite bits of Madballs memorabilia. If you can find them on eBay I suggest you snap them up.

Monday, July 26, 2010

80's Mash-up!!!

We've got some sweet sweet Madball art from a friend I met on Little Rubber Guys, named Chris Tupa. He totally went the extra mile and did four(!) 80's cartoon characters as zombie monster balls. Let's have a look!
First off, Deady Ruxpin (Chris didn't provide names so hopefully I'll do them justice)! I barely remember this dude except that his electronic bear mouth could actually hurt you if you put your finger in there. Chris's watercolors are great and add a level of dirtiness and grit.
Jane Retchson (best put I could come up with for Jane Jetson, sorry). Love the skull and cockroaches!
Hmmmm....blood vomiting's about, Vomchhichi? I like it! (thanks Jeanne!) This thing looks like she went to town eating someone's guts. Blood is something you don't see to often in monster faced balls but I like it! Come to think of it, there aren't many female monster faced balls (girls like gross stuff too!).
Rigor Mortis Smurf. Done! I think that may be my best pun this week. Frankensmurf or Smurfenstein were also considered. This one's my favorite of the bunch. He looks really sinister and gross. The standard big/small eye are present and I really like the crappy grin he has! This also reminds me of that sweet Unicef commerical!

These are great and Chris has them for sale on his website, so go get 'em!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

His Face Sucks

"No Comment"

Remember the wonderous world of vending machine toys? When you had to suffer through a trip to the grocery store (even though riding in the cart was really fun) with your mom or dad, you most likely got some small compensation in the form of a 25¢ piece of plastic. I'm discovering, a surprising abundance of quarter machine knock offs were Madball related.. Maybe it's not so surprising. The Super Bouncing Bad Bad Balls were just the right size, as were plenty of those other mini balls and the Euro mini Madballs are a modern take on that (but $1 instead of a 25¢). What we have today is a weirder monster.

These dudes are floppy rubber suction cup backed replicas of Madball faces. There's no attempt at all at creativity or expanding on the concept, these are straight stolen. I'm assuming so. There are no markings whatsoever on any of these guys. No, TCFC, no date, no Amtoy...nothin'. However, the molds and likenesses are really good! Definitely a step above the Foul Balls, and Super Bouncing Weird Balls of the time.
The paint jobs are awful, but that adds to the grotesqueness of them. Slobulus is gross enough green, but that pale white rubber with garish splashes of red for his mouth and hair make me queazy. Horn Head's white puckery eye isn't a treat to look at either. Actually, this rendition of Oculus Orbus may be one of the most truly disgusting monter face balls I've ever encountered. The texture and coloring conjures up images of Schwarzenegger plucking his eye out in Terminator, or a real sheeps eye. Ugh...
The one downside of these is that they don't retain their original shape very well and considering they've been crammed in quarter machine "eggs" for decades, it's no shock to see some are a bit lopsided.
In conclusion, these are cool! They're available cheap from some dude on Ebay (which I can't find right now, but these were still for sale a little while ago), and well worth it if you're into Madballs or quarter machine toys.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Blood On the Ice

"Obnoxious and Gross!"

I've never used my Madballs for sport. As a kid they would get thrown AT someone but never to them, or they played the part of giant spherical monsters that Cobra employed to constantly harass G.I. Joes with barf and boogers. As an adult, my Madballs (and rip offs...don't ever forget the rip offs) sit majestically on shelves as an homage to children's gross out culture of the 1980's (one nickel will get you into the Bukowski Madball Museum). Point being, they never got tossed around in a game of catch or baseball, they were usually used mischevously. TCFC designed a toy that would be perfect for misbehaving little boys and girls. We all knew instinctively to peg little Jimmy in the back of the head with Oculus Orbus or try to get the bolt on Touchdown Terror's nose (the hardest part) to hit your sister directly in the spine. Well, this hockey stick made in conjunction with the 2007 Madball line is a testament to the spirit of misbehavior.
That's right. A padded hockey stick (and puck) with monster faces printed on it! You could use it to pretend you're on the ice in your parents living room, but most likely you'll be thwapping someone in the back of the knees with this bad boy!
Sal got me this at a Marshall's (of all places!) as a surprise. I was super pumped because this harkens back to the days of Madball merchandising mania (folders, lunchboxes, cups, mugs, sleeping bags) where their ugly likenesses were plastered on anything and everything. The more I thought of it, though, the more disappointed I am that this wasn't more like the Gruesome Creatures wiffle bats. Those were molded plastic with HUGE monster faces on them. Kinda like Madballs but in bat form. It would be really cool if TCFC broke the baseball/football mold and started making pucks, basketball hoops, etc with sculpted monster faces. Oh well.
This set is fun and I'm sure any nerdy kid would love it. It's not the sturdiest thing in the world (which is good for whoever's on the receiving end of it) but it's cool because it's basically a vehicle for the sweet Madball design art. Repvile takes center stage, with his ugly mug occupying boths sides of the puck, and the stick is graced with the revamped versions of Slobulus, Skull Face, and Screamin' Meemie !
Upon closer inspection, it looks like this set was made this year and by Kellytoy who make nothing else I want. It is encouraging to see that Madball merch is still being made. Maybe that Series 3 really will come out....sigh.

In conclusion, pretty fun. Mostly for the absurdity of what it is and where it was found. I really do wish it was sculpted though. Thanks Sal!!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Journey Into the Unknown Part 2: This Time It's Personal

"No Comment...Again"

In the A Journey Into the Unknown post from a month ago, I showed you a bunch of iconic fake Madballs. Rip offs that are almost as ubiquitous as their predecessors. Today, we go into the dark bowers of Madballs domain, the slimy underbelly of Orb. These are rip offs that aren't part of any series, have no morals, usually no manufacturing markings and can even be knock offs of knock offs. Welcome to the dark side of Madball collecting.
First up is one of my favorite fakes ever! Let's call him Dracenstein (that's right I'll be naming these anonymous creeps!). He's made from Sadball inflatable rubber and painted in only 3 colors, but he's sculpted really well! I also like the Frankenstein/Dracula combo. Fangs and stitches go together really well...who woulda thought!? He's also got some cool touches like the one bug eye and the volcano-esque warts under his chin. Dracenstein is simple enough that he's not a mess to look at (Slobulus) with lovingly crafted details to make him interesting.

Ohhhhh man. Here we go. This guy is a jerk. He's a rip off of a rip off (a combo of Weird Balls Wart Hog and Worm Skull), and he's made out of a really crappy material. Not Madball foam and not Sadball rubber, Wart-worm is made of a hollow, semi-rigid plastic that makes him really unfun to play with...not that I play with these..oh whatever. Like you can't throw him at your brother's head or step on him at all without causing permanent dents or chipping. The paint comes right off this dude. Like Slobulus, he's got too much goin on. The elements they stole from both Weird Balls are cool on their own but its hard for me to tell what I'm looking at now that they're all crammed onto one tiny football.
Up next we have two MORE imitations of imitations. We'll name them Allergic Reaction and Ghost Mummy.
Allergic Reaction is most definitely a poor attempt at a Shrink Head Weird Ball but molded in the same semi-rigid plastic as Wart-worm. He's really bad. Just poorly designed, no flourishes and an odd choice of colors. I prefer Shrink Head, but when Josh finds this guy for you in a flea market bin for a dollar you can't go wrong!
Ghost Mummy is where things get weird. The dude on the left is Fantasma from the La Pelota Del Terror Argentinian line. Ghost Mummy is the same exact sculpt but inflated more, made from a different rubber and painted better. He's pretty neat, but I prefer the crappier Argentinian dude. He's funnier.
Now what really makes things weird is Purple People Eater. Though he's barely painted (and what's there is sloppy) he's a really cool mold! However....
These dudes look kinda similar. Which is making me question which dudes came first. The Pelota Del Terror guys or this unknown purple freak. He's rendered better and with more care but painted poorly and, as far as I can tell, not part of a series. They both have the same mouth, nose and eyebrows! Yeah they don't look too similar in the above pic but the paint and color of the rubber may be throwing you off. Check this out..
Broncudo has a weird worm on his head in the same spot that Purple People Eater has that hitchhiking gecko. They also have those "worms" breaking out of their skulls right in front of their ears. The stitches are in different places but they're there. It almost looks like someone got hold of Purple People Eater and imitated him in a rush OR someone got a hold of Broncudo and saw his glorious gross potential and took the time to make him better. Either way I'm confused.
Get ready for really bizarre now. John McEnblow is pretty gross with his pink skin, huge irregular teeth and bulging eye. What really puts him over the top is the disgusting bundle of bloody tendons falling out of his eye socket! Ew! They're all red and shiny. It grosses me out. He gets his name cus I think he's supposed to be some sort of athlete. The headband is giving me that impression. Yeah, he's got a headband, that's cool. But it's not as cool as this...
BAM! Just give ol' Johnny a squeeze and out pops his balloon tongue! What?! Yeah it's odd. He's a little smaller than a Madball so maybe the manufacturers thought they had to jazz him up a bit...with a balloon tongue. Again, no markings so I guess I'll just have to dream of more of these, cus this guy rules.
Haha! I always forget about this guy cus he's the Eeyore of Sadballs. Just a goofy nerd that's put together poorly and everyone ignores. We'll call him Winnie the Puke. He's some sort of lizard with fangs and the standard Madball asymmetrical bug eyes. But he's also got a weird exposed skull with veins on it? Or it's a white brain? Or it's just poorly made? Yep! That's it. I do like this guy despite his faults. Mostly because of that lackadaisical look. I'd pet him.
Last but not least are two dudes from an unknown series. I scored these idiots over at Monster Collectibles. Unlike the rest of this motley crew they actually have names! On the left is Vampire Vinny and on the right is Freaky Fred. I personally think they got the names mixed cus the dude on the right totally looks like a nosferatu!

Both these guys are really cool, filled with gross details and painted really well with lots of colors. Vampire Vinny's puffy eyes really disturb me as does Freaky Fred's big warty nose. While Freaky Fred looks like a gross old Dracula, Vampire Vinny doesn't look like anything I've ever seen before. Maybe a mutant human/insect hybrid? Look at those jacked teeth!
Both of them have their names and "Emson" stamped on their hinders but Google searches have yielded little information about the makers. It makes me sad because they seem to be part of team whose other members I want to own and put on a shelf!

In conclusion, cool and suck but overall cool. There's a lot of these mystery monsters out there and some are poorly made while others have the love and horror of an actual Madball put into them but all are great examples of the 80's gross out phenomena. Even the really really bad ones tend to be funny. So, happy hunting, and let me know if you have any info on these dorks or spy any others!