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

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Unwanted and unloved...

"No Comment"
So there's a little story that goes with this weeks grossos. Not even a story, a blurb really. When I found these guys on ebay, there were two lots of them from the same seller, each lot with 10 balls. They both looked the same so I randomly picked one and bid $4. Then I notice a note from the seller in the description that said (and I'm paraphrasing here, because the auction has been removed) "I don't know why anyone would want these but if you must have them feel free to bid". HA!
I thought that was the extent of the seller's hatred for these dudes until I won and received both lots in the mail! I guess no one bid on the second lot and he couldn't stand to have them around his house, glaring at him and mocking him with their awfulness.

I mean they are weird and ugly but not that bad. When they arrived they were mostly loose but a few were still in their mesh net packaging and there were a couple with the tags on.

Novelty Inc. , a company from Greenfield, Indiana is the responsible party but I'll cut them some slack because it looks like monster headed balls aren't their usual market. They make christian trinkets, energy drinks and smoking accessories. Huh? Anyway, they really did just churn these dudes out and move on. Only three sculpts, no packaging and no names. Like someone at the factory got coerced into making them. Obligation fulfilled, now leave me alone. First off, we have a dude I'll call Randy. He's kinda just a guy with some stitches and a flat-top. Like the rest this guy is soft squeezable rubber that was filled with slime. So when you applied pressure the slime would push out the holes in his eyes and mouth. After years of sitting on a shelf, not only has the rubber hardened but the slime is now just a tacky glistening ball.

Anyway, Other than his cauliflower ear, there's not much to this dude. His features are distorted enough that I don't find him boring but he's not a monster.
This next guy is a cool skull. He was in some sort of accident that knocked out a tooth, cracked his top, exposing his brain and gave him little cuts all over his skull.....which bled. Wait? What? Despite his slime holes, you can see he was once a blue eyed boy...but wait, what's that under his eye then? It can't be an eyeball cus, he's still got those. Well it looks like a Cadburry Egg with the top cut off. Either that or it's a piece of...oops. Let's call him Brown Eye. I may make fun of the logic of it, but the details and lopsidedness are actually pretty appealing. Frankensloth is our final subject and my favorite. He looks like some disgusting orc from Lord Of the Rings. The oversized tear drop eyes and the wagging blue tongue are really gnarly but what gets me the most are those teeth. Horribly blackened gums and tiny pegs of teeth barely breaking the skin. Ew.

In conclusion, these dudes are kinda simple but neat, especially when you consider how much detail is crammed onto such a small space (1.5" diameter). I don't think you'll be able to find them anywhere but if you really want one I can part with a few. After all I have 20!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Crossover Madness!!

Hey dudes, I just realized I forgot to post a link to this awesome toy crossover. Toypedia (an excellent site you should bookmark) did a feature on Eraser Bouncing Bad Bad Balls! I reshot them for the post so you should check it out for some more detailed pics. Also, check back regularly for all your tiny rubber toy needs.

Monday, March 21, 2011


"They Retch It! You Catch It!"

Hey dudes! I know it's been a really, long time but I've been super busy with art. That doesn't mean that I've been slacking on the Madballs/ripoffs collecting front. On the contrary, I've scored some awesome bootlegs in the past few months that will make their way on to this blog soon enough. In the meantime, I wanted to do a special deluxe post for my 1 year anniversary of blogging. So.....I present you with the closest thing to an "official" Madballs ripoff...BLURP BALLS!!!What makes them "official" is that they were designed (soley) by James Groman, one of the designers of the original Madballs series and the 2007 reboot (not to mention Food Fighters and Barnyard Commandos). Ertl (famous for toy trucks) brought Blurp Balls to the table in the mid 90's way after the gross out trend had died but they tried to expand on the idea by adding projectiles into the mix. Essentially, making the toys barf or blurp.

These things are slightly larger than Madballs and the material is similar to the soft rubber of Sadballs but a little more durable, which allows better paint jobs.
I managed to get my hands on two of these dudes MOC but as you can see the packaging leaves a lot to be desired. There's huge amounts of open space, the text is blocky and irregular. It just all seems dated. And that drawing...ugh. It reminds me of some 4th tier Image comic that would have a preview in the back of Shadowhawk.
The back is simple in a good way but still...that orange..oof! The back provides pics of the rest of the dudes, and that's where the real joy is. While the packaging may suck, the toys themselves are amazing. They even have funny names like Count Heave-a-heart!
As with any toy that fires a projectile there are some hilarious warnings. I mean, they're soft rubber nubs that shoots out of a ball when you squeeze it, how bad could that hurt you?

Before we get to our actual fiendish friends, I have another version of the packaging for you. This one is an Italian card that I scored from an online toystore. Everything about the toys is exactly the same and the Ertl name is still present but there's another company (perhaps just Italian distributor?) named Giochi Preziosi stamped all over the thing. They've replace the garish orange with a technicolor swirl that I somehow like better?

I know this is gonna sound like I'm making a joke, but I swear to you that the Italian one smelled like cheese when I opened it up.
Babel Fish is basically useless, so I have no name translations for you, although, I'm pretty sure Vampir is just Vampire. Teeth Something, Shark Something, Something Cat...that's all I got. Let's get to it then, shall we?
Biff Barfball is the first one up (get it?). He's probably my least favorite because he's kinda just a guy that got beat up and then caught a cold but went to baseball practice anyway. He's not a zombie or a monster or a messed up animal. Just a dude. I guess it's cool that he swallowed that ball, and he is sculpted very well. All of these have an astonishing (that's right, astonishing) amount of detail.

Here's his blurp (I don't know, what would you call it?!) up close. It's a baseball and it's got his teeth embedded in it as well as splashes of blood on the top and bottom.'s ok but kinda boring. I guess the teeth gross me out a little because I think of getting hit in the mouth with a baseball. My second favorite is the immaculate Count Heave-a-heart. A super wrinkley vampire with pointy ears a bad complexion, and beady little yellow eyes! Despite all the spiders, cobwebs and bats clinging to him, the Count still find time to dress nicely with a purple high collared jacket and dress shirt with skull cufflinks. I wish I looked that good. Oh check out those sideburns too!!
That's all well and good but what makes nasty nosferatu even better is that his blurp is an anatomical heart!! This is actually pretty accurate for its scale and material and even has muscle ridges and veins!Normally I wouldn't really care for monster balls that are modeled after animals but Croaky Bugchuck here is really disgusting. He's dripping with ooze from his mouth, he's covered in bugs and the texture of the rubber he's made out of almost make it feel like you're holding a real frog. Weird! I especially like the contrast of the dark green skin and light yellow eyes. Nice touch.
Croaky's blurp is by far my favorite. It's a gross little fly with huge red eyes and a puckered purple sucker. No shortcuts here, all six legs are present and he's clinging onto some awful black snotball or something. Ewww!
Skulls are always popular, especially when it comes to monster faced balls. Boney Tossteeth is the Blurp Ball version and it's a cool one! He's still got eyes deep in his sockets which is a plus and somehow his brains are coming out through the bottom of his skull?! Not only that but there's a rattle snake in there!! WHAT?! How and why does that happen?! While those are all confusing components, what really throws me for a loop is how a skull has lips, and why is he spitting his flesh covered teeth at me!?Maybe these are supposed to be dentures but I get the impression that they're a separate part of his anatomy that can launch at will! This cheesy smelling dude is my favorite. I love dinosaurs. I also love false history where dinosaurs and cavemen hung out. Tyrannosaurus Retch is an amazing example of all that. He's gorgeously molded and very highly detailed, with a lizard and dragonfly on his back, bumpy ridges and scaled all over him and a spear stuck in his hide! I'm really into how his arms, legs and tail all tuck underneath him to retain the ball shape.
His blurp is also really detailed on par with the fly. A little caveman holding his nose and wearing a Flintstones style one piece! YES! Look at his tongue flapping in the wind! I've already made up my own story about how these two wound up together but I won't share it and ruin it for you. Come up with your own!Retch-a-rat Tomcat is similar to Croaky Bugchuck but not as gnarly. He honestly just looks like some of the strays in my neighborhood, which is sad not cool. I do love the detail of his fur and paw pads but hes honestly a little boring. I think I do like the animal ones but this one isn't doing it for me.

However, his blurp is really amazing. He's a cute little rat with a bandaide on his butt! I'm sure he was so filthy that even that disgusting tomcat had to spit him out. The look on his face! Love!Last but not least is the best of the animal designs. Sharky Skullsquirt wins points just for being a shark but he's also really well designed. He's covered in wrinkles and jabbed with a hook and a harpoon (we won't talk about the really poorly rendered blob-of-a-lamprey on his butt) as well as drooling blood all over hmself!

His blurp is amazing too. A skull (with eyes again....I love that) of a diver, maybe the d-bag that tried to harpoon him and failed.

Before I wrap this up, I thought I'd show you some close ups of some of the more impressive monsters so you could see why I'm so impressed. In conclusion...DO IT! These toys are really amazing and surpass most nonbootleg monster ball toys. The level of intricacy and design are top notch. James Groman's signature gross-out style come delivers the goods. Not to mention they hold up really well due to the rubber they're made out of.

As much as I love these dudes, it's hard for me to recommend them to other collectors solely for the fact that they are super expensive. Most of the ones I've seen on ebay MOC are $75. Most of mine I hunted down in vintage toy stores, message board trades, and craigslist. That's actually a funny story.

I google-searched "Blurp Ball Craigslist" and actually found a listing for Retch-a-rat Tomcat and Croaky Bugchuck from some dude in Rochester, NY who was asking for $10 for both! Not only did the purchase go smoothly but I also discovered he's in a power metal band called Children Of The New Sun!!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Journey Into the Unknown Part 3: Motley Spew

If you guys have been reading this blog for the past few weeks, you know that I had a very fruitful two month Sadball hunt. For some unknown reason ebay has been a gold mine for the crud. A crud mine. Working in the crud mine. Ummmm....anyway, this week's post is gonna be dedicated to seven (!) inflatable rubber Sadballs I scored in December and January. Most of these dudes I'd never even seen before they were auctioned, but there's a few that I'd been coveting for a lonnnnngggg time. Either way, get ready for some bad made up pun names.
First off is one of the dudes I've been eyeballing since I started collecting Mad/Sadballs. I initially saw him in a pic on the Skullbrain board of a bin of Madballs at the Mishka headquarters. I have absolutely no idea what the hell this guy is or what line he's from but there's been rumors that he's from some sort of Ghostbusters line? Google searches have provided little info and by little I mean none. Despite his elusiveness, he's awesome and I shall name him Face Face! I love the two faces, and not just double faces but faces that share an eye! It's like a Frankenstein but not stitched together. More like he's grown that way as some sort of orange mutant! He does have stitches, but not sewn together ones. He was probably in a bad car accident and got fixed up. I suppose driving with three eyes would give you a better view, but maybe not. I'm glad he's ok. This dude (Pain Toad!) is amazing! I absolutely love him, like I would marry him if I were a Madball. He's well painted, sculpted and has beautiful eyes. Wait, what?! Is that a frog in his freakin' eye!? Yes, yes it is. I mean that frog is genius. Without it he'd be another Argh mimic, but with it, he's got an amazing mysterious back story. Was he on a joy ride in a convertible and a toad slapped him in the peeper? That would explain his grimace and car accident stitches. Why are they all driving? None of them have arms? I should rethink my theories.
Next up, is a toothy Skull Face imitation. I'd seen him only one other time in a huge overpriced ebay lot but admired his exaggerated smile, buck teeth and horrible head gash. Seriously, it looks like someone's making meatballs in a wound. That's nasty. I probably wouldn't have called him out as knock off if it weren't for those eyes. He's got lips and even veins on his head, but the keyhole shape sockets is one of the Skull Face's signature features. I mean, either way its a pretty cool stylization of a skull and very well designed and painted. I'm having trouble namin-wait! Brain Ball Bill! Yes!
Toot-enkamen here is obviously an homage to our dear friend Dust Brain. He doesn't have as much detail but I enjoy the crisp edges of his paintjob and the fact that his one eye is all out of whack. He must've had some serious birth defect, because that thing is way high and poppin' out through the bandage! Not to mention they're both weeping rust colored goo, even the squinty one. The ancient Egyptians may not have had proper eye care but dang did they have good dentists. Look at those pristine chompers! Well, there's some gaps, but they're beautifully white and square.
Our new friend actually isn't that new. We talked about him a few posts ago in a smaller format. I just had no idea they made a full sized version of him. Weird.
I'm naming this sorry nerd Snaggle Fink due to his prodigious incisor and his ho-hum appearance. Not much goin on here. Just a green dude with a chip on his shoulder. I still like him though..
Actually, I felt similarly about Winnie the Puke here. I don't know if they're from the same line but they have a lot in common. Snaggle Fink is completely new to me. I only know he exists because a fellow collector on Little Rubber Guys sent him to me out of the kindness of his heart. Or because he knows I'm an idiot that gets really excited about stupid balls. These last two are two of my favorites out of this recent haul. Full of detail, gross barfy colors, odd accoutrement. You know, when you go out on the town you need your dressy bat hat and centipede veil. This guys is obviously yet another Skull Face rip off but there's so much flare and weirdness. Honestly, the more I look at that hideous color and that deformed ear, the more I wanna barf. Which is the point.
This handsome fellow is a bit familiar though. We looked at his striking younger brother in the same post as Toot-enkamen's sibling. Yup, it's a giant Trog! He stole my heart as a ping pong sized grosso and now he's doing it as a regular ball sized dude. Up close, and with this paint job, he also bears a resemblance to Purple People Eater, to the point that I'm almost positive that they're from the same manufacturer. Last but certainly not least is this bizarre, football shaped moron. I love Gridiron Grin but jeez what a weirdo. He's got those lazy grape shaped eyes, that tiny nose, and those bizarre domino teeth. But seriously, the most disgusting part is the double set of lips. What sick weirdo would think of that and make me look at it? I hate/love it. As with all these acquisitions, Gridiron has no markings. There's no "Made In", no manufacturer stamp, no date, nothin. Mysterious indeed.

In conclusion....don't try to get stuff like this cus you'll probably be bidding against me on ebay and that pisses me off. Seriously though, I think there's another Brain Ball Bill up right now and he's well worth the price. Go for it!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


"No Comment"

Madballs. Their existence prompted so many forgeries by so many no name companies trying to make a quick buck, that it boggles the mind. To this day I still uncover monster balls that I had never seen before. They inspired a staggering plethora of mimicry, making the gross-face-ball collector sigh in frustration. And while the copies similar in shape and size are plenty enough, there's the smaller bouncy balls to contend with too. And as I recently discovered. The microscopic!

A member of the Littlerubberguys forum posted that she had a bunch of these Sadball beads for sale and I hopped on it. Each one is about half and inch in diameter and has a hole on one side and a peg on the other so you can string them together as a necklace when you go to your next debutante (mad)ball.
There are eight different characters here, some varying slightly and most recognizable from other sets and series. It's not the character design here that's impressive, it's the sheer tininess! These are the smallest Madball ripoffs I've ever encountered!
Ok, so our first friend is a very surprised pink ape that I'm dubbing Gore-illa. I really like this design (especially the fangs) and I've never seen this design before! I'm really shocked that there aren't more gorilla themed sadballs. Secondovly, is a screwy vampire-ish guy. He's not really that special but an ok monster. Bug eyes, gnarly teeth..the usual. We can call him...Nosferatooth. His neighbor is a generic Argh rip off, so he doesn't get named. Be more original if you want a name, nerd! Argh forgeries are always fun though so I can't completely hate on him. The detail is there at least, which is impressive for dudes this small. They're all highly rendered.
This dental duo are variations on the Skull Face theme. The blue dude being more of an outright copy than the yellow. Bone Brain, as I'll call him, has more of a lip that Skull Face and one eye in a large socket and an empty smaller hole on the left. He's even got a vestigial nose. Still, not the most impressive alterations but a nod for trying.
Our last trio starts off with a pair of Dust Brain copies. Like the Skull Face ones, the first is an exact (though tiny) duplicate, while the other has subtle changes. Band Ache (ooh I like that one) is a little more rotten and has less bandages. His teeth are less perfect as well, making him look like a putrid mummy rather than a dry one. Last but not least, is this fake Horn Head. He looks extra familiar because he's not only a Horn Head rip off but a copy of this dude we covered a few weeks ago.
He's got those same bulgy eyes, a nose that grows out of his palette, gap teeth, and that odd sunshine design on his forehead. Unlike, his big brother he's got ears and an actual horn, but neither are cyclopses.

In conclusion...get these! They're fun, cheap, really well sculpted with more detail than they ought to have. You can try here at Sherrie's store Kinikumart. I'm not sure if they're still up but she's really nice so inquire!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Mystery Of Ep-ick Proportions!

"Collecte 12"

Hey dudes! I've got a sweet mystery for you this week. Actually, it's not a mystery as much as an observation, because I solved the mystery part already. It's probably not that interesting of a story either, unless you're into fake Madballs...which, if you subscribe this blog, you are!
This duo of bouncy blasphemies were auctioned off separately by the same seller on eBay and advertised as unopened, mint condition Madball knock-offs called Odd Balls. I've seen Odd Balls before and they're usually the six original Sadballs repackaged. I had never seen either of these molds before so I attacked those auctions with nerdy force. And prevailed!

When they arrived, I got a sneaking suspicion that these weren't Odd Balls after all. I mean I've seen those Sadballs packaged as Horror Balls and Monster Balls but it's always the same six guys. So the new designs were my first clue but then also.... the packages had been opened then restapled.
I can't necessarily blame the seller for this because a company set on bootlegging Madballs probably doesn't have any scruples when it comes to repacking stuff. But I also notice that the Odd Balls card says "Odd Balls are re-inflatable". Well, these guys are not, they're straight up foam. The final nail in the coffin was vague sense of familiarity. The Horn Head specifically. In my many "rip off Madballs", "imitation Madballs", "fake Madballs" google image searches, I came across the above image, from an X-entertainment article about monster balls. I remember gazing at the vertical two eyed Horn Head (aka K-6) with longing. It's a cool design! To further prove my point, I'll ask the jury to look at exhibit K-1, who's unique head injury matches our "Odd Ball" exactly! We have Krazy Balls in the guise of Odd Balls in the guise of Madballs! Ohhhh the villainy!!

Anyway, check this crap out! This guy rules!! Known in monster circles as K-6, he's obviously gunning for Horn Head's position in the gross ball world. It's too bad he's so budget though. While, I love the two vertical eyes design, it's not executed with much precision. It kinda looks like a brain damaged 8 year old drew a Madball and had no capital for production. I do like the blobby brains coming out of the back of his head but that's not enough to make him good.
Oooofa! When you look at them side by side you can really see why AmCo garnered all that praise from kids looking for something gross. The detail and refinement is unparalleled (aside from Rude Ralph and Weird Balls). K-6 is painted without the subtle gradients that Horn Head displays. You can also see the teeth not only go back in space but have gums showing. K-6's are clumsy triangles and that's all.

I should say that despite all this bashing I am quite fond of these dummies. They have a vulgar charm all their own. And I have to applaud them for trying to elaborate on an idea rather than just stealing one. Next up, K-1. This dude is kind of a counterfeit Crack Head but in subject matter only. They're both victims of some sort of horrid beating or accident but they don't really look alike. K-1 has a garish vacant tooth smile and one long stitched wound bisecting his face. He's also got hair and...gulp...that disgusting gash on his head! That's really the perk that sells this jerk. The bunched up skull in the front and the straight smooth divot from front to back...ew. It almost looks like someone was looking at actual corpses while they designed this. Maybe Tom Savini drew it up or something.
Again, you can see the contrast in quality from one to the other. The paint variations and accuracy are so beautiful on Crack Head and K-1 looks like garbage! Totally unprepared for the photo shoot!

In conclusion....if you can get these guys as either Krazy Balls or Odd Balls you should. You shouldn't pay a ton, but they're a great addition to any knock off collection. Way better than Super Bouncing Weird Balls, Foul Balls and even some of the smaller knock offs Krazy Balls have a unpolished allure much like Sadballs. Happy hunting nerds!