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!!!