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

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!

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Ball To Arms!!

"Wild Bizarre Bounce!"

First things first. I should apologize for my current photo set up. I broke the bulb in the lamp I usually use so I have to use Jeanne's super high powered Gremlin thwarting light. It works but it casts some crazy shadows. I'll get a new bulb and pics for the next post should be better.
You can see what I have to work with here, and why it's so hard to get a picture without hair in it. That's Vinegar and luckily he has no interest in Madballs other than when I'm photographing them. Enough talk about stuff that isn't balls. Jeez!
This week, we have an awesome Xmas score from eBay. I found these Bizarre Balls while present hunting and managed to grab an entire set for $2! I had never even seen these dudes before the auction so...yay!

They arrived in a box with the manufacturer's logo on it, making me think an ex-employee was ditching some basement surplus. You can see a pic in this post.
Look at that 90's graphic design! Holy crap the colors! Swirls and explosions and that notebook print's like the opening credits to Saved By the Bell or a Trapper Keeper on acid!

I do love the mascot/logo of the Cool Products Corp. A little ice cube with shades? Yup. It's cool figuratively and literally.
Looking at the back you can tell Cool Products took this stuff seriously. Not only are there multiple characters, but they've all got names and drawings. They even tried to branch out from the other guys by adding new types of monsters and putting twists on the standards (eyeball, smiling guy). Not only that but they went all out and added......gasp....arms!

I usually like my balls to be just balls (ha!), but this is a pretty cool innovation on what, at the time, was a toy line that seemed to be dead. They're also smaller than a Madball (1.5" in diameter) and made of bouncing ball rubber. Good job Cool Products!
First up is Eye Gore. I want to take a second to appreciate how awesome that name is. It's a double pun, playing off both eye sore and Igor while adding a gruesome twist.

Soooo.....this guy is pretty neat. He's a standard eyeball bouncy ball, with lots of details in the blood vessels and a little highlight painted on his iris, but all the good stuff is in his arms. They got a surprising amount of detail in essentially two dimensional appendages. Much like the Oculus Orbus head popper, Eye Gore's arms have no skin. Just muscle and tendons. Twisty muscles and tendons with gnarled up hands and the end! Sweet!
Mutiny here is my favorite of the bunch. This was before Madballs had introduced Blech Beard, so this is a new monster face ball character. Not bad for a fourth rung rip off line. His face is really neat with lots of details like stitches, an earring, an eyepatch and cracked teeth. Those teeth are really cool. I love the way that color green pops on the red. This guys arms may win the neatest prize. One's a muscly hook arm and the other one is a skeleton arm! Ahhhhhhh! So good.
Snorrreeeee....I could do without this guy. He's supposed to be a punk or extreme sports dude or some such malarky. Well, his name's Punky, so I guess they were goin for punk. There's nothing really gross about him or monstrous aside for his beartrap green teeth. Not even stitches...even the lamest of fake Madballs have stitches. He's actually lacking on detail altogether. Meh, I'd've chosen another monster design instead of this garbage. I hope the designer of this dude reads this and cries.
Yaaaaayyyyy!!!! That's what this guy looks like he's yelling! I'm into him! he's not a monster in the normal sense but he's beat up and kinda sculpted the way Garbage Pail Kids are drawn. Swollen shut eye, a bunch of stitches, missing teeth and a giant crazy grin. That's what I like to see! His arms are kinda boring but I suppose the gloves really push the boxer thing and set him aside from a guy that just got beat up. And being from Philadelphia, I have to give Rocky some extra points for the name.
Cool, stylish, simple....classic. Frank, isn't breaking new ground but he's really well designed and sculpted. He's full of wrinkles, covered in stitches and I love those jack-o-lantern teeth. His arms are kinda lame, though. I wonder if they ran out of "arm budget" after they drew up Eye Gore and Mutiny. They have the coolest ones. It is kinda fun to make them high five each other...wait, what? No, I didn't do that. HIGH FIVE FRANKENSTEIN!!
Ok, now we're getting weird. This is just strange. I think he's supposed to be a riff on Screamin' Meemie but they just went all teeth. Like, so much teeth that they had to put dude's eyes on the back of the ball! His teeth aren't even cracked or fangs or discolored. Just huge! Oh, and he's giving us the peace/victory sign with both hands. Maybe he's Nixon inspired? I can't really say what the heck is goin on with Smiley but I think I like him. I wouldn't vote for him though.
Check out this dude's butt. The 90's for sure. Cool Products were classy. They put their stamp on each of these dudes unlike Super Bouncing Weird Balls (bane of my toy collecting existence) or Foul Balls who any of the nameless imitations that couldn't be bothered. It's nice to see someone take pride in their work. It's the monster face ball factories that power America! Well, China, and Taiwan I guess....sighhhhh.

This was right before the internet was invented so there's no website for the Cool Products Corp. and Google searches yield nothing. I hope they're somewhere still making cool products and putting as much love into them as they did these bouncy bruisers.

In conclusion...these are great! If you can get your hands on them, go for it. They hold up pretty well, they're full of detail, painted well and are an original spin on an old idea.