Synopsis of Toy
“Gross! Ghastly! Freaky Fun For Everyone!”
The ads and packaging said you could bounce them, toss them, and catch them, but come on… any bargain-bin ball could do all that. There was only one reason to buy a Madball, and it had nothing to do with bounciness or catchability. The things were just flat-out disgusting, and to a generation in love with Garbage Pail Kids and other assorted grosseries, that was all any ad had to say.
Pus, goo, stitches, blood, exposed brains, bloodshot eyes… you know you loved it, and the Madballs had it all. AmToy unveiled these sultans of sick in 1985, originally delivering eight Madballs to the youth of America: nose-ring-wearing cyclops Horn Head, decrepit mummy Dust Brain, the aptly-named Skull Face, cracked-open Crack Head, psychotic baseball Screamin’ Meemie, bloodshot eyeball Oculus Orbus, green drooler Slobulus and the one they called Aargh—he of the missing eye, stitched head and blue skin.
The fact that none of the Madballs had bodies (Oculus Orbus didn’t even have a full head) only made them more disturbing, which only made them more attractive to the kids. Before long, the Madballs were renaissance men, branching out into several side businesses: new Madballs were introduced (including “Badballs” Wolf Breath, Bruise Brother and Lock Lips), gross joke books and other Madball literary classics were issued, a cartoon special was produced, and Marvel’s Star Comics line issued a comic book series, playing up the Madballs’ twisted sense of humor as they battled Doctor Frankenbeans and his sidekick Snivelitvch.
The toys kept coming over the next few years—Super Madballs like worm-eyed basketball Foul Shot and angry football Touchdown Terror, plus a Mad Rollercycle (how they drove said vehicle was anyone’s guess)—but by the end of the 80’s, the gross-out brigade had moved on to new and more repulsive things. Even so, many a young man’s heart holds a special place for Fist Face, Swine Sucker, Freaky Fullback and their kin. So rest easy, you putrescent balls of filth, and know that you’re still loved.
Release History of Toy1985 - Madballs
1986 - Super Madballs