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A blog showcasing photos and basic information on various strange monster toys, with a focus on mini figures (or little rubber guys) Such as MUSCLE men and Monster in My Pocket
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    When most collectors think of weird little wrestling mini figures from the '80s, they think of MUSCLE. But there's actually a similarly-themed toy line with a copyright year that predates the release of MUSCLE in the U.S. This set is called Musclemania, a rather obscure release that first came out in 1984 from a company called Select Merchandise, Inc.

    I've briefly posted about Musclemania in the past, but I've since completed my set, so figured it was time for a more detailed post.


    This is a really interesting line for many reasons:
    • MATERIAL:  The figures were released in multiple kinds of plastic/rubber. What I believe are the initial 12 sculpts (pictured at the top of this post), are most commonly found in a firm-yet-flexible soft plastic. I believe all or at least some of these sculpts, in addition to 12 other sculpts (pictured lower in this post), were also released in a super soft, stretchy rubber. To make things even more complicated, I have also seen figures in a harder plastic.
    • TIMELINE:  The timeline around when these different kinds of figures released is muddy. I believe that the initial 12 soft plastic figures came out in 1984, and that the stretchy versions--including the 12 new sculpts--were released around 1986.
    • PACKAGING:  Musclemania figures seem to have been sold in both 12-packs and 4-packs. Based on what I've seen online over the years, I believe 4-packs and 12-packs were released in 1986 and contained the 12 "new" sculpts plus the previous 12 sculpts in stretchy rubber. I remember getting some of the 4-packs as a kid at Toys R Us in the late '80s. In my research, I still have not found out how the earlier, 1984 soft plastic figures were released. To my knowledge there hasn't been a packaging photo for the earlier figures found online. 
    • SCULPTS:  Some of the figures look like they were sculpted to originally hold weapons, suggesting the theme might not have originally been wrestlers. Perhaps they were meant to be fantasy/space-themed toys, and then Select changed course to make them wrestlers to get in on a growing interest in wrestling among kids?
    • COLORS:  The firmer figures seem to have been released in red, light blue, yellow, green, and translucent green. I'm not sure exactly how the trans green factored into assortments, but figures in that color seem to be more uncommon than the others. The stretchy figures came in light flesh, green, blue, and red. 
    So all these years later there are still many unanswered questions with Musclemania. It's a bit of a mystery, which probably adds to its appeal.

    Here's a closer look at what I consider to be the 12 initial sculpts. My favorites are the stranger, more monstrous guys, like the fish dude and gator/lizard-like dude. Note that two of the green figures are standard green and one is the translucent green.


    And shown below are four of the 12 additional sculpts, in the stretchy rubber. These later sculpts have a distinct difference in design from the first 12. They were clearly designed to be more normal-looking wrestlers, eliminating the monster/space-like attributes that some of the first 12 figures have. This further supports the theory that the 12 first figures were originally planned to have a different theme, and that the 12 additional sculpts came later, after the wrestling theme had already been established and sold via the initial figures.


    A curiosity that popped up recently is a set of Korean Musclemania figures in bright, transparent colors. These are assumed to be bootlegs, but I don't think much is known about them aside from the fact that the seller who discovered them bought them in large bunches in a plain plastic bags. The clear colors are yellow, pink, purple, and blue, and green (green is not pictured here). Only the 12 later sculpts are included, but the material is very close to that of the 1984 figures--soft plastic, not squishy rubber. I am glad to have these 12 sculpts in this firmer material, because the official, stretchy versions can melt/degrade with time.


    And there we have it. There's quite a bit to talk about with Musclemania, considering its such an obscure line. For more coverage and photos, be sure to check out the great articles on University of MUSCLE and MinifiguresXD.

    What do you think of these guys? Do you remember seeing them back in the day, or do you collect them now? Do you know anything more about them than what I covered here?

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      Here are the latest batches of Mono Minis of the Day--as posted daily on the Little Weirdos Instagram, Twitter and Flickr. The lineup in the photo is as follows, from left to right, top to bottom:

      1. Parasaurolophus from Topps Dino Toys
      2. Badan from Ultraman keshi  
      3. #105 from MUSCLE
      4. Bullseye from OMFG
      5. Ghost from Pelikan ghosts set from Germany
      6. Skull from Halloween pencil topper eraser set
      7. Zombie from HeroQuest
      8. Puffinge from Funny Fringes
      9. Rollerman from Popy mini Kinnikuman keshi
      10. Headbanger from Ghost & Monster (Toxic Crusaders knockoffs)
      11. Manticore from Monster in My Pocket
      12. Army guy from Invincible Army Men
      13. Gomora from Ultraman "Great Monster the 30" set 
      14. Naga from World of Warcraft board game
      15. Alien from Target Halloween pencil topper set
      16. Durd from Mini Boglins

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      Remember when candy often came in all sorts of fun novelty containers and wrappers? The kind that you'd be more likely to buy to get the toy container than you would to eat the candy? I don't know about you, but I miss those days.

      In the '80s and '90s, Topps and Fleer probably released the most candies this way, but many other companies did too. A trip down the candy aisle sometimes also felt like a trip down the toy aisle.

      I saved a bunch of candy containers and wrappers from those days, which are featured below. For this post, I'm just including examples with a weirdo or monster theme.


      LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS CANDY (TOPPS, 1986)


      To coincide with the 1986 movie version of Little Shop of Horrors, Topps released a trading card/sticker set as well as these little buggers, which are filled with candy pellets. As a kid I was obsessed with this movie and always wanted an Audrey II toy, but was a bit too young to have seen these in the store when they came out. The design isn't too detailed, but these are still really cool, and I just love the fact that Audrey II candy containers exist.


      MR. BONES COFFINS (FLEER, 1970s-1990s)


      These fun little Mr. Bones candy-filled coffins were produced by Fleer for many years, starting in the late 1970s all the way up until the 1990s. The sweet tart-like candy that came inside were different bone-shaped pieces you could use to build a skeleton. I had a little rubber skeleton I used to store in my coffins once I finished the candy. These things should still be sold today!


      MADBALLS-LIKE CANDY CONTAINER (UKNOWN, LATE 1980s)


      I haven't been able to get an exact ID for this one, but I remember getting it at a candy store in the late '80s. The head popped into a clear body that was filled with tiny multicolor candy balls. It looks to at least be inspired by Madballs, if not an official Madballs item. My guess would be a knockoff to capitalize on Madballs' popularity at the time. There were likely other designs available. I have also seen photos of other similar clear figure containers with removable heads based on different themes, like Halloween characters and aliens.


      MONSTER CHEWS (CONFEX, LATE 1980s-EARLY 1990s)


      Not many people seem to remember these. They were Laffy Taffy-like fruit chews, nothing too special flavor-wise. What made them great were their wrappers, which featured different bizarro monsters. I remember going to a local pharmacy and buying these all the time for a penny each, trying to collect as many different monsters as I could. There were two different designs and sets of monsters, the first of which came out in the late '80s, and then a second batch from the early '90s. These designs shown here are from the later batch.


      CRAZY SPRAY CANS (FLEER, LATE 1980s)


      These were bubble gum containers featuring funny, irreverent artwork for made-up products. Sort of like Wacky Packages. There were 20 different designs.


      CHUPA CHUPS POP LOCKIT (1990s)


      Monster heads like this one were released as toy accessories to Chupa Chups suckers, sometime in the mid-late 1990s. The idea is that you'd store your partially eaten sucker inside of it to finish later. The concept was kind of gross if you ask me, but at least the little monster heads were cool.


      THE AMAZING SHRINKING HEAD MUTANT POPS (AU'SOME CANDIES, 1998)



      These probably take the cake for the creepiest candy-related toys ever. The release included six different plastic, freakish mutant-monsters that served as sticks to a candy sucker. The hard candy ball was around the creature's head, which I guess looked larger through the candy than it actually was. I got these when they came out in the late-'90s and saved one one in the package, but the candy started melting into a pile of goo so I recently set the figure free to join the other two opened upon buying them (of course, not before taking a photo of the packaged example). I think the figures came in silver in addition to the gold and bronze shown here. These are actually really awesome, and I'd definitely like to get a hold of the other three sculpts I don't have.


      And there you go--just a small sampling of some weirdo candy-related toys and wrappers from years gone by. Are there any other good examples you can think of?


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      Here are the latest batches of Mono Minis of the Day--as posted daily on the Little Weirdos Instagram, Twitter and Flickr. The lineup in the photo is as follows, from left to right, top to bottom:

      1. WilyKat from Thundercats Panrico premiums 
      2. E.T. from E.T. bootleg set
      3. Orko from Masters of the Universe MUSCLE  
      4. Snatcher Ghost from The Real Ghostbusters 
      5. Diener robot eraser
      6. Woody the Wrecker from SLUG Zombies
      7. Dino from Matutano dinosaurs set
      8. Cyclops from Monster in My Pocket (Peru Juguete Halloween version)
      9. Yeti from Neclos Fortress
      10. Squirtle from Pokemon eraser set
      11. Drak from Mini Boglins
      12. Gundam party favor bootleg
      13. Hero from ToySmith Super Hero set
      14. #76 from MUSCLE
      15. Triceratops eraser
      16. Demon from DFC fantasy figures

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      Someone, somewhere once thought it would be a good idea to make jiggly rubber monsters for kids to stick on their fingers, leading to decades of all different varieties of these little weirdos being doled out as cheapo prizes in places like arcades, fun fairs and dentists offices.

      Some of them are simple and some of them look like creatures out of crazy nightmares, but all of them are fun!

      Below, we'll take a look at different kinds of monster finger puppets over the years. Since I already featured Russ brand finger puppets in a different post they won't be included in this one, but you can check those out here.


      CLASSIC FINGER MONSTERS

      These guys are the simplest, most old school monster finger puppets. They usually have googly eyes, gaping mouths, flailing arms and are made of soft, jiggler-style rubber. Sometimes they're translucent and sometimes they're solid, but they almost always have sloppy paint details. These weirdos have been around for decades, and versions of them are still being sold today as party favors and the like!



      HALLOWEEN FINGER MONSTERS

      Here's some creepers you can stick on your fingers to celebrate the 31st of October. I'm not sure when exactly these molds originated, but they've been around for many-a-Halloween. In fact, I've seen versions of them available as recently as this year. As you can see below there were clear colored versions produced at some point too, but they don't pop up as frequently. They're probably bootlegs of the originals.



      MONSTER FACE FINGER PUPPETS

      This is a different variety of finger puppet that are just big heads you stick your fingers into to make them look like they're talking. These turned up all the time in the '80s and '90s (and maybe even before that), but versions of some molds are still being produced today too. How awesome is that face-melting dude?



      RANDOM FINGER MONSTERS

      Here's a bunch more that don't fit into the above categories. Lots of cheap, freaky goodness.

      Bizarro creepers from the late 80s / early 90s
      I think these were sold as a set of party favors
      Witch fingers
      These are awesomely grotesque. From the '90s I think.
      Wacky face weirdos that turned up in different forms over the years
      Colorful horror creeps
      I think these monsters had sticky tongues that came out of their mouth holes
      Zombies. These are recent, from within the past few years

      And there you go -- a bunch of dastardly degenerates for your digits. It's pretty amazing how many monster finger puppets have been produced over the years. The ones shown here is probably just scratching the surface.

      What about you? Do you remember collecting any of these or have any types not shown in this post?

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      Here are the latest batches of Mono Minis of the Day--as posted daily on the Little Weirdos Instagram, Twitter and Flickr. The lineup in the photo is as follows, from left to right, top to bottom:

      1. Kaiju from Ultraman bootleg set from Mexico
      2. Zombie from Zombie Responders vs. Zombies set
      3. Mek-a-Neck from Panrico Masters of the Universe premiums set
      4. Combatus from Cosmix
      5. Mr. Yama from Gorewad Monsters
      6. Monster from Halloween Coffin Surprise
      7. Musclemania bootleg figure
      8. Knight (second sculpt) from Neclos Fortress
      9. Gundam knockoff figure
      10. Gumongous from Gorelords
      11. Ankylosaurus from dinosaur counters set  
      12. Skeleton from Oriental Trading skeleton warriors set
      13. #62 from MUSCLE
      14. Bullet Bill from Nintendo Super Mario keshi
      15. Klang from Mini Boglins
      16. Pirate from Top Toupie Pull Spin Battle

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      So, 2016 is almost over (thank God for that), and what better way to help close it out here on Little Weirdos than with a new post on Mystical Warriors of the Ring -- an indie mini figure line based around a fun animal wrestler storyline that I've been covering since it began in 2013.

      As you might know, the creators of MWOTR make both mass-produced PVC / plastic figures and smaller batches of figures in urethane / resin. This year there's been a focus on the latter, with some great new sculpts introduced in limited quantities -- the latest of which is the new "Giant" character, Cero the rhino.

      According to a brief character bio on the MWOTR website: "With the bulk of Goliath, Cero charges into the ring taking down any and all who stand in his way. He is no ordinary Rhino, born and raised near a Volcano in Hawaii he has adapted to the heat thus changing the color of his skin."

      This horned hulk is awesome. He has a fantastic sculpt with tons of personality. There's even an arm tattoo on the sculpt! It would be great to see him become a PVC production piece in the future.


      As of writing this, there are still multiple colors of urethane Cero figures available in the MWOTR online shop, in addition to some other recent releases like a pack of plastic accessories and urethane figures of Talos and Referee Barker, two other sculpts from this year.

      According to the website, there are some "really big plans" in store for the line's 5th anniversary in 2017, so there should be plenty of MWOTR goodness to look forward to.


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      Here are the latest batches of Mono Minis of the Day--as posted daily on the Little Weirdos Instagram, Twitter and Flickr. The lineup in the photo is as follows, from left to right, top to bottom:

      1. Brutus from Diener Popeye erasers
      2. Fujiua Ultraman figure
      3. Monster from Matutano Monstruos
      4. Bouncing Bert from Garbage Pail Kids Minikins
      5. Space Invaders keshi
      6. Astaroth from Monster in My Pocket
      7. Eggface from Bag Eggz Bunch
      8. Pullet N. Bailout from Weird Ball Collectums 
      9. Kinnikuman capsule bootleg
      10. Wood Goblin from Oritet Russian fantasy figures
      11. Cockatrice from Neclos Fortress
      12. SD Gundam keshi
      13. Eli the Expired Elf from SLUG Zombies
      14. Diener Space Raiders Mexican bootleg
      15. Kamen Rider Amazon SD figure
      16. Barbarian from True Legends Mythical Warriors set

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      With no shortage of boring toys filling up capsule machines these days, it's genuinely exciting when the vending toy gods occasionally decide to offer up some truly special bits of plastic. The latest example of vending greatness comes in the form of tiny figures called Bit Figs, and in this case the toy gods responsible are Onell Design, who brought them to plastic life -- and into capsule machines through a collaboration with SSM Vending.

      The concept behind Bit Figs is old school-styled pixel art made into 3-D mini figures. Each figure is about three quarters of an inch tall and compatible with Onell's Glyos System, with two different sets available so far -- Ninjas and Animals. In addition to trying to hunt them down in capsule machines, you can order them online here.

      Here's how Onell's Marc Beaudette described the inspiration behind the line:

      "...There were 2 things that dominated playtime as we approached the '90s - Nintendo and TMNT. If we weren't crashing our mutant action figures into each other, we were smashing buttons trying to survive even 10 minutes of Ninja Gaiden. Throw in a handful of Lego sets and Monster in My Pocket mini figs and you pretty much have our childhood in plastic...These innocent memories are what fueled the concept behind Bit Figs."


      The creators' passion definitely comes through in the figures. They're tons of fun.

      Let's take a closer look at the sets currently available:

      NINJAS

      There are five different sculpts that make up the Ninjas set, and they each come in five basic monochromatic colors -- red, black, orange, off-white and brown.

      You can also find less common variants with minor painted details randomly included in assortments. There's been additional limited monochromatic colors produced as well, including "Pheyden" light blue and clear green.

      These guys even have individual names. Looking at the photo to the right, the figures in each row from left to right are: Oni, Tana, Ku, Iken and Urai.

      My personal favorites are the skeleton-like Ku and and Oni. Ku, especially, is the kind of figure that would be fun to build an army of in a bunch of different colors.



      ANIMALS

      Next we have a set of five Bit Animals, which are also really well designed and pretty irresistible. They are Bit Pup (dog), Bit Kit (cat), Bit Bun (rabbit), Bit Pig and Bit Duck.

      There are five colors -- light brown, gray, white, pink and yellow --  but unlike the Ninjas, in the basic assortment each animal is only available in one of the colors (for example, all pigs are pink). That said, there are painted variants as well as the limited Pheyden blue and clear green colors.

      These designs have a really appealing simplicity about them, while at the same time somehow being packed with personality.



      BIT PHEYDEN

      Onell has also given its Pheyden character the Bit Figs treatment. Bit Pheyden is available online as a set that includes a "Mega" 3 inch tall version with articulated arms in addition to the tiny version matching the other Bit Figs. Mega Pheyden's arms are removable and can be replaced with other parts from Onell's Glyos system.

      The standard Pheyden sets come in light blue, either monochromatic or with painted details. Onell has also produced a couple limited colors, including clear green and metallic gold.

      Size comparison with MUSCLE and Monster in My Pocket

      And there you have it...the current offerings from this awesome new line!

      I am a big fan of Bit Figs and am excited to see where this line goes next. I, for one, would absolutely love to see a monster-themed set.

      What about you? Have you picked up any Bit Figs yet?


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      Here are the latest batches of Mono Minis of the Day--as posted daily on the Little Weirdos Instagram, Twitter and Flickr. The lineup in the photo is as follows, from left to right, top to bottom:

      1. Cave Troll from Oritet fantasy figures
      2. Personalman from Popy mini Kinnikuman keshi
      3. Southpaw from Clutter Mini Boglins
      4. Moth monster from Big Bucket of Monsters
      5. Dragon Ball capsule bootleg
      6. Tengu/Beast from Juguete Halloween (Peru Monster in My Pocket)
      7. Gandar from Ultraman / Ultraseven "Great Monster the 30" set
      8. Musclemania bootleg 
      9. Kung Fu Man capsule figure
      10. Mermaid from Neclos Fortress
      11. Monster from Matutano Monstruos
      12. #121 from MUSCLE
      13. The Corroding Kid from SLUG Zombies
      14. Subway Ghost from Ghostbusters Ecto Minis
      15. Malus from Cosmix
      16. Stegosaurus from Topps Dino Toys

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    • 01/29/17--16:12: Fungus Amungus

    • Fungus Amungus is a recent toy line in the ilk of Trash Pack, featuring gross, one-inch tall critters called "Funguys." The Funguys are supposed to be germs, bacteria, molds, spores, and the like in the form of monstrous little creatures. The line debuted in 2016 from a company called Vivid Imaginations.

      The Fungus Amungus website offers the following storyline:

      After years of being poked, squashed, stretched, examined and contained by The Bio Busters the Funguys have had enough and escaped into the human world, causing all sorts of mayhem. With The Bio Busters hot on their heels, the Funguys have taken to hiding in all sorts of weird, wonderful and sometimes disgusting places! The three things Funguys hate most are dusters, washing machines and most of all The Bio Busters! Can you help the Bio Busters capture these bacteri-urgh?

      There are several different products in the Fungus Amungus line, including:
      • Blind box "Petri Dishes" including two hidden Funguys inside
      • "Vac Packs" containing five Funguys: four visible in the package and one hidden
      • A Funguy 10-pack containing eight visible and two hidden figures
      • A "Toxic Chamber" storage container that comes with a larger "Superbug" figure
      • A "Superbug Set" including a Superbug and six Funguys
      • A "Bio Buster Superset" including six Funguys and a larger "Bio Buster" figure
      • An "Exgerminator" gun to "trap, squish and fling" the Funguys
      • A "Yuck Truck" vehicle
      So far, two series of Funguys have been produced, though I believe the second series has so far only been released in Europe.

      I picked up a Funguy five-pack as well as the Toxic Chamber. I absolutely love the designs and sculpts of these figures. They are very creative and well done.

      My one complaint--and it's a pretty big one--is that all the Funguy figures are stretchy and sticky. This gives them a cheap, disposable feel. They would be so much better produced in firm rubber, or even the non-sticky squishy rubber of Trash Pack. If they weren't sticky, I would definitely be trying to complete a full set.

      Fortunately, the larger Superbug figure is not sticky, but made of a regular soft rubber. In my opinion, the Superbug is the best part of this whole line. It's an awesome little weirdo! In addition to the orange shown here, I believe it's available in green and yellow versions.


      In Series 1, there are about 36 different Funguy sculpts. The sculpts are available in different color variations, so the actual number of different figures that can be collected is much higher than that. Here's a scan of the checklist pamphlet that is included with the products:


      I'm a fan of this line based on the high quality of the sculpts. The fun designs are reminiscent of the excellent 1980s Germs toy line from Worlds of Wonder, which featured larger rubber germ creatures that came in plastic test tubes. I only wish Vivid Imaginations would release non-sticky, firmer rubber or plastic versions of all the figures. I get that the stickiness probably appeals to some kids, but if they weren't sticky I think the line would attract a larger number of older collectors too.

      What's your take on Fungus Amungus? Have you picked any up yet, or do you plan to?


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      Here are the latest batches of Mono Minis of the Day--as posted daily on the Little Weirdos Instagram, Twitter and Flickr. The lineup in the photo is as follows, from left to right, top to bottom:

      1. '80s guitar girl from CUTIE
      2. Chump from Mini Boglins
      3. Crash Triod from Crashlings
      4. Bob the Beaver from TMNT
      5. Man-E-Faces from Masters of the Universe MUSCLE
      6. Mikuras from Ultraman bootleg keshi
      7. Gennie from Buck Rogers board game
      8. Spring Heeled Jack from Monster in My Pocket
      9. Darth Maul from Star Wars hologram figures
      10. Worm from Neclos Fortress
      11. Archer from Toyco Dragonriders & Demons playset
      12. Paco Taco from Weird Ball Collectums
      13. Tooth Ghost from The Real Ghostbusters
      14. Ultraman SD keshi
      15. #129 from MUSCLE
      16. Diener cow eraser

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      A couple years ago I posted about an awesome set of mini figures based on creatures from Russian folklore. They were released in Russia in the early 2000s by a now defunct company called Oritet. That set is my favorite Oritet release, but the company did put out a some other gems around the same time, so I thought I'd do a post showcasing a few additional Oritet goodies I own.

      First up is a group of Russian trolls. Nope, not Russian internet trolls, but trolls of the old-fashioned cave variety -- as pictured above. As trolls go, these are pretty top-shelf. From their huge heads to their bumpy skin and pot-bellies, these figures have a lot of personality. They are made of the same type of material as the folklore figures -- a hard, sturdy plastic. They measure about 2.5 to 3 inches tall. My set is in a cream color, and I've seen photos of some in glow-in-the-dark white, too. I'm not sure if they came in any additional colors. You can see the GITD set as well as the box artwork for these guys (plus tons of other Oritet figures) over at the Fantasy Toy Soldiers blog.

      Here's a comparison shot showing a couple of the trolls alongside one of the Oritet folklore creatures as well as a caveman from their Cavemen set.


      The other Oritet piece in my collection is a dragon with a removable sorceress rider. By itself, the dragon is about 3.5 inches tall. With the sorceress attached, the piece is a little over 5 inches tall. In addition to the rider being removable, the dragon features articulation at the neck and tail. I really like the bold, stylized design of this beast, and of Oritet figures in general. I think it would look even cooler in a more interesting color, but maybe some of these figures were intended to be painted.



      Having been exclusive to Russia, these Oritet toys aren't the easiest to find, but they do turn up for sale from time to time. They are fantastic figures that deserve more attention. As mentioned above, be sure to go check out more of them at the Fantasy Toy Soldiers site!

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      Here are the latest batches of Mono Minis of the Day--as posted daily on the Little Weirdos Instagram, Twitter and Flickr. The lineup in the photo is as follows, from left to right, top to bottom:

      1. Skeleton from Pirates vs. Skeletons playset
      2. Cursor from Fistful of Power 
      3. Quantum Wolf from Gorelords
      4. Target Halloween pencil topper
      5. Mummy from HeroQuest
      6. Madballs knockoff pencil topper
      7. Toysmith Ninja figure
      8. Kaiju from Canfull of Monsters
      9. Thor from Neclos Fortress
      10. Spy Spig from Mini Boglins
      11. Dimetrodon from Lakeshore dinosaur counters set
      12. Buck Wilde from SLUG Zombies
      13. Urai from Bit Figs Ninjas
      14. Fantasy beast warrior pencil topper
      15. Kinnikuman / MUSCLE capsule bootleg
      16. Mysterus from Cosmix

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      This is a toy line I found out about thanks to @armyofthesix1six on Instagram. He posted some photos of them to his account and they immediately caught my eye. What exactly are these hunks of weirdo plastic goodness, you ask?

      Meteorite Aliens! Blind-bagged monochromatic alien mini figures.

      The good news is that they are a currently-available release that can be purchased relatively cheaply. The bad news is they appear to be limited to the UK, so if you want to get a hold of some in other countries, you have to pay overseas shipping prices.

      I ordered some from gt-originalwarehouse.com, but they now appear to be out of stock there. However, another online store (where they still look to be in stock) is allaboutpartybags.co.uk. There's probably other vendors, too. I'm not sure.

      Anyway, let's dive a bit deeper into these weirdos:

      OVERVIEW

      "They came by meteorite to target and eliminate the human race," says the packaging. The Meteorite Aliens are six different races of alien baddies that are out for human flesh, apparently! The figures come in blind bags so you can't tell what's inside each package -- one figure per package along with a character card featuring artwork and a bio for the corresponding alien.

      The figures seem to be the same ones previously available in activity sets that also used the name Meteorite Aliens. The idea with those is for kids to chip away at a "rock" substance to unearth the alien figures. There's no activity or game tied to these blind bag versions.

      Strangely, there's not a company logo or website on the packaging -- just the word "KandyToys" above the product code, which from a quick search appears to be a toy importer. So there's not a whole lot of background info about these to be found.



      PACKAGING / ASSORTMENT

      As mentioned above, the Meteorite Aliens come one figure and one bio card per bag. There are six different sculpts to collect in six different glow-in-the-dark colors -- white, pink, red, purple, blue, and green. So, a master set consists of 36 figures.

      Package front and back
      Based on the packages I got, it's hard to say if any colors are more or less common than others. I got the largest amount of figures in glow white, but overall I got a nice variety of all six colors. I think I got the fewest of the pink color.

      I like that each alien's card provides a detailed bio for its specific race, including its skills, vitals, and how specifically it goes about hunting down humans! Each race's bio ends with "They are coming...for you!," which is kind of funny. I like the fact that these little weirdos were designed to be scary, ugly and fierce, not cutesy or cartoonish like a lot of monster or alien-themed minis are these days.

      Here are the six different cards, front and back:



      SCULPTING / DESIGN

      The Meteorite Aliens are sculpted very well, with each all six being gnarly, big-headed creatures with skeleton-like bodies. In addition to the sculpts having various poses and weapons, the races are differentiated with subtle physical features like different textures on their heads and the fact that some have tails and others don't. I love the personality infused into their faces -- they look like properly horrible little buggers out to wreak havoc. In this sense they give me a bit of a "Mars Attacks" vibe.

      The biggest issue is that because of the aliens' skinny bodies and the soft plastic used, most of them come out of the packages misshapen and don't stand very well. Sticking them in hot water and then immediately into ice water helps straighten them out so they look better, but even after that some of them aren't able to stand properly. It could be problematic if you're someone who likes to display all your figures on a shelf.

      The figures are about 2.75 inches tall, so they are larger than some other little weirdos like Monster in My Pocket and MUSCLE, but I'd still consider them mini figures.

      Size comparison with Monster in My Pocket & MUSCLE

      FINAL THOUGHTS

      I love these guys. They really remind me of old school mini figures in pretty much every way -- design, material, packaging, etc. Between the nicely done sculpts and eye-catching glow-in-the-dark colors, they are really fun and appealing toys. And at roughly £0.50 each (about 60 cents in U.S. dollars), the price is certainly right, even if you have to pay more for overseas shipping.

      The packages say "Series 1," so maybe we'll see more of them turn up eventually (though I know better than to get my hopes up for another series of any toy line before I'm actually holding it in my hands).

      What about you? What's your take on the Meteorite Aliens?


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      Cryptozoic Entertainment finally released their first series of Ghostbusters Micro Figures after a delay (the figures were originally supposed to come out in 2016). The wait was worth it, because the final product turned out really nice -- they're certainly better-produced than the Mattel Ecto-Minis that were released last year to coincide with the new Ghostbusters movie.

      The Cryptozoic set consists of 16 different figures, including a nice mix of human and ghost characters. They are sold in single-figure blind bags with 24 packs to a box. The easiest way to get an entire set is to order a box online. I ordered two boxes to split up with another collector, and the assortments ended up being exactly the same in both boxes, including:

      3 Slimers
      2 of each of the four Ghostbusters
      2 Ecto-1 vehicles
      2 Stay Puft Marshmallow Men
      1 each of all other characters

      The figures are about 1.75 to 2 inches tall, painted, and made of a solid, sturdy plastic. The paint jobs are thankfully quite well done -- for the most part very clean. They run about $4 each, so not cheap, but at least the quality is there.

      The set features characters from both 1980s Ghostbusters films. My favorites are (of course) the ghost creatures, including the Librarian, Tony and Nunzio Scoleri, the Terror Dog, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, and of course, Slimer. I think my absolute top favorite is Nunzio Scoleri -- he's got a killer sculpt and a great color!

      All of the figures are produced in solid colors, but I'd love to see translucent variants of the ghosts -- maybe an idea for a future release?

      The human (and human-looking) characters are done in an exaggerated, cartoonish style with big heads. That's not usually my thing, but it does work with these figures, and they all look good.

      In addition to the ghost and human characters there's also the Ecto-1 car, which is also nicely sculpted and a cool addition.

      Here's a closer look at all of the figures:



      EGON SPENGLER, PETER VENKMAN, WINSTON ZEDDMORE, RAY STANTZ



      STAY PUFT MARSHMALLOW MAN, SLIMER, TONY SCOLERI, TERROR DOG, NUNZIO SCOLERI, LIBRARIAN



      JANINE, ECTO-1, KEYMASTER, VIGO THE CARPATHIAN, GOZER, ZUUL



      And that's the lot! The packaging says "Series 1," so maybe we'll eventually get another set. I'd definitely love to add more ghosts to the collection.

      What do you think of these Cryptozoic figures? Do you plan on picking any up?

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      Here are the latest batches of Mono Minis of the Day--as posted daily on the Little Weirdos Instagram, Twitter and Flickr. The lineup in the photo is as follows, from left to right, top to bottom:

      1. Monster wrestler from Musclemania 
      2. Soldier from Invincible Army Men
      3. Beast Man from Panrico Masters of the Universe premiums
      4. Bug Bear from Neclos Fortress
      5. Caveman figure
      6. Ecto-Plazm Ghost from The Real Ghostbusters
      7. Kaiju from Ultraman 'Great Monster the 30' set
      8. #188 from MUSCLE
      9. Palace Guard from Blackstar mini figures
      10. Diener duck eraser 
      11. Dino from Mini Boglins
      12. Plesiosaurus from Topps Dino Toys
      13. Villser Core Crayboth from Glyos
      14. Oriental Trading Co. skeleton warrior
      15. Ichor from Gorelords
      16. Monster from Matutano Monstruos

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    • 03/12/17--18:39: Beastie Buddies capsule toys

    • A short while back I came across a photo of some cool-looking capsule toys called Beastie Buddies that I had never seen before, and it of course made me want some. After researching a bit further, I discovered that Beastie Buddies came out last year and were designed by James Koenig, someone I had seen around before in toy groups.

      There are five different Beasties in the set, including a "Little Shop of Horrors"-esque venus flytrap monster! As someone who always wished for a mini figure of Audrey II, seeing that convinced me that I needed to track some of these bad boys down!

      It took a bit of searching, but I was able to order some in bulk online. I've never actually seen any in capsule machines, so once again the wonders of the internet come through.

      Beastie Buddies display card - front and back

      Here are the Beastie Buddies basics:
      • The 5 sculpts/characters include: Flora (the flytrap), Yuna (the unicorn), Oggy (the ogre), Sammy (the samurai), and Shelldon (the snail)
      • All of the sculpts are available in 5 different colors: brown, pink, yellow, aqua, and tan
      • All of the figures include painted details, but interestingly, there are 2 different versions of each character in each color: one with several features painted and one with only the eyes painted (or in the case of Flora, the teeth). In my big box of figures, there was an even mix of both types. I'm not sure why the decision was made to release the figures in both versions, but the ones with less paint tend to look better, since most of the other versions are sloppily painted. In fact, some of the paint jobs are almost laughably bad (pupils painted onto foreheads, etc)
      • Each figure is about .75-inch tall
      • They are made out of a soft, squishy rubber similar to Trash Pack and Squinkies
      Here's a closer look at each Beastie Buddie in all of its color and paint variations:

      OGGY THE OGRE



      Fantastic sculpt on grumpy little dude! My second favorite of the set.

      SHELLDON THE SNAIL



      So much fun. He looks like a cantankerous old snail who would yell at snail young'uns to get off his sand patch.

      YUNA THE UNICORN



      Gotta love a derpy unicorn.

      FLORA THE FLYTRAP



      My favorite. Pretty much a little rubber Audrey II toy, which automatically makes it amazing.

      SAMMY THE SAMURAI



      This guy's great as well, although the paint jobs tend to be especially bad on him. I picked out the best ones in my pile of them for this photo, but the majority were pretty crazy.


      And there you go! A very cool modern-day set of vending mini figures, which we don't see often enough. James Koenig's designs pack a ton of personality into these tiny weirdos. The factory paint jobs are dicey and I would have preferred them to be made of a firmer rubber or plastic, but for what they are, I can't complain too much.

      What do you think of the Beastie Buddies? Have you ever seen any out in the wild?


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      Here are the latest batches of Mono Minis of the Day--as posted daily on the Little Weirdos Instagram, Twitter and Flickr. The lineup in the photo is as follows, from left to right, top to bottom:

      1. Kraken from Neclos Fortress
      2. Gunslingin' Grimm from SLUG Zombies
      3. T-Rex eraser
      4. Knight from DFC fantasy playset
      5. Rock Roach from Crashlings
      6. Golem from Monster in My Pocket 
      7. Spy Glup from Mini Boglins
      8. Mordicus from Cosmix 
      9. Castle Grayskull from Masters of the Universe MUSCLE
      10. Kaiju from Canfull of Monsters
      11. World of Warcraft board game figure
      12. Panrico Thundercats premium figure
      13.  #4 from MUSCLE
      14. Orguss capsule bootleg figure
      15. Mini Lobe Ghost from The Real Ghostbusters
      16. Warrior from Warriors of the Galaxy

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      Here are the latest batches of Mono Minis of the Day--as posted daily on the Little Weirdos Instagram, Twitter and Flickr. The lineup in the photo is as follows, from left to right, top to bottom:

      1. Musclemania bootleg
      2. Stegosaurus from Dinosaur in My Pocket
      3. Priest from Neclos Fortress
      4. Jolly Roger from Garbage Pail Kids Minikins
      5. Poopatrooer figure
      6. Winged Panther/Cockatrice from Juguete Halloween / Peru Monster in My Pocket
      7. Bonehead from Weird Ball Collectums
      8. Ultraman kaiju capsule bootleg
      9. Dent from Mini Boglins
      10. Snozzinge from Funny Fringes
      11. Cthulhu from Call of Cthulhu game
      12. Lion from Tehnolog Zveronics
      13.  Werewolf from Top Toupie Pull Spin Battle
      14. Stereo Cassette King from Kinnikuman keshi
      15. Zverobot Tehnolog figure
      16. Snake Monster from Halloween Coffin Surprise a.k.a Cromy Club Monster in My Pocket

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      These cool little animal soliders recently appeared from Tehnolog, a Russian toy company that produces a range of toy soldier-type plastic mini figures. They are known as "Zveronics." I don't know what that translates to, and it's kinda weird to even type, but there you have it.

      As far as I know, there are 8 different sculpts making up a set of Zveronics, each depicting a different animal. Each sculpt is available in a variety of colors, including yellow, blue, red, purple, green, and magenta.

      The figures are quite small, with most of them measuring a little under an inch and a half. They are made of a hard plastic that seems like it would be pretty durable.

      I believe Tehnolog figures are only sold in Russia, but there have been several sets up for sale on eBay from overseas for a reasonable cost (that's how I got mine). Being that information in English is pretty much nonexistent, that's about all I have to say about these guys, other than they're really fun little weirdos. There's a Zveronics website, but I can't really make heads or tails out of it, other than there appears to be some sort of board game that's meant to be played with the figures.

      Below you can get a closer look at each of these little dudes.

      Does anyone know more about them? Who else has picked some up?


      BEAR

      LION

      WOLF

      GORILLA

      CROCODILE

      ELK

      BISON

      ELEPHANT


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      Here are the latest batches of Mono Minis of the Day--as posted daily on the Little Weirdos Instagram, Twitter and Flickr. The lineup in the photo is as follows, from left to right, top to bottom:

      1. Toxie from Toxic Crusaders (Yolanda minis set)
      2. Winspector bootleg figure
      3. Zoids bootleg figure 
      4. Fantasmor from Cosmix
      5. Ultraman kaiju capsule bootleg
      6. Grave Lincoln from SLUG Zombies
      7. Tickler Ghost from The Real Ghostbusters
      8. Dog-dino monster chinasaur
      9. Chief Drox from Mini Boglins
      10. WC Fritos pencil topper
      11. Alien from Neo Neons
      12. T-Rex from Monster in My Pocket
      13. Rabbit dollar store stacking figure
      14. Man-at-Arms from Masters of the Universe MUSCLE
      15. Elf from HeroQuest
      16. Alien from Neclos Fortress

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      Here are the latest batches of Mono Minis of the Day--as posted daily on the Little Weirdos Instagram, Twitter and Flickr. The lineup in the photo is as follows, from left to right, top to bottom:

      1. #120 from MUSCLE
      2. Oriental Trading Co. skeleton warrior
      3. Kung Fu Man capsule bootleg keshi
      4. Time-Gore from Gorelords
      5. Parachuting robot capsule figure
      6. Dimetrodon from Topps Dino Toys
      7. Alien Baltan from Popy Ultraman keshi
      8. Beat-man pencil topper
      9. Target monster pencil topper   
      10. Zombie from Zombies vs. Zombie Hunters set
      11. Orc from Neclos Fortress
      12. Kaiju from Fujiya Ultraman keshi
      13. Blambo from Weird Ball Collectums
      14. Vulbir from Meteorite Aliens
      15. Messenger Kik from Mini Boglins
      16. Zap from Screaming Yellow Zonkers Space Creatures

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      When you're a kid, the best part about going to a fast food restaurant is getting the toy in your kids meal. Sadly, most fast food toys are actually pretty boring. Only occasionally do really great examples surface, although cool kids meal giveaways were a bit more common in past decades, especially the 1980s and 1990s.

      In this post we'll take a look at some of the greatest, Little Weirdos-approved fast food toy offerings from over the years -- and by that I mean fast food toys that are mini figures, have a monster, alien, or robot theme, or generally look awesome!

      Disclaimer: there's been about a billion fast food toys released over the years, so I'm sure I missed some notable ones. Be sure to let me know your personal favorites in the comments.

      Okay, here we go, in no particular order:


      GLOW MONSTERS (WHITE CASTLE, 1992)



      Universal Monsters have been featured as kids meal toys at least a couple times (read on for another time they made an appearance), but this set of 3 soft plastic, 4-inch tall, glow-in-the-dark baddies released at "the home of the Slider" (you might need to be an American Midwesterner to get that) were probably the first. It's an amazing set, even though Dracula is sorely missing.

      More on White Castle glow monsters here.


      STONE PROTECTORS (LONG JOHN SILVER'S, EARLY 1990s)


      One of life's greatest mysteries is why Troll dolls keep making comebacks, but there was a brief period in the early 1990s when they were particularly hot. So hot that marketers thought it would be a good idea to try to market them to boys as well, which resulted in a cartoon and corresponding toys called "Stone Protectors," about Troll heroes and bad guys. In addition to action figures, a lesser-known mini figure set was offered through kids meals at Long John Silvers. They seem to have been inspired by MUSCLE figures, except with a few minor painted details, including a different stone color in each characters chest (a bad guy with a purple stone is missing in the photo above). I've never seen the cartoon, but I think it's safe to say these minis are probably the best thing to result from the creation of "Stone Protectors."

      More info on Stone Protectors minis here.


      CHANGEABLES (MCDONALD'S, 1987-1990)


      Changeables (a.k.a "McRobots") are widely considered classics in the world of fast food toy collecting, and for good reason. These robots, which transform into McDonald's food items, are very well designed and just a lot of fun. They were popular enough to result in a few different series, including a third and final one that consists of transforming dinosaurs instead of standard robots.

      For a closer look at all of the Changeables series, check out this very detailed post on Dinosaur Dracula.


      WEIRD WRITERS (WENDY'S, 1993)


      Wendy's hasn't had the greatest toys over the years, but they really did hit it out of the park with this set from 1993. Weird Writers are 5-to-6-inch tall figures of bizarre creatures that also double as markers (they come apart into 2 pieces to reveal the marker tips). These designs and sculpts are incredibly imaginative and well done. My favorite is the yellow goo-monster, which is just an all-around glorious chunk of plastic.

      More info on Weird Writers here.


      DINOSAUR IN MY POCKET (HARDEE'S, 1993)


      After the original, standard Monster in My Pocket releases died down, the only spinoff sets we got in the U.S. came in the form of promotional premiums (whereas several spinoff sets were sold widely in the U.K., including Wrestlers, Dinosaurs, Aliens and Super Creepies). One of the sets we did get on this side of the pond was Dinosaur in My Pocket from Hardee's restaurants. What's great about these -- and which differs from the MIMP dinosaurs released in the U.K. -- is that they're monochromatic and made of the same type of rubber as MIMP Series 1-4. Just all-around fantastic dino mini figures.

      More info on Dinosaur in My Pocket here.


      UNIVERSAL MONSTERS (BURGER KING, 1997)


      White Castle may have beaten them to the punch with their glow-in-the-dark Universal Monsters figures, but Burger King went all out in 1997 with these beauties. This set consists of 4 different monster action figures -- Frankenstein's Monster, Wolfman, Dracula and the Creature from the Black Lagoon -- complete with accessories and/or action features (like a light up feature for Frankenstein and a water squirting feature for the Creature). They are a bit reminiscent of Remco's classic Mini Monsters action figures. In addition to the coolness of the designs, they're just really impressive toys overall for something typically seen as a cheap giveaway item.


      GODZILLA (WHITE CASTLE, 1990)


      For a smaller, localized fast food chain, White Castle came up with some winning toys. In 1990, they released this Godzilla set, consisting of an inflatable figure, some sort of suction wheel thing, a Frisbee thing, and a water-squirting figure. I only have 2 out of the 4, but really do love that little sinister-looking Godzilla squirter!



      MONSTER IN MY POCKET SERIES 3 (BIG BOY, 1992)


      The third series of Monster in My Pocket was limited to a few different promotional releases, one of which was kids meal toys at Big Boy restaurants. The figures came in "Secret Monster Packs" along with stickers and games. While the same sculpts were released as cereal premiums in Canada, the Big Boy versions featured some color and material variations that make them highly collectable.

      More info on MIMP Series 3 here.


      DIENER SPACE RAIDERS (MCDONALD'S, 1979)


      Diener Industries' Space Raiders erasers were available in many ways over many years, but they can be considered fast food toys because McDonald's gave them away in Happy Meals around 1979. It was clearly a simpler time when kids meal toys weren't expected to have features and gimmicks in order to capture kids' imaginations -- little rubber robots and spaceships did the trick. These weirdos are classics that will no doubt continue to have a fan base for as long as there are toy collectors.

      More info on Space Raiders here.


      BENDABLE ALIENS (PIZZA HUT, LATE 1970s-1980s)

      This photo was yoinked from eBay
      I don't know a whole lot about these bendy alien figures other than that they were given out at Pizza Hut restaurants in the late-1970s and/or early '80s. I only own one -- the pink guy pictured above -- and I'm not sure exactly how many different aliens were produced. I don't know about you, but I wish I could rewind to the days when you could go to Pizza Hut and come out with a colorful bendy alien.


      BEETLEJUICE (BURGER KING, 1990)


      "Beetlejuice" is one of my favorite movies ever, so any Beetlejuice-related items automatically gets my interest. But these 2-sided figures, based on the cartoon and released at Burger King in 1990, are really cool in their own right. Each creatively-designed figure has 2 completely different things going on depending on which side you're looking at (for example, when you turn the figure of Lydia around, it becomes Beetlejuice standing on his head).

      You can see all sizes of each figure here.


      MONSTER WRESTLERS IN MY POCKET (WHITE CASTLE, 1996)


      This is the third Monster in My Pocket-related set on the list, but so be it. We never got the standard store-released Monster Wrestlers in My Pocket here in the U.S., but we did get these fast food versions, thanks once again to White Castle. They are slightly different sculpts from the regular releases that were sold in U.K. stores, with fewer colors and details, which actually gives them a sort of bootleg-esque charm.

      More info on White Castle MIMP Wrestlers here.

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      Here are the latest batches of Mono Minis of the Day--as posted daily on the Little Weirdos Instagram, Twitter and Flickr. The lineup in the photo is as follows, from left to right, top to bottom:

      1. #150 from MUSCLE
      2. Dino from Matutano Dinosaurs
      3. Kaiju from Ultraman "Great Monster the 30" set
      4. Maximus Cadaverous from SLUG Zombies 
      5. Elephant from Zveronics 
      6. Kinnikuman keshi figure
      7. Murdroid from Gorelords
      8. Skeleton pirate from Patitas Piratas
      9. Hibernatus from Cosmix
      10. Ten-Faced Demon Gorgos from Kamen Rider keshi
      11. Medusa from Monster in My Pocket (Peru Juguete Halloween version)
      12. Dragon from Neclos Fortress
      13. Musclemania figure
      14. Trap from Mini Boglins
      15. Pansear from Pokémon keshi
      16. Kaiju from Ultraman "Great Monster the 30" set