I bid you welcome, gentle folk, to a light sampling of foodstuffs, pulled directly from a 90's style platter of gross-out toys. Please enjoy: The Grossery Gang.
The Grossery Gang came outta nowhere. One minute, Moose Toys is making the usual small squishy stuff like Trash Pack or Shopkins, and the next minute, we get a little blast from the past in the form of the Grossery Gang. It started out as a sort of sequel to the Trash Pack, since there are the usual spread of small squishy guys. But then....THEN...
Full action figures, the likes of which I haven't seen since the late 80's or 90's. Full of gross detail, accessories, TMNT-like names, and fantastic sculpting - even decent articulation! They showed up, wowed everyone, and were immediately scarce. Today, you should be able to find them at Target and...well, Toys R Us, but as of this writing, TRU is slowly liquidating as it goes out of business. Might be a good time to check now, since they've got the newest wave of these. If you're reading this years later: Please, pour one out for our homie Toys R Us.
The first ones I bought were Gooey Chewy, and Trash Head. Take a look at those bios! Man, you don't get any more classic than this. The theme is enough, but to even write old TMNT style bios! MMMMM! That's some tasty nostalgia.
The theme is not only look-at-these-gross-dudes, but a battle between the Grossery Gang and the Clean Team (a very small team, none of which I ended up getting).
An immediate favorite was Gooey Chewy. There's something about his stretched, gaping terror maw and his melting body.
He's lanky, so his articulation isn't hindered by anything. This allows him to get into all sorts of crazy poses, helping him look even more insane.
He comes with a slingshot, which, I'm almost disappointed it isn't a little stretchy thing with a sling you can stretch on to this hand. Still, it's a small complaint, considering the figure is so dang fun to move around. The hands are wide enough for you to have him mess with other accessories.
Or to stick some Silly Putty on him and have him swing around with Spider-Man.
Trash Head is a delight - I dunno why. I kinda wish he opened up, but I can't complain about the whole package the way he is. He just looks great!
Trash Head comes with a fish skeleton he can use as a sword, or...I dunno, a gun? Maybe?
There's a place to hold the fish carcass by the tail or on its side, so I guess it's your choice.
For some reason (maybe because I bought them together) I pair these two up. They seem to work together.
Maybe it's the flat top on Trash Head and the light frame of Gooey. The usual big-guy-little-guy team up.
Next guy I got was Putrid Pizza, who comes with a pie server. Not sure why he doesn't come with a pizza slicer, but we have plenty of those around, to make up for it. If he can get them.
That's a little Knights of the Slice action, in case you're curious.
...for some reason I seem to have quite a few pizza themed guys, now.
Anyway, Putrid Pizza is yet another well-sculpted-and-painted little guy. It's hard to really suggest one more than the other, and they look even better in a group. Ripe for collecting.
The next two I bought are part of the current wave - and new theme - Bug Strike. The Grossery Gang came out not too long ago, and much of it's existence was spent having people run around trying to find them, but somehow we already have a new theme! Where once they fought the Clean Team (like, months ago) they now fight BUGS. Now, try to find any actual bugs! There's like, one! And I've never seen him!
The big changes here are A.) Glow-in-the-dark repaints of first wave figures, and B.) remakes of first wave guys with added action features, or totally new guys.
My first choice was Grub Sub - a nasty sub sandwich man. He's a glowing repaint of his first wave counterpart that I had skipped. I feel like I made the right choice!
Because what was once a nasty sub man, is now (when glowing) a GAPING MAW OF BLACKNESS AND HORROR. This was the best possible idea they could come up with for a second wave - you know, save for the fact that the first wave was so hard to find that you may have never even seen the original version of this one.
He comes with a squeeze bottle of...I dunno, special sauce? It's hardened into a crust so he can beat you down into a smelly pile of broken bones and pity.
The last guy is Capt. Lice Cream, and he displays the magic of the second wave: Action features! And yes, I'm saying that excitedly! It know, it's weird, but they utilize action features in a very nostalgic and awesome way.
Lice Cream comes with an ice cream scoop he can use to scoop the smaller ball off his head and toss him.
The smaller ball is squishy, like the usual Moose Toys stuff, and can pop on and off easily (without falling off on accident). That's not the main feature, though!
There's a button on the back that launches the head right off! It works great, too. Really blasts off into your younger brother's face, probably getting you grounded.
I dare say Lice Cream is one of the best of the series so far. The other figures in the Bug Strike series have some neat features (like the donut guy folding up into himself so he can roll around), but this one really hits home with the nostalgia. There's just something about a launching head, you know?
Each figures comes with a small, squishy version of themselves, just like the usual stuff done by Moose Toys. I don't usually collect these, but it's a cool addition for those that do. Also...
Most of the figure's heads are on ball joints, so you can pop them off, and pop on the little squishy guys as smaller heads.
I highly suggest picking some of these up! They're fun, decently articulated, look amazing, and really hit that sweet tooth for nostalgia. Speaking of nostalgia...
...perhaps you're thinking that you've seen something like this before, way back in the day?
You'd be correct! The closest thing I can compare these too is Mattel's Food Fighters toyline, from 1988. Amazingly enough, I still have a couple!
They're pretty much the same deal, save for the fact that The Grossery Gang is almost all rancid food, while the Food Fighters are a bit more fresh and...have muscly MAN ARMS bursting out of them. One way or another: If you were a fan of Food Fighters, then you'll be a fan of these, no question.
I imagine these will be one of those great toylines that brings parent collectors and kids together, because there's something for everyone here, assuming you like fun. They should be showing up in stores abundantly now, with any luck. I've been seeing them quite a bit (the first wave, anyway), but I still see some people having trouble finding any of them. Keep your eyes on Targets or your local grocery stores (Meijer, if you're in the Michigan area). Also, visit Toys R Us while you can and give the poor old chain a few more bucks before it passes on. It won't save it, but hey, it's something.
Keep your eyes peeled and your nose cleared! You'll probably smell 'em before you see 'em.