Madballs (2016) Series 1 by Mondo
I think it was early 2016 when it was revealed that Mondo would be making and resurrecting Madballs. For those of you who are too young to remember, Madballs were a property from the 80s that were basically rubber balls that had some kind of gross and/or monstrous face.
From what I recall, there were two series of Madballs released (12 in total) plus a line of three oversized “Super Madballs” that were released. The Madballs got more personality from the Star Comics series that ran about 12 issues (I think I still have them all). It was basically a comedy comic with an abundance of bad, over the top puns. There was a cartoon show, too, and I had no idea it even existed until looking up some pictures of vintage Madballs for this feature!
I mentioned the comics because I really loved Madballs when I was a kid. I took solace in reading their adventures and looking at the newest figures in the advertisements. I never owned one because I could never find them in stores where I lived at the time so the monthly comics became my “must-have.”
Madballs also morphed into action figures where the Madballs heads were shrunk down in scale and put on a body. These guys were about 4-5” tall and featured a spring mechanism to launch the heads off their bodies. I never saw these guys in stores either, so imagine my jealousy when my cousin got some for Christmas one year (along with the motorcycle they released at the time).
I suppose I’m sharing all of this to illiterate the fact that when Mondo released this information and I saw the prototypes, there was no question whether or not I was going to buy them. I HAD to buy them. Seeing how most vintage Madballs in the package go for quite a bit on Ebay and many of the ones that are out of the package aren’t very mint at all, this would be my way to get my hands on something that alluded me when I was young.
While I had other things on pre-order and the holidays tying up my funds, I finally ordered them at the end of January and they showed up about a week or so ago.
Series 1 feature three main staples of the line: Horn Head, Skull Face and Slobulus. I’m sure it was hard not include Oculus Orbus or Screamin’ Meemie in place of one of the other figures. They all come in the same box with the only difference being which Madball is displayed on the side. All three figures are hard plastic (VINYL figures) and larger than their vintage counterpart.
I’m not really going to go into any details with the pictures below because I can sum up my thought on all three of them as follows: I think a) the pictures speak for themselves, b) I love the updated look and the detail on each character, c) the paint quality and the materials used for them is top-notch, and d) if you whip them at someone, I’m sure they’ll leave a mark.
For comparison, here’s a picture of the vintage Horn Head:
Here’s a picture of the vintage Skull Face:
Here’s a picture of the vintage Slobulus:
I’m really happy with these, but the one thing I would have loved to have seen included would be some stand to put the balls on. I’m sure they could have included a basic plastic stand or even added a ball-specific/themed stand for each for a couple of bucks more.
One thing that bums me out is I have no idea whatsoever if we will be seeing anymore of these from Mondo. KidRobot is doing blindbox smaller Madballs and keychains, as well as a new retail line that are in the size of the vintage figures. I just don’t like some of the design choices of the new figure – the Xs through their eyes are so off-putting, I won’t even bother grabbing any of them. There are other ones that are better looking that are more intact with the vintage line in foam form, but to ship them to Canada, they want $50 for shipping. No way.
These Madballs from Mondo are done so well and I’m so happy with them it’s perhaps bittersweet that we may not see any more. That’s not official, considering these were launched as “Series 1,” but I’ve asked Mondo via Twitter and didn’t get a reply.
Here’s a video of my blabbing about them! Enjoy!