Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Review: Madballs, Sick Series

£6.99, Argos amongst other places.

Maballs Sick Series 1&2

There are some things that girls will never understand. The importance of rear speakers...the offside rule...and Madballs!

I'd heard this toyline, originally from the 80s, was being relaunched and searched the shops to no avail.  Finally, a couple of years ago I came across them in - of all places - Poundstretcher for around £2.50. More recently I've spotted them in places such as Tesco and Argos. I've no idea what took them so long to reach the mainstream (as far as I can tell the relaunch has been discontinued in America for a couple of years now).

Madballs are a series of horrible looking balls. That's it. That's their entire selling point. For boys this is more than enough. The fact that mum/sister/gran/the girl next door hate them only adds to the appeal.

The 'sick' series takes them to a whole new level.

The many eyes of Slobulus

Make no mistake, these things are disgusting. The 'sick' series takes some of the regular balls and introduces an additional feature: squeeze them and (as wikipedia puts it) 'reveal their innards'. Spiders emerge from Skull Face, eyeballs pop out of Slobulus, worms wriggle from Dust Brain, and so on.

Out pop the brains of Bash Brain

My wife hates these things with a passion. If she had her way they'd be on a landfill site somewhere right now. Of course my boys and I love them.

Belch Beard reveals what's under his eye patch

I've read a few comments on the internet from angry people about the liquid-containing innards splitting, spewing the liquid everywhere. I've had six balls for quite some time, which have been squeezed and thrown around the room by small children and haven't come across this problem. In fact it's essential to apply quite a lot of force to Bash Brain in order to get his brains to squeeze through the netting. Maybe I've just been lucky, or maybe others have been unlucky. Maybe my kids are a lot less rough with things than other children. Who knows?

Ah, so that's what's wriggling round in Dust Brain's head

I will say, however, that after squeezing them for a while the paint does begin to peel off. The paint is designed to look a bit rough (these aren't nice clean characters, after all) so it doesn't really ruin them.

£7 is a bit pricey, but then I think the price of most toys is a bit over the top these days.  If you hunt around you can find them cheaper. I think I was extremely lucky to get mine for the price I did (though I did pay over the odds to import the 'normal' Madballs from America, who've yet to put in an appearance over here).

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