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Fungus Fries

The Grossery Gang
by yo go re

Damn, Frylock really let himself go!

Fungus Fries is proof that you don't need to be crazy to live in the Yucky Mart - but it sure helps! Fungus Fries is packed with grease. This makes him a slippery dude to catch! A little crazy and mostly mad, he's a team member who always chips into battle. His motto; "Winning's easy when you're extra greasy!" Get ready to fight dirty!

Fungus Fries didn't appear in any of the Grossery Gang animated shorts until they started doing their "movies," and yet he was one of the most prominent characters in promotions, and even got turned into a mascot costume that went to meet-and-greet events! Moose Toys was certainly behind the character, even before these action figures came out.

The first series of Grossery Gang: Putrid Power figures was divided into two waves: six of the nine figures were released initially, with the remaining three coming later; this fun fungi guy was in that second wave. Like the rest, he comes with a soft PVC Grossery harkening back to the line's origins. Fungus Fries (aka "Chips McGraw") has been around since Series 1 of the little squishy figurines, but that one looked calm and happy, while this one is screaming wildly. The render on the back of the packaging makes him look terrified, but the final product could be... shouting like a drunken idiot? [GO PACKERS! WOO! --ed.]

Fungus Fries is based on a foodstuff of some sort. Pancakes, I think? His body is a red box - the cardboard kind, not the kind that serves DVDs. Just like real fry boxes, it's higher in the back than in the front, though hopefully a real box of fries wouldn't have some kind of green sludge leaking out the top. There are a few more sploteches on his back, but those are unpainted. This isn't the first time Fungus Fries has had limbs (you can't have a walkaround character costume if it keeps the the person inside it from walking), but this is more creative than the mascot was: that just had red pants and sleeves, while this toy creates his arms and legs from crinkle-cut fries! Clever! The paint even makes them look slightly burnt.

A big part of the fun with the early Grossery Gang figures was that their heads were removable, and could be swapped around with each other or even their own little PVC doppelgangers. Fungus Fries does not have that feature, because his "head" is his entire torso. The fries sticking out the top of his body-box almost look like hair. Like Guy Fieri hair. Fry Guyieri? Guy Frieri? Make up your own puns. The partially squinted eyes would probably be unremarkable on their own, but combined with the green gunk on his lips, make him look like he's been huffing paint. This is a kids' toy, right?

With no head or neck, FF's articulation is limited to hips and shoulders. There are no action features or anything (those would come later), simply swivel/hinge joints. The hinges in the hips were very stiff when I opened him, so at first I thought the legs just swiveled in place. Which would have been a weird choice, no question. There isn't a lot you can do with the joints, since his giant head will make him fall over pretty quickly unless the pose is fairly reserved, but it's still better to have the joints than not.

There were no budget line releases back in Series 1, so all the figures came with an accessory, a weapon that somehow fit their culinary theme. Fungus Fries' thingy is a lot of a fun, a frier basket, just like you'd use to cook up a big batch of fries! It's silver, with a colored handle, and though they clearly couldn't mold it as an actual hollow mesh, the detail is good and the intention is clear. Plus, the small squishy version fits into the basket perfectly, which is darn fun.

There was a second version of Fungus Fries in the Bug Strike series, but with its camo green body and a pair of goggles sculpted onto his forehead, it was way worse than this first version. The biggest shame is that Moose Toys never did a drink cup and a meatball to complete the ersatz Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

-- 02/27/20

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