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Oculus Orbus

Madballs
by yo go re

I scream, you scream, we all scream for eye scream.

There's only one way to look at this eye doctor's nightmare - away! He's a slimy mass of bloodshot veins with no focus and major detatchment issues.

Oculus Orbus is, like Wolf Breath, part of the Madballs Classics Series created by Art Asylum and the raging thrillmasters known as Basic Fun Inc. He's another update of an '80s toy, not one of the new characters AA and BFI created for their revival.

The original Oculus probably one of the most well-recognized Madballs characters - it's hard to forget a giant, enucleated eyeball. He was mostly white, of course, with a two-tone blue iris (it faded from light to dark) and lots of large red veins all over his surface. The iris and the veins were fully sculpted, not just painted on, because what other details are you going to give a giant eye?

Well, if you're Art Asylum, you're going to give it a lot of other details! The prototype was an utterly disgusting horrorshow, with bulging red veins, a lot of dingy shading on the sclera, and large cuts oozing bright green fluid. The iris not only faded from light to dark blue, it had highlights and shading, and a painted reflection on one side. Considering that Oculus is an eyeball with no body, it really looked the way you'd expect an eye that's been rolling around on the ground to look.

The final product isn't quite as impressive, but it's still pretty gross. The veins are painted thinner, with the red merely on top of the raised sculpt, not continuing all the way down the sides to the "body" - and in fact, not continuing past the mid-body seam at all! While we still get the leaking fluid (most likely aqueous humor, given its location), there's no shading to be found anywhere. The iris is flat blue, though there's still a dot of white on the pupil to suggest a reflection. The stitches holding one of the eye's wounds closed are painted blue, but then the liquid leaking out of them is blue as well, when it's supposed to be green. The stitches on the top aren't even painted at all!

The sculpt of this toy is tons better than the original. Even ignoring the cuts, stitches and ooze for the moment, the veins look more anatomical, and they all come together at the back of the ball, calling to mind the optic nerve. There's even another gross detail to be found on the back: a worm crawling throughthe eye like an apple. Ewww! It's painted a brownish-purple maroon color, probably because no one would have noticed it if it were left unpainted.

These modern Madballs never really showed up at retail, but I was more than happy to pick up the few I did at discount chain Five Below - even moreso now that modern ones seem to be selling for more than their vintage counterparts on eBay! If you want a big, bloodshot eyeball to freak out your friends, Oculus Orbus is a nice offering.

-- 10/29/15


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