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Toxic Crusaders
by yo go re

In 1975, Lloyd Kaufman was working as the pre-production supervisor on Rocky when he had the idea for a horror film set in a health club, imaginatively titled Health Club Horror. The final product was more of a superhero spoof than straight horror, and the gym bit was limited to the beginning, which is probably why they renamed the movie The Monster Hero (later changed to The Toxic Avenger at such a last minute that the name is never actually used in the film itself).

Toxie's my name; grimefighting's my game. I used to be Melvin Junko - a normal nerd of sub-human size and strength. But that's all changed now. Just when my skin was clearing up, I fell headlong into Toxic Waste. And now look at me. I'm a hideously deformed hero of superhuman size and strength. But hey, don't get me wrong - it's not all that bad. I'm just you average creature-boy next door. Now that I've got the radioactive touch, I'm just oozing to clean-up this town - that's why everyone likes me. But grimefighting doesn't pay too well. So I do odd jobs from time to time. I once worked as a microwave oven. But when a customer threw trash under the table, my Tromatons went crazy, and I mopped up the floor with his head. But enough about me; let's talk about you...

This figure, from Super7, is not based on the movie, but on the inexplicable tie-in cartoon from a few years later. That means they're free to get stylized with the toy, rather than trying desperately to duplicate the movie costume. And we're free to yoink the bio paragraph from the back of the 1991 Playmates toy, since this release doesn't really have one.

Super7 first entered the scene when they partnered with Funko for their Alien ReAction figures, which led to an entire genre of tiny retro figures. A few years ago they partnered with Mattel to finally get us out from under the oppression of Matty Collector, so now everything they make looks like a MotU Classics tie-in (something that can only be beneficial for those too-tall, too-puffy figures). The style works really well for Toxie, the hideously deformed hero of superhuman size and strength, because - as we said years ago - this aesthetic makes things look "malformed, screwed up and just generally wrong." This doesn't use any existing MotU tooling, it's just the style, thick and blocky and rounded off.

Toxie is wearing his colorful cartoon costume, of course: a dayglo orange shirt, black pants, and orange boots with beige strips of cloth wrapped around the shins. Oh, and a tutu, can't forget that. The clothes are all tattered and torn, exposing the lumpy pustules bubbling forth from his skin. The toes of his boots are split open, with the left foot either having goo oozing out of it, or his foot has mutated to the point where all his toes now grow toward the inside rather than the front.

Part of the Toxic Avenger's familiar look was his half-melted face - it wasn't burned away like Harvey Dent's, it was sliding off the side of his head, with a bulging eye dangling down near his cheek instead of properly up in its socket. The figure includes two heads, both with the same lumpy sculpt, off-center nose, and gritted teeth. The only difference between them is the orange headband one wears. How Rambo! The pop eye on both heads glows in the dark, because that's fun.

As a hideously deformed hero of superhuman size and strength, it makes sense that the Toxic Avenger would stand 6⅞" tall. He has a balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, hinged chest, swivel waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, hinged knees, swivel boots, and swivel/hinge ankles. His black tutu can be removed, if you can find the latch for it, and the blue bandolier he wears can be slipped up over his head. Yeah that's right, Toxie, slowly get more nude! Give the people what they want!

All the accessories are updates of what the Playmates figure came with. We just mentioned his Toxic Bandolier ("Holds Mop and Blobbie! Makes Toxie look real cool!"), and you can hang his three Toxic Waste Drum Grenades ("Now it's lethal to throw trash!") from that. His weapon on the cartoon was the same as in the film - a mop - though the cartoon made it sentient, somehow, and the toyline gave it an action feature where you could fill it up with that typical 80s/90s toy slime, and it would seep out. Here it's just solid orange plastic, with an American flag that can clip onto the handle. The cartoon also gave him a little sidekick, Blobbie ("Protoplasm was never so cute and corageous!"); in the animation he looked like a magenta furball, but the toy is more like a solidified lump of goo. In 1991, Blobbie glowed in the dark, but today he's just clear with white paint on his teeth and eyes. A peg on the bandolier allows him to perch on Toxie's shoulder. Finally, there's the Toxie-Textured Shield ("It's lumpy, like Toxie's head!"), which has the cartoon logo on the front and a handle made from an old pipe.

The packaging for the figure is really cool! He's green and orange, so Super7 made him stand out by putting him against a solid blue backdrop. That's inside a dayglo orange-and-yellow striped box, which then gets a slime-green sleeve dropped down over the top, like it's coating the box. It's thematically and visually appropriate, and honestly serves to further the quality of the toy as a whole. Plus, since it's a box, you can put him back inside when you're done playing. Always a plus!

If I'd known Entertainment Earth was going to be getting an exclusive GitD Toxie, I'd have waited for that instead of pre-ordering this one right away. Yes, even though its colors aren't accurate to the cartoon. I'm just a sucker for glow-in-the-dark things! Like everything Super7 makes, this hideously deformed hero of superhuman size and strength costs about 50% more than it should, but it's an amazing update of a vintage character who's not high on the "ever gonna get a better toy than this" list.

-- 06/14/20

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