January 5, 2009
Madballs wannabes and a guest Crayon Haiku!

Hidey-ho, Crayon readers! We hope your 2009 is off to a great start. And if it's not, buck up -- we've got new Scary-Crayon content for you! That just makes everything better, right?

First up, guest author Jax is back to help us start off the new year right with A Crayon Haiku #103! Thanks, Jax! I think turkeys everywhere would prefer it if people dined on Jell-O turkeys during the holidays. Horses might not like that so much, but you can't please everyone...

And then there's a review of the latest Madballs wannabes on the block: Squirtdevil! The Madballs must be doing well if they've got knockoffs appearing in Dollar Tree -- and unlike the many monstrous spheres that have appeared in D-Tree over the years, these are clearly drawing at least some inspiration from those maddest of balls -- so I'm quite glad to see them. I'd be less enthusiastic about them if they were direct bootlegs of the Madballs in terms of sculpt, character, and so forth, but as it is it's not like they're stealing hardcore from the 'balls or trying to be much more than generic $1 monster balls that squirt water. And in that capacity, the Squirtdevil are kinda neat.

Speaking of bootlegs and knockoffs, it's time for a site plug! Some of you may recall an online archive of bootleg toys that went by the name of Bootleg Toys: The Undiscovered Playthings. It had tons of pictures of bootleg action figures, but I remember it best for its Buffy the Vampire Slayer knockoffs -- particularly the one that's dressed like Cutie Honey. I freaking love Cutie Honey, and BTVS is probably my favorite show of all time (not counting the positively abysmal sixth and seventh seasons), so a toy that combines the two was going to make a strong impression upon me. And it's a knockoff to boot? I find knockoffs highly entertaining, especially when they're as unlikely as this combination. So while I didn't remember the name of the site, per se, I remembered that it had some fantastic stuff on it.

And now, Bootleg Toys: The Undiscovered Things is back in an all-new blog format -- so if you're the kind of person who finds knockoffs to be highly entertaining (and if you aren't, why are you here again?), you should definitely add the site to your bookmarks. I fully plan to add it to the sidebar whenever I get around to updating that links block, but don't wait for that -- go now! You do want to learn about zany merch like the Hero Chariot and Space Jam bootlegs, don't you?

And now, some genuine Madballs news! First, I've updated the Madballs stickers article with a note containing the official names of those 'balls. Thanks to Madballs Central for plugging that piece! Speaking of Madballs Central, it's always a great place to go for Madballs updates and images... like new drawings of the Series 3 Madballs. Awesome! That said, the most interesting news might concern the new Madballs video game that's due to hit this summer. I'm not sure what to make of it at this point -- it looks to be some kind of action shooter and as far as I can tell only stars two of the Madballs -- but I'm looking forward to learning more. And if you're into Madballs games, there's also a Flash game on Madballs.com that you can play. I don't really understand it, so don't ask me for tips!

Personally, I'd like to see a Madballs platform-RPG type game. A platform game would make for lots of appropriate bouncing -- and with an abundance of RPG dialogue, there would be almost unlimited potential for terrible puns! If I knew anything about game creation (and had the time), I'd make a fangame along those lines myself. 🙂

Oh, and finally, while I don't plan to give the site a total makeover for some time -- even several years later, I'm still quite enamored with the way things look right now! -- I have done some minor behind-the-scenes tweaks. Now, if you execute a search, the document title will acknowledge that instead of giving you a generic category listing. I've also updated the shadowbox references for some of the more recent toy articles and added them to certain pieces, like the Madballs Series 2 review and Tresob Yr's guest review of the unlicensed Metroplex Kabaya kit. None of these things make a huge difference, but... yes.

Okey-doke, all for now! Please do comment on today's features, and let me know if Series 2 Madballs are more plentiful in your area! And if they are, let me know if they've painted Wolf Breath brown for his official release, since he appears red in the few eBay auctions yet brown in the Nickelodeon commercial and the Basic Fun store. And once again, don't forget to visit the revived Bootleg Toys: The Undiscovered Things! Tell Joe that Wes of Scary-Crayon sent you.

Until next time, then! Best wishes for 2009, everyone. :mrgreen:

-posted by Wes | 6:09 am | Comments (0)
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