October 17, 2007
Count 09: Bingo & Creepy

Missed a day here — apologies for those of you who waited for today’s installment with bated breath yesterday! To make up for it, at some point (hopefully today, but no promises there) we’ll do double duty.

Bingo is kinda bland...

Though we haven’t seen the figure on which he is based yet, Bingo is actually another repaint — this time of Fluffy, the tsunami-pissing dog that makes a brief but memorable appearance in the Creepy Freaks cartoon. Given my incredible lack of things to say about Bingo, it appears that I have difficulty talking about the repaints even when we haven’t yet covered the original versions — but here that simply could be because Bingo is a wolfman-esque dog. I like dogs, but they don’t strike me as being terribly creepy or freaky (Chinese cresteds notwithstanding) or even interesting outside of their personalities and tricks, both of which Bingo lacks because he’s a gamepiece figurine with very little in the way of a supporting story.

Anyway, Bingo is really a nicely-sculpted figure with a lot of detail, but the darkness of the paint job means that most of these are barely visible — I can barely make out his green leash, and I didn’t even notice that animal (or squeaky toy?) he’s crushing until I spotted it on the lighter-colored Fluffy figurine. All of these details give him the potential to be a neat second-tier kinda guy, but even a giant dog (which of course fails to impress given that the Creepy Freaks figures are not to scale with each other) doesn’t really have a chance as far as uniqueness goes when he’s pitted against toilet-head monsters and spooky milk cartons. Sorry, Bingo.

...but Creepy freaking sucks.

Creepy is also a repaint — again of a character who appeared in the cartoon but has not yet shown up in the countdown. But whereas Bingo is just sort of there, I really hate Creepy. Insect men are fairly standard characters for these sort of monster lineups, but whoever designed Creepy mistook lameness for novelty. Look, it’s a walking cockroach with bug spray! Oh ho ho ho ho how clever! Except it’s really not. I’m not exactly sure what the other instruments are, but I’m not interested enough in him to reexamine the figure and find out. (Maybe that’ll happen if and when we unearth the other version of this mold.)

I even dislike Creepy’s name. I understand that it’s meant to mesh with that of his brother or pre-evolution form — who goes by the name of Crawley — but given the uncertain nature of the collecting process and the apparent simplicity of the game, Creepy Freaks characters really should be able to stand alone. Unfortunately, Creepy requires his twin in order to have any redeeming features whatsoever about him.

-posted by Wes | 12:14 am | Comments (0)
October 15, 2007
Count 08: T.E.D.D.Y. & Curdles

T.E.D.D.Y. looks familiar.

Do not adjust your monitor colors! today’s first Creepy Freak, T.E.D.D.Y., not only is a repaint of Patches, but also amazingly came broken off of his stand in the exact same manner! What are the odds?! Anyway, I find it sort of difficult to talk about these repaints, as they’re more or less the previous versions in different colors. I do wonder about the reasons for the line’s repaints, though (aside from the obvious cost-saving ones). Given that this is a Pokémon-esque game, are these supposed to be stronger, evolved versions of the previous monsters? Or are they more akin to the palette-swapped ninjas of Mortal Kombat? The scant bit of supporting fiction doesn’t provide much in the way of answers, but an offhand implication that there are more than one toilet-head monster leads me to believe that these characters are supposed to be distinct entities.

(Speaking of Mortal Kombat and ninjas and whatnot, here’s a shout-out to Maximoff — he finished Ninja Syndrome a while ago, so you should go play that if you haven’t already. I still need to get around to doing it, but the graphics look freakin’ sweet! If 2D characters could wear 3D rings, I’d totally propose to Mileena.)

Anyway, I like T.E.D.D.Y.’s colors better than Patches’s — they’re brighter and provide more attractive visual contrast. That part of the body is brown is also kind of neat, as it seems as if part of this guy came from one of the classically colored teddy bears that we all know and love rather than the somewhat less charming neon versions. Also, the artwork on the stickers depicts T.E.D.D.Y. and Patches, but the upper right portion of the character looks like it was stolen from a stuffed rabbit to me — even more so with the beige color.

So considering that he has all of Patches’ virtues and an even more fetching color scheme, T.E.D.D.Y. is a bona-fide creepy freak by all accounts. I just wish I knew what the letters in his name stand for. 🙁

New chocolate milk variety!

It’s time to question the odds once again — and seriously, if you’re mathematically inclined and really, really bored, and care to look up and/or estimate all of the requisite data, do enlighten us — ’cause I somehow managed to draw not just another repaint, but a repaint of the second Creepy Freak that we reviewed yesterday. Amazing. Sour Milk was a quality character, so it’s no surprise that I like Curdles as well. The brown and orange scheme he sports works better than Sour Milk’s blue and orange, but what’s even cooler about it is that it has a purpose. See, unlike the other repaints, Curdles is noteworthy in that his text clearly marks him as being filled with chocolate milk, which helps to make him somewhat more unique than your standard recolored figure. Bravo, Creepy Freaks designers.

The different text in places also hurts him, though. Sour Milk had the brilliant missing persons reference on his back, but on Curdles the text has been replaced with “Got you!” — suggesting that the dude sticking out of his back is some sort of prankster who, for whatever reason, operates from the back of a living carton of chocolate milk. I can understand them wanting to change the text there too in order to further distinguish Curdles from his fellow dairy container, but this “joke” makes little sense and is markedly inferior to Sour Milk’s chief virtue. If they’d simply left that alone, Curdles would have been flawless.

-posted by Wes | 7:03 pm | Comments (2)
October 14, 2007
Count 07: Patches & Sour Milk

Patches is sleepy.

Patches is actually supposed to be standing up, but somehow he broke off of his stand while in the box. Given that he’s some sort of freaky Frankenstein teddy bear thing, I like to think that he actually escaped the box and roamed about a bit, but that’s highly unlikely because he is only a gamepiece and not the actual result of an unholy reanimation experiment involving the tissue of dead baby bears and possibly rabbits. The fact that he retains his cuteness despite his deformities does place him firmly in the creepy and freaky category, though, as he retains his weirdness but doesn’t cross the very thin line into terror. He’s even more nonthreatening when he’s lying down, but a dab of superglue and an hour of drying time had him standing upright and good as new.

Sour Milk is dead clever.

I really like Sour Milk. A lot of the Creepy Freaks draw upon things that we’ve seen before — even Patches reminds me of something, though I’m not sure what (some background character from The Nightmare Before Christmas, maybe?) — but spooky milk cartons are totally new to me. Again, it’s the quirkiness of this character that makes it work, though it’s also kind of cool because it could potentially inspire all kinds of seasonal arts and crafts activities. It’s been ages since I actually drank out of a milk carton, but kids in school use them every single day — and wouldn’t it be cool for them to be able to make the things into little monsters? I could see that activity eventually vying for the crown currently held by the tissue paper ghosts. Or maybe not, but it’d be a close — and far more interesting — second place winner.

''Have you seen me?''

Yep, still talking about Sour Milk! I wouldn’t even have noticed this if I hadn’t tried photographing him at an angle, and the designers could have skipped this part entirely and he’d still be awesome. But no — not content to simply have a spooky milk carton, they went the extra mile and even threw in the missing person deal on the back. Except whereas regular milk cartons just have a photo, Sour Milk has apparently kidnapped some poor green bastard and is making off with him! Not only is Sour Milk himself the cause of the notice on his back, but the kid’s question — “Have you seen me?” — answers itself because THERE HE IS! It’s bloody brill.

-posted by Wes | 8:06 am | Comments (4)
October 13, 2007
Count 06: Zip Zit & Socket

Did I mention that you can find Creepy Freaks booster packs at your local Five Below (assuming you have ’em in your area) for $1 a pop? It’s not a very attractive price for folks looking to buy multiple boxes and attain the whole set, but it’d be a neat little way for you to have a SC souvenir (of sorts) and play along at home. 🙂

Zip Zit is GROSS.

Aaand it’s back to the land of disgust with Zip Zit, a bug-eyed, red-haired, yellow-toothed, same-shade-of-yellow-cap-wearing, pasty-as-fuck, stark naked dude covered from head to toe with ripe bulging pustules. It’s even nastier when you read the comic that comes with Zip Zit. ugh. Also, for no apparent reason, he’s driving a purple clown car. A naked guy in a clown car is admittedly pretty creepy and freaky, but I can hardly appreciate it because the excess of zits keeps me on the verge of tossing my cookies.

Socket does NOT shoot his entire head.

The first repaint that we’ve encountered in the countdown (!!!), Socket is essentially Headley with a more fetching color scheme. I’ve got pretty much the same reaction to him that I had to Headley, so I don’t really have a lot to add here, but I’d like to take a moment to point out the laziness of this recolor. While the Creepy Freaks world is fucked up enough that I’ve got no problem accepting the existence of a whole bunch of skeleton dudes in superhero costumes, I do have a problem with Socket preparing to slingshot his entire head when his specified attack supposedly involves him shooting eyeballs — and only eyeballs — at opponents. Hell, the head on this figurine doesn’t even have eyeballs, as Socket only has empty sockets. I do like this mold, and quite frankly if I had a good skull mask and a superhero outfit or two on hand I’d likely dress as some variant of Headley or Socket every year, but I don’t see why the Creepy Freaks team didn’t just call his attack something more appropriate if they didn’t want to alter the sculpt at all.

Consider this instance of a twenty-something-year-old guy sincerely harping on the design and attack name of an obscure skeleton figurine my contribution to help us meet today’s creepiness and freakishness quota.

-posted by Wes | 10:57 am | Comments (2)
October 12, 2007
Count 05: King Jack & Hamlin

It’s mystery box time (!!!) as Scary-Crayon’s Creepy Freaks Halloween Countdown continues. WOO!

King Jack is my kind of Creepy Freak.

Okay, NOW we’re getting somewhere. Not everyone finds clowns to be downright terrifying, but pretty much everyone will grant that they’re some creepy and freaky bastards. As such, King Jack really can’t help but rule. The jack-in-the-box thing even helps to soften the horror to the benefit of these other qualities, as there’s no real danger that his Highness is going to chase you into dark alleyways or creep around the perimeter of your home in the dead of night — the best he can do is bob around on your shelf and look freaky and make creepy shadows and maybe give off an eerie laugh. That’s good enough for me, though!

Hamlin needs a rhinestone glove.

After the greatness of King Jack, Hamlin is kind of a disappointment. The Creepy Freaks designers tried to be a bit too clever in combining the elements of the Pied Piper of Hamelin legend to feature a rat in the role of the piper. I mean, if you think about it even a little bit, you’ll find that a weird musician who skips into town and seduces 130 children is about as creepy and freaky as it gets. Even when he’s got beady red eyes and a hunger for human children (note the sack with a child stuffed in it slung over his shoulder), there is no way that Master Splinter is scarier than Michael Jackson in his wildest fantasies. Michael Jackson gives freaking clowns a run for their money.

Also, I don’t plan on scanning these all that often, but each Creepy Freak (with the exception of the starter pack ones, I think) comes with a couple of stickers — one of which features a more or less amusing comic on the back. Given recent events, Hamlin’s seemed particularly appropriate to share. Would a joke comparing Britney’s figure to Hamlin’s be out of line?

The countdown continues tomorrow!

-posted by Wes | 6:57 am | Comments (2)
October 11, 2007
Count 04: Tulips & Frosty the Snotman

In case you didn’t notice last time, I decided to shrink the images of the Creepy Freaks a bit starting with the second starter set. It’s not a terribly significant change — I think they’re still more than large enough to highlight the details of the figurines — but I just figured I’d mention it. 🙂

Tulips needs a hug.

I feel sorry for Tulips. She’s not really creepy or freaky or even scary — she’s just kind of ugly. What’s worse is that her attack, being called “crush”, potentially requires her to develop an attraction to one of her opponents and likely lay a kiss on him/her. It can’t be all that bad for Tulips, since she willingly participates in the game and doesn’t seem to be offended by the fact that she’s expected to use her warty, oversized green lips to make advances that freak the hell out of other characters (she’s even giving a thumbs up!), but I still think this is pretty cruel. The Creepy Freaks world is a terrible place. 🙁

Frosty the Snotman makes me want to retch.

Creepy? Freaky? More like slam-fucking-nasty. I don’t see what’s so frosty about Frosty the Snotman, but really — a dude composed entirely of snot? I’m not sure what’s worse — the idea that somewhere there is a society of snot monsters having snot sex and giving birth to snot babies, or the more realistic but also vomit-inducing notion that a group of unwell children snuck out of their sickbeds and built a life-sized snotman during an intensive session of sneezing and hacking up globules of mucus. At least he’d never have to worry about Professor Hinkle stalking him to get his hat back, ’cause who’d want a top hat lined with chunky green snot? Even evil magicians would pass on that grossness.

See you next time, when we spotlight… I dunno who. It’s a mystery! :mrgreen:

-posted by Wes | 8:30 am | Comments (2)
October 10, 2007
Count 03: Nate & Worm Breath

Creepy Freaks Starter Set #2!

As you can see, we’re still not into the mystery boxes — we’ve got one more starter set to go before we delve into the contents of those long-buried cardboard enclosures. There’s not much else to be said on that front, so let’s get right to it!

Nate's got a thing for monster chicks.

Like his younger brother Lucas, Nate isn’t technically a Creepy Freak — he’s one of the human team leaders. As such, unless you were bullied by jocks throughout high school and find teens in football jerseys to be particularly unsettling, the only remotely creepy or freaky thing about Nate is his choice of playmates. Then again, several of the female Creepy Freaks are actually quite hot, so it’s quite possible that he’s only playing along in order to get his shot at a sexy Gorgon schoolgirl or a flaming hot (literally) alien supermodel. But if this is true, the fact that Nate’s willing to hang out with all sorts of nasty creatures for this purpose considerably ups his creepy and freaky (not to mention desperate) ratings.

Worm Breath is one creepy, freaky dude.

Worm Breath is probably the creepiest and freakiest of the Creepy Freaks yet. At first glance he appears to be a horrible fish monster — which is more scary than creepy by any account — but a closer look reveals certain vulnerabilities that reduce him to oddball status. Foremost among these is the fact that he’s wearing orange flotation devices on his arms, which suggests that, despite being a fish monster, he can’t swim… which kinda makes him seem less like a bona fide fish monster and more like a creepy deformed kid who just happens to look like a fish monster. And insofar as Worm Breath isn’t really a fish monster, his diet (as implied by his name) also makes him creepy and freaky, since only a legitimate fish monster would be justified in eating worms. Making matters worse, he doesn’t even really eat them — he just sort of lets them sit in his mouth until the time comes for him to reach inside and throw handfuls of them at his opponents during Creepy Freaks games. It’s roughly the equivalent of a kid storing Yu-Gi-Oh cards in his ass, which would be pretty creepy and freaky (and fucking nasty) by all accounts.

Next time: Tulips and Frosty the Snotman!

-posted by Wes | 4:56 am | Comments (4)
October 9, 2007
Count 02: Headley & Spitty Cat

Still not quite ready to get these going on a daily basis (though the last one was yesterday, so we may be getting there…), but here’s the next installment of Scary-Crayon’s Creepy Freaks Halloween Countdown! Spotlighted today: Headley and Spitty Cat.

Headley is here to save the day!

Headley is one of those obscure characters who simultaneously manages to be bland and interesting. With his homemade superhero costume and lame slingshot weapon, he’s not the most stylish kid on the block. Yet the fact that he’s also able to remove his own head and launch it at the enemy — complete with leaking brains and eyeballs from the slit in his skull — helps to distinguish him from other more or less forgettable characters quite a bit. Where did Headley come from? How did he gain his incredible powers? What motivates him to fight for the good of his fellow man monster? Do his brains grow back after each attack? Inquiring minds want to know.

Something about Headley just screams of heroism, so he’s not really creepy or freaky in my book — the brain thing is kinda gross, but otherwise he seems incredibly out of place among the Creepy Freaks. Rather, I think Headley would be more at home in some corner of the Marvel or DC universe. He’d never be a major player like Dr. Strange or the Martian Manhunter, but he’d fit in well beside the mostly forgotten but (sometimes not-so-) fondly remembered (if only by a few) characters like the Night Nurse and Brother Power. Excelsior?

Spitty Cat needs a hug.

Spitty Cat is probably the creepiest and freakiest character we’ve seen thus far. Yes, he’s an undead, decomposing cat emerging from a box of kitty litter — which is admittedly more disgusting and horrific than it is creepy or freaky — but keep in mind that Spitty Cat’s not (necessarily) a bad guy. In fact, he was likely a beloved pet until, owing to the forgetfulness of the neighbor who was supposed to feed him while his owners were on vacation, he collapsed in the litter box, died of starvation, and began to rot away.

But Spitty Cat knew that little Timmy would be devastated to find his kitty dead, so by sheer force of will he survived his death and partial decomposition just so he could rub up against Timmy’s leg and purr upon the child’s return from Disneyland. Of course, the general grossness of living dead things prompted the family to get rid of poor Spitty, which eventually led to his arrival in the Creepy Freaks world and naturally soured his once playful disposition. Nevertheless, the tragic elements of his tale and the love still residing in his worm-eaten heart keep him out of the realm of horror and ensconced in the less severe categories of creepy and freaky.

Join us next time in the Creepy Freaks Halloween Countdown, when we’ll begin spotlighting the characters from the second starter set! But fret not, reader — we’ll get to the mystery boxes soon enough. 😉

-posted by Wes | 1:00 pm | Comments (0)
October 8, 2007
Count 01: Lucas & Swirly

So here we are with the first installment in the Creepy Freaks Halloween Countdown (2007 edition)! I’m not quite ready yet to kick them off on a daily basis, but hopefully this will help to get the steamroller going. I’m planning to add a link directly to the countdown to the sidebar of the content pages, but in the meantime you can access them from the blog since they’re posted there as well.

Creepy Freaks: Starter Set #1!

As I suggested previously, for each installment, I’ll be selecting one box from my towering stack o’ booster packs and commenting on the two Creepy Freaks inside. Those boxes are unopened — or at least were opened and reclosed so long ago that the contents will be a surprise to me as well — but you’ll note that the four Creepy Freaks pictured above come not from the booster packs but from the initial starter set. I’ve decided to start with these because, in addition to the fact that I’ve never really given these characters their moment in the spotlight (outside of their appearances in the cartoon), quite a few of the 56 Creepy Freaks are repaints. Reviewing the eight starter pack inclusions first (there are two different starter packs) will at least give us a reference when we encounter the sixth repaint of Frosty the Snotman.

That said — and I’ll write more about the details of the countdown as I think of and/or implement them — LET THE COUNTDOWN BEGIN! Spotlighted today: Lucas and Swirly.

Lucas wants to catch 'em all.

So here we have Lucas, one of the two team leaders available in the Creepy Freaks starter packs. He’s more or less the Creepy Freaks version of Ash from Pokémon (he even shares the same basic outfit), only a whole lot less interesting because he doesn’t have the benefit of ten seasons of cartoon episodes to flesh out his character. He’s also a rather unfortunate start to the countdown, as Lucas isn’t particularly creepy or freaky at all — he’s just your standard annoying snot-nosed kid brother who commands living skeletons and giant talking cartons of rancid milk in his spare time. Then again, any kid that willingly hangs out with snot monsters in a nightmare world rife with political unrest and slavery and forced gladiatorial matches and eyeball trees is probably creepier and freakier than simple appearances could ever convey.

Swirly will fucking kill you.

Next up, there’s Swirly — the foremost of several so-called “toilet-head” monsters in the Creepy Freaks lineup. Old fans of Ghostbusters may notice a certain resemblance to Fearsome Flush here, but Swirly improves upon the concept of a demonic toilet thing by incorporating even more toilet and bathroom-related items into his appearance. His right and left arms are respectively composed of a toilet brush and a plunger. Whereas Fearsome Flush had a thick red cow-like tongue protruding from the bowl, Fearsome Flush uses toilet paper to taste his victims.

I’m not sure I’d call any of this creepy or freaky, though. I like the design, but I’d run screaming in terror if I ever encountered Swirly in a public restroom. He’s even more terrifying when you consider that, in the Creepy Freaks cartoon, Swirly actually flushed an opponent down his drain, thereby devouring him whole. Judging from the excess water gushing from the bowl and the tank, Swirly is incredibly backed up with the decomposing corpses of his enemies.

Okay, that was technically two paragraphs about Swirly, but whatever. 😛 See you in the next installment of the Creepy Freaks Halloween Countdown, where we’ll be spotlighting Headley and Spitty Cat!

-posted by Wes | 7:20 pm | Comments (0)
September 30, 2007
COMING SOON to Scary-Crayon…!

Hey all — quick post to say that I definitely HAVE NOT forgotten about the site and definitely WILL be posting a new article sometime tonight or early in the AM hours of tomorrow morning. Incidentally, it won’t be the second part of the QC Dinobots review, as I’m still pondering precisely how I want to continue it now that my Dinobot situation has changed. Whereas before I was fairly lacking in the transforming robotic dinosaur department, I’ve since acquired all of the Transformers G1 Dinobots.

Rawr and Ultra Gunk meet Snarl and Sludge!

What this means is that I can now more accurately comment on and compare the differences and similarities between the QC versions and their Hasbro counterparts! And since that might take up a good portion of the text, I’m not sure whether I want to do single reviews for each of the remaining dinos or do them both in one and then compare all of them in another part. I’m leaning towards the former — after maybe playing catchup with Rawr and Ultra Gunk — but we’ll see. In any case, it’s fairly likely that there will be more than two parts to the QC Dinobots review.

The article I have planned for tonight, btw, has nothing to do with QC Dinobots. I feel like I need to write something funny — which isn’t to say that I haven’t enjoyed our recent articles, but I’ve been on a fairly serious kick for a while — so I’m going to review a couple of dollar store toys. Nothing nearly as amusing as Best Friend Colton, mind you, but he will be making an appearance in a sequel of sorts that looms on the horizon. That’s later, though.

Lots o' Creepy Freaks.

Anyway, the main point of this blog entry — which you can clearly see if you view the post individually, since this is like the “test” — is that we’re going to be having a Halloween countdown of sorts on SC! I recently uncovered 35 (and possibly counting; it was 34 until this morning) Creepy Freaks booster packs in my room. If you’ve forgotten our review of the introductory cartoon DVD from waaaay back when, Creepy Freaks are these little HeroClix-esque trading figure gamepieces. Creepy Freaks didn’t do nearly as well as HeroClix figures, though (incidentally they’re both by the same company), so they ended up heavily discounted, which more or less explains why I have so many now. And given their altogether ooky motif, they’re perfect for a countdown of sorts, no? 🙂

So — until Halloween — I’m going to do something where I open like one box a day and write maybe a paragraph about each of the two figures inside. I may not get started right away (considering that October starts tomorrow, yikes!) and there may be a few skipped days here and there, but that’s the general plan. I’ll have more to say when the countdown starts, natch.

Anyway, see you in a bit with the new article!

-posted by Wes | 5:28 pm | Comments (0)
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