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Madballs

"Catch Them If You Dare!" went the slogan. And very apt it was too, for these bouncy little balls where the most grotesque ones you would ever clamp eyes on. Disgusting they were! And because of this, they were, of course, an instant hit. After all, Nerfuls were there only real competition at the time.

Bouncy balls had always been a staple of kids toy boxes for their ability to cause havoc wherever you went. Well, imagine a ball heading straight for you, but this time you're staring straight into the eyes of a zombie or worse.

Practically speaking, Madballs were rubber spheres measuring approximately 2-3 inches in diameter and they boasted the most grotesque, disfigured faces on them. They were the brainchild of AmToy, who unveiled the range in 1985. That year, eight Madballs were up for grabs, promising that their new grossness would not compromise their bounciness as a ball. And they didn't disappoint.

Because each Madball was its own little character, they were instantly collectible. The range included: Screamin Meemie; Slobulus; Aargh; Hornhead; Dustbrain, who was a time-ravaged Mummy; Oculus Orbus, who was basically one large bloodshot eye; Skull Face and Crack Head, who had his brains exposed. Due to the popularity a second series was also released, including Badballs: Wolf breath, Bruise Brother and Lock Lips. This was then followed up with a range called Super Madballs, and later still some sports-themed Madballs joined the ranks. These included Foul Shot, who suffered from worms in his eye. They just kept on getting grosser and more goo-filled with time. Those AmToy guys must have quite literally had a ball thinking up the next creations!

The toys were so popular that they got their own animated TV series, a run of comics from MarvelStar, and a video game for the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC and Commodore 64.

While kids greed for all things gross kept growing, Madballs unfortunately just couldn't keep up, and they eventually lost their bounce. But that doesn't mean to say they've been forgotten. Some, in fact, may still have nightmares about them... especially tortured little sisters from the 80s!


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Message boards

Madballs Last post by remember
22 June 2009
Madballs Last post by remember
06 August 2008

Do You Remember Madballs?

Do You Remember Madballs?

  • Anonymous user
    on
    I got the mummy cause they didn't have the one I wanted. I remember my grandma asking me if I was sure I wanted such an "ugly" ball that was clearly for a boy. lol I miss the 80s
  • Anonymous user
    on
    I had quite a few of the Madballs Figures (plastic body, but flick a switch on their back and their head would pop off). I also had the Madballs huge motorcycle that at least 3 of the figures could sit on - I remember it had a huge wide rear tyre and a basketball hoop built-in for putting the figures heads through!
  • Anonymous user
    on
    I saw the cartoon on the boob tube when i was in daycare in the late '90s
  • Anonymous user
    on
    "Madballs! Madballs! We play with those madballs! They're gross, funny, yucky, sick, there's eight -- HOLD IT!! There's eight more Madballs! Snakebait, Freaky Fullback..." I can' remember the rest of that commercial jingle... I do remember from the first 8, their was Oculus Orbus (basically a giant eyeball) and Screamin' Meemee (a snarly baseball), and that's about it.
  • Anonymous user
    on
    I had something like a madball and if you squeezed it green slime oozed out of its mouth. The slime was better then the mad ball.
  • Anonymous user
    on
    The logo was 'catch them if you dare'. I seem to remember having a zombie-type one... and I was a girl LOL
  • Anonymous user
    on
    Yeah I remeber Madballs! Me and my best friend at the time had the whole collection of Mini Madballs (figures with popping off heads!) between us and used to throw the heads at the girls in the playground! Great stuff!