31 "FLUSH FORCE" FLUSHIES!Consider this an ultra-belated, off-season Halloween article, since this wonderful new Trash Pack competitor actually debuted at the end of December 2017 and just barely missed its chance to be a part of my Halloween marathoning. It's just as well, since it took another few months for it to even get an official website with images for me to borrow, and what better excuse for me to get back into article-writing?
So, speaking of the Trash Pack, you know I was pretty into it for a few years and still fond of some of its ongoing efforts, but even I grew kind of tired of its homogeneous aesthetics, especially after its rebranding as "The Grossery Gang." Who knew it was possible for living pieces of garbage to ever actually lose some of their novelty over time? Did you?! You liar.
Fortunately, Spin Master toys have really picked up some of the slack, and even those of you who were always impartial to the Trash Pack may find something to love out of these plastic toilets:
Whereas the Trash Pack and Grossery Gang were usually content to just slap faces and a little green goo on some everyday objects, Flush Force's "Flushies" are canonically mutated monsters from a polluted sewer, and vary from simple face-on-a-thing designs to cycloptic, multi legged slimy tentacle creatures! You can see them all on that official website I mentioned, and we're going to look closer at some of the more interesting additions, though "interesting" doesn't always mean completely positive, and we'll start out by highlighting my only major complaint about this line...
FLY SQUATTER :(
Ironically, the arthropod characters have my least favorite designs, and my very least favorite of them all is what passes for a Dipteran. They've taken my favorite creature in the whole wide world, and turned it into a weird looking grouchy bee, lacking any of the unique, adorable charm of actual flies or even their trademark tubular mouth. What's more, Fly Squatter's figure doesn't even look as decent as this artwork does. While other Flushies have remarkably fine sculpts and paint jobs for their size, poor Fly Squatter is a barely painted, cheap looking pencil topper you might expect to get out of a 25 cent machine.
MONSTROUS MAGGOTThe larval stage of my favorite little critters fares at least a bit better than it will post-metamorphosis, except of course for the fact that it still looks nothing whatsoever like its real world inspiration. A cute little mean bug and probably the best looking of the "Squirmin' Vermin" figures, but still not quite my style. Maybe it's yours? You can see how these figures have a chunky, angular style to them, which works especially nicely with the chitinous ones.
BAT BIT CRAZYSo, let's jump from my minor disappointments with the series to something that I think has VERY broad appeal. Not all of you are into slime mutants and bugs, but how do you all feel about a daffy purple bat that obviously can't fly and constantly stands on its head?! In the app game, because there's an app game by the way, the bats even move strictly by bouncing around on their noggins!
The only downside? Both this bat and an all-black counterpart are "flocked" figures, meaning they're covered in a fuzzy texture that kind of hides the figure's detail. Worse yet, you're supposed to expose your Flushies by dunking their toilet packages in water, and this visibly, permanently damages the flocked figures. Just tear the things open if you don't want to risk it.
CROCOBILELike I said, a lot of these characters will probably be hits with people who don't even share my taste in gooey eyeball mutants, and I'm sure a vicious baby croc with a bucket on its head is going to be pretty high up on that list. Crocobile seems to be the main mascot of the series, which makes sense, what with the famous urban legends of sewer-dwelling alligators, flushed down toilets when they were allegedly still baby-size.
BILE BURGERWhen it comes to rotten food creatures, I think I still kind of prefer the Trash Pack's more maggot-ridden approach, but I definitely appreciate the bulging, froglike eyeballs and nasty green fangs of this mutant sandwich.
BLEH BLOSSOMAnd speaking of fangs, just how badass is this goth flower with neon human teeth and JUST teeth!? This is a legitimately menacing design I could see in even the most serious horror setting. Flush Force doesn't limit itself to things that make sense to come out of a sewer, no, but I'm glad its world is one where people apparently flush entire potted plants and who knows what else.
FIRE IN THE HOLEAn odd name, but there's a lot to love about this critter. It's really just a one-eyed blob of warty tentacles, but it holds a manhole cover as its "face" and I guess a protective shield. There's a real "video game enemy" feel to the designs in this line that I think you'll continue to notice as we move on. This by the way is one of the "street creeps," which I think is probably the overall coolest and most striking of the various groups.
18 LIVESI know this is only a two headed cat, but I'm including it 90% for the name alone, and so you know that this line has an entire family of two-headed animals.
MEAN STEAMEDHave you ever seen a more formidable cauliflour monster? Or all that many cauliflour monsters at all? They've basically turned it into an insect-legged plant-brain getting eaten alive by worms! Naturally, there's also a broccoli version, as almost every sculpt in this line comes in at least two names and color schemes.
HOT SNOTThere's a lot of personality in this pugnacious tissue box. It's kind of surprising there's no actual snot present, as several other Flushies have green slime oozing out of them, but I guess Hot Snot's vengeful rage against humanity stems from never getting the chance to fulfill its purpose before it was callously discarded.
UGLIE SLUGGIESAnother of the two-headed Flushies are a pair of slugs, whose design I could have probably liked a little better, like if both of them had their eyes popped out on stalks, but I appreciate the concept regardless.
DANGER CONEI guess this is a pun on "Danger Prone." I am definitely a big fan of creatures who peek out of some kind of outer shell or casing with a mostly hidden body, and the traffic cone critters might be among the cutest Flushies in the series. It's unfortunately hard to tell from the figure, but those are sucker-lined tentacles protruding in a bunch from the cone's tip!
PB & SMELLYThe blocky, polygonal stylization of these creatures is looking especially neat in these ribbons of ooze, which turn a broken jam jar into a sort of shelled, fruit-flavored octopus-slime!
CURDLEI mentioned loving "mostly hidden" monsters, and the series has no less than three creatures with reptilian feet and single eyeballs emerging from some kind of package. There's a cardboard box one, a paper bag one, and finally this milk carton edition, which I think is the most fun of the three. Is it a sewer mutant using a milk carton like a hermit crab uses a snail shell, or did it mutate from the curdled milk left within?!
BROWN TROUTThe "aquatic animal" family of Flushies is surprisingly underwhelming to me, maybe because it doesn't feature any cephalopods or cnidarians, but this messed up fish with five or six eyes is kinda cute. I'd have just opted for the "Foul Floaters" as they're called to include at least one "reverse mermaid." Fish with human legs are classic freaky sewer mutant material!
FRIGHT LIGHTSTurning traffic lights into eyes is a simple, obvious concept, but still not one that I've seen all that many times. I'm glad they don't add much else to this one except some crab legs, seemingly formed from the light's wiring!
SLOPPY SLUGAgain, a gastropod character I'm surprisingly not all that big on. I guess I just prefer slugs and snails with their natural cuteness over giving them dinosaur teeth and regular non-stalked eyes, but a slug monster is a slug monster, and I like that this one borrows a soda or beer can as a makeshift snail shell.
WHATTA-FELONI'm actually fairly impartial to this design, which is actually the wrong version of the figure because the official website messed it up anyway. I simply wanted you to know that there exists a slice of watermelon with an eye whose name is WHATTA-FELON.
HORROR HYDRANTThe first character that really stood out to me in promotional images, I love how the bottom of this cute one-eyed hydrant is actually a circular, tooth-lined mouth, and it walks on multiple green tentacles that I guess are more like multiple tongues!
STINK EYEAnother of the plant creatures, this one opts for a big reptilian eyeball rather than just a set of teeth, though the surrounding vegetation also evokes a jagged underbite, which really gives it a lot of unique charm. I can see this mean little plant being a fan favorite.
BANANA SLIPSOne of my top favorites, I've mentioned before how much I like moldy banana monsters, and this is a much more appealing one than the Trash Pack ever offered, I think, due to its octopus-like form and huge, differently sized eyes. I might have gone with a different mouth, or best of all no mouth, but it's still a pretty cute little bananapus.
DEAD STOPConsidered one of the "street creeps" rather than one of the "squirmin' vermin," this pale termite-like creature is a little cooler than the other bugs by way of its bent up street sign carapace.
PINK EYEYou can't have a series with this many eyeballs and forget to have a creature that's almost ENTIRELY an eyeball! It's not actually pink anywhere, but this is one of the "putrid parts" team, who canonically come from a funeral home. I mentioned that every single Flushie is supposed to have mutated after someone flushed it down the toilet, right? I think "Dead End Mortuary" as its called on the website has a pretty big lawsuit coming.
Sadly, all of the Putrid Parts are "limited edition" figures, ultra rare to come by, and nobody has even found a Pink Eye yet.
FLIPPY BLOWHOLEHow great is it that we also get a maniacal, mutated sewer-dwelling dolphin, with an eye patch, whose name is "Flippy Blowhole?" He only comes with the giant-size collector's case toilet, but there is also a realistically grey-skinned version named Capt-Fin, if you prefer your mutant sewer dolphins to have higher military rankings.
PUTRID PETALHard as it may be to find Pink Eye, I'm not too concerned when a more common figure is honestly the superior eye-creature. Flush Force is totally spoiling us on botanical monstrosities, and this glaring eye within a fang-lined fly-trap is simply beautiful, looking to me like some sort of Kid Icarus or Metroid enemy.
BURN LANEAnother one that wears a street sign, only this is some kind of prickly, ball-shaped reptile with a single pair of stumpy feet, which is adorable, and it's almost impossible for me to envision it not rolling around at Sonic the Hedgehog sort of speeds, especially not with a name like that!
MONEY PYTHONOh my god. That name. That is the best name out of all of these doofuses. They can never possibly, possibly top this.
It's not a bad design and concept, either. A mutant snake with a parking meter for a head? Or is it just wearing one like a helmet? I think I prefer the "actual head" interpretation, and I guess the green goo is the venom it sprays in the faces of people gullible enough to fall for its disguise.
DANK DENTURESAnother "putrid part," and my second favorite of its group. I'd actually like it even more if it had either no eyes, two eyes, or its single eye was off to one side. I don't know why, but I'm very picky when it comes to one-eyed monsters, much more so than any other ocular arrangement.
THRASH CANObviously a favorite of mine, even if there's not much to this but a mouth and feet on a garbage can. That's definitely something I have seen before, more than a few times, but it always manages to be a hit with me.
BRAINDRAINDamn it. You know how much I love brain monsters! Especially brain monsters with the eyeballs still attached! Why did this have to not only be a limited edition figure, but apparently the most limited of the limited edition figures?! Not fair, Flush Force, even if that very appropriately designates Brain Drain as the top contender for "leader" of all Flushies.
PUKEY PIEWasn't that the name of a horse cartoon??
Seriously though, this might be the best design in the whole series, and really shows off what I mean about these being full-fledged monsters rather than just "things with faces." They took a slice of pizza, curled it over like a weird, gooey scorpion, stuck arthropod legs on it, and put eyeballs in its crust to give it basically the face of a hammerhead shark. Every single aspect of this is lovable, and it would even be lovable if it wasn't also a mutated pizza. It's not like its easy to tell with such a wacky color scheme, but don't worry, it has a cousin that comes in more natural cheese and pepperoni colors, too, and it's one of the first ones I unlocked in the app game:
By the way; this game is a shameless ripoff of Pokemon-Amie or Pokemon Refresh. You get to feed, pet, and bathe your mutant pizza.