Why DO I love monsters themed around pollution and garbage? Maybe it's because they tend to mix and match aspects of radioactive mutant, rotting undead, animate object and sometimes something totally alien into creatures whose entire existence is like a rude revenge prank; the stuff we've tried to throw away and forget about literally crawling back to cause even more problems. But why does all that appeal to me THAT much? Was it just the impression Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster left on me so long ago? Was it growing up around all the "gross" toys in the 80's, followed by the (often misaimed) environmentalism of 90's children's media?
The Garbage Collection
Whatever it is, I'm pretty sure I happen to have the most varied (only?) personal collection of Pollution Monster Memorabilia that anyone has ever amassed in one place:
People seem to like looking at my collection displays, and I do have so much fun setting them up that it's a shame if they're only ever seen by two or three people, so today I am going to share with you my collection of gross trash guys and pick out a reasonable number of them to highlight in more detail...
Let's start with this lower corner! Already you can see some of the Slimy Sludge minifigures from 2014; I don't have their entire collection on display, but a select few favorites, partially because they're not explicitly pollution-based, but I think they're implicitly pollution based, I mean, they're a faction of green "sludge monsters" vs. mutated, gas-masked zombies. They're definitely not from a planet Earth with all that breathable an atmosphere at that point.
Attached to the fake trash can is a Mighty Max item; while most toys in this line opened up into little playsets, the "Monster Heads" were much smaller, with just one detachable creature. This one was Mecha Crawler, a toxic ooze-themed guy with a gas mask whose "nose" peels off into this cybernetic octopus thing!
Mighty Max is a franchise I've always wanted to do a whole article about, but I've always held out hope that the amazingly dark cartoon series would ever be released in anywhere near screenshot-worthy quality, and very very little of it has been. I also, more distressingly, lost most of my childhood collection at some unknown point in time!
A bit to the right, I have a few things piled around some "spooky dumpster" figurines, originally meant or one of those collectible Halloween villages! The "Dust Bunny" as well as the dirty sponge guy from THINGZ are here, as well as Haluga, a Real Monsters figure with "garbage guts" on the inside. There's a Z-bot I categorize as a Garbage Dump inhabitant for my own personal reasons, because I can do that, and there's also a rotten strawberry character from 2018's obscure "Sweet n' Sour" figures, the rest of which are also scattered around the shelf.
There are also a few Trash Pack characters you've seen by now, but this toy line eventually constituted over a thousand characters that were all supposed to be garbage, so I decided Trash Pack and the related "Grossery Gang" should only qualify for this collection if they're exceptionally garbage-centric, and not just any discarded and dirty object. So around this photo you can see "Trashola," who's just a bunch of green garbage juice, the "Trash Bag Goblin" who's just a fuzzy green trash bag and a red version of "Gas Ghost," who's apparently meant to be made out of garbage fumes.
Next we have some small, humanoid flies. I used to have all my humanoid flies in one separate display, but I decided they made just as much sense here, and the tiniest ones are front and center. The lavender colored one with the extra-huge eyes is a "Zomlings" figure, so it's actually also meant to be undead. Next to him is a Trash Pack fruit fly, but I forget where the Blowfly counterpart went off to, and of course the Lego fly monster I really wish had been around when I was briefly into legos as an actual child.
The little purple one with the yellow eyes is a favorite, another Mighty Max villain! In the toy line he was just this little, mutant mad scientist fly with no wings, but in the cartoon they threw all that out to do an episode about a vampire fly woman, which was also awesome. God I wish I could find the episode in a non-potato quality. Look what I'd have to work with:
...I just can't work with that! She would be insulted!!!
The solid blue one with the great Rat Fink look is "Fly Boy" from the Ninja Turtles line, a companion figure to "Napoleon Boneafrog," and I'm hoping they'll get to him in those giant-size remake figures they've been doing because then that'd mean a bigger and fully colored Fly Boy.
Finally there's that green one with the purple pincers and proboscis. That's "Suctoria" from "Fistful of Aliens," another thing I'd love to review if only I could get decent images for the rest of it. Suctoria might tie with the Mighty Max one as my favorite fly creature here, she's too perfect!
Behind the flies are every "Trash Pack" and knockoff toy I've found representing an actual trash can! The silver one from "Smasherz" was actually surprisingly tough to find, but not as tough as that extra small blue one with the yellow eyes, who might be my personal favorite; that one came inside a little dump truck toy, from a brand I can no longer recall! The next one, with the gold teeth and the big tongue, is the rare "Trash Can" from Flush Force, then the Trash Pack's toxic waste barrel guy, which came all the way from the first "Series 1" pack I ever purchased, at a Toys R' Us in my original hometown! The dark silver one with all the lovely green slime is from the later Grossery Gang series, while the grumpy one dripping all the horrible brownish muck is "Joosed" from the second Trash Pack wave. The pink blob is a "Garbage Juice" germ from "Junk Germs," obviously not microscopic considering the grey thing on its head is an entire trash can, and peeking out from behind it is a little green dumpster creature, also from that Dump Truck toy I mentioned.
Seated perfectly in a toxic waste shot glass is a Banana Obake! I saw these wonderful gashapons in 2015 when an old friend sent me his photos straight from Japan, and I'm happy to say I eventually did acquire the entire set. I also deemed the Rotten Apple Trash Pack a worthy addition simply because an apple core is such an iconic, cartoon trash can item. I also have Swalot present because it isn't made out of pollution itself, but it is a gooey poison type and it's implied to eat garbage, right? The pokedex says it can eat an old tire. I'm assuming that means an old tire is something a Swalot might routinely try to eat.
Speaking of Pokemon, here's one of every actual toxic waste poison type, but assuming they ever get figures, I'll now have to make room for the currently brand new Varoom and Revavroom, the poisonous combustion engines from Scarlet and Violet! Behind the pokemen are more of the "Sweet n' Sour" toy line and my favorite Banana Obake, the rotten peel, which was apparently the rarest in the original vending machines.
I'll get to some of the other stuff in this photo in a bit. Don't worry!
First we'll jump over to the cluster of toilet monsters. I'm not big on toilet humor, but I can appreciate a horrible creature formed from a commode just fine. The yellow "Junk Germ" atop the Grossery Gang toilet guy is in fact supposed to represent Diarrhea, in case you needed to know that. The more detailed monster with the brush and plunger arms is from Creepy Freaks, a miniatures game that I never got around to reviewing, but I did review that Spooky Haunted Japanese Toilet he's sitting on.
...And hanging out in the Spooky Haunted Japanese Toilet is an adorably shoddy, bootlegged Toxic Seahorse I got from the Dealer's Room at Baltimore Otakon, the only geeky convention of any kind that I used to live around. I used to get a lot of neat stuff there when the dealer's room was more like a bunch of fans holding a garage sale together. As it became more corporatized, the selection was steadily taken over by more mainstream brands and their latest official merchandise. By now, Otakon doesn't even come to Baltimore anymore, and I no longer live in the same state either.
Reaching the rightmost corner we come to a "Trash Pack" brand dumpster container, and I put both versions of Muckman there. I can't believe that webpage uses my uglier, older format with the terribly grey boxes around the headlines. I could have sworn that article was a lot newer than that. I also have one of the Magnificent Maggots here!
If we jump up to the upper rightmost corner, we have the rest of the fly people I've amassed. There's every incarnation of Baxter Stockman here, though not in every single size or color variant because I'm not made of money. In fact, I can't say I actually personally bought most of the things in this or any collection I have; some of it I simply held onto from my own childhood, a lot of items are gifts, and some were even rescued from being thrown away by their original owners! Some of these are literally someone's garbage!
One of my favorites here is the purple one in the very front, with the tongue sticking out. This Japanese figure was actually part of a line that included various movie monster knockoffs, and was given to me by friend Alisha, who amasses some of the most obscure and rare collectibles I've ever seen in one person's possession!
Here's more of that line, if you're wondering, since I'm not sure I'll ever find another reason to post it. She did also send me that awesome brain alien, too! Are these some of the most "80's Japanese Cartoon" monster designs you've ever seen in your life? They could have stepped out of a Halloween Doraemon episode. The fish guy is especially Sanrio as hell.
Another notable figure is this beautiful solid rubber fly man from an obscure Mexican toy line that recreated various horror movie characters. A lot of them were direct knockoffs including an unauthorized Freddy Krueger figure, but this fly has its own original design distinct from any of the related films or remakes!
I'm gonna shoot clear across the whole shelf now, back to the left side; Scumbug from Ninja Turtles is here because he's a cockroach guy, though admittedly I don't own every kind of cockroach guy like I own nearly every kind of fly guy. The pinkish alien behind him, with the exposed brain and little bad wings, is from an obscure 80's line called "Stinkies;" these actually came in a trash-can-themed package and originally smelled horrible when squeezed, the pink one producing a scent that was allegedly identical to rotten eggs!
There's also a slimy rat monster from Barf Buddies and our first of very few Digimon, Vegiemon! Going through this collection is just a flood of website memories.
In the background is Toxic Boy, based on a character from a Tim Burton children's book, alongside an oild drum creature distributed in Kinder Eggs and another Digimon, Shellnumemon!
So who's in the even bigger metal can??? I think you'll agree that the Otyugh belonged somewhere in this collection. To its left is another Stinkies alien, a yellow mollusk that also possesses an eyestalk on top, and this one was meant to smell like dead fish when it was still new. There's also the "Body Odor" germ reminding me that I badly need to re-review the original Germs line, another Z-bot, a red Maga-Jappa from Ultraman, and in the background is a Baikinman!
Finally, an extremely tiny and extremely rare figure of Pheromosa is here, which I believe is a bootleg - I'm not even sure there's any official Pheromosa figurine at all! Not just here for being a cockroach Pokemon, mind you, but because Pheromosa canonically "despises the filth" of our world, so I just thought it'd be cute.
"Terror Trash" from the Real Ghostbusters Haunted Humans series could practically be the star of this whole collection, being a fly monster, a garbage can, and a garbage man combined into one absurd phantasm. There's also Wyrm from the Ninja Turtles, who was actually based on a Planarian, but the toy line decided that was something you find in the garbage and even dressed him up as a garbage man himself.
And if I didn't have at least one Oscar the Grouch somewhere in all this, all of you would have asked me why anyway.
This collection is also home to two of Petsmart's Toxic Creatures aquarium figurines; specifically just the two emerging from toxic waste barrels, the fish and the crab. There's also a spooky Japanese Washing Machine toy sent to me by the same friend as the Spooky Toilet, and on top of that is a zany "Bed Bug" figure from Monster in my Pocket, when it later delved into jokey bug creatures. I felt this belonged because a lot of beds and other furniture get thrown out due to bed bugs, which continue to hide in them for months or even years - especially if they can find the blood of something else to sustain them, like rats or mice hanging out in the same dump, though that's not whyy Chuumon is there; he just happened to fit perfectly by coincidence.
The last area to pick through is where a lot of the "most important" are concentrated, more or less the center of it all. You may recognize someone from the very previous Halloween post and multiple incarnations of Hedorah, who has at least two smaller figures hiding around the previous photos as well; we're gonna look closer at all this stuff for the rest of the post!
It was actually one of my very best friends who gave me this Todd Mcfarlane Figure of The Heap, a villain made of an entire garbage dump fused together, and I found that a "Smasherz" glow-in-the-dark maggot fits in Heap's mouth as neatly as a tongue-eating isopod.
Behind The heap, actually hanging off a thumb tack, is a smelly bug-infested sock monster from "Squish Dee-Lish," which I actually reviewed alongside those "Sweet n' Sour" figures. I already linked to those! I'm not gonna do it again! You snooze you lose!
Now we're gonna finally look at the middle of the whole display, where I keep some of the rarest and most important stuff; this beautiful Hedorah, in my opinion still the best ever produced, came to me via a flea market somewhere between 1989 and 1992, I honestly can't remember! This was my first-ever Japanese Kaiju figure! Despite the massive number of Hedorahs produced since, I still feel like this one is the most "movie accurate" and overall best in quality, even if only the arms are (just barely) articulated.
There's also "Smog" from Neclos Fortress here, another thing I need to do an expanded review for some day, who stands atop Trash Head.
Below the Smog Monsters are my three favorite Trash Bag Bunch that I currently own, including Scum Slug from the extremely rare second series. At Scum Slug's feet is my personal favorite "Trash Pack" design of those that "made the cut" here, a green and yellow version of "Muck Bucket!"
Here's this excellent figure of Garbodor that even came on its own little stand of translucent goo, and is hurling a big tangle of scrap to supposedly represent the "Gunk Shot" move. The bizarre orange sludge kaiju is another thing I found at the aforementioned Otakon; actually at my first ever Otakon! This kaiju isn't from any existing media, but an original art toy whose name I've unfortunately forgotten. I just love the little eyeballs and leech-like mouth in its big, flaring cuplike face, which happened to inspire the look of a Mortasheen monster. So fungusy. That blue and yellow Trash Pack is another from the first pack I ever purchased, too, and it's supposed to be a wormy compost monster!
It really takes me back, since I first saw the toy line and made that little purchase on one of my rare visits to my home state. I was in fact visiting to catch up with friends at that defunct convention, and I've lost touch with a lot of them since then.
Now we're nearly at the very end, with several personal favorites and real oddities present in this view. I do try to be a little pickier than just adding any monster that's ever hung around in a dump, but I felt like Hell Baby couldn't have been placed anywhere else in my home. There's also a neat little rotten banana guy here, who apparently came from a Roblox mod, and it blows my mind that these days you can walk into major retailers to buy merchandise for video games some independent artist put together.
On the very far left is the little orange maggot man from Mutant Mania, and while that line kind of crashed and burned, I'm still just so delighted there was ever any little toy of a guy composed of maggots at all.
Sitting on the arm of "Final Wars" Hedorah is also one of two "Stink Bugs" from the same line as the bed bug we saw earlier, and these are definitely among my favorite insect-themed figures as well as favorite additions to all these toxic freaks; how perfect are these little gas-mask insects with sludge on their backs?!
One of the most obscure and striking items in the whole collection may be this "rotten egg" monster, with dozens of little yellow eyeballs in the darkness of its broken shell, from which pour a number of vivid blue octopus-like tentacles, and for good measure it wears a little newsboy cap. Why not?! This figure is actually from the "Tech Deck Dudes" brand, which were originally little thumb people who rode around on skateboards. Later series expanded into stranger looking characters, including elaborate aliens and monsters, but this one is actually from a sort of "twisted fairy tales" line; it's supposed to be a horror version of Humpty Dumpty, and its official name is "Lumpity Grumpity." A bit of a stretch, but charming. What's more of a stretch is that these later characters were still supposed to be "thumbs;" the newsboy cap actually stands in for the thumbnail present on every other figure in the line.
Nearly the last character I'll be mentioning at all is currently the second most recent addition: a very small figure of Hedoron from the tokusatsu series Spectreman! Though the name is simply derived from the word for "sludge," it coincidentally debuted at about the same time as Toho's Hedorah, too close together for either production to have predicted the other. Hedoron was created by the evil Dr. Gori from the garbage and pollution littering Tokyo, but the design is quite a bit more involved than your usual muck-blob; a sluglike body with two shaggy, clawed feet, a bulbous head with tentacles hanging from the top, and a mouth almost lifted directly from a leech, with three huge fangs in a circular sucker!
Hedoron actually returns in an evolved form sometime later, one resembling a jellyfish-like mushroom with a comical face on it, but every figure I've seen of "Neo Hedoron" sells for a ridiculous amount of money.
Now, finally, the actual most recent addition: the first figure that's ever been produced of the Digimon Sukamon. But it's so new, I have no idea where to put it!
He fits pretty well on this toilet, and the blue really brings out his bright yellow; he becomes pretty difficult to miss.
...But I also like the way his little arm can hook onto the edges of things, and he really looks like he's having fun when he dangles off one of the trash cans! He would totally do that!
...Or maybe it's simply not right for him to be separated from his best friend Chuumon and his counterpart Digimon, Numemon, even if they're all out of proportion with each other?!
You're just gonna have to help me with this.
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