The Gremlin Creatures
Some time in 1984, my mother brought me home a delightfully weird little bendable
critter named "
Ooggy," a pinkish, scaly goblin with an owl-like face. For whatever
reason, she told me his name was "Ug," but I could care less at the time. All that
mattered to my not-quite-two-year-old self was that his pincer-like hands and bendy
body made him the
perfect companion to hobby-bug, which usually served as his
mount. Hobby-bug and "Ug" were born for one another, blood brothers til' the end of

I never once saw any of the other Gremlin Creatures in stores, but would eventually
snag the entire set off ebay for a perfectly reasonable $35. Each actually came to me in
two colors, but most of the alternates were a boring baby blue. Warm-color gremlin
creatures are obviously the master race. They were originally released in 1983, the
year I was born, in three-packs called "Outer Terrestrial Creatures." Incidentally, the
somersault action
does work almost every single time - they're weighted just right!

Thanks goes to Justin at for the names - now let's review the whole set!
Though wounded wherever I grew curious about the destructibility of rubber toys,
Ooggy has managed to hold together for most of my mortal life. At first glance, he
appears to be owl-based, but on closer inspection he's something far stranger
than any bird, with a scaly body, a pebbly head, multiple horns, and a wrinkled
trunk covering most of his mouth. Amazingly, I never actually noticed that he had
a mouth until
after I made this webpage, which means it slipped my notice for
twenty five years. I previously interpreted him with a cicada-like nose, and
now my whole world has been flip-turned upside down.
I guess Tiggy is named for his tiger-like face, though it also gives me the
impression of a koala or a dog. Like Ooggy, the rest of him is clearly not of this
Earth. The wrinkly skin, feelers, weird mechanical-looking ears and fish-like eyes
make his mammalian muzzle feel almost disturbingly out of place.
I'm somewhat indifferent towards Uggy, a rather mundane little hairy beast
design, though he certainly has the most personality of the bunch, his rude
expression no doubt reflecting a mind chock-full of insidious mischief.
Though he's another fairly plain one, I find Mooky a little more interesting than
Uggy. I'm not really sure why...perhaps its the stranger-looking, spectacle-like
Okky is probably the coolest of the bunch, a being made entirely of sucker-lined
tentacles with a serene, intelligent looking gaze. I originally lost the card back to
Ooggy after only a day, and completely forgot what all these others looked like
until their ebay appearance. I must say I was pretty thrilled that they included a
Now, I'm always going to have a sentimental preference for Ooggy, but if I'd been
given the choice, I know my childhood self would have picked out
Blobby, as I've
always had an immediate preference for eye-stalks and slime, though I'm pretty
sure my childhood self would have eventually chewed off or sliced off the eyeballs
to play with separately. Blobby is definitely the creepiest of the line and my more
objective favorite (if I can really use those words together), I love the drippy
sockets at the base of the stalks, and the humanoid nose gives him an Uncanny
Valley bonus.

I wonder if Blobby has any rigid supporting structure or he's just a shapeless
mass taking on a humanoid shape to fit in with the other gremlins....