A blast from the 80s past, these neat little Rude Dog figures were made by Applause for Sun Sportswear Inc. Rude Dog and the Dweebs was a short running cartoon show back in the 80s, that was made to promote a line of clothing of the same name. The story focused around Rude Dog and his band of mottley (muttley lol) dog buddies, the Dweebs. The Dweebs were like regular dogs only not as smart! Rude Dog ran a delivery service from his garage and the Dweebs lived with him, having originally been rescued from the dog catcher by Rude Dog. Check out my totally rad Rude Dog fan site, Rude Dog Delta if you want to find out more about the show!
Anyway, these cute little figures all feature Rude Dog in various poses. A couple on skateboards and one on roller skates. I’m not sure if they made any more than just these three but I haven’t seen any more of them yet so to my knowledge, this is the complete collection.
Each figure is around 3 inches tall and made from hard plastic. The wheels on the skateboards turn, although the wheels on the roller skates do not. They are nicely painted, though the colours on his ears are the wrong way round on all three. Rude Dog’s left eye is pink but his right ear is pink as well, not the left ear as with these. Nevertheless, they are a nice addition to any collection of pretty rare vintage mini figures. These have “Rude Dog TM”, “(C) Sun Sportswear Inc.”, “Licenced by Applause Licencing”, “APPLAUSE TM”, “China” on the bottom. -Lara Ryan
C.H.U.D. - Suburban Garbage figure
Rising up from the gutter Suburban Garbage unleash their Mini Figure take on a C.H.U.D. What is a Chud? I hear some of you scream, no its not a politician (wait?) - Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers aka C.H.U.D. are the title creatures from 1984's Cult Horror monster flick of the same name.
They are the sewer dwelling homeless folks of New York City who have been transformed into flesh craving mutations with brighter eyes than "Watership Down" thanks to toxic waste dumped in their underground digs by the unethical bastards at Contamination Hazard Urban Disposal aka C.H.U.D. - Bloody Hell what are the chances? 😂 These nicely detailed chunky MaBa style figures are made from semi rigid resin, measure around 2 inches in both width and hight and come in two different colours - one cast in an awesome vibrant neon blue and the other in a milk chocolate brown with added painted features.
These toys feel great and shape wise are a pleasure to hold, facially Chris at suburban Garbage has certainly captured the look of the iconic movie creatures with loving sculpting given to every lump, bump, scar, vein and deformity yet somehow making them look kinda cute. I really enjoy the little details like the ripped shirt and buttons and think Chud's fingers, ears and teeth are especially well done. The brown one actually smells like chocolate, has painted gums and teeth plus one very cool feature - Glow in the dark eyes just like our beloved Chuds from the movie.
The blue one despite not having the highlighted features is incredibly cool thanks to its toxic looking colouring giving it that rad 80s retro-wave style, perfect for an item paying tribute to toys and movies of that era.
It's always a treat for us to see different toy artists' spins on horror movie icons and even more so when it's an obscure cult classic. As far as we know these are the only C.H.U.D mini figures ever produced, with RETROBAND's 2014 3.75" limited run action figures being the only other C.H.U.D toy released that we know of period!
I asked Chris of Suburban Garbage what the appeal of creating a C.H.U.D. figure was, here's his awesome answer - "I made the figure because the idea of a creature living in the sewers and eating folks is a lot of how I see Suburban Garbage - all about dangerous monsters in the dark"
Each figure comes bagged with a header card attached and a groovy little Suburban Garbage logo sticker. Only 15 of each C.H.U.D. figure were cast, making them a mega limited edition for Horror and Mini Figure Freaks.
These tiny toxic terrors won't be surfacing for long as they are extremely limited so be quick and you may be able to pick yourselves up your very own C.H.U.D or two over at SUBURBANGARBAGE.BIGCARTEL.COM (update these underground bastards unsurprisingly sold out almost straight away but still check out SG's fantastic goodies) and find out more about Suburban Garbage and their underground goodies in our interview with Chris here.
Pocket Pets Huggy Pups
Back in 1996, Bluebird toys made these odd little bean bag bodied, rubber headed dog figures. They seem to have only been released in the UK, which is why it’s hard to find any information on them. I only have the info I do because I have one of the backing cards from a pack of them I bought back in the day.
Bluebird, founded in 1980 in the UK, are famous for making Polly Pocket, among other toy ranges, as well as inventing the plastic lunchbox (some of you might remember that from your childhood!) and were bought out by US toy giant Mattel in 1998. Huggy Pups don’t seem to have had a long run, hence the difficulty finding out much about them. I’m lucky enough to have collected what I think is the whole set, plus a mother dog that I sent in for with a coupon from the back of a box. The mother dog was said to be a “uniquely shaped mum dog” and the uniqueness is that her body is a bit longer than the regular dogs.
The sets of dogs came as families. A mum and two puppies, plus an accessory in each pack. You also got an extra puppy to swap with friends. The accessories were made of plastic and were moulded as various objects such as a satchel, basket, bath tub, box and dog kennel. You could get different colour ways of the accessories as well. The only thing these cutely obscure figures did was their mouths would open if you squeezed their faces, enabling them to (sort of) pick things up in their mouths and it also meant the mother could pick up the babies by their tails. The writing on the back of the packaging makes them sound more exciting than they really were. You couldn’t really pose them or make them do much.
Each family of dogs had different names - Nosey and the Patch Family (purple), Cheeky and the Dalmation Family (dalmation, obviously), Perky and the Jazzy Family (green), Smiley and the Freckle Family (yellow), Bouncy and the Star Family (red) and Floppy and the Paws Family (blue).
As far as I’m aware they didn’t do any other colour ways but they did mix and match the heads of the dogs to give them more variety. I have two versions of the Freckle Family. These have been largely lost in the annals of time, another rare toy find! -Lara Ryan
(The glorious sticker art by Jimmy Rommel himself)
I just may have found a new favourite mini monster gang in the mutated form of 'SKREEEE' and his 3 demented chums! These 4 come as a single package with an awesome coloured vinyl sticker & fresh B&W packaging. 'SKREEEE' and the posse are the brainchild of Jimmy Rommel, AKA Bad luck Jimmy and Jeffery D'Ottavio from Deadbird Toys.
The chunky rubber fella SKREEEE makes me think of a cracked out 80s thrash metal mascot who's started pro wrestling or even a long lost member of Gwar! His huge psychotic smile rivals that of "Batman" nemesis "Joker"'s grin at his most twisted and has the mutation meets muscles combo of "The Toxic Avenger". SKREEEE's tiny keshi sidekicks are each unique and highly detailed - The toothy bastard looks like an alien extra from 1983's sci-fi/horror monster movie 'The Deadly Spawn' combined with those joke shop chattering false teeth of yesteryear, next we have a dude who looks like the fetus of one of the "Pacman" ghosts and finally a guy who resembles an offel and snot covered human heart!
Wow, what a dream/nightmare team! Bad Luck Jimmy's sculpting for these bad-ass entities are fantastic - they are original, detailed and horrific - everything I look for in a toy. The clean casting by Jeff of Deadbird Toys is so intricate and solid with not a blemish or hanging excess material to be found.
Size comparison next to 'Monster in my Pocket' 'M.U.S.C.L.E' and 'OMFG
Jeff & Jimmy in my eyes have taken custom mini figures to a whole amazing new level! Let's hope for more mental collaborations from them in the future! Let's hear a little from the creators of these wonderful little abominations- Jimmy Rommel aka Bad Luck Jimmy told us a bit about how 'SKREEEE' came to be -
"I designed Skreeee while in a part of a design funk, and just wanted to do a really busy piece with the fucked up smile, and was covered in lumpy, visceral textures. I wanted it to be kind of chunky and hefty, too. The sidekick characters are basically just vermin from the necropolis he comes from.
So, now that the release is in the books, the stickers came out pretty well, and I’m super happy with the tactility with the figure, I’m definitely going to be delving deeper into their universe. The challenge with the future figures will be making sure they are as satisfying to handle as the Skreeee figure was."
Damn these creeps get everywhere!
Jeffery D'Ottavio spoke to us about his part in SKREEEE's creation -
" First off, SKREEEE initially came about shortly after Jimmy and I decided to team up. He had offered to create a sidekick figure for my upcoming MDK 3.75” release and, naturally, I agreed to it. As he went along with the sculpt, we both kind of realized that it was more of a standalone figure than a sidekick. With that in mind, Jimmy started to punch up the size of the figure. If you know Jimmy’s work, you know he’s a master of insane levels of detail in absurdly small figures, so bumping the size of the figure up to a bulky 2 + inches gives Jimmy a great opportunity to really show off his sculpting skills.
(An exclusive sneak peek from Jimmy of the next creature that's destined to share SKREEEE's universe!)
My only input in the actual design was initially requesting that it fits into the MDK universe (lumps, bumps, scars, mutated features, etc). Even as the purpose of the character changed from sidekick to standalone figure, he stayed on track with those features, so we ended up with a suitable and kickass new character that can also act as a companion piece to the previous MDK releases. Usually, our concept conversations are pretty straight forward. It always starts with one of us throwing out an idea, the other expanding on it, both of us developing the bigger picture idea, then we both move forward with the plan. SKREEEE was no different. It started small, evolved beyond the original idea, grew into its own thing, got its own sidekicks, and now it’s easily one of our favorite figures. It also opens up a whole new world within the existing Dead Bird Toys and Bad Luck universe (and that’s never a bad thing). There’s always the conversation about crossovers, expanding on the line and the bigger universe, so starting strong with SKREEEE was a fun way for us to dive into a new universe."
Well I don't know about you "Flying Pupils" but I certainly learned something there! Many thanks to Jim and Jeff for the insight. If they are still available I suggest you mini figure freaks pick up a 'SKREEEE' ASAP over at Deadbirdtoys.com. Keep your eyes on the fly as we'll be conducting full interviews with Jeffery & Jimmy soon! 👊🏿💀 -Will Pryor
When I came across these Rocket Dog figures in a charity shop, I had no idea they would be as rare as they are. I had previously seen them in shoe stores and as far as I’m aware they are promotional “shop props” for displays of Rocket Dog brand shoes and not for sale, hence why I wanted them! They cost £1.25 each, so it was a nice bargain and I was planning to resell them on eBay, thinking that they were worth something.
However, when I got home and did a few internet searches, I found near to nothing on them. One eBay listing for the white one, where the seller was asking £10 for it and a photo of the purple and pink one on a collector website, where the person had just said they had added it to their collection. Due to their rarity I decided to keep them! They are made from a hard plastic/vinyl, with heads you can turn and the only information I can find about who made them and when, can be found on the bottom of their feet where it says “(c) ROAR Creativity Limited 2008”, “Worldwide Rights Reserved”, an EC design number and the CE symbol. ROAR is a creative agency based in Camden Town, London and they have a website and Facebook page. I’m not sure if they came in more colours than the two I have since I haven’t seen any around but these are certainly a neat find and a fun addition to my figure collection! -Lara Ryan
WHAT IN THE GALAXY ARE SPACE ALIEN HUNTERS? The little known 'Space Alien Hunters' toy line was released in 1993 by innovative toy company TrendMasters (1989 - 2002). SAH's were an assorted bunch of vicious looking rubber alien action figures that came in a wide variation of shapes and sizes and were mostly of the bendy toy variety, ranging from the 2.5 mini figures right up to humongous 12" electronic models. Despite being generally known to collectors as "Space Alien Hunters" these large figures are strangely the only ones actually marketed with this title; the smaller figures being known simply as "Alien Hunters" and the mini figs were packaged as "Alien Hunters Micro Warriors". The material they are made with is incredibly durable, however, with the larger figures, as often found with bendable toys - the paintwork rubs off with excess play. I happen to be a huge fan of bootleg figures and these with their budget toy look I find very endearing. The line is thought to have been a cheap knock off of the (at the time) extremely popular 'Aliens' and 'Predator' figures from toy giants, Kenner.
Why do I love space alien Hunters? Firstly they're the gnarliest looking Astro Bastards this side of planet Xonader, each with their own unique spin on the evil alien template; many decorated with awesome skulls. The materials these figures are made from are what I'd imagine real extraterrestrial flesh to feel like. The variety of sizes makes them really interesting to display together and the range of novelties keeps the big kid in me captivated. Also, being a relatively unknown vintage toy range, makes each score rarer and much more personally satisfying than collecting household name toy franchises. There are four different styles these intergalactic bad boys came in - 1. 6x Expandable Water Toys (250% growth). 2. 6x 2.5" Solid mini figures with eggs. 3. 2x 6"- 8" bendy rubber figures. 4. 2x 11"-12" battery operated bendy rubber figures.
The hardest to find appear to be the growing ones, which isn't that surprising to any of us who have ever owned a similar toy. Once they've grown and returned to their regular size, not only does the novelty factor wear thin, the material also does, causing the toy to crack, wrinkle and end up resembling ET's ball-bag. With this in mind many of the little buggers probably ended up in the garbage!
The little fleet of hard rubber painted mini figures known as "Micro Alien Warriors" are wonderfully detailed and pretty bulky sculpts. Each one came with a plastic egg to store them in; they were known as Cocoons! These creatures are hench as fuck and look like they would eat/decimate a primary school without a second thought.
The posable action figures are completely different to each other, one being a 6" tough buff green reptilian dude who came with a firing rocket launcher, the other is a sly looking 8" black lanky string of piss with no weapon. If you spliced the DNA of a snake, a Xenomorph and Venom together it would probably look a lot like this fella.
The two largest figures are also poseable, they are massive and shadow all my other collectables with their pure size and bulk. Unlike their smaller counterparts these have a switch to enable their electronic actions - Both creatures have light up eyes and make sounds that are motion activated. The mean green bastard has a cannon built on his shoulder which fires plastic rockets where's the other, the "Rawhead Rex" type looking mofo with a huge tail, launches skulls. These two seem to be the easiest of the "Space Alien Hunters" to get your hands on, but finding them in full working order is always going to be harder and complete with all accessories such as skulls is bordering on impossible.
TrendMasters shot into the big time the following year in 1994 after picking up the rights to 'Godzilla' and later 'Independence Day' as well as other mainstream properties. However their inventive non franchise offerings are the ones that really turn my crank! Unfortunately TrendMasters shut up shop in 2002 ironically many people put the company's downfall down to their inclusion of merch tying in with the 1998 'Godzilla' movie, which may have been their biggest piece of licencing to date but the films failure to captivate audience members meant the toys sales were rather underwhelming to say the least. Interestingly for those movie toys, they actually pinched many of SAH's formats e.g. the growing toys, mini figures in eggs and large rubber electronic figures. TrendMasters may not exist anymore but their many unique spins on the action figure market will forever hold a special place in my heart especially, unsurprisingly, those mighty "Space Alien Hunters". -Will Pryor