Creative Spotlight: Boglins

As Fall quickly descends upon us, the time for fond remembrances of fear-filled childhood creeps ever closer. A sort of retro-vision through which the gifts, grue and gross oddities of yore are looked upon with a ghoulish kind of glee. Non more so for this strange kid than the rubber-skinned, pus-inspired Boglins.

Half rubber hand puppet/ half dog chew toy, Boglins emerged in the monster boom of the late 1980s. Their popularity, often attributed to movies like Gremlins (1984), Ghoulies (1985), Critters (1986), and Munchies (1987), really stems from every adolescent males' subconscious need to frighten, terrorize and cause all sorts of general mayhem. These little dudes were the perfect alibi: Oh sorry for field-dressing your cat and burning your house down Aunt Hazel... the Boglins made me do it!

Released in an assortment of "species" Boglins were characterized by their awesome packaging which was essentially a cardboard cage complete with flimsy, plastic bars. The larger ones featured movable parts such as eyes and mouths (some could even glow in the dark or shoot water), but my favorite part by far has to be their rubbery latex skin. Unlike anything I can recall from my childhood, these things jiggled like a floppy sack of rancid Jell-O. Its akin to taking a stack of baby boogers, balling them up and sticking it in the fridge overnight.

Though short-lived, the initial Mattel line only lasted a year, Boglins at least made it as far as Kelloggs front door before falling into obscurity. A re-release in 2000 included a few minor additions, but I will always remember them as the jiggly balls of ugly that served as both a source of imagination and seven days suspension for scaring little Suzy Cline in 5th grade Math class. Sweet!


  1. ZedWord said...:

    The best thing about Boglins (beside the stink made by the rubber as it decayed over time) was that the commercials actively encouraged anti-social behavior. You don't see that in kid's toys commercials any more.

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