The 1980s: A time of big hair, hilarious sitcoms, and gross toys.

Madballs originally bounced into the toy box in 1986 as a series of toy rubber balls. Best remembered for their horrendously bad looks, these gross-out foam balls featured unique characters and graphic names, such as Slobulus and Swine Sucker. Madballs met kids’ needs as creative, open-ended toys with completely freaky appearances. Long story short: They sold millions.

American Greetings brings back Madballs for today’s kids, with an animated series launching later this year, and a refreshed series of the original toy line from Just Play hitting store shelves now.

Designed for kids ages 4 and up, the first series of 3-inch Madballs features six characters to collect, all of which are named after the original band of weirdos released in the ‘80s.

Each Madball features a bio on its packaging, and includes a bonus collectible XCAP that lists the character’s likes and dislikes, which are totally modernized to relate to today’s kids.


Skull Face is toxic yellow with devilish red eyes and a full display of gnashing teeth. His exposed brain has a mind of its own, with a slimy gaping maw and a pair of crazed bloodshot eyes. Skull Face seeks world domination, but dislikes failing at life. #same.

Horn Head (you guessed it) features a cracked and withered horn coming out of its head, likely a result of engaging in his favorite pastime: ramming into things. His oozing nostrils and decaying eye give him that grosstastic appearance, while his bullhorn nose ring and barred teeth with exposed blood-red gums make him look tough as nails.

JustPlay_ Madballs Blind Packs

In addition to these two noxious Madballs, kids can also look for Screamin’ MeeMie, Oculus Orbus, Slobulus (personal favorite), and Dust Brain. Plus, kids can collect all 13 1.5-inch Madballs in the blind bag assortment. Each one is a surprise, and kids can try to find gross guys such as Bruise Brother, Lock Lips, or the ultra rare Glow-in-the-Dark Skull Face.

For kids who are fans of the freaky, Madballs is the perfect fit. Adults who grew up loving the brand can even use the new toys as stress balls. A welcome blast from the past, Madballs is sure to bring gross back to the toy box this year.

About the author

Marissa Silva

Marissa Silva

Marissa Silva, AKA That Toy Girl, is the editor-in-chief at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider. With more than a decade of experience in the toy industry, Marissa is a trusted toy expert, providing parents, gift-givers, retailers, manufacturers, and licensors with information on the latest news related to toys, games, kids’ products, pop culture collectibles, and licensed merchandise for adults. A board game pro and puzzle queen, Marissa spends most of her free time shopping for superhero T-shirts, dominating at Mario Kart, and anxiously awaiting her Hogwarts acceptance letter. She is also a new mom to her baby girl Lucy Jo and has quickly become an expert in high-contrast cards, wooden toys, and plush. Marissa has been featured on the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, the Tamron Hall Show, Access Hollywood, Fox & Friends, ABC World News Now, MSNBC, CBS, NY1, WPIX, and more. You can follow her on Instagram @thattoygirl.