(Editor’s Note: Today’s review comes courtesy of my friend Mild Weasel, who you can find on Instagram. Mild Weasel is a long time friend– we’ve bonded over weird toys, weird comics, and weird music. I have absolutely no familiarity with the subject of his article, Galoob’s Trash Bag Bunch, which is why I’m extra excited to host it! Just look at these malevolent screwballs! And by the way, Mild Weasel is the toy collecting alias of Ben Jeddrie, who Instagrams and Twitters as @zyblonius about many other things also.)
Article and Photos by Mild Weasel
For those of you less familiar, the Trash Bag Bunch are a pretty spectacular line of toys. Sold on blister cards, you would open the pack to take out a sealed amd branded plasticky foil bag. Within that was a papery pouch, resembling the titular “Trash Bag”. This would then be submerged in water, wherein it would dissolve while a hidden seltzer tab would bubble and foam. Reaching into this toxic sludge, you would find a surprise toy! And it was most often pretty dope. Here are a few of my very favourites:
A spectacular entry, Muckoid manages to be almost generic yet viciously iconic. Chunky and solid, he seems like he would be enormous in real life. Four staring, vacant eyes and a gaping mouth full of needle-like teeth offer a sense of sheer madness. This is a beast that devours mindlessly. A behemoth that would bite a Buick without hesitation. But what does he do with those spindly hooked limbs? Pray you never find out!
The doglike Garbeast has a face oozing with personality and raw disgruntlement. Whatever his name implies, he is clearly a creature of deep and judgmental intelligence. His thick, powerful limbs are a clear danger, but more chilling is not knowing whether he plans to tear you down with brutal efficiency or prolong the agony as he strips your very life to the bone. Or perhaps he’s just deciding where to order in from? Pray you never find out.
Here’s where things get weird. What even are we dealing with here? A mouth that splits the very head in twain. Eyes brimming with mournfulness. And that name! What is a liceplant? An abomination who regrets it’s very existence? A carnivorous growth that stalks the jungle, intending no harm but in thrall to it’s own insatiable appetites for flesh? Do those vines dangle in listless malaise, or crack like whips as they ensnare you irrevocably? Pray you never find out!
4. Scum Lizard
More so than the preceding, Scum Lizard seems ready for action and driven by bad intent. Likely a pirate or raider, he surely takes what he needs and, one imagines, delights in whatever cruelties can be enacted along the way. A massive cybernetically enhanced fist can prove fiendishly useful in such cases. But is he a lone maverick? Or does he command the other denizens of the Trash Bags to further his despicable goals? Pray you never find out.
Part machine, part werewolf! Was Junker ever human, or is his curse far more complex? Either way, there is no question of his ability to hunt, to chase, to rend skin from muscle, tendon from bone, soul from flesh. How far will his desperate appetites drive him? Pray you never find out!
Skuzbeast is a foul mystery, a shambling mockery of nature. Like the fabled Bigfoot, he is nearly impossible to photograph. Little is known of his story, but his presence is easily felt. Lumbering through woodlands, beset by foul odours and emitting harsh, guttural cries of intellectual agony, the Skuzbeast lurks and prowls alone. Skuzbeast, what secrets do you hold? Let us pray we never find out.
Thanks to Mild Weasel aka Ben for bringing these loveably disgusting hellions into our lives! I clearly need to learn more about this toy line. I was pretty immune to the “gross out” toys of the 90s, though, as I was much more focused on transforming robots, interlocking building blocks, and plastic army dolls. But I missed out!
Did you have any Trash Bag Bunch toys? What was your first experience with blind bag figures? Do you collect any of the various “little weirdo” toys like these, Monster in my Pocket, or MUSCLE? Let us know in the comments!
5 thoughts on “1991 Trash Bag Bunch: The Sickest Six”
I really love scum lizard! He’s right up my alley.
I think the creepiest thing I ever had was the creepy crawler oven, but it made x-men. I remember I made a Wolverine and I had him for a long time, but eventually his flesh was breaking revealing the wire frame within. It’s actually metal as hell when you think about it.
Anyways, I’d like to know the whole line and see if there any others I like. Will I buy a scum lizard? Pray you never find out!
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Thanks for stopping by, Cody!
I am not sure I remember an X-Men Creepy Crawlers oven but holy crap there was so much X-Men stuff. And I had a lot of it! I was obsessed (still am). But when that many products exist, some are bound to slip through the cracks. I do remember seeing Creepy Crawlers commercials all the time, along with some sort of spooky Easy Bake Oven that made gross-out junk food. And revealing Wolverine’s wire skeleton is definitely on point!
And here you go– go nuts! https://www.figurerealm.com/actionfigure?action=seriesitemlist&id=3288&figures=trashbagbunch
Somehow this toyline completely passed me by, and I was around at precisely the right time for it. Another Galoob line from the same time period, Z-Bots, totally lit my fire, so I have no idea how I had those but not these. I also had this line confused with a modern gross-out minifigure line, the Grossery Gang. Some of those even came in similar trash bags, I think!
Oh yeah, and I’m preeetttty sure that at least some of these figures (at least the Muckoid) were designed by toy industry legend Mel Birnkrant, the same guy who designed the Colorforms Outer Space Men series.
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They completely passed me by, too. And I also kind of confused them with Grossery Gang– until I saw Ben’s photos. It seems like there was some sort of blind bagged toy from the recent past that had dissolving trash bag packaging, but I’m not sure what it was.
I just did a quick web search, and you’re right about Birnkrant. What an amazing fella! It looks like there have been some more recent “art toys” of the old TBB designs, too. Which is kinda neat.
Man, I was pretty dubious about these when I saw the name “Trash Bag Bunch”, but these are some pretty creative concepts with some nice sculpting, and the colors are wild, but they work for such weird creatures! Even the most prosaic of the bunch, Junker–he’s a werewolf, sure, but a cyborg werewolf? When did you ever see one of those? You’ve got Gug-like weirdness with the Liceplant, the Garbeast has some real personality, and the Muckoid–he’d be perfect to assault Power of the Force Star Wars or GI Joes.
I must have missed these as a kid. I guess you can’t judge a book by it’s cover!
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