This year, fans of the classic Madballs toy line will have numerous options to grow their collection. There are at least three different companies releasing updates to the classic 80’s toy line. These include Mondo, Kidrobot and Just Play. While both Kidrobot and Mondo are gearing their releases toward collectors, the new line from Just Play is setting their sites on kids as well as collectors. Of the three, Just Play’s designs deviate the farthest from the original series. Their Madballs feature more stylized, cartoon-ish takes on the classic characters, and will be supported by a series of online cartoons coming this year. The Just Play versions are also making their way to standard retail spaces, with Target stores being your best bet to find these. Fans looking to just dip their toes in the line can also opt for the much smaller blind bag assortment from Just Play.
Today, we’re looking a the first four Madballs released by Just Play. This includes Dust Brain, Skull Face, Oculus Orbus and Screamin’ Meemie. We have over 40 high resolution images as well as some thoughts on the new series. Check them out by reading on.
Madballs Series 1 by Just Play
- Fun designs
- Good sculpts
- Good chance to get kids hooked on the fun
- Nice companion pieces to the collectors releases
- Some mold issues with foam
- Sloppy paint in some areas
The new retail level Madballs are a joy to own. They’re a nice callback to the original designs, all while being their own thing. The cartoon style designs are less “gross” and more comedic, perfect for parents looking to introduce these to young kids. The sculpts perfectly reflect the art style we’re seeing from the packaging and the small adverts from the official Madballs website. They a mix of cute and creepy in the best ways. Older fans may not be drawn to these due to some changes in the overall appearance, such as Oculus Orbus having a mouth, but the option to get more classic designs at the same time (from Mondo or Kidrobot) is a wonderful option not many brands have. Much like the classics, these are packed with personality that really comes through thanks to the well done sculpts.
The Madballs are packaged in card backs that pay homage to the original series, with similar logos, colors and designs, all while being updated with new art. The Madballs are cast in a dense foam, much like the original and painted in a heavy gloss paint, with bright solid colors. There really no washes or shading here, but the designs don’t really call for that. There are a few small issues. There are some air bubbles that show through on the foam and the mold lines have some thicker excess foam around them. There is a bit of sloppy painting on the veins seen on Oculus Orbus. Fans can get around these issues, though, simply by checking out the Madbalsl carefully before picking them up in stores.
Overall, I’m really happy I grabbed these. I look forward to getting as much of the line as possible, and mixing them in with the eventual Kidrobot releases. Check out a few highlight photos below and the full gallery after that.