Thursday, July 23, 2009

A TRIBUTE TO GREEN SLIME


SLIME

Slime was one of the coolest things about growing up in the 80's. Sure, there was a plethora of terrible glam hair bands, heavy metal denim jackets, awful synth-pop music, and plenty of cocaine during this decade. But nothing represented the innocence and freedom of youth quite like slime! This entry is a tribute to the gooey sticky green stuff that made being a kid so much fun . . .


It all started for me sometime in the early part of the 80's when I religiously watched You Can't Do That On Television, and the kids got green slime dumped on their heads every time they said "I don't know." I used to cheer at the TV set every time it happened. While grocery shopping with my Mom it was always a treat to drop a quarter in the vending machine and leave the store with a plastic bubble full of slime, which I would then use to terrorize my little sister and pretend I was sneezing out a handful of bright green snot. Even more fun was throwing the glob up onto the ceiling and watching it drip down, ignoring my Mom's yelling from the next room.
They even had "sticky hands" that you could slap on a friend or nearby wall, providing endless hours of enjoyment. When Ghostbusters came out in 1984, slime was all the rage, thanks to Slimer and the infamous Bill Murray line "I've been slimed."


But nothing was more fun than the abundance of grossout toys. Toy companies like Arco and Mattel in the 80's were all about slime -- some of my favorites being the
Mad Scientist Dissect-An-Alien, Alien Blood, and Living Ice series, Masters of The Universe Slime Pit, and the Manglor Mountain Volcanic Playset.



The Dissect-An-Alien kit was the coolest fucking thing I've ever seen -- you got a plastic alien with a rubber chest that would open up, and you could remove his organs (and of course, slime) with a plastic scalpel and place them on their appropriate spots on a laboratory mat.
The slime glowed in the dark too! That was basically all the toy did, but what more do you really need when you're 7 years old?! I still have no idea to this day how I convinced my parents to buy me this ridiculous item . . .



The Alien Blood figures were soft rubbery characters that you would fill with "alien blood" and when you squeezed them, slime would ooze from their nose, eyes, and mouth. Characters named Sammy Sneeze, Billy Belcher, and Oscar I-Rot were disgusting, and I loved all 3 of them.


The Living Ice series took the idea a bit further, and although not technically "slime" but rather a sculptable form of "goo," it was still an awesome toy. The Living Ice playset came with a small container of "ice" which you would pack into a plastic mold, and when you squeezed the two molds together you had a tiny little monster. And what would you do with this little guy? Well, you could pull him apart and make another one, or splatter him against the wall, as the box so blatantly advertises. Just take a look at this cute little bastard named I-Chomp below . . .



Every boy growing up the 80's loved He-Man. If you didn't then you must have been a complete loser who got cheap thrills by pulling up the skirt on your little sister's Barbie doll. Everyone remembers Skunkor, who smelled like . . . yup, you guessed it . . . a rancid skunk. But how many people remember the Slime Pit? A torture device designed by Skeletor and his evil minions, the Slime Pit was a tower with a dinosaur skull at the top that you filled with slime. He-Man and the "good guys" would then get placed at the base in the grip of a skeleton hand and the skull would ooze slime down onto them. Pointless, yes, but more fun than leaving pennies on your Grandma's floor and then hiding under her kitchen table and watching her pick them all up like she just won the lottery.



And lastly, my favorite of the slime toys, was the Manglor Mountain Volcanic Playset. Similar in concept to the Slime Pit, this was a volcano with a gargoyle head. It came with a "manglord" (a figure much like Stretch Armstrong) who you could pull apart and stick back together. You would place the manglord into a plastic iron maiden-like coffin, drop him into the top of the volcano full of slime, and press a button in the gargoyles mouth. Then the coolest thing ever would happen -- the manglord would sink down into the slime! Once again, completely pointless.




Nowadays these toys wouldn't last a week on the shelves at Toys R Us, which is a damn shame. Perhaps this is because kids today are all hopped up on behavorial control drugs and have the attention span of a gnat, which only XBox 360 seems to cure. Apparently some of the 80's slime toys were criticized and in some cases even banned -- I guess parents didn't watch the commercials before buying. I can only wonder how I spent most of my youth dissecting aliens, pulling apart monsters, drowning them in slime, and still ended up somewhat sane.







5 comments:

jsaccaro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jsaccaro said...

Thanks!! These were some of my favorite toys too! I waited years to get my hands on Manglor mountain I finally saw a whole shelf of them on clearance at a Toys R Us (Years after they came out or so it seemed) and begged my mom to buy me one. She caved but when we got home, she looked at the slime in the bag and wouldnt let me use it. It sat on a shelf in our back room for years until it disappeared one day, never to be seen again. The slime pit was another awesome toy, and the He-man slime always seemed way better than any other slime you could get. I actually ruined my furry beast man guy(not beastman, but Hordak's henchman)because I didnt read the part on the box that said not to use it on the furry figures. Luckily Mossman was spared!

ToraO said...

Man, I loved slime toys! I totally remember the Manglor, I had Disect an Alien and the HeMan pit. I can remember the smell of that stuff. I miss slime. It's so funny how we just used to love stuff like this. Remember "Silly Puddy", it came in the regular skin tone and I think glow in the dark. And it bounced. Good Stuff! Thanks for the tribute and nostalgia.

eben said...

Great rundown! I suppose my time for slime came just after these toys- with TMNT 'retromutagen ooze' and ghostbusters 'ectoplasm' toys. I'm writing a piece on green ooze/slime as a toy in the 70s-90s, so I thank you for the tip on the mad scientist playsets, which I hadn't heard of before.

I might ask- since this is the point of the piece I'm working on- why do you think slime/ooze was such a fascinating toy and why did it become popular when it did? What do you (or other readers) think made slime fun?

The Creature said...

hey guys, thanks so much for the comments & glad you enjoyed the article! i havent written on the blog in awhile so i'm sorry for not writing back sooner . . . i will answer the questions soon i promise!