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When I was a kid, it was always interesting to hear how much the grownups of the day referenced the 1950s, and to a lesser extent, the 1960s. As a parent of this generation, I find myself constantly referencing the 1980s, and I don’t know if it’s all a part of the “Back in my day…” cycle, or if that decade just really was perfect when it came to pop culture and toys. Joining the multitude of icons that have returned, Madballs are back for another round this year, relaunched and ready to win the masses with their gross-out fun. 

Like many properties of the 80s, this is not the first relaunch for Madballs. The first attempt came about a decade ago, and I don’t recall ever even seeing those at retail. Now, in the hands of Just Play under license from American Greetings, Madballs Series 1 brings kids a new spin on six of the original characters, straight outta 1985. 

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Screamin’ Meemie is perhaps the most iconic of the bunch, the one that I always associate with Madballs. A baseball with a face, he’s the one that all the kids on my Little League team wanted to have. Joining him in the mix are Skull Face (the name says it all), Slobulus (a sloppy chap), Oculus Orbus (eyeball), Horn Head (again, it’s all in the name) and Dust Brain (Mummy).

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I don’t understand the full appeal of Madballs aside from “they look cool,” but The Rock Daughters™ absolutely love them (don’t think my wife is a fan). I will say that these feel a lot more Nerf-like than what I remember from my youth. They’re safe to be tossed around, and they don’t have the “weight” that I recall. 

Madballs are Rock Father-approved, and are available now at Target, Walmart, Meijer, Toys “R” Us and more. Also, be sure to look for Just Play’s Madballs Series 1 Blind Bag minis! We’ll be looking at those in a future post.

Bonus: Just Play isn’t alone in rockin’ the Madballs this year. While these are geared toward kids and meant to be played with, kidrobot is in on the Madballs action as well. Known for their collector-oriented vinyl, kidrobot x Madballs is a collection of blind box mini figures, 6″ vinyl figures and mini foam keychains that are meant for display. See those and buy them here.

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