The toy aisle used to be a very disgusting place. And I mean that as the greatest compliment possible.
In the mid-1980s, a trend started where toys weren’t just based on heroic adventurers or transforming robots or military strongmen or ninjas or what have you. Instead, many smaller companies found success in producing shocking toys that often featured grotesque appearances, silly names, blood and guts, decayed skin, and a bunch of other things that almost seemed market-tested to offend parents in the worst way possible.
The best and most successful example of this trend is the Madballs line by Amtoy, but there were many other successes in its wake. The Weird Ball series spawned a line of non-poseable figures, poseable action figures, M.U.S.C.L.E.-like wrestlers, and additional minifigures. The Garbage Pail Kids went from wildly successful trading cards to “cheap toys” sold with “crappy candy.” The Mad Scientist toy line had you literally dissecting an alien and pulling out his innards.
While some larger toy companies got into the disgusting toys game – such as Kenner and their line Savage Mondo Blitzers from the early 1990s – many of these toys were released by fly-by-night companies as an inexpensive cash grab. As such, many of these are highly prized today. Collectors remember this bygone era fondly, as it is very doubtful we will see toys like these hitting stores again anytime soon.
Toys like these were hilariously parodied by Ren and Stimpy. The childlike Stimpson J. Cat collected a line of…toys?…called Magic Nose Goblins. They were obviously his boogers, which he stuck under benches, tables, and other various surfaces. “I picked them myself!” What was funny about it was that no one would actually make those toys…OR WOULD THEY?!?!?!
One toy line I became fascinated with was one I never remember existing as a kid, despite being the perfect age to appreciate it. The line was called “Boogers from the Planet Nose,” which literally sounds like a Mad Libs title for a B-movie created by a 6-year-old obsessed with humor related to bodily functions. My friend, knowing I specialized in obscure toys, asked me if I had ever seen or heard of these figures, and I honestly had no idea what he was talking about. Even thorough searches on the internet proved utterly boogerless. A saved search on eBay that would alert me anytime someone put one up for sale yielded nothing for years. The fingers of research came up dry when reaching into the nostrils of collective toy knowledge. What the hell were Boogers from the Planet Nose?!?
I look at rare toys as a challenge. My knowledge of toys far exceeds the actual budget I have to spend on them, so my hope is always to turn up something very, very unusual at a flea market or show because no one else is looking for it or even knows what it is. What made this search especially challenging is that I genuinely had no idea what I was looking for.
Then, out of nowhere, a local auction house that regularly holds live auctions dedicated to modern toys had one for sale. It was the first time I had ever seen an image of this mysterious, gooey toyline. Though you could leave a bid online, I figured it was better if I went in person to bid on the first Boogers from the Planet Nose I had ever seen. I had dug for gold and came away with a finger full of fun!
Since then, I’ve gotten four of the six characters, and as far as I know, this is the first time pictures of them are being made available online. I am literally showing you the used tissue holding the fruits of my labor. Behold one of the weirdest toy lines ever manufactured.
Here is the wonderfully silly story behind Boogers from the Planet Nose:
Boogers are aliens from the planet Nose. Nose has a terrible environment (toxic waste and slime everywhere). So the Boogers decide to “blow” out of town in their Nose Cones in search of greener (their favourite colour) pastures.
Made of a grotesque, sticky material, these little wonders are sure to delight, amuse, and gross out! A periodic bath in warm water will clean the Boogers and keep them sticky.
Within two paragraphs, we’ve been given a guilty message about aliens leaving their home planet because of pollution, they have spaceships shaped like noses, and if you want them to live, you’d better give them a warm bath every once in a while. It’s exactly the kind of details I want on a toy line called Boogers from the Planet Nose.
I tend to collect loose toys, but I feel like if you want to collect this line, you almost have to find them carded. The reason for this is that the rubbery, sticky material they’re made of is prone to having dust and dirt latch onto them like crazy. I remember this being a problem when I had Tacky Stretchoid Warriors as a kid. I had fun for a couple of days with them, then they got dirty, and then I never wanted to touch them again. Chances are, once these things got dirty, they were tossed, unless you properly stored them in their “nose cones,” which have a suction cup on their back so you can stick them on the fridge and annoy your parents by keeping them in plain view. I think they were not meant to last, and that’s why they’re so incredibly difficult to find.
Unfortunately, because all of my examples are carded, it’s going to be a little difficult to tell what the sculpts look like. The back of the card gives you some idea that these are all slimy creatures. For our benefit, each one has a little backstory.
Snotly Grue: The most famous rap star on Nose, he is very rich. Unfortunately for him, bacteria are not money on planet Earth.
Mukomoto: From the Far Eastern part of Nose and thoroughly versed in all the nostil arts; “Muke” is the leader.
Sputo-jock: Sputo-ball is the most popular sport on Nose and this athlete is the best sputum pitcher on the planet.
Clem and Phlegm: Twin brothers, these jaundiced looking weaklings could really use a good infection to fatten up.
So there you go. You have a “rap star,” a martial artist, an athlete, and crazy twins…except they’re all boogers. Also, let’s face it, the color choice is a little disgusting. I understand that if they were all green that we wouldn’t be able to tell them apart, and sometimes, your sputum can come out in all different colors, but two of these characters are red. I don’t think that’s something you should be proud of in your toy line. You don’t want some impressionable youth to say to his or her parents, “Look! I made my boogies the same color as Sputo-jock!”
Boogers from the Planet Nose is a line that is almost too crazy to possibly exist, so of course it does. It is there to remind us that no matter how crazy a toy line aimed at children got, there was always a line that much weirder.
As some of you astute readers have probably already noticed, these toys are all on Canadian cards with text in both English and French. A collector friend of mine was able to find two on American cards, where instead of Grand Toys (a company that only releases toys in Canada), the toys were released by THQ, a company more known for video games. However, I almost feel like these toys were only sold in the Northern part of the United States. The friend who told me about them remembers them being sold in Spencer’s Gifts in the early 1990s. Since they used to carry awesome and oddball toys like this, that doesn’t surprise me.
So far, I’ve obtained four of the six. The last two I need are Gobby and Clotto. If you have carded examples of these figures, please let me know, as I would very much like to add them to my collection and share them with my readers. You might have to dig deep into your collection, but you may end up pulling out something very special…albeit very, very disgusting!