It’s a World of Frenzied #ThrowbackThursday!

Don’t lose your head over it being Throwback Thursday, let this expert guide you down the path of happiness in the form of archived commercials!

This month, we’re looking at commercials with a not-so-spooky aim, but still have this cool “Halloween-esque” feel to them.  This is mostly due in part to not having a wide variety of Halloween commercials at my disposal.  Christmas, on the other hand, I’ve got plenty of that.  Halloween…not so much.

Each Thursday, we’re watching a kid-friendly “Halloween-esque” (but not Halloween-themed) commercial from 1987, which surprisingly is easy to spot.

Today’s commercial involves a toyline you may remember if you were old enough in 1987 to play with action figures.  It was a passing fad in the mid-1980s that has seen several revivals.  By 1987, the toys were in their second series.

These toys, you ask?

Why, Madballs!

Not just Madballs, but the ones with the poppable, swappable heads!

And when you click play, you can see the popping madness!!!!

Does the end where the kid’s head pops off unnerve anyone just a little bit?

Madballs were created by AmToy, a division of American Greetings (who also had Care Bears, My Pet Monster, and Strawberry Shortcake under its belt).


They were popular as a passing fad in the 1980s (beginning in 1985), and saw revivals in 2007-2008 (by Art Asylum), and this year (by Just Play, Inc.)


Current Madballs, in all their gross-out glory.

The original (series one) Madballs were made of a semi-hard rubber, which resulted in injuries to kids and complaints from their parents.  Beginning with series two, they were made with a softer foam material.


Unlike most (ok, almost all) toys of the time, Madballs did not have their own series, but they did have their own home video…two, to be exact.  They shouldn’t feel so alone in this – Mad Scientist had the same thing, as did the Puffalumps’ brighter cousins, The Wild Puffalumps.  I know this, because I had that video.  I even wrote about it on Retroist!

Further proof that you’re either GI Joe, Care Bears, Transformers, My Little Pony…or Madballs and Wild Puffalumps.

Oh well.  At least Madballs are still being made today!  That’s a positive, right?

Come on, it has to be!

Flashback Friday will be along tomorrow with a blast-from-the-past scary movie trailer, as we continue on through our Halloween Throwback/Flashback theme month!

Have a great Thursday!



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