From: Mattel Toys (1987)
Classification: A rubber hand puppet that terrorized children in the ’80s
Have you ever felt like someone, or something is watching you? You can’t pin point where the feeling is coming from, you just know that you feel it. Every free moment you have you quietly look over your shoulder and scan your surroundings. All of a sudden your eyes meet the eyes of something unexpected. Something lurking in the corner of a high shelf, staring back at you. Your heart skips a beat in the second it takes you to realize that the creature that is menacingly looking you over is a rubber puppet.
True story, that is how I use to display my Boglin.I would also move him from time to time to different places in my living room. A few people truly hated my little buddy and hated finding him unexpectedly hiding at eye level in little nooks around my house. Now he resides in My Side Of The Laundry Room and keeps me company from a dark corner near my work bench/desk, ready to frighten whomever meets his eyes. The old dude is almost 30 now (old in toy years) and is showing his age. As a kid I wasn’t the most gentle with my toys (something I regret now). He is still structurally sound, just his rubber skin is discolored. It all just adds to his character and is drenched in memories.
In 1987 Mattel decided to ride the wave created by the resurgence of “Creature Feature” movies that were rampaging through theaters and video stores in the ’80s. With the popularity of rubber monsters in films like Ghoulies, Gremlins, and Critters, Mattel created a rubber monster hand puppet that we could take home with us. The Boglins were a collection of monsters that were a hand puppets with a mechanism inside that allowed you to control their awesomely made glow-in-the-dark eyes. That seems to be the thing that unnerves “normal” people when they come across my old buddy, the eyes. They really are very well made for a toy. Besides the eyes, ol’ gruesome here is just a floppy rubber hand puppet. Awesome none the less.In it’s short time on the shelves, Mattel put out other series of Boglins. They made smaller ones without the moveable eyes, aquatic themed ones, ones with hair, and mini-Boglins that were just PVC collectables (side note: The slime PVC ones came in a plastic toilet. Little close to the mark of ripping off Ghoulies if ya ask me.).
The best of the other series were the Halloween themed ones. I always wanted one and after a short search on eBay, I’ll still be wanting one. Honestly they are just repainted versions, but damn they’re awesome.
Box art tells the background of the Boglins. They live in the swamp, have glow-in-the-dark eyes to help them see in darkness, and use their tails to shovel mud into their mouths to eat. Sadly, my Boglin is so domesticated that he wouldn’t last a day in the wild and also wouldn’t lower himself to eat mud.
Heck, they even had stampers…we loved stampers in the ’80s!!
Here’s the commercial that ran in 1987. Enjoy the hijinks and hysteria Boglins add to any family function.
It truly warms my heart to see monsters as toys. We should all laugh at the things we fear and the things that lurk under our beds are no exception.
[Note from Rob: Sorry, due to the holiday I had to go into the My Side of the Laundry Room achieves and bring this Halloween gem back out. I added a couple new things along the way, of course. I had fun rereading it, so I hope you do too. Thank you.]