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 the decade of decadence. But nothing
represented youthful innocence & freedom quite like GREEN SLIME
! This entry is a tribute to the gooey, sticky green stuff that made being a kid so much fun.
I don't know
It all started for me sometime in the early part of the 80's, when I watched You Can't Do That On Television
religiously; if you aren't familiar with the program, 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 & leave the store with a plastic bubble full of slime, which I would then use to terrorize my little sister by pretending I was sneezing out a handful of bright green snot. Even more fun was throwing the glob up onto the ceiling & 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.
The 80's was defined by excess, and it didn't start & stop with slime in vending machines. Toy companies like Arco
took slime to the next level -- nothing tickles my fancy quite like the abundance of gross-out toys that hit the shelves with a vengeance during this era. Some of my favorites included the Mad Scientist Dissect-An-Alien
, the Mad Scientist Alien Blood
& Living Ice
series, Masters of The Universe Slime Pit
, and the Manglor Mountain Volcanic Playset
. All right, let's see what we've got in my toy box . . .
The Dissect-An-Alien Kit
was the coolest thing I've ever seen in my life -- look at that incredible box art! Inside was a smiling alien with a rubber chest that you would "cut" open with a plastic scalpel, remove his organs one-by-one (which were mixed with slime, of course), and place them on their appropriate spots on the laboratory mat. The slime glowed in the dark too! That was basically all you did with the toy, but what more did you really need as a 7 year old boy?! I must have dissected & reassembled that little bastard a million times -- and I still have no idea to this day how I convinced my parents to buy me such a ridiculous item.
Laboratory Mat and Alien Guts
The Mad Scientist 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, or mouth! Characters named Sammy Sneeze
, Billy Belcher
, and Oscar I-Rot
were absolutely disgusting, but they were my best friends growing up.
The Mad Scientist Living Ice
series took the concept in a totally different direction; while not technically considered slime, but rather a strange formula of "goo," it was still an awesome toy. The Living Ice
playset came with a container of "ice" which you would pack into a small plastic square mold; when you squeezed the mold together, you gave birth to a tiny little monster! And what would you do with this little guy? Well, you could rip him to shreds & make another one, or splatter him against the wall (as the box so blatantly encourages). Here's a look at one of the Living Ice
creatures named I-Chomp
Living Ice, Ice Baby
was by far the greatest slime toy series of all time -- it was an obscure line & had a short run of only about a year or so in the late 80's. I love these toys so much that I tattooed my entire right sleeve with all of the figures (but that's for another blog post I guess). Duke Nostalgia
also has lots of awesome pictures of the toys & box scans here
. Other more commercial slime toys had a longer shelf life; the most well-known (and every 80's kid's favorite) had to be He-Man
. How could we ever forget Skunkor
, who smelled like a rancid skunk? How many of you out there remember the Slime Pit
?! A torture device brought to you by Skeletor & his evil minions, the Slime Pit
was basically a tower with a dinosaur skull at the top that you filled with slime. You would then place a figure at the base, in the tight grip of the skeleton hand, and the skull would ooze slime down onto them. It doesn't get much cooler than that, folks!
Evil pit of gruesome ooze!
And last, but certainly not least, was the Manglor Mountain Volcanic Playset
. Another rare item with a similar concept as the Slime Pit
; this was a volcano with a gargoyle head at the base. It came with a "Manglord" figure (kinda like Stretch Armstrong
), who you could pull apart & stick back together. You then placed the Manglord into a plastic iron maiden-like coffin, dropped him into the top of the volcano full of slime, and pressed a button cleverly disguised as the gargoyle's tongue! Then the coolest thing happened: the Manglord would sink down into the volcano & get slimed!
King of the Mountain
Mr. Manglord himself
Nowadays, these toys probably wouldn't last a week on the shelves, which is a damn shame. I heard some of the 80's slime toys were highly criticized & in some cases even banned. Apparently, they affected kids' behavior & promoted violence . . . I find myself wondering how I spent most of my youth dissecting aliens, pulling apart monsters, creating creatures out of ice, drowning them in slime, and still ended up (somewhat) sane . . .
- John DeSantis (7.13.11)