Written by Jonathan Wojcik

31 Favorite Trashies!

   Precisely two Augusts ago, I found myself far too excited to chance upon a bold new children's toy line in the back aisles of a Toys "R" Us; a toy line dominated entirely by adorable, colorful, maggot-ridden mutant freaks.

   At the time, I lamented that I didn't expect such a gooey, goofy franchise to take off with today's youth; it was the spitting image of the slimy, grotesque monsters I grew up with in the 1980's, but in our modern environment of gleaming anime mecha and fuzzy lucarios, did googly-eyed maggots and snot-caked tissue monsters even stand a chance?

   Two years later, you can now collect more than four hundred unique Trash Pack characters or Trashies across five core series, two spin-off series, a ghostly Halloween re-release of the first series, vehicles, playsets and games. You can buy them on school bags, t-shirts, blankets, trading cards, stickers, folders, dog tags and who knows what else. You can watch an official flash cartoon series, and yes, you can dress (your child, anyway) as a giant blowfly in a garbage can for Halloween.

You know, there might be hope for children yet.

Now where were you for MY childhood, JERKS?

   Because I discovered them during the Halloween season (by my parameters, anyway) and because they are rotting undead food and giant bugs, Trashies will forever seem like a Halloween franchise to me, and I may as well celebrate their massive success by going over my personal favorite characters thus far released. We'll be doing 31, the number of Halloween, because there's no freaking way I could ever narrow them down to a mere thirteen. Happy Halloversary, Trash Pack!


This was the first Trashie my eyes ever really fixated on, cementing himself as the true "face" of the series in my subconscious. He is a pile of gunk with worms all over it. Nothing all that unique and special for the franchise - especially now - but I'll always have a soft spot for him.


It's funny how fantasy has portrayed toxic waste turning virtually every known material into a monster, but this is one of the few times I've seen an entire toxic waste barrel presumably brought to life by its contents. Again, par for the course as far as Trashies are concerned, but he stood out as one of the coolest of Series One. I like his little footies. Try and picture him walking.


The most revolting thing in the original series is also the funniest for all the same exact reasons. What idiot wiped themselves with an entire roll at once, and then threw it in the garbage? That is exactly none of the correct things you do with toilet paper. I suppose Looey could've been dropped into the bowl by accident, which would also explain his gooey mouth, but I like my sheer incompetence theory better.


As delightful as they all are in concept, Trashies tend to follow an obvious template, so it's always nice when one of them breaks the mold. Squashed wheel is just an entire car crushed into a cube, with cute fractured headlamp eyes and a ridiculous fender mouth! I'm just glad to now that there's life after "Worthless."


"Flied" rice would have been the most obvious garbage joke, but I guess there were also culturally insensitive connotations to it. Damn. I just love how outrageously delighted this one looks. It is ecstatic to be a pile of old rice writhing with maggots. Maybe it feels good. Kind of a little too good, if you catch my drift.


There have been a lot of different worms in the Trash Pack, but this is the only one with a completely flat body, strongly implying some sort of Platyhelminthe. I'd have assumed a planarian, some of which could certainly be found in a garbage can under the right conditions, but a Trash Pack trading card explicitly declared him a tapeworm, an animal with not nearly enough (any) toy representation. None of the ways he could have gotten into someone's trash are very attractive images.


Gas Ghost is a pretty clever one; he's not really a deceased spirit as far as we know, but just a living cloud of pure stinking garbage fumes loosely held together in some sort of pillow case or sack. They really used their heads to fit a "ghost" into the series theme; a lot of characters don't even pretend to have anything to do with garbage.


I've always liked monsters that were just sloppy heaps of dead vegetation, and Tangled Seaweed has the added twist of being a "biter" Trashie. The official artwork curiously forgot to include the white, unsettlingly human teeth in this clump of kelp. Other "biting" figures included a sowbug, a pineapple and a rolled-up carpet. They're all completely arbitrary choices that have nothing whatsoever to do with "biting," and I love every one of them for it.


When I said that Compost Monster didn't really stand out anymore, it was only because there are now a couple dozen characters you can describe as amorphous, slimy heaps of goo, not that it's ever possible to have "too many" amorphous, slimy heaps of goo. "Pus Plop" is probably one of the oddest, by simple token of his upside-down face and warty, toothless lips. He is actually supposed to be the contents of a pimple, so I guess that physiology allowed him to breathe out of the clogged pore he once called home.


Despite having antennae and only six legs, this little guy is an excellent caricature of a dust mite, and I love that "wait a minute...I know you" look in his eyes. He was kind of begging to be one of the ultra-tiny Trashies featured just one set earlier, but instead, the "tiny" bin-sect wound up being a grasshopper. Good thing I'm the last person who would ever really mind a dust mite being bigger than it ought to be.


An egg carton monster is a concept I honestly never would have thought of, but feels obvious now that someone else has done it. It's the broken eggs for eyeballs that really make me love this one; it just looks so totally insane. Cracked out is more like it, but it's another obvious gag name that might have gone over poorly with parents.


Not only does the Trash Pack feature more than one slimy glob-monster, it features more than one monster made of or otherwise focused around puke. There's even a "Vomster" in another set, but I think "Spewster" is the finest of their regurgitant selection. It's that crazed look in his eyes and terrifying, reptilian fangs that really set him apart. I also like how he is made of vomit, vomiting slightly different vomit. It's like one of those old fashioned vomit nesting dolls! No? I guess you had an empty childhood.


Series two introduced sparkly "Astro Trash" or "Space Junk" trashies as one of its two gimmick categories, including robots, aliens, a meteorite and even an ultra-rare limited run flying saucer. "Space Waste," at first glance, actually seems like the least interesting of the bunch, until you realize that it's a slime-spattered, busted space helmet, and its overall design is remarkably similar to the helmets from the original "Alien" film. Chances are extremely high that Space Waste is actually what's left of one incredibly dead astronaut.


Is that not just the cutest little decapodiforme you ever did see? Look at that widdle beak! It's like a squid crossed with a pudgy baby parakeet! If you've ever lived anywhere near a saltwater environment where a lot of people fish, a squid is not at all an unusual thing to be rotting in the trash somewhere. Appropriately enough, Giddy Squid was one of the "color change" Trashies in Series 3.


A brain is one of the first things I hypothesized as a great choice for a future Trashie when the series debuted, and they didn't disappoint. A brain-creature design always realizes its full potential when it puts the eyeballs on stalks, and the Dr. Zoidberg lips are a nice touch. The little flaps off to the sides are out of nowhere, but they add a lot of character, like the flippers on a penguin! The kind of penguin that is also a brain with sneakers. You know the ones. They walk around on your ceiling at night and edit your memories.


Stinkasaurus is an "Ultimate Fighting Trashie" from a battle-themed spin-off line, which has a number of reasonably cool characters, but I think a dinosaur with rotten, ragged mucus for skin is the most interesting and probably the most terrifying, by far, even if it kind of looks like it's just made out of cabbage at first glance. A dinosaur made out of cabbage is still pretty scary anyway right? I mean, who hasn't had that morbid fantasy robbing them of sleep night after night for the greater part of their adulthood? Ha ha!


One of several "Trash Toys," Deady Bear might be a contender for one of the most disturbing trashies, mostly because that tongue and optic nerve look far too organic to be the contents of an ordinary teddy bear. Even funnier is how the official website mistakenly spells the name "Deadly" instead of "Deady." So, like, it kills people now? I guess that makes sense. That's how my stuffed animals got their optic nerves, anyway.


This was actually the winner of a "Design Your Own Trashie" contest, which means that only two figures of it were ever manufactured, counting the "master" copy the company is holding onto. It was designed by fan Brian Roberts, who shows off his copy here, and the whole concept and look of it is just cute as hell. As cute as it is sickening. Snot is the one thing I really utterly cannot handle in person.


It's almost surprising that it took until even the second series for there to be a garbage can Trashie, and "Joosed" is a rather strange name, but they made all the right choices; eyeballs peering out of the lid, and a lower body that apparently slithers around on its own dribbling gunk. I've seen a lot of trash-can creatures in my day, and I'm quite picky about them. Joosed isn't an outstanding example, but nor is he a poor one. Three, perhaps three and a half stars, I say as I snobbishly sip Juicy Juice from a faded plastic dinosaur mug.


This was one of the first series "Limited Edition" figures, produced in a run of only a couple thousand. It makes sense they would save something so morbid and potentially controversial for one of the rarest in the line; this doesn't even look like a dead cat that came back to life or anything. It's just a dead cat. It's even one of the few trashies to be lying on its back, unable to stand on its feet. Adding insult to injury, it presumably wound up in the garbage after being hit by a car. Who does that? They didn't even have the usual decency to sprinkle it with glitter and a whole big bag of googly eyes.


I love that this isn't even "frog legs" at all. It's just a frog whose legs are not attached. Nobody bothered to cook them. Nobody even put him out of his misery, as far as we know. They cut his legs off and threw him straight into the trash with them. Now it would seem that he spends his days just clutching them, sitting and staring. Thinking nothing. Feeling nothing. Gaze deeply into the face of a broken mind, children.


I personally like Boiled Brains a little more overall, but this rare Limited Edition "Trash Wheels" brain is decidedly funnier, with his giant nerdy face and a whole calculator lodged in his flesh. It's really the unibrow that ties it all together, though. Why is there a giant brain with a unibrow that's also a car? The whole "Wheels" line is kind of insane, really. It's weird enough pondering how any Trashies came into existence; now there's gigantic, car-sized abominations roaming the streets. Next they'll just be imitating and replacing humans, and we'll be the trash!


While not really one of my favorite designs, I find Manglez nonetheless noteworthy for his complete lack of explanation and pure terror factor. Every other character in Series One had some cute, jokey or descriptive name, like Grot Dog or Smelly Sock, but this thing? This thing that for no known reason looks like a deformed dwarf with rotting lips? Oh, that's just MANGLEZ. He has an official bio that offers no further comfort; all we know is that he "sneaks around" in "the shadows of Trash Alley." Oh no. That's not nightmarish at all.


Somebody apparently thought there was something wrong with naming a toy directly after a degenerative brain disease that has killed millions of people slowly and hideously, so we wound up with "moo" instead of "mad." Same difference. Moo Cow Disease is just adorable, especially for the only children's character presumably made entirely of mis-folded prions. Better moooove over, or he'll udderly deteriorate your neurons!


By the same token, we also get a Trashie that embodies festering tissue necrosis, every child's favorite! I like how it's just a big, sucker-covered gelatinous blob with fangs, holding a knife and fork and eating some guy's hand. Did it grow to colossal proportions on its diet of flesh, or did a remake of "Honey, I Shrunk The Kids" just take an incredibly grim turn?


This is another from the "Trash Wheels" spin-off line, and it's actually the second flea character in the Trash Pack, but the first looked even more like some sort of cricket. To hammer home that this one is, in fact, a flea, they threw in a dog. A dog parasitizing the flea. I guess it's confirmed that the Trash Wheels really are car-sized monstrosities. A giant flea with a dog infestation is another thing I'm surprised I never thought of before. Solid gold.


I'm not doing these in a specific order, other than saving some of my top favorites for the last five or so, which is why we're hitting so many parasitic bugs. Ticks, as you may be aware, are very near to my heart, and while he's not the most anatomically accurate, Icky Ticky may in fact be my very favorite tick from any cartoon or toy line. Just look at those delightful little mouth parts! The bloated body! The smears of blood! The inexplicably human feet! Icky really cements that Trashies are probably freakish mutations spawned by man's pollution. It's just too bad none of his figures have the same color scheme as this official artwork. In fact, that's the case for a lot of these guys.


Fittingly enough, fly-based Trashies outnumber any other particular animal or object, though the coolest by far is their bot fly offering. Never before has there really been any toy or children's character I'm aware of that had anything to do with these subdermal parasites, and while there's nothing about Grotty's design that specifically screams "bot fly," the thought alone is deeply appreciated. Now, if only the figure came in anything other than the "color change" format, which tend to be mostly one solid, boring color with a single splotch or two of paint.


Moose Toys began running out of garbage-specific insects and arachnids somewhere around the second or third series, but came up with a rather brilliant solution by series five; repeat the bugs they've already done, only squashed. It's hard to pick a favorite of these mutilated corpses; the squashed maggot has my favorite figure, but "Splat-a-pillar's" hideously dangling eyeballs win me over for a spot on our list.


Picking a single favorite Trashie would be absolutely impossible for me, but for one reason or another, I always come back to Muck Bucket as a contender. He's nothing but an overturned pail of some unspecified sludge, but the execution of this simple concept is just perfect. His eyeballs are different sizes, which is surprisingly rare among Trashies and even more pronounced on the actual toy, plus his mouth is just a bunch of crooked little fangs poking out of the slime. I just want to hug him, but then he would get everywhere.


The only character I could have ever rightfully ended on, the entire theme of the series is that these are things you find in people's garbage, and one of the very first they chose to share with the public was somebody's skull. Good lord, those are some dark connotations. I believe there's some official lore somewhere implying that Skummy might be a discarded plastic Halloween decoration, but what are the maggots eating?

Sorry, Moose, but if you're not going to own up to Skummy being the aftermath of a homicide I can only assume he's a "plastic Halloween decoration" someone stuffed with the remains of a malformed fetus before it came back to life for the third, maybe fourth time, and there won't be a fifth, if it doesn't want the peeler again.

I know you're reading this, you little twerp.