Written by Jonathan Wojcik

Nausea Maggots Invade Wal-Mart

   Okay, they're not exactly the Luminous Big Kito Extrusion Nausea Maggots, or what I eventually came to refer to as "Magboils" in Don't Get Spooked, and I realize rubber skulls filled with blood, bugs and worms have been around for over a decade now in various forms, so it's not like there's even anything groundbreaking going on here. I guess I just sort of took these things for granted until Morag and Milburn came into my life, instilling within me a profound new level of affection for myiasis-based stress toys. To their credit, those emaciated martian bodies very rarely see the light of day. I've pretty much only seen them on the Magboils, these newcomers, and the even more bizarre Squeeze Monsters from 2007.

   Going by the more coherent name of "squishy skeletons," I found the full-sized specimens right in Wal-Mart's Halloween aisle, for only a dollar or so each, if I recall correctly. I kind of threw them in the shopping cart without thinking or caring about price, since it's not like there was any possibility I would leave without them. The smaller, bodiless skulls, meanwhile, turned up in the actual toy aisle, probably a little cheaper, but don't hold me to that.

   The back of the package promises hours of fun fondling their fly-blown cranial pustules, which I don't want to argue with, but find myself forced to admit may be slightly exaggerated. I'd definitely love to meet the kind of child who could actually be entertained by these, and nothing else, for literal hours at a time, but perhaps only from a safe distance.

   Unlike our old friends, their internal bubbles are completely filled with fluid, making them significantly heavier but sacrificing the delightful gurgling and roiling you get from a half-filled Magboil cranium. They're also rather stingy on the parasites, with only three small-sized maggots each, but the silver one, interestingly, gets green blood instead of red. Is this just what they look like when they mega-evolve?

   I also dearly appreciate the artwork in the corner of each package. It's entirely unnecessary to illustrate what we're supposed to do with these, but I'm happy they went the extra mile with an original graphic, even if that fourth, larger worm in the drawing is audacious false advertising.

   The heads alone aren't nearly as exciting, the same ones we've always been finding in dollar store toy aisles, but I like the name "Maggot-Headz."

   Maggot-headz are quite a bit smaller than the skulls of Squishy Skeletons, so I'm naturally driven to think of them as immature. Squishy Skeletons probably give birth to Maggot-Headz directly out of their eye sockets, which slowly develop their bodies internally and inside-out for their first few centuries of rolling around their native environment, which is probably just an infinitely vast space filled with multicolored blood and parasitic maggots. Parasitic maggots with no adult stage, of course, because what's a fly going to do in an infinite blood ocean? Clearly they'd have had to evolve away from flight and towards a permanently aquatic form, probably foregoing metamorphosis entirely in favor of neoteny.

   Maggot-Headz also offer another color of cerebral pus, a lovely purple to contrast their vivid green, rubbery bone. A skeleton actually does get fairly squishy if you soak it in vinegar long enough. The blood of the bloodzone must be fairly acidic.

   The Squishy skeletons don't glow in the dark, which is a shame, and they don't have embryonic alien heads either, but we can forgive them. Magboils can be non-glowing metal skeletons if they want. Magboils can be whatever their multiple, tiny, tube-shaped hearts desire. Hearts that don't actually fit in their little bodies, of course, but that's okay too; they just keep them in yours.

Before they're gone, consider picking up some Squishy Skeletons of your own at everyone's favorite tyrannical discount shopping center!

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