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Blackdots: Madballs Slobulous Sofubi Coin Bank

Even if you never navigate outside of this little website, you should know by now that the classic 1980s property, Madballs is enjoying a new resurgence within the pop culture sect, and several companies are getting onboard with new offerings. There are new updates to the classic characters, modern releases with the same old feeling, and even some brand new takes with new characters and properties integrated into the aesthetic. Well, as I mentioned in my look at Horn Head, Blackdots is giving me a new lease on my favorite corner of Madballs history – the Head Popping figures!

Don’t get me wrong, I think the work that the KidRobot and NECA combo is producing with their new Horror and Sci-Fi line is nothing short of amazing, but even as a kid, I have always been into action figures first and foremost, and those Head Popping figures were the perfect iterations for me. I got into that a lot in my look at the Horn Head sofubi bank, but it bears repeating that the near-perfect designs of the original Madballs was only ever made better by giving us the bodies we knew these guys had.

So, while these Blackdots releases are not *technically* figures (they are banks), they come with just enough interchangeability and articulation for me to accept them as such, and they make great pieces in my modern action figure collection. Thus far, Slobulous here joins Horn Head in the “classic colors” scheme, and Oculus Orbus has already been solicited for a mid-November release. The sculpt for Skullface also exists, so I expect him to be up for pre-order as soon as Oculus starts shipping. Where they go from there, I am not sure, but I would love to get the full line-up of the classic Head Popping Madballs in this format, and especially Dustbrain. He and Skullface make a great combo.

Anyhow, I know Benty has been waiting on Slobulous to be released, and it is easy to see why – he might have the best overall Madballs design, and he definitely has the best name, so it is great to add him to the collection. Like Horn Head, he is a “sofubi” so he is roto-cast and hollow to also help facilitate the coin bank feature, but the sculpt and paint work are both absolutely beautiful. I mean, those things SHOULD be impressive since these things will run you about 80 USD, but I was impressed by Horn Head, and Slobulous has a lot more colors and small details that help him stand out even more.

If you are familiar with the AmToy Solbulous HP from the 1980s, you can easily see that all of the details from there have been brought over to this new figure. Slobulous is like a slime-covered zombie, so the green pops, but all of the metal plates, exposed bones, and bulging eyes are brought forward with impressive modern sculpture, but with a strong commitment to the classic aesthetic. The body and limbs are still a bit soft in terms of shape, so the silhouette remains very similar to the original figure, and that a tough balance to achieve with updated sculpting, but it comes through very well. Also, yes – you CAN save your pennies and pesos in this bank, but I mean, I am not sure if anyone will be buying these for that intended purpose.

Like Horn Head, this figure has simple cut joints at the neck, shoulders, and hips, so it does provide for some basic posing, but nothing too crazy. If you remember, this is actually a decrease in articulation from the 80s, so that is something I generally frown upon, but since this is a sofubi release, and technically a bank, I get that the hinged elbows would not be feasible in this format. This figure makes up for those shortcomings by having the a plug and foot base to allow for some additional display options. The foot base is something new to these releases as far as I know, but the plug does give you the option to display Slobulous’s head in the simple Madball format, so that is definitely a plus, and credit is due to thinking ahead to make that possible. While this figure is hollow, the instructions do suggest you heat up the pegs prior to doing any swapping of parts, and that should be heeded to ensure you don’t crease or fold any pieces unintentionally.

I will admit, Madballs have a very strong nostalgic hold on me, and the Head Popping figures only amp that up to the nth degree. So, yeah, these are relatively basic in terms of being “action figures” because they are technically banks, but they look so damned nice, and they are actual updates of the Head Popping figures, they will have me for all of them, despite the price. Like I said, Oculus is up next, and Skullface likely right after that, so they are getting through the line-up fast!

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