Troma & Playmates present the Toxic Crusaders Action Figures
Action Figures based off the cartoon based off the Toxic Avenger movie.
Borne out of an ultra-violent, B-class movie from Troma, The Toxic Avenger, the Toxic Crusaders became an incredibly 90’s way to teach children about the environment and the evils of pollution and big business. The Toxic Crusaders TV show certainly had charm (and you can watch them all for free on YouTube thanks to Troma Video!). The cartoon has a lot of characters and seems to have trouble focusing between all the gags and jokes but those characters did give the toy line a fantastic starting point. We got most of the characters all sculpted in their own unique, crazy style.
The Good Guys
Five of our gruesome heroes got action figures thanks to Playmates Toys; Toxie, No-zone, Major Disaster, Headbanger and Junkyard. The toys come complete with plenty of accessories and usually a ‘secret’ highly radioactive (i.e. glow-in-the-dark) piece.
It’s not often I find myself cheering for the good guys, but Toxie is an awesome character. Naive and innocent but totally gruesome; Armed with his mop, a shield and some toxic hand grenades. I’m missing his small glow-in-the-dark buddy ‘Blobbie’ but this is the only figure I bought totally loose (i.e. no accessories) and what he has here was pieced together from a lot.
All his hard-plastic accessories are orange and he came with a blue bandolier made from a flexible plastic, the mop serves as his main weapon and his main ‘action-feature’ with the ability to load it up with slime and squeeze the mop to make slime secrete out the holes in the top.
To compensate for a lack of accessories (when I got Toxie loose), I bought a sealed Crusader Skater for Toxie to get around on and mow down the villains and keep up with Bonehead on the Smogcycle.
Rounding out the good guys team is No-zone, Major Disaster, Headbanger and Junkyard. A considerably mismatched group of superheroes who have all reacted differently to being exposed to the toxic chemicals.
No-Zone is a pilot who crashed into a silo of radioactive pepper, hence the nose related accessories and snot details. One of the coolest things about this particular character is that he has hollows in his shield and his head to utilise some ooze. This is my favourite use of slime in the Toxic Crusaders line, coming close to MuckMan from the Ninja Turtles.
Major Disaster is the group’s green-thumb and has the ability to control plants. Combining a ‘save the trees’ mentality with the brute force of an army Major. My Major Disaster isn’t complete, I’m missing his vegetation (that slots into his backpack), automatic rifle and possibly some grenades but I love the vast amount of textures in his sculpt and for a toyline where the main hero carries a mop, having a gun-toting tree defender is kind of cool.
Headbanger is one of my favourite Toxic Crusaders figures. Complete with his awesome surfboard and bromo-blaster with attachable glow-in-the-dark Yuck-a-Muck meter. There’s a lot to like about Headbanger. His fluorescent 80’s colours, interesting sculpt and simple articulation in the neck. This allows the two heads to bump together. It’s simple but clearly reflects the personalities between the two characters in the show.
Junkyard is the mutated result of a homeless man who was exposed to trans-formative toxic waste while taking shelter with a dog at the garbage dump. Another incomplete figure on my end (I’m missing his spiked chain belt), he comes with a spiked bone, dog-food can blaster, bludgeon and a sign. He has something of an action feature in his loose tongue and opening mouth but it feels a little pokey compared to something genuinely cool like No-Zone’s drippy nose.
The Bad Guys
Compared to the 5 good guys, there’s only 4 villains so they’re at a slight disadvantage (even though the Radiation Ranger is an army builder figure). Opposed to the environmentally friendly Toxic Crusaders, the Villains are obsessed with bringing pollution to Tromaville. These guys are totally dedicated to filth and waste.
Leading the pack is Dr. Killemoff. His design is one of my least favourite in the entire line. Even in the cartoon, he feels too cliche and as an action figure I can’t help feel that they cut a few corners. His pipe-organ backpack and his accessories feel uninspired. He does have a cool cloth cape and his four arms are menacing… but a bomb as a weapon? They really should have tried to include his bug overlord as a pack-in instead.
Dr. Killemoff’s right hand man is Psycho. A grotesque oracle in the cartoons but they made the action figure even more repulsive. Playmates managed to add extra detail to his belly and covered him in slime drool. In the Toxic Crusaders cartoons he wasn’t really involved with the fighting. His accessories as an action figure reflect that passive nature. Equipped with a chainsaw, a pistol and a helmet complete with hoses. All around disgusting and totally awesome, my only complaint is due to the roundness of his figure, there’s large gaps where his legs meet his hips. It looks fine from most angles but it’s something to be aware of.
This action figure will be particularly hard finding complete due to the multiple hoses included. On top of his head there’s 3 smaller, pink hoses and on his back there’s supposed to be two more hoses connected to his mechanical arm. As you can see from the images, I only have two of his head hoses and I’ve fitted a green hose to his back instead (more images included at bottom of article).
Bonehead is where I started my Toxic Crusaders collection. He’s by far the coolest with his bone motif weapons and gas-mask accessory. The design, mixed between torn clothing, exposed bones and rotting flesh looks amazing. To back up Bonehead, I picked up a sealed Smogcycle at the same time I picked up the CrusaderSkater.
Bonehead is armed with two guns, a gas-mask and a knife. It’s a hell of a lot accessories which I assume is because he’s quite a lean figure. Bonehead’s action feature is the extensive glow-in-dark plastic. Even after 20+ years, it still looks awesome in the dark.
Finally there’s the army builder Radiation Ranger figure. Mine is missing his backpack, which means his hoses don’t have anywhere to connect to. But it’s still really easy to appreciate the design of this figure. I love the stylised yellow radiation suits and armed with a radiation shield and a blaster. These are the grunts of Dr Killemoff’s army.
The Toxic Crusaders is an awesome looking toy-line but living in Australia, it wasn’t a cheap one to piece together. As far as I’m aware, the series never made an impact down-under. The Toxic Avenger movie has appeared in my local video store under comedy (Yes, Australia still has plenty of video rental stores). So I was aware of Troma but while putting together my Earthworm Jim Action Figure collection (another line by Playmates Toys), I started to notice the awesome line of Toxic Crusaders figures.
The Leftover Culture Review was started to review videogames and I have a personal soft spot for those 90’s games backed by iconic franchises. Simpsons, Ren & Stimpy, Beavis & Butthead. I ended up purchasing the Toxic Crusaders for the Sega Genesis. You can check out my own video review here.
I finished the game. Watched the cartoons. Read the toy reviews on Dork Dimension Toy Tribute… and I started to feel a change. I initially purchased both Toxie and Bonehead with the CrusaderSkater and the SmogCycle for the review. But here we are with an article dedicated to the toy line. These mutated creatures of super-human size and strength have grown on me and make an awesome display for the games room.
(click to enlarge)