Toy Tribute: GERMS! by Worlds of Wonder

Remember, don't let them out!
Germs was a toyline released in 1988 by Worlds of Wonder as a continuation of the "gross" toy fad that seemed ubiquitous during the latter half of that decade. The Germs themselves represented common ailments trapped in a test tube along with a Lab Report (the Lab Reports of Oochi and Muggy are shown below). OCD kids everywhere revelled at the hideous visage of the object of their germophobic obsessions, while kid sisters screamed in horror (at least, according to the packaging).

The line started with test tubes with rounded bottoms but the tubes were later redesigned with flat bottoms. (I assume that the rounded bottoms were first because the bubble on the packaging is rounded, which wouldn't make sense otherwise.) The reason may be that the rounded tubes, although much cooler and more durable, were impossible to display. As a side note, the top stopper of the rounded tube had a nifty Germs logo! Oochi and Muggy, shown below, are the only figures I have with the rounded test tube bottom.

The line was pretty short-lived as you might imagine. The toys, although very imaginative, didn't particularly lend themselves to action-oriented play. But I'm sure that if it were more popular, some pretty cool lab-oriented playsets could be made... and maybe even a board game that interacted with the toys in which the purpose would be to infect a person with your germs (all of which only ever existed in my delusional mind, of course)! But alas, 'twas not to be and the Germs ended with only a single 12-figure line.

This was a line that I totally forgot about, and was recently reminded of them with a trip to the Virginia Natural Bridge Toy Museum. I have pics of eight Germs below along with pics of the card back illustrations and various other stuff.


Grumpyrubleosus, Winkiblinkigoopiola
Huppahickasillia, Bubblebuppilitus, Hackahackasilliae
Muggywumpiosus, Oochiachitickleorum
Germs carded

Germs carded close-ups
Rounded Test Tube Stopper Top


  1. WOW! My sister (who is 25) just sent this to me, and it brought back some childhood memories. I was 3 or 4 years old when I got the chicken pox and I was obviously out of school for quite awhile. To cheer me up, my parents bought me some germs, and my sister got some too. We LOVED our germs! Looking at what you have pictures above, I believe I had Bubblebuppilitis and my sister had Hackahackasilliae. True, these aren't really action-orinted toys, but they remain one of my favorite toys from my childhood. Thanks for posting this! Made my day! :)

  2. One of my toy bros found an unproduced second series a few years back through the usual black market sources. I will have to see if I can find a pic.

  3. I miss these toys. I used to have Yoggayoggyitus and I would use it to disgust all the other kids around. Sometimes I'd use it with one of my Blurp balls.

  4. Thanks for posting this! Grumpy was my favorite -- I think I carried him around in the ol' Jansport the entire first half of fifth grade lol! This genre of 80 "gross-out" toys was my favorite -- MadBalls, Germs, Garbage Pail Kids, and Mad Scientist Dissection Kit/Living Ice/Dissolve an Alien, etc. I was also into the M.U.S.C.L.E. figures ... not gross-out, but some of the 236 dudes were kinda nasty looking :)

    Thanks again!

    ~ Jas

  5. Oh my gosh, I'm doing a project on germs for kids aged 3-5 these would be so awesome to have for my presentation is there any way i can buy them now???

  6. Sorry, but they're not for sale. :) You can always try eBay, though. I think there are a few auctions right for GERMS right now. Good luck!

  7. There's an ebay auction going on now for all 12 $225. I couldn't believe it!! I have all of them in perfect condition in my storage!! I can't bring myself to sell mine though. I love them still and I'm 34. Haha!