Toy Tribute: Toxic Crusaders by Playmates


Toxic Crusaders was a toyline developed by Playmates in 1991 based on the Toxic Crusaders cartoon. The source material, Toxic Avenger, was a rather profane and gory B-movie classic. I suppose with the mutant mania that swept through kids in this time period courtesy of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Toxie and his mutation-altered buddies was a perfect fit with the time period.

The action figures are colorful and fun. Each figure came with a bunch of accessories, as well as a top-secret glow-in-the-dark accessory hidden in a bag. First, we have Toxie, the hero character. He comes with his trademark mop, a shield, some toxic charges, and a little gremlin-looking dude.



Toxie is joined by his allies, the Toxic Crusaders! First is Major Disaster, a Swamp Thing-looking army dude. He comes with a lot of cool accessories: a gun, backpack, knife, vegetation, and other cool stuff.



Another Toxic Crusader is Headbanger, a mad scientist/surfer combo. The sculpting details on this figure are particularly cool. He comes with a mad scientist blaster and surfboard.



Here we see a Toxic Poochie: Junkyard! I love his dog food blaster!



The last Crusader is Nozone. As can be expected, he has nose-related accessories and snot detailing.



Toxie and the Toxic Crusaders battle the evil forces bent on environmental disaster and pollution! This is Dr. Killemoff, who I assume to be the main villain (it's a safe bet he is the main villain because he is the one who most resembles Darth Vader). The orange backpack connects to his back with the green tube connecting under his chin. The tabs on my figure (the first pic) are broken, but Lee Sherman was nice enough to email me pics of his (pics 2 and 3)!




The next villain is Psycho. He comes with various industrial-looking weapons and a cool mask.



Here's Radiation Ranger. He comes with a blaster, backpack, and toxic waste cannister shield.



The last figure in the Toxic Crusaders line is Bonehead. These images were provided by Lee Sherman. Thanks Lee! (For a more detailed review of Bonehead, check out this Retro Review.)



The figures came with environmentally conscious activity books. The first one is below.



Check out the comparison shot below. It's a family reunion with other Playmates toys: Star Trek: TNG Locutus and TMNT Raphael (with squishy head).



Bernard Gumz over at Scab Farm sent along this awesome drawing. Kudos to Mr. Gumz for his great work!



And we'll conclude with an intro to the cartoon! Ain't YouTube grand?




Useful Links:
Bonehead Retro Toy Review
Toxic Crusaders at the Virtual Toy Chest
Toxic Crusaders at Figure Realm
Toxic Crusaders Wiki

18 comments:

  1. Aww man! You have no idea how much I loved these figures as a kid! My parents went hog wild one time and bought me Psycho, Radiation Ranger, Junkyard, and my bro got Bonehead, and a few others I think. They also got us a cool activity book, which has since vanished. :(

    I still have all my figs, though they have seen better days. They got some rough play. The only ones I know we didn't have were Nosezone, Toxie, and Headbanger.

    There were also a number of vehicles released for this set.

    The toyline was pretty successful I believe, but the show got canned, and as it is with most awesome shows whose lives were cut short, the toyline died as well. :( Both this and Bucky O'Hare had super potential. Sucks.

    My all time favorite fig from this series is Radiation Ranger. He is just so simple, yet so unique! The hoses were cool, and he had GITD toxic splatters on his jump suit. And the see through visor was the shiznit. Junkyard was my second favorite, but I lost his tounge.....Never found that thing. It aint' supposed to come out you know. :)

    I've actually been planning on buying MOC Crusaders, just so I can Open them all over again. :P

    Good times Good times!

    On a side note later that same year I found the Toxic Avenger at K-mart for $6 bucks on VHS...I begged my dad for it, cause I was like "OH CRAP! A Toxic Crusaders Movie! I didn't hear of that!" "I bet it's as cool as the TMNT movie"

    We returned it the next day. :)

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  2. Thanks for the post, it's cool to hear that others like this line. I was just a bit too old to play with action figures at this time (and of course it was before I became a collector), so I missed out on this line the first time through.

    I just finished reading a Toxic Avengers comic based on the cartoon, and it's actually kind of cool. It's a shame this didn't catch on like TMNT.

    I've also seen pics of the vehicles. They're pretty awesome, especially the Turf Surfer! If I pick up any of them, I'll post a tribute.

    And Bucky O'Hare was awesome! I hope one day to get those figures on the cheap!

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  3. It's interesting that you say you were too old to play with toys back when these came out nearly 18 years ago. :D :lol: I forget how old some of you guys are. :)

    They were killer fun, and the packaging was extremely attractive with all the neon colors. Glad you finally got to experience these greatly overlooked figures.

    I actually won a complete MOC set of Bucky O' Hare figs a little over a year ago for $30 bucks shipped on eBay. Best $30 I spent in ages. I opened the ones I needed and then traded the rest at cost to someone else. ;)

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  4. Thanks for the jab at my age, kid! :D

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  5. I loved this so, so much as a kid! It was my favorite show when I was 8, and almost none of the other kids even knew it existed until I turned them onto it (this probably had something to do with its prompt cancellation).

    I hoped the "Toxic Avenger" movies had some of the same charming elements while at the same time being something I could appreciate as an adult. That idealistic hope died when I finally saw "The Toxic Avenger."

    It might just be the nostalgia talking, but I thought these were really well-made, well-detailed toys with creative accessories and commendable packaging artwork.

    And yeah, I remember "Bucky O'Hare" too. It was on after "Toxic Crusaders" and had some cool weird characters. I'm surprised the furry fetishists have overlooked that one, what with the Amazon catgirl planet and all.

    Anyway, I have a Bonehead figure in very good condition, and I'm pretty sure I have all his accessories too. Would you be interested in a photo?

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  6. The Toxic Avenger movie was certainly different from the cartoon! I agree that these were really well-made and fun toys. They're cool to have on display because they're really colorful and imaginative.

    And I'd love to post pics of your Bonehead! That would be really helpful! Please contact me via my contact form at:

    http://www.dorkdimension.com/2008/08/contact-dork-dimension.html

    Then I can pass along my email. I'd post it here, but the spiders would have a field day. :)

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  7. I sent the contact form a bit ago. Hope it went through. What's this business about spiders?

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  8. Love these figures. Picked up MOC and MIB versions of everything except the Hovercraft a couple years ago on the cheap.

    Still sad we never got series 2 stuff - Toxie's Mom, the Mayor, Smogzilla, the CrusaderMobile, and more...Tomarts has shown pics a couple of times.

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  9. Whoa... I didn't even know about a Toxic Crusaders Series 2! If you find any pics, please let me know!

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  10. I loved these figures as a boy, had 'em all except killemoff and the toxic crusader.
    and we were broke, but these were a once a week or two treat, thanks mum!

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  11. I had the Radiation Ranger and my Brother had Junkyard. I remember what really pissed me off about playing with the RR was that anytime you turned his head all the little tubes would pop off and you would have to stick them on again. ugh. I still have him in a box with my other troma swag. Only the shield has managed to stay with him ha.

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  12. Holy crap, I had a Toxie toy when I was a kid! Seeing one after also twenty years brings back such awesome memories! :)

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  13. I also loved these guys. i just read about it all.. "the behind the scenes" in Lloyd Kaufman's book.. interesting story about the movie that never got made..

    bummer.

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  14. These came along just as my action figure days were winding down, but man, did I ever love 'em! While the show couldn't touch TMNT, these figures were every bit as good, if not better. I always wished the set was bigger, but it was quality over quantity here. Those fluorescent colors reeked of the 80s and that was a huge selling point for me. It was great to see that they didn't skimp with any of these guys. Each character received the same excellent treatment which made for a truly underrated line.

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  15. funny, I got netflix on my ps3 a while back and my dad showed me the Toxic Avenger. (which aside from Godzilla is my favorite movie.)Later, I was looking up revoltech reviews and I found this website and you used Toxie in a couple group photos.
    I was hunting around this website for GOD KNOWS HOW LONG to find the figures, and here i am...

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  16. @Anonymous: In the future if there's something you're looking for, try the search feature at the top of the sidebar on the right. You can also try looking in the Label Nebula to see if there's a category that matches your topic. I hope that helps!

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  17. I have a 10" Toxic Crusader action figure in its box....Does anyone know anything about what year it was made? The box is marked made in China and that's it!! Who manufactured this huge Toxic Avenger figure???? Help - Contact me at toyhunter808@yahoo.com Thanks - Chris - Toy Graders Association

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  18. I vaguely remember this cartoon from the early 1990s when I was a kid. Call me a dork + all but I'm now thinking of collecting the figures as a 30-year-old ; they're so mental !

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