The Madballs Bop Bag!

When I was wee ladding, I had a Smurfs “bop bag” featuring none other than Gargamel himself. I guess the thinking was, since kids were going to be beating the holy fuck out of the bop bag, the company might as well have based it on a villain character. I loved that stupid thing so much. Me being the youngest and weakest of seven brothers and sisters, it was the only thing in the house outside of Sandy the unloved dog that I could successfully pin for the Intercontinental title. Gargamel always came back for more of my patented body blows, Bull Charges and Tiger Punches, because that’s what any good bop bag does.

Bop bags came in all colors and sizes, and sometimes bop bags were full of surprises. In the very odd case shown above, the technology was bestowed upon the popular but not that popular Madballs franchise, run by those who were convinced that such classic characters as “Wolf Breath” were destined to become more than mere foam rubber balls, even if every attempt to move ’em into new territory blew up in their bankrupt faces. I don’t know how many Madballs bop bags were produced, but I’ll put the bank on the fact that less than five were sold. EVER. Not that it isn’t an object of supreme excellence — it is, but kids who were heavily into Madballs had probably grown older than “bop bag age.” Three-year-olds weren’t allowed to have balls with devil faces on them.

God, that was a bitch to blow up. I need to stop smoking and start nebulizing.

After blowing it up forever, the end results were pretty cool. “Aargh” and “Dust Brain” are the chosen representatives, conspiring to forge an “3-D” effect against a clear plastic background. There’s nothing absurdly 3-D about it, but the box is convinced otherwise. For more information on Madballs, don’t click here, click here.

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73 Responses to The Madballs Bop Bag!

  1. Jared says:

    God that’s one sexy Bop Bag.
    I could never have my kids punching a big phallus like that…it would creep me out.

  2. EMajorwitz says:


    I read the X-E blog constantly, as I have told you, anything concerning babies or educational values of the 80’s goes into my custom blog, so my son/daughter can see that his/her father had way too much time on his hands.

    Charity work is cool. Glad to hear min Traj #1 is doing better. Oh, how much for a quilt?

    I was officially fired from my "house husband" job, or so I think. Mrs. M informs me she has hired a cleaning lady. Just one more step to me being out of the house eh?

    Oh pure bliss…I went to the PX today and they had new Transformer Energon figures, including the ones like the Aerialbots and Combaticons of yesteryear. Matt, you have to do some articles on the new gesalts!!!
    I have yet to hear from My Soldier as well…still have the cool bracelet though. On a sidenote, my wife finally received our order of Livestrong bracelets. I wear two, one for my dad and the other for my uncle.

    Huge letdown on Valentine’s Day…We went in for an ultrasound and they teased beforehand we might find out the sex of the baby. To my surprise, he actually used the jelly on the belly, er external ultrasound, but the clarity was worse.

    He told us to come back in two weeks, when they will do the "big" ultrasound, whatever that means. My wife will be at 20 weeks then, so I hope for some information then.

    Semper Fi,
    Erik Majorwitz

  3. Nate says:

    Matt- I distinctly remember that 40-minute only-on-video cartoon special that Madballs had, and how you used to have a download for it. Don’t you think that something like this calls for the return of such a download?

  4. trajeal says:

    Oh, yeah, 20 weeks is a perfect time to see things. Big enough to see, but not squooshed enough to miss. When we find out what the baby is, I’ll start a quilt for you. :-)
    The "big" u/s is usually the one where they check measurements, get a recording of the heartbeat and give you pictures :-) (if they do that in Germany).

    Hey, I haven’t even gotten my bracelet yet. What’s up w/ that?

    Little Emily Claire must be almost a month old already, huh? Man, time flies.

  5. seegeepee says:

    Ah, Madballs…where would we be without you? All dead, most likely. My own love affair with the ‘balls was short but suprisingly intense, as there was a brief period of time over the course of which my friends and I would actually role-play as the different Madballs, much like the old standbys of superheroes or WWF wrestlers. Oculus Orbus was my personal alter-ego, since he was the "smart one". I’m not sure what made us designate him the "smart one", exactly…maybe the Latin name? In our little make-believe sessions for whatever franchise was the new hotness that month, somehow I always got assigned to be "the smart one"–read, the Nerd: Donatello, Beast, Gyro Gearloose, et al. I think this had less to do with me being an inventor supergenius, than the fact that I wore glasses. Secretly, I identified more with the "surly loner who gets into a fight with Leonardo/Cyclops/Huey, runs away to sulk, meets up with the archnemesis, and must be rescued by his teammates, whereby he learns the true meaning of brotherhood/teamwork/being a duck" archetype.

  6. Nikkii says:

    Wee ladding…ah, Matt, you crack me up. Is somebody after your Lucky Charms? :)

    Being mostly a girly-girl as a child (except for my collection of Hot Wheels), I never wanted a bop bag. Not that I could have had one if I did. Our house was very small, so I’d have definitely broken something. Not to mention that my mother is everyone in A Christmas Story who says, "You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!" rolled up into one neurotic woman. If you sneeze she’s afraid you’ll break your rib. Good thing neither me nor my brother ever played sports.

    On an unrelated note, I’m still drinking Pepsi Holiday Spice. One of the local thrift stores is selling the 20 oz. bottles, 12/$2. So what if the sell-by date was almost a month ago…it still tastes like Christmas in a bottle. Me and X-E’s layout won’t ever let Christmas go! :)

  7. EMajorwitz says:


    Yes, little E.Claire is a month old. Hope my boy likes older women. I mean, a Manimal-Majorwitz connection is cool no?

    Whenever I get my degree, all the parents will be teachers. Actually, come to think of it, my wife’s brother and sister in law are both teachers as are her sister and I think her brother in law as well. :)

    Thanks for the big ultrasound clarification. They have been giving us u/s pictures each time, except for this last time. I felt miffed, "what am I paying you for?" type feeling. My wife just shakes her head how excited I get for a grainy black and white picture. Everytime I get a new one…bam! it goes up as my computer’s wallpaper.

    I feel bad about the My Soldier, I mean, we got the packet, but the directions to mail were shoddy plus I’ve never heard from the guy. Hope he’s alright, I mean, it would be nice to know how he is doing, what he needs, etc…

    I’m deeply touched you would make a quilt, what do you want in return?

    Semper Fi,
    Erik Majorwitz

  8. Mine had Rocky on one side and Mr. T on the other! Take that! then i had one later with the pink panther on it…

  9. Forget Robot Chicken, you know what other show is coming to Cartoon Network this fall? Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, which this ToonZone article accurately describes as a "nosehair-fighting anime". Even if you can’t read Japanese, the pictures on the official site should give you some clue as to what kind of whacked-out comedy to expect (supposedly, it’s a loose parody of old school fighting anime like Fist of the North Star). (Unfortunately, for those of us who are Canadians, I have absolutely no idea if YTV will be picking this one up.)

    Also coming to television this fall, Loonatics, which has descendants of the classic Looney Tunes characters, and the not-classic token female Lola Bunny, re-imagined as superheroes in a futuristic setting. I say the show should be called "Looney Tunes 20X6" (pronounced "Twenty-Exty-Six").

  10. Lori says:

    I had a bop bag. It was a clown with a squeaky nose. I don’t really remember it much, but I know it eventually got a hole in it and died. I like to think that my 2-year-old self kicked its butt hardcore.

    Oh, and I have to agree about the comments on Matt’s apartment. I practically salivate. My husband doesn’t like "clutter" (defined by him as anything sitting around that doesn’t have a useful everyday purpose), so, all of my goodies have been sitting in boxes since we got married (and then he complains about the boxes taking up space in the garage [sigh].) It breaks my heart. Rock on with your awesome collections, my brother.

    Quick side comment about the Poconos. I’ve never done the champagne-glass tub ($$$$), but I’ve done the heart-shaped tub and the round bed and all that stuff. We went there for our honeymoon two and a half years ago and we’ve been back three times since. There’s this surreal, slightly-tacky quality about it that I just adore. For me, THAT is what makes the Poconos great (sorry, race fans.)

  11. The Manimal says:

    Whoa whoa and whoa everybody. I mean let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. There was already a 18 month old that came to visit her the day she was born and was enthralled. Then, I have a buddy in Jacksonville who just had his first (a son) and he is talking hook up. Now, I have Erik and Traj trying to set up Emmie with the unborn….Patience everyone

  12. squee4242 says:

    Full dance card for Emmie Claire! Too cute.
    Re: Loonatics. Hmm, Tiny Toons as superheroes. Interesting idea, it could work, but the characters look kinda goofy. Actually, with those logos on their chests and that color spectrum they look like some sort of gay pride crime fighting squad. Someone really needs to tip off the WB on that or they’ll have their own version of the Spongebob scandal on their hands.

  13. Tony R. says:

    I think my bop bag I had as a kid was the clown with the squeaky nose too.

    A couple of years ago I got a bop bag of The Undertaker. Extra cool thing about it: It had a voice box in it so when you hit it he said either "Rest in peace" or "I will bury you" (which my niece insisted was "I will marry you"). Not as cool thing about it: You had to put water in the bottom of it instead of it having sand. The water just never seemed to work as well.

    Anyway, another great article, Matt. Keep up the good work!!

  14. trajeal says:

    "Quick side comment about the Poconos. I’ve never done the champagne-glass tub ($$$$), but I’ve done the heart-shaped tub and the round bed and all that stuff. We went there for our honeymoon two and a half years ago and we’ve been back three times since. There’s this surreal, slightly-tacky quality about it that I just adore. For me, THAT is what makes the Poconos great (sorry, race fans.)"

    Don’t know if you’ll read this, Lori, but I had to comment that Mr. Traj and I spent our honeymoon in the Poconos. Did you guys stay at The Summit? That’s where we stayed. It sounds the same. Did you get the cheesy leopard print corner couch and pinkish-red heart shaped sink? We got the room w/ the personal, indoor pool. That was pretty cool. We didn’t have to share. Of course, we could have spent our time roller skating on skates that were purchased when Nixon was still in office, or playing tennis over the net-that-once-was. Ah, good times.

    , are you excited about Carnivale tonight? I’m actually anxious for the first tiem this season. I can’t wait to find out where Sophie is going. Do you think she’s preggo? Oh, have you written anymore fanfiction? I’ll have to go check out gay paree.

    P.S. Erik, just take care of the shipping to Germany, and I’ll take care of the rest. Deal?

    P.S.S. Manimal, does little Emily (or Mommy or Daddy, for that matter) like frogs? I got some cute fairy tale frog cloth that I love. I would live to make her a little crib quilt, if you would have one.

  15. Benji says:

    I couldnt stop laughing when Matt mentioned beating his dog for the intercontinental title belt. Possibly because I had no one else to beat either…

  16. rosella says:

    as an asthmatic smoker, i say smoke AND nebulize.

    i’m probably going to die of lung cancer before the age of 35 though, so don’t listen to me :-)

  17. Serdar says:

    When I was little I got something out of a 25-cent vendy machine thing that was a ball of red viscera (detailed, not really something that you’d think a kid would want to look at) with two eyes and a mouth (hole with teeth). It had this awful, tormented expression of pain that almost made me feel sorry for it. When you squeezed it, blood would pour from wounds all over its disgusting body/face (the blood was contained within a thin rubber membrane around the whole thing, and when you released your hand the blood was then sucked back into its wounds and eyes and mouth). Probably one of the most tragic moments of my life was when it was forever lost over the neighbor’s fence. Did anybody else have this wonderful crime against humanity, and if so, was it a Mad-Ball?, because I don’t remember.

  18. Bitchick says:

    *reads the notes between Trajeal and EMajorwitz and is totally lost*
    It’s like a poorly translated soap opera!

  19. Marcos says:


  20. D says:

    Mad balls, Mad balls….fun for one, fun for all we play with the…Mad balls. They’re gross, funny, yucky, sick. There’s 8, so you can take your pick..

    Creeping Jesus. Why do I still remember that? I should be chemically castrated.

  21. princess_edamame says:

    I, too, had the E.T. bop bag. Excellent.

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