Popples! The Full Moon Review

**One Monster’s continuing mission to explore strange new (old) cartoons. Shows he has never seen! Watched in small segments and reviewed immediately. No research! No rewinds! No shame! Join me as I embarrass myself for your reading pleasure. This is Full Moon Reviews!**

Very sorry to have missed you fine folks last week but Cartoon research can be an unbelievably daunting thing and I found myself with the need to go to The Elmo SputterSpark spa and recharge my battery! For those of you who got that I salute you.
This week I decided to review something for the ladies a little show I like to call The Popples. Actually this post was semi inspired by a conversation I had on The Twitter with friends @LamarRevenger and @Count_Marzo two manly, manly men like myself, who were and are big Popples fans. What I’m trying to say is I really don’t know whether Popples was technically supposed to be a “girls toy” I know I had a couple as a kid and I thought they were awesome.

Another thing I didn’t know was that the Popples had a cartoon, that is, until now. I don’t know whether the cartoon or the toys came first and I really don’t know whether the strange and wonderful style of the Popples will translate to animation. What I do know is that I’m about to get my first ever experience with animated balls of 80’s nostalgia awesomeness. This should be fun!

The Popples: Treasure at Popple Beach

Wow-wie! I just watched the opening credits and that stuff I said about the “weird and wonderful style of the Popples” I’ve got a feeling were going to get that and then some! The opening montage starts with kids jumping out of their toy-box and then there are Popples. Popples everywhere! They’re running around doing Popply things (which apparently also involves pulling anything they want out of Popple Space) and being cute alien mythological beast creatures. The whole time they are running around the worlds most bouncy (get it?) theme song is playing. The lyrics go a little something like this. Popples…Popples! Popples! PopplesPopples! The only other thing I was able to glean from the opener is that apparently one of the Popples is not too bright. He was falling and looking for something to save himself and he kept pulling out anvils and other iron type objects. I feel a little bit like I’ve just taken drugs, I really hope the rest of the show is this weird!

Part 1:

So we start off at the beach the two kids escaping there toy-box in the opening credits are apparently the stars of the show. The girl asks the boy if he’s sure he has the Popples. Sure he is! Right there in his backpack! Im not sure yet what the Popples are. Are they pets? Is this earth? Are they toys come to life? Aliens? Did their salesman dad by them from an ancient Chinese man at his antique store? At any rate the foolish boy was wrong because we pan to see two of the round little critters on a sandcastle on the beach. One is laying on top sleeping. I will call him Lazy Popple and the other one is talking to herself while she hangs curtains and frantically cleans while calling herself “one” as in one can’t choose one’s neighbors…her I shall call crazy OCD Popple!

We wont have to worry about these two characters for long however because a giant wave is coming in to destroy their sandy home. They survive the terrible ordeal and OCD Popple rises up out of the sand pile and starts joking about their near death experience with hand puppets. Then she starts pointing out all the garbage! (she really is crazy!) including…gasp! A treasure map!

Part #2

There are suddenly tons of other popples (I’m assuming that when the first two Popples got wet by the wave, they started to multiply…don’t feed them after midnight Timmy!) and they are all looking at the treasure map and fighting over it. We then get treated to a classic, knock down drag out, no holds barred Popple chase! They run after the Popple with the map but he’s too fast then he turns into a ball and bounce, flinging himself at a volleyball net bouncing back and then flying back at his pursuing allies and knocking them over, bowling ball style! Then they all form a group and rise up in front of the screen looking totally nuts and then their eyes turn into dollar signs. Sounds like me on payday! Wakka wakka!

The weird music started back up and things seem to be going back to that trippie feel from the opening credits. Sure enough! We get treated to a wild montage of the Popples exploring their new found wealth. It starts with them rolling around in vast amounts of treasure then they go to a big time Hollywood premier in a chauffer driven car and get out, all wearing top hats. Then they are swimming on the roof-pool of their amazing high rise apartment, sun bathing diving, opening bottles of Dom Peringnon you know…typical Popple stuff.

Side note: the premier is actually a performance that they are giving in front of a wildly cheering audience. The show seems to consist of them bouncing around on stage on and around a table, heaped high with tons of gold coins (loose, and bagged) They all snap our of their fantasy and begin to hunt for the treasure, which involves screaming Hey look over there! And running around aimlessly in all directions. The little green Popple who speaks in all P alliteration says something about a prognosticating probe (??) takes his magnifying glass, goes to the edge of the water, plucks out an electric eel, makes it bite the end of the magnifying glass handle which electrocutes the popple turns the eel stiff as a board and turn the whole contraption, somehow, into a metal detector…I really like this cartoon!

The other Popples all try their treasure hunting techniques as well. One of them tunnels, one of them turns his tail into a propeller and goes scuba diving. The electric Popple keeps being electric…and the ocd Popple fills in all the holes they dig (because she’s crazy)

Part 3:
None of them find the treasure but they swimming Popple give up and then for some reason, decides it can’t swim back to shore leaving his friends to device a plan of rescue. One Popple (I’ve given up trying to name them) pulls a cube from Popple Space and turns it into a kite. They rescue the Popple with the kite and a few bad puns about needing a tale (…Once upon a time…) and then they get back to the hard work of nonsense treasure hunting! The orange Popple goes manic and starts running around knocking things over, riding a surfboard through the air diving through a lifesaver and then hitting sand and flying (once again) back towards his comrades.

They run around some more causing mayhem and creating some show stopping scenes of scintillating slapstick and then two of them fall over a hill and land in a picnic basket. No one seems to be claiming it so they decide it’s the treasure! They all gather round and start eating the food and having a sweet beach picnic

They decide its about time to go home so they create a bunch of flying devices out of garbage and take off. Each one leaves in a different contraption (I don’t know why) and they all arrive safely. The orange popple leans against a tiny volleyball net to catapult himself. Winks at the audience and says “I know this might be stretching things a bit” which seems to be the theme to this entire episode.
They all arrive safely at home after their adventure each making a spectacularly clumsy entrance and getting some wisecrack joke from the child who finds them. After the last one the show decends (as it has several times throughout the episode) into crazed laughter and that, my friends, is the end!

Recap:

That was one weird show…which I like. It was colorful, funny, and more importantly, nonsensical! The only problem I have with it was the fact that at the end of the treasure hunt they just decide to eat a pi9cnic. I couldn’t help thinking that somewhere, just off screen The Littles were digging their treasure up and going on to dance around a money table wearing top hats and getting wild applause. Also, at the very end of the show the boy NEVER acknowledges that he left the Popples at the beach! He said he had them in his backpack! All they say is finally you Popples decided to come back, use the door next time! What??? The kid abandoned them. He’s guilty! I swear if Popples can’t get just in a cartoon. Where can they get justice?

Boglin Fever!

Hey folks! Do you remember when Boglins took over the world and destroyed every man, woman and child in their unstoppable quest to satisfy their thirst for blood? No you don’t! And do you know why? Well, the answer to that is a little more complicated, but it all started with a town called Happy Pines, Iowa in the year of nineteen hundred and eighty-two. This small town in middle America was really on the move. But like most ideal places it moved at a little slower pace. Happy Pines was the sort of town folks like to write Christmas carols about. It was the type of place with Fourth of July picnics, band concerts and real old-fashioned soda fountains with real old-fashioned sodas. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to say that Happy Pines didn’t have its fair share of trouble. They got some youngsters that could be real hooligans; chewing their Big League Chew and spending all evening playing Pac-Man down at the Pac-Man hall. Now trust me when I say that I spent many a day doing research in Happy Pines. And while I may or may not have gotten beaten up by teenagers; two facts still remain.

1.) Happy Pines is a great town.
2.) In 1982 all of that almost changed forever.

I may be getting a little ahead of myself. Now, I could go on and on about that great little town or getting beaten up in an arcade by some snot-nosed little brat. I mean I had put my quarter on the machine, that meant it was my turn to play next. MY TURN!…but while it might be fun to wax philosophically about sunshine, today I have come to talk about storm clouds. And let me tell you, that as sure as I am standing here, on October Third of 1982, Happy Pines, Iowa was due for a little rain. While there were gathering clouds, the real heart of the storm came in the form of a man. A man named Dr. Thaddeus Minto. Minto rolled in to town, more like a force of nature than any man who has ever walked the streets of Happy Pines. With all the mystery and darkness of the storm that heralded his arrival. With a long black coat and a large dusty briefcase. He arrived on foot to an empty street. You see, most of the townsfolk went inside to look through their blinds, around saloon doors and behind large barrels of gunpowder. Everyone had the same questions on their lips; who was this man and what did he have in store for this community? They may not have been ready to know but they were about to find out.

The mysterious man walked to the very center of town, proud as a peacock, and unfolded his suitcase into a table. He then cleared his throat and with a twinkle in his eyes, began to speak.
“Friends, my Name is Minto. Doctor Thaddeus Minto and I’ve come to tell you about something that will truly change your life, no your very world. Friends, I’ve come to talk to you about Boglins. Why Thaddeus! You might say…what is a Boglin? How do I know if I even need one? Well let me tell you, that if you live and breath…hope and dream…plot and scheme…then you need a Boglin. Why this little wonders can cure every ailment, fix every flaw…even mend a broken heart!”

Old Thaddeus Minto saw the doubt in the eyes of his future customers and he knew he would have to pull out every trick in his book. His Boglin trick book. He had to find a way to sell these creatures to the people of HP or as he thought of them in his heart of hearts “Those barefoot rubes!“ Problem was that it turn out if you think about it…I mean really take the time to think about it, there just aren’t a whole lot of problems that can be solved by adding a Boglin to the equation. I mean you have your usual standbys: “My hands are cold, but only to the point that I need a flimsy rubber puppet to warm them.” “My cat is too complacent; I wish it were much more terrified.” etc. But you would be amazed by how infrequently these pop up. But he had been in the Boglin game for a long time and his pitch was not only well rehearsed, it was a thing of beauty..

“Now I know all of you folks want the best for your children and bearing that in mind, you do not want your youngster to grow up in a town without Boglins. Why, these great little rubber wonders will keep little Timmy and Susie entertained for hours. You, sir! Don’t you want your kid to have a Boglin? What’s that you say? You don’t have a kid, you’ve got a dog? Well Rover will love Boglins too! That’s a joke, son; always keep Boglins away from your dogs or you’ll have a terrible mess. Pieces of dog everywhere! That’s another joke. I keep throwing them and you keep missing them… But none of you, yes I say none of you will miss out on the fun when you try Boglins!

Yes Ma’am, a Boglin for every season. And in that vein I would like to announce an all new Boglin line…the Soggy Boglin. He says it’s a fish! She says it’s a Boglin. Well folks, your both right. We’ve got Snish, We’ve got Slogg, and of course Clobster. These jewels of the murky deep are your hardwearing all-season Boglins, appropriate for everything from pool parties, to fancy dinners! Why if Atlantis had a few of these kicking around, they could have avoided all that nasty sinking business. Each Boglin comes individually restrained in their own cage for your…oh, I mean their protection. Each cage is made of the most sturdy gauged cast-cardstock available and is sure to protect you from any “unfortunate incidents” while you sleep.

You may ask, “But Dr. Minto! How can a humble but respectable member of the community like myself ever hope to care for such a magnificent creature?” Well cast your worries aside, because taking care of a Boglin could not be easier. Just make sure they have the three essentials.

1) A nightly dose of healthy exposure to direct moonlight,
2) A constant supply of stump water to drink, and
3) A steady diet of Popples. That’s right Popples, those cute little balls of vitamins and minerals now available at most quality drug stores and tobacconists. Soggy Boglins will of course need Sea-Popples for that extra zing of natural organic sediment.”

A small child timidly approached the salesman and asked what the function would be of a horrific skeletal Boglin with sunken black eyes and terrible bony fingers?

“My boy, that is the largest load of malarkey it has ever been my unfortunate luck to be subjected to. There has never been and will never be a skeleton Boglin.”

The boy then inquired that if that were the case, then how did he explain the presence of that very same creature, strapped jauntily to the old kit bag that he wore upon his back. He began to go into another barrage of mockery, and derisive laughter but then he managed to spot the boney beast in the corner of one of his eyes. He then began a most undignified display of high pitched screeching, wildly slapping at his back and finally sobbing while rolling around on the ground. Eventually some folks were able to calm him and reminded him that he knew all about Boglins, and was in fact there to sell the beasts. Finally, the good doctor regained his composure, smiled sheepishly and continued.

“Ahem, I apologize. Well son, what you have so cleverly spotted, is something we call a Halloween Boglin named Bog O’ Bones. There is a second named Blobkin. They’re still being worked on but are top secret so you can’t tell anyone under pain of death! Ha Ha! But seriously though, you talk and I’ll cut you.”

It went on that way for sometime, Minto’s praises for Boglins growing more and more flowery, and his threats of bodily harm getting steadily more morbid and explicit. He sold like he had never sold before into the night and straight on till morning!

But alas, in the end it was nothing doing. The townsfolk didn’t take kindly to Minto’s slick city ways and he was tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a Hot Wheels track (as it turns out, Happy Pines was My Pet Monster Country.) all the while on his way out he could be heard yelling. “Boglin fever, Catch it!”

It makes for interesting food for thought to consider what may have happened to Happy Pines, Iowa if the townspeople had been more receptive to the idea of caged rubber puppet creatures in their community. To find out the answer to that mystery you don’t have to look far. You could just go up highway 80 and ask the people of River City. That is you could if there was anyone left but sadly there isn’t. It seems that River City suffered the same terrible fate as many small towns before it. It usually went like this. The Boglins are sold and suddenly the Popple supply seems to just dry up overnight. Now the funny thing about Boglins is that while they do love Popples, if none are available they’ll try whatever happens to be HANDy and more often than not they get a taste for it. So the Popples leave, then the people follow suite (with a bit more shrieking) and then some unmarked wagons come by and collect all the Boglins and the process starts all over again. But as they say, that was then and this is now and the Boglin Corporation has rededicated itself to a quality product, low prices and service with a smile. In fact we now include with every Boglin purchased, a feedback form to register any dissatisfaction with their experience and so far we haven’t heard from any of our customers yet! So why not bring the gift of Boglin into your life? For a limited time, my company has authorized me to extend to you the deal of a lifetime! With every purchase of a Halloween or Soggy Boglin, you will receive, at no additional charge a standard Boglin. Yes, bring Boglins to your town. They just need loved…and of course, fed.

ALF, Popples and a Transformers Tent? This 80s kid has all the answers.

I do not know who daniel85r is, but I think he would have been very cool to be friends with in the 1980s. Above you see him at some point in the late 1980s, sitting in his awesome Transformers Tent with buddy ALF and some Popples. He is better than all of us. Why? Because he was cool enough to unapologetically bring together these three amazing toys. Plus his parents were better than ours, because they snapped this photo.

That is of course unless young Daniel set this photo up himself. If that was the case, he was way ahead of the curve on taking photos of oneself. That would not surprise me thought. This is Daniel we are taking about here.

According to Daniel:

I know, I know– playing with Popples seems incongruous with being a Transformers fan. Still, were Popples really a girls’ toy? I always thought they straddled the boundary between girls’/boys’ toys. I guess it doesn’t help my case that the purple one in my lap is called ‘Pretty Bit Popple’.

While doing this blog and podcast, I spend a lot of time just trying to remember things. My family did not have a camera for a very long time. Photos like this would be a huge help in doing what I do. So if you have vintage photos of yourself. Say in a Transformers Tent while hugging ALF and a Popple? Make sure you scan that. Memories can be fragile and these are moments worth preserving.

[via] Flickr