My Mom used to give me toys in my Easter basket. I’m not sure how that tradition got started, but why question a good thing? One year, hidden in the plastic grass with the malt balls, Peeps, and chocolate rabbits, there were a couple Go-Bots (Cop-tur and Tank, I believe) and this:
I had not seen this before, neither in real life or on TV. It was one of the figures from Ideal’s Rocks & Bugs & Things line. The concept of the line was that carnivorous monsters disguised themselves as rocks and insects in order to surprise and eat their prey.
There were ten figures (at least in the first wave; I’m not sure if there was a second) total. Five were rocks and five were insects. Of those five, I thought my rock and the tarantula were the best.
The best thing about the one I got was that his hand popped his prey into his mouth. Not only so, but when his prey was in his mouth, he could then go back into his rock form. So you could store the prey inside. As Retroist readers might know, I’ve always been fascinated when things disappear entirely into other things (like NES games into the NES), so this was a big plus for me.
The prey in question were little bipeds called Mordles. They looked a little like an angry Q*Bert.
But while the Rocks & Bugs & Things preferred Mordles, they could eat other things. MUSCLES would fit easily into Gravelguts’ maw, as would Space Creatures. Plastic men of various kinds could also be eaten, and so could Kenner’s Yoda. I’m pretty sure Gravelguts even tried to eat Cop-Tur.
As far as I know, I was the only kid in my neighborhood to have and enjoy a Rocks & Bugs & Things figure. They disappeared as quickly as the Manglords did. And I haven’t been able to get one off of Ebay (though I have seen a few). For all intents and purposes, they have disappeared. But you know, there’s a lot of rocks my house, and on some evenings I will look at them and be thankful I’m not a Mordle.