Toys I had as a kid and got rid of: Devastator, Snake Mountain, Imperial Scout Walker, WWF Wrestling ring complete with cage; just to name a few. Toys I kept: A handful of stupid rubber monsters that I got out of a vending machine for a quarter a piece. Is there a method to my madness? Not really. I regret getting rid of some of those big awesome brand name toys but if I really wanted them again I could find them on ebay. Certain toys though don’t need to have a popular cartoon or their own brand of cereal to be near and dear to your heart. Sometimes it’s the dollar store toys that are hadest to part with because you don’t know if you’ll ever come across them again. Sometimes you love a stupid dollar store toy just because of who bought it for you or because it entertained you on a long road trip. I honestly don’t remember much about the origins of Georgie here. All I know is that I’ve had him forever and I’ve always had a fondness for him. I don’t remember where the name Georgie came from either; I assume I just pulled it out of thin air. Doug and I had a tendency to give everything we owned a name and a personality. As kids every blanket on our beds was named Octo ( I assume that was their “species”) and every pillow was a Blubber Mouth. I could provide more examples of this weird behavior but I fear I’ve said too much already. Georgie was my first little critter of this variety and I remember wanting to buy a new one every time I went to the store. There were a bunch of different designs and each one was available in a variety of colors. I can’t remember if they came in a vending machine or if they were in a bin by the front cash that I could root through; it may have been a combination of both. Georgie is the only one I remember naming even though I had nearly 10 of them. I always referred to the lot of them as “Georgie and his Pals” as if it were based on some saturday morning cartoon.
As I sat down to write this entry about my nameless rubber monsters I thought I’d try googling them to see if I could find out anything at all. I googled rubber vending machine monsters and to my surprise I found quite a few pictures of toys just like these. I found out that they are called Slurfies and they used to be sold in carded 4 packs like action figures before later being put in vending machines. Apparently there is a small collector’s market for them…Who knew? It’s kind of hard to review these things as what you see is what you get, they only cost a quarter for Pete’s sake. They look like a mix of bugs, lizards and rodents. Some are hairy, some are scaly and some are spiky. Some have 2 legs, some have 4 and some have 6. The features that they all share include long tails, long snouts and big googly eyes. They’re all made of translucent rubber in a solid color with a highlight color splashed on their back. Each one is about the size of a quarter except for the big solid yellow one that I have. He’s made of a thicker more durable plastic that shows off the detail in the mold and he has no paint applications. I can’t remember where he came from and I couldn’t find anything about Large Slurfies on the internet so who knows, maybe it’s rare as hell and I’ll be able to put my kids through college with that thing someday. Based on sentimentality alone I gotta give Georgie and his pals a 7 out of 10.