Prepare for the coming of 8-Ball, a Raging Nerdgasm inside look

Those of you that have followed me for any length of time know I’m particularly partial to Kickstarter campaigns. It’s a great way to not only get something funded but also get something in return for donating towards someone’s cause. I’ve done a bunch of them in the last 12 months, everything from Renny’s Oki Doki food truck and the many OMFG minifigure series to the Uncle Rukus movie and tons more media projects. Some have gone through, some have not but all have gotten not only my monetary support but also my personal vote of confidence and usually some kind of write up on . As luck would have it, when the project is about a toy it gets a little more attention from me. I’ve gotten very active when it comes time to support the OMFG minifigure series, so much so we entered a design and won a spot in the upcoming series 4. While cruising Facebook posts a couple of months ago I saw a post for a 4 inch tall creature strongly resembling a Madball figure. I read the tag line;

(I can’t tell you how much I like this mini poster.)

“Coming to Kickstarter in July comes your chance to own the first of Radioactive Uppercut’s newest line up; Radioactive Rumblers.”

What is Radioactive Uppercut? What is a Radioactive Rumbler? Good questions one and all, they will be answered shortly.

(Background card art not final.)

Radioactive Uppercut is the working name of Johnny Santagada, a man who’s professionally been a part of the toy industry working for the greats such as DC Direct, Mezco and Gemmy (known for making everything from animatronic Santa Claus to Freddy Krueger and beyond). Designed by Johnny Santagada and sculpted by ERA Sculptures, 8-Ball is a detail packed 4 inches tall vinyl figure with 3 points of monster mashing articulation. The project encompassing 8-Ball and the Radioactive Rumblers have been an ongoing project for Johnny for the last 6 years, a labor of love waiting for the right opportunity to spring it on the collecting world. If you ask me the time is certainly right. Art toys, vinyl toys and independent toys are three of the hottest commodities in the market, especially when you consider the ever rising cost of figures at retail and the value you get for your money is laughable.

(Dat ass @_@)

The inspiration for 8-Ball comes from 50’s and 60’s sci-fi / horror movies and comics along with 80’s gross out toys like Madballs, Monster in my Pocket and Garbage Pail Kids. All of those 80’s toy lines are hot commodities on the secondary market right now with even figures in poor condition commanding big money. The verison you see in the photos will be the exclusive Kickstarter color scheme, anything sold outside of the Kickstarter campaign will have a different decoration. $55 gets you 8-Ball in all his classic sofubi glory packaged in a poly bag with header card and a trading card featuring original art on one side and character statistics on the other. Of course there will be other donation tiers featuring everything from custom painted 8-Balls (by the likes of George Gaspar, Spanky Stokes, Ed Long, Damien Glonek, Monsterforge, Tom Connors, Butcher Brand, Motorbot, D-Lux and Topheroy), “Radioactive” green and blank white 8-Balls for you to test your painting skills with. Also putting your money where your mouth is will get you exclusive rights to vote on upcoming Radioactive Rumblers (provided that funding is acquired through the first campaign) and color variants of existing figures in the line. Keeping with the time honored tradition, 8-Ball with be manufactured in Japan in true sofubi fashion.

(join them on facebook at

Stay tuned to both Raging Nerdgasm and Radioactive Uppercut for more news regarding the Kickstarter campaign and hopefully more Radioactive Rumblers coming soon!

(A sign of what may be in the future….)

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My irrational love for the Presidential Monsters figures- another Raging Nerdgasm moment

(Just a friendly reminder of where you are)

It wasn’t too long ago when I showed off the set of Presidential Monster figures I ordered just before I broke my shoulder earlier this year. Since then, they have quickly become one of my more favorite possessions as of late. Which is saying a lot to be honest because I don’t normally dig newer toys. I think  part of the fact they stuck with me so much is because they are a specialty item only available through limited markets. With secondary market prices on the rise and a piece I read on , the desire for a set of these figures became a dire need and superseded just about everything I was actively hunting down at that very moment. Through a course of fortunate events, mostly because eBay prices were creeping out of my price range, I met a man who led me to his website where he sold complete sets for retail prices. He also happened to be the proprietor of Heroes in Action , the main website for the Presidential Monsters line.

(man, just watching this makes my shoulder hurt again)

To be honest, there is plenty of reasons why this line really struck a cord with me. Mainly I was stuck at home for the better part of a month in a brace and unable to reach my collection and these were the only things I could see on a regular basis without bugging my wife. When I feel bad, I like to surround myself with things that make me happy as I’m sure a few readers do too. I bought them at first for the novelty and figured eventually I’d probably flip them for a decent return since the value of a complete set was constantly on the rise. But getting to sit and study them for a lengthy amount of time, I grew to really appreciate the detail behind each figure. From the patterns on the cloth used for each figure to the scales, fur and rotting skin sculpted on the faces and hands; these were something of an unsung masterpiece in the toy world. Why doesn’t anyone sing the praises of these marvelous toys?

(I guess there was no need for this photo but I like it anyways)

The first set, some still available here, was comprised of 7 Mego-style figures on colorful, character specific cards complete with original artwork. I’m a really appreciative fan when it comes to packaging featuring character specific artwork, it’s the small details that can make me love or hate a series of figures. Not because I’m an asshole (because I am, let’s not forget that fact) but I think a figure should be just as eye catching in the package as it is out of it.

Zom-Bush (George W. Bush)

Everyone’s favorite former head of state parodied for the sometimes dead look on his face during press conferences. The torn and tattered clothing along with the really awesome undead paint scheme really drive it home to be one of my favorites from the line. They were even so nice as to pack in a single sheet Zom-Bush poster which was promptly hung up in our room shortly after receiving our set. I wonder if Bush got one of these or was even aware of it? Next time I know he’s coming to my town I’ll get him to autograph mine, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind.

The Ronmy (Ronald Regan)

This was one that I wasn’t sold on when I was buying the set. To be honest, I was gauging whether it was worth just buying the ones I want or buying the set outright and parting out the figures I didn’t want. To get the 4 I wanted cost the same amount as it would have to bought the whole set and I’m a sucker for getting more toys for my money. All in all, Ronmy was actually a decent figure. I love the fact they used the classic Mad Monster pajama like bodysuit to pull off the mummy bandaging effect. It makes for a really nice throwback to the classic figure lines that inspired this set.

Wolf Bill (Bill Clinton)

Here’s one I was considering not buying in the first place. I’ve never been much of a Wolf man fan unless it was Lon Chaney. I’m more of a Dracula and Frankenstein fan that and I get the joke they were making but I guess I was hoping for more of a Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde sex fiend. I guess I’d go more high brow or maybe I just make jokes no one gets (I’m fairly sure it’s the latter). But, so far there’s a theme with these lat 3 figures I’ve touched base on, none of them have shoes. I do like the sculpting of the fur and how they captured the mid transformation wolf and man hybrid, making him hairy enough for people to get the reference but human enough to recognize hound dog Bill Clinton.

Phantom of the White House (John F. Kennedy)

Our first figure with shoes! Here’s another one I was really sold on till I got it in hand. That’s the problem with online exclusives, I’ve not bought pieces from sets and then seriously regretted it at a toy show when I get it in hand and really get to admire it. Where this figure impresses is the outfit; cape, vest, shoes and pants are really great quality. Also, the sculpt is a dead ringer for JFK without obscuring it for the Phantom joke they were going with. They did give him a tan / peach colored (I’m bad with describing colors) demon mask. I was kind of hoping they would go for something closer to the Red Death mask from Phantom of the Opera but I’m not too disappointed.

Monster from Watergate Lagoon (Richard Nixon)

The Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Gillman, Swamp Monster, Fish Man; no matter what you call him he’s probably my favorite of all the classic monsters. Richard Nixon, Dick Nix, Tricky Dicky; no matter what you call him he’s probably my 3rd favorite president. Two great tastes that taste great together ( that sounded better in my head than it does in print but I’m going to go with it). I really like the head sculpt on this, the bloated gill man head with the predominant nose sells the toy for me. The added touches of webbed hands (molded into the iconic “I am not a crook” victory signs) and feet make this figure one of my top 4 favorite figures from the line.

Baracula (Barack H. Obama)

There is no denying how cool and funny this figure is. Love the man or hate the man, they captured the current Commander and Chief’s likeness and gave you probably the best costume of the line. I’m not sure is the current president can take a joke or not but I’d love to show him this figure if I had a chance. This figure does go for more as a single figure outside of a complete set and most places won’t sell you a Baracula unless you buy the other 6 figures. Truly one of the crowning achievements of the line and I suggest if you buy one figure from this series to seek him out.

Lincolnstein (Abraham Lincoln)

In this series, Lincolnstein and Baracula are just about neck-and-neck my favorites from the line. What an awesome figure. Great costuming complete with top hat and the sculpting is by far the best of the line. Little details like stitches and neckbolts are not neglected, overall the entire run hasn’t skipped on detail and value. Yet again, this is another figure most sellers won’t let you have outside of a complete set so he is another, at least in my opinion, got to have figure.

My only gripe with the series, and I hope the powers that be at Heroes in Action are listening (well, reading), is that to enjoy the figure outside the package you have to destroy the packaging I admire so much. I love what Gentle Giant Toys did with the Jumbo Vintage Star Wars figures and I think more companies should follow suit. Make the package into a semi-clamshell that can be carefully disassembled to display the figure whenever the consumer wishes while also give the owner the ability to put it back in the package and hang it on a wall with ease. Either way I really like the line overall, more so than I ever thought I would. For anyone who thought these figures are as cool as I think they are, they are available in  limited quantities through Heroes in Action, famous online retailers and eBay. I suggest you act quickly, another round of Presidential Monster mash ups are heading to online retailers sometime this year with more amazing concepts as Van Palin: the vampire hunter, Romney the Robot, Teddy the Yeti, Martian Van Buren and Jacksferatu.

(Martian Van Buren)


(I really want to know what’s up with the Yeti variant)


(I really like this on many levels)

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