Boglin

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A selection of various Boglins from an advertising poster.

Boglins were created by Tim Clarke and Maureen Trotto and Licensed by Seven towns.

Boglins were rubbery hand puppets that resembled small monsters, goblins and aquatic creatures. The Boglins were part of the "monster creatures" craze during the late 1980s, which included Ghoulies, Critters, and Gremlins. Generally, the Boglin puppet was aimed at small children (boys in particular) from eight to eleven, as they were popularly used for frightening others, but have become valuable collectibles in recent years. The company promotional slogan for Bogglins was;

They were characterized by their unique packaging (a cardboard box with a plastic "cage" entrance) and by their tails and glow in the dark movable eyes. Boglins were manufactured by a number of companies including Action GT and Ideal and distributed by Mattel. They became very popular in both the United Kingdom and USA, and their popularity is believed to have reached its peak thanks to a deal with Kellogg's in 1989, to use them in promotions contained in, and on, boxes of Rice Krispies cereal, including rubber stampers, stamp collections, cut-out masks and an exclusive set of Mini Boglins.

Boglins were also characterised by their varying "genus" and unique form, which entailed a pair of arms, no legs, and a flattish body.

Types of Boglins[edit]

Re-released Boglins[edit]

Mattel restarted the Boglin line in 2000 with two new lines of Boglins. There were two large, talking Boglins named Belcher and Gangrene, as well as several smaller ones: I Ball/Deg, a turquoise Boglin whose eyes popped out on stalks; Mr Mucus/Mr Crad, a purple Boglin which spat water when squeezed; and Warty/Pustule, a green Boglin with sticky red blisters that oozed. The large Boglins Belcher and Gangrene were usually too big for their boxes and regularly came with damaged, ripped tails or otherwise disfigured tails.

Mini Boglins[edit]

The variety least like the standard "large" and "small" hand puppets were the "mini" boglins. They made out of solid PVC and unlike their predecessors had no movable parts, so were essentially plastic models similar to Monster in My Pocket as well as being sold in blister packs (containing 3 or 5 monsters) and boxes (containing 5, 10, 20 or 100 Boglins) they were available packaged individually, each packet contained a random Boglin and buyers didn't know which Boglin it was, a common practice, similar to Gashapon). In the UK they were available in newsagents and stores like Woolworths, again a common practice.

The Boglins has a small backstory in this incarnation, they had lived in a swamp but their swamp was drying up and their king had sent out the Boglins to find new places to live. The Mini Boglins were first released in 1991 with 36 Boglins subdivided into 6 'tribes' with six Boglins in each tribe over time they were produced by several companies including 7 Towns Ltd. for Mattel. By 1992 there were 56 Boglins in eight tribes with 7 members and by 1994 eight tribes with eight members. Included on many models was a secret label that would show only after the Boglin was heated and left to cool, this was supposed to be their 'secret code', part of the toys' storyline.

The Mini Boglins Swamp Carry Case was also sold separately, made of molded plastic it unfolded to be a small landscape on which children could play with the Mini-Boglins. A Boglins Cage offer however was run in the UK on the backs of the Mini-Boglins and Baby Action Spitting Boglins blister packs. If eight tokens were collected and set together with a cheque or postal order for 80 pence to Ideal Toys a small plastic cage would be sent that could store both makes of Boglin.

Tribes[edit]

Mini Boglins were divided into tribes, with each Boglin having attributes that related to the nature of the tribe. Furthermore, each Boglin was given a rank within the tribe, and the higher ranks had a small symbol carved on them somewhere:

Chief: The highest rank, the chief ruled the tribe and was respected by all others. Not exactly rare, but very prestigious, these dictators were given small crown symbols to show their skills in leadership

Scout: By far the rarest form of boglin, the scout was glow in the dark and the next in the tribe rankings.

Messenger: This was the messenger of the tribe. He was branded with a small envelope symbol to show he was a messenger. They varied in rarity, with some being very common whilst others rivalled the rarity of scouts.

Spy: The spy always appeared cheeky and mischievous, and came in only one colour: Black. Like messengers, some were common and others were rare.

Peon: There are four common peons to a tribe, each having their own skills. Most were common apart from the very few which were rarer.

By the time production of the Mini-Boglins line ended there were 12 Tribes of Boglins:

Mini Boglins in Slime[edit]

As well as the regular Mini-Boglins four additional models were made for a special line that came in Slime toilets - plastic toilets filled with substance similar to toy slime. Coming individually in blister packs containing 1 toilet, 4 mini-boglins and 1 Slime Boglin. The Slime Boglins were Splutter, Splurge, Splash and Splodge and claxton

The Slime toilet was also a major part of the Mini Boglins board game.

Sources[edit]