If you are aware of the world famous Troma Studios well then you might be aware of the Toxic Avenger series of theirs of B flicks that arrived in the middle of the 1980’s. Like Troma’s other notable films along the lines of Class of Nuke’ Em High as well as Chopper Chicks in Zombietown, the Toxic Avenger series offered up a lot of gore, crude humor and racy scenes. There’s a chance you’re wanting to know exactly how in the world this could be created into a children’s cartoon series and rightly so!
In 1991, young children cartoon shows began to shift and fresh strategies bubbled up to the surface of the entertainment industry. Shows like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Captain Planet brought a new message to youngsters: the value of protecting the planet of ours. With a bit of tweaking, Troma got their infamous anti-industrial hero shaped into Toxie, a hideously mutated but lovable character who served as the star of Toxic Crusaders.
Naturally, battling with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles proved to be just about impossible and after a five run trial, FOX decided not to run the complete series although thirteen thirty minute episodes had actually been created. Despite this fairly huge setback, the creepily cute Toxie produced a valiant stand in stores everywhere in the form of toys, collectible cards and a mountain of various other products or services which often cartoon characters typically seem to get.
Toxie didn’t go up against evil polluters on his own, though. At anime-zutto.com were a cast of imaginative weirdos such as: Yvonne, Toxie’s nearsighted blonde girlfriend; Blobbie, a furry pink pet; Mop, Toxie’s independently thinking instument of cleaning; Junkyard, a human-dog hybrid of a hobo who hid from lightning in a dog kennel simply to be merged with the dog once lightning struck; Major Disaster, a soldier which fell right into a radioactive swamp where he gained the ability to deal with plants; and NoZone, a pilot that flew through a hole in the ozone layer to crash into a silo of nuclear peppers which usually provided him a legendary sneeze!
Naturally, no children show could be complete with no villains that are as compelling as the heroes themselves. Toxic Crusaders didn’t skimp when it involved bad guys. Not many returned for over one episode, but several of those were: Czar Zosta and Doctor Killemoff, two cockroach beings with four arms from a planet called Smogula; Bonehead, a street punk who bullied Melvin Junko, the man who’d carry on to be Toxie; and Mayor Grody, the corrupt leader of Toxie’s hometown of Tromaville. Naturally, like various other cartoons of the era the series had its very own disposable goons, the Radiation Rangers who seem to arrived in droves and nearly never hit the intended target of theirs.
As rich of a series as any on television at that time, Toxic Crusaders proved to be fertile grounds for merchandising. In most situations, the very same companies who held the rights to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles products or services even held it for Toxic Crusaders. As an outcome, we saw a 8 issue comic book from Marvel, trading cards from Topps, a card game, board game, Halloween costumes, Colorforms and of course, video games for the original Nintendo Entertainment System, The Game and sega Genesis Boy. Playmates even provided a kind of action figures boasting “radical” designs in bright neon colors on characters that retained the creepy charm of the cartoon show. These figures often came with glow in the dark accessories and you also could even receive canisters of “Toxie’s Toxic Waste”, a goopy substance suspiciously like the Turtle’s “Retromutagen Ooze.”
Even these days, Toxic Crusaders even now captivate fans and in April of 2008, Troma released a DVD of all 13 episodes so if you missed the show yourself there’s still an opportunity to check out it out there!
I hope you have enjoyed the excursion back to the 90’s and you discovered a bit about a great cartoon show which tried hard to bring children a great e-mail crammed with ridiculous fun. Though Toxic Crusaders maybe don’t have toppled the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle empire, they surely provided an extraordinary take on “environmentally conscious” kids’ cartoons.