Horror Spitballs, from 1989!

The rumors are true. I have eight balls.

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Made by Entertech in 1989, the SPITBALLS collection turned our favorite slashers, monsters and ghosts into… well, spitballs.

Each set came with two hollow rubber heads, with pinholes in the mouths. Squeeze ‘em underwater to fill ‘em up, and squeeze ‘em again to make ‘em… Jesus Christ, that’s too many ’ems. What I’m trying to say is that they SHOOT WATER, over a purported distance of eighteen feet. I don’t think I need to test that; Entertech was clearly exaggerating.

Would you look at this lot? Freddy Krueger! Jason Voorhees! Slimer! Dracula! Turning such beloved murderers into tiny squirt heads might seem like a waste of the licensing fees, but I look at it like this: While there are plenty of action figures for each of these characters, there’s only one Spitball.

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The Freddy and Jason sets are my favorites, and for every possible reason.

Let’s start with the packaging. Both franchises had a sort of evolving style guide, but this is NOES and F13 at their visual best. I love it when Freddy has that whole “Photon arena” vibe, and I love it when Jason looks like he’s celebrating the Bicentennial.

Each slasher came with a “victim” Spitball. Freddy’s looks a bit like Pee-wee Herman. Note the slash mark on Pee-wee’s face, and how the wound is both red and yellow. I can understand Entertech wanting to dilute the gore, but there’s a difference between toning things down and making it seem like Freddy was a hot dog vendor gone wackadoo.

Jason’s victim doesn’t look like anybody famous, but he does look like someone who is desperately – and I mean desperately – trying to shit. This would make much more sense if he resembled Miguel Nunez.

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The “Monster Spitballs” pale in comparison to the others… at least until you look closely at the packaging, and realize that Dracula and Frankenstein are settling their differences with self-indulgent squirt heads. Swoon!

Last but by no means least, Slimer and the Ecto-1 (!!!) star in The Real Ghostbusters set. Slimer is great because Slimer is always great, but that super-deformed Ecto-1 might be the best Spitball Entertech ever made. It looks like something you might see rolling around in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and from there, it’s only a short leap to imagine Ernie Hudson teaching that bitchy lady puppet how to make paper mache. A Fucking Plus.

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Every Spitballs set had a pictorial tutorial on the back of the card. The fact that they drew pictures of a process so self-explanatory is bested only by the fact that they drew pictures of a RUBBER FREDDY KRUEGER HEAD, SQUIRTING WATER.

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So now I have a pile of terrifying water-squirting heads. And one car.

This is the first day of the rest of my life.

Also, “Entertech” sounds like robots selling donuts.

  • K

    The original price of $3.22 seems kind of steep, but then again, I was a cheap kid and an even cheaper adult. No blue light special=No sale!

  • braindead

    my mother wouldn’t fuckin buy me this shit when I was little

  • GoatRoyale

    I had the Freddy set, though oddly enough it took seeing the ‘victim’ spitball to jog that memory.

    Those little spitballs were bath time staples of mine for what seems like years….which I guess is kinda weird, but given Freddy’s marketing in the late 80s/early 90s it’s kinda not. As a parent today, it’s hard to rationalize giving your child a toy modeled after a demon murderer, but maybe our horror movie icons of today just plain suck.

    Either way, I totally remember the Pee Wee Herman head (even as a kid, I made that connection) dousing a bunch of Toxic Avenger and MOTU figures in the bath tub. Somehow, he seemed more of a villain than lovable ol’ Freddy.

    Wish I knew what happens to these guys, as with the exception of dry rot, I’d assume they hold up fine today.

  • Hanglyman

    I recall seeing the Freddy ones in a department store when I was a kid (probably a now-defunct store like Best or something) and actually being a little scared, mostly because of the “victim” ball. Something about the bluntness of labeling him simply “victim” was disturbing to me. On the other hand, I actually HAD the Real Ghostbusters ones, as I immediately remembered upon seeing the Ecto 1 ball. You always bring back the best memories, Matt. Have you done anything on Dino Riders yet?

  • http://boardwalkangel.blogspot.com/ starwenn

    Our mother wouldn’t have bought for us, either – not that any of us objected. My youngest sister became a horror fan in later years, but she was only 5 in 1989. The only ones we might have had were the Ghostbusters ones or possibly the regular monsters for Halloween. We had similar toys that squirt, but not these.

  • slimer

    Hey?Whre’s the video?Huh?You do realise you have to make an video about them.

  • Whalley Range

    Tomorrow is Halloween! Does that make this “All Hallow’s Eve”? That’s always confused me.

    Anyway, what’s everybody doing tomorrow night?

    I’m headed to an amazing parade in Portsmouth, New Hampshire which yearly features an incredible assortment of DIY costumes and floats that boggle the mind.

  • http://twitter.com/shiroihikari Annette

    I’m not cool enough to go to any parties, so I’ll probably just come home and drink pumpkin lager. I don’t have any candy so I’ll be leaving my porch light turned off. And then I’ll probably go to bed early because I have work the next day.

    I hate my life.

  • Loneman1

    I always dug these things. My favorite squirting heads had to be the old WWF ones from around ’90 or so. Only had the Ultimate Warrior, but I have some strange recollection of my parents giving a bunch away for party favorites at my b-day party that year. Can’t confirm nor deny that, but I remember seeing a bunch of them in my back yard still in package….weird what pops in your head out of nowhere.

  • Friendo

    Spitballs are some of my favourite childhood toys. Look at the great designs! How lovingly made! Plus you could play with them in the bath for years and the paint would not come off.

  • http://www.facebook.com/therealteddyray Teddy Ray

    Thanks, Colin! I thought those two seemed familiar!

    @The Sexy Armpit: I think I’m the opposite. I think I was accepting enough of it as a kid, but now that I’m an adult, it bugs me.

    K, it’s kind of funny to me that you said, “No blue light special=No sale!” because I’m pretty sure KMart is where I remember seeing these all those years ago.

  • SupraGenius
  • Joker

    It’s getting alarmingly close to Halloween…

  • pizzaparty

    I’m already in Christmas mode. Can’t wait for the new site design.

  • Matt

    I’ve done a really good (if completely accidental) job of keeping my Christmas mania in check this year. Admittedly, by this point, I’m usually gritting my teeth through the end of the Countdown, desperately trying to keep Christmas at bay. This year, I’ve barely even thought about it and I’m happy to let Halloween have its day.

    I think a lot of that has to do with ignoring the stores this month. Most of the top ticket items came out in September, so there’s been little reason to perpetually search stores in October. That means I haven’t had to watch Halloween’s sad and premature fall. (Not that I haven’t caught glimses, and man… WOOF. If you’re getting your spirit “through retail,” it’s pretty depressing out there. One of our big grocery stores totally annihilated Halloween a few days ago in favor of Christmas. I’m used to the slow creep, but they literally removed ALL of their Halloween stuff — the decorations, the toys… everything but the candy.)

  • http://twitter.com/shiroihikari Annette

    Stupid Christmas…

  • JAGUART

    Re: Stupid Christmas

    Last night I ran to Home Depot to try and replace my favorite carving tool which broke in the middle of an 8-pumpkin marathon. I was bombarded with Christmas displays, starting right as I walked in. I grit my teeth and tried not to look. It’s really upsetting.

    P.S. I recommend an X-Acto “Utility Saw Blade” with a good handle. It works great! http://tinyurl.com/mtsf8xu

  • Greg The Canuck

    Happy Halloween DD’rs. I was out last night and true to form every store I went into had nothing but Christmas items front and center. Screw them, its October 31st! I’m currently streaming John Carpenters Halloween at work, ssssshhhhh don’t tell my boss!

  • pb

    Freddy’s victim looks…infected.

    And the Ecto-1 is too cute for words.

  • JohnV

    Stopped in K-mart before work to check out the Halloween stuff on clearance and they’re blasting Christmas music. Do you know how hard it to decide which light up skull to buy with Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime” playing?!! Happy Halloween :)

  • http://dukesofhazzardreviewed.blogspot.com JP

    This article dredged up the slogan for some long forgotten commercial from my youth, I think it was for toy guns: “THE TOUCH! THE FEEL! THE SOUND, SO REAL! EN-TER-TECH!”

    Thanks for reminding me I’ve had that stored in my head for 25 years.

  • Kid Viz

    I once dated a girl with a scary 18′ squirt.

  • Enigma

    By far, one of the strangest concepts that I’ve ever seen. Great article Matt!

  • http://www.youtube.com/elkfilmz Christian

    I remember filling up one of these balls in my fathers huge aquarium, but i swore it was a mad ball! Are there spitting mad ball’s. Its funny how in the 80′s there was such a obsession over strange looking balls, lol. I’m blown away that they made a separate ball just for the victims, not even famous people. The Ecto 1 is the best, its so creative to make a spit ball out of a car!

  • http://www.bahglenncreations.com Chris “Bah’glenn” Negri

    Just bought a Spit Balls toy today at a very cool vintage toy store called “Vintage @ Deep End of the Sandbox”. It was in a bin & I had no clue wtf it was as it’s just a little scrunch-faced military guy’s head chomping on a cigar. I showed it to my friend who was with me at the time & he instantly remembered it as a Spit Balls toy. The one I got, after some Google searching, is apparently named “Sgt. Spitz” & he is awesome. He’s currently hanging out with my Food Fighters Major Munch figure ready to take out some Mordles atop my fridge.

    I can’t believe they made Freddy & Jason Spit Balls too. The Ghostbusters ones are awesome, I have to get the 2nd 2-pack they made with the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man & the Logo Ghost as that’s just awesome.

    Damnit now I want start collecting these things…..