Jimmy Rommel is BACK! And I’m actually way behind on reporting on his stuff, so I’ll summarize it as such:
-Gorewads are continuing in his studio. He has recently released three: Archie the Archeopteryx (a sculpt that he completed much earlier in the year), Crotchy the INappropriate Martian, and the dreaded Cancer Bat.
-Micro Bastards are continuing one at a time. He has made two new ones, although I currently have one. Frankenblemm, an adaptation of a former Gorewad, and Big Head, who is the one I do not yet own (soon, my fellow minions. Soooooon).
-The Murks are a brand-new line that is to The Smurfs what Garbage Pail Kids is to Cabbage Patch Kids. This is a fantastic idea. Three currently exist, though we are all hoping and praying for more, more, more!
-And finally, he still makes occasional one-off random things, like Doctor Goot.
The basic design philosophy remains the same – Gorewads are gory and waddy and a specific size and general shape, Micro Bastards are a little bit bigger, and the new Murks are exactly in-scale with the Micro Smurfs still sold all over the place. He’s also done a lot more “color bomb” figures cast in more than one color. Anyway, these follow the same rules as before: My review scores are weighted in terms of indy mini figures, they are all sculpted by one man, the prototypes are in the same scale as the final pieces, and his goal is to make at least fifty figures by the end of the year. Considering that I am reviewing eight in one go, I’d say he’s probably gonna be well past that goal by the end of October. But anyway, let’s go!
These kinds of toys come in a ziploc baggie with a header card. That’s standard. Dr. Goot didn’t, but he’s also a special case – he’s actually a freebie if you order a certain amount, and Frankenblemm is shipped without a header in order to save on costs.
There is a certain subset of toy collector who is obsessed with those little baggie headers. The rest of us just tear open the bag and play with our toys. I love that “Don’t eat the toys” slogan, though.
SCULPT: Crotchy: ***, Cancer Bat, Archie, Dr. Goot, Gremlin Murk: ***1/2, Frankenblemm, Cannibal Murk, Roidy Murk: ****
Crotchy the Inappropriate Martian is the most “raw” of these sculpts in that you can tell he was sculpted by hand. It’s a nice look, though, like some strange pagan fertility idol. He’s got a bulbous head, buggy eyes, sharp teeth, and is covered in fur and ridges… and he’s grabbing his groin. Now we know who’s responsible for all those anal probes.
Cancer Bat is a flying tumor! He’s got a clear bat’s head, some wings, and limbs (the wings are not his arms), but his body is an uneven, lumpy mass of diseased horror. Or maybe rock and crystal, if you feel like going that route.
Archie the Archeopteryx has technically existed for most of the year, only finally seeing release now. My Archie’s color palette makes photography hard, so bear with me – he’s awesome! As he should be, Archie is a combination bird and dinosaur, munching on a man’s face. But he’s great. There are sixteen Gorewads out there, and this guy completely exemplifies what a Gorewad is!
Dr. Goot is a character from Marc Hansen’s insane indy comic, Ralph Snart Adventures. It’s… insane. Goot is the villain, and in the comic is so humongously muscled that he’s barely shaped like a human anymore! This Goot isn’t built like that, which is the only reason why he didn’t get four stars. But he IS an awesome, ‘roided up, goofy monstrosity! And maybe it’s just me, but I tend to lump him in as an honorary Murk. I know he isn’t, but his visual style is close enough to blend in.
Frankenblemm is an update of the old Frankenblemm Gorewad – he’s bigger, more detailed, and clearly a different character! He’s got a lot of little homages to the original, like the three eyes or weird lump on his back, but this is very much a different entity – and that’s good! He’s my personal favorite of the set, and is just awesome. In case you’re wondering, this is a remake of a figure variant of a mini-version of a figure based on a Monster In My Pocket, the Blemmyae.
The Murks are… not quite Smurfs. Gremlin Murk looks the most handmade of all of them, yet I can’t fault the guy – he’s a freaky skeletal fish monster! The thing is, all three Murks are among this creator’s best work, so it’s not an insult to put it where it is.
Cannibal Murk is the most “normal” of the Murks, but he’s an evil, sharp-toothed grinning bastard with a bone in his hand. The Murks are all perfectly scaled to the same size as those Micro Smurf toys… and hey, what an IDEA! Bahahahahahahaaaa…
Roidy is ANGRY! And he’s AWESOME! Really, he looks like somebody took a Smurf and mutated it, and isn’t that what we want? Isn’t it? Sure, he’s not as big and muscled as Dr. Goot, but Roidy Murk is still awesome.
Jimmy Rommel is a genius. When he’s not casting his stuff in new, unique colors, he’s combining them – and just look at the “colorbombs!” Two of my Murks are blood-splattered (so’s the third, but he also has a skull), Archie is a gorgeous black and gold combo, and Frankenblemm is this great white-blue swirl that must be seen to be believed. This is just like the Micro Bastards review – the colors on these guys are fantastic, and really stand out next to any other mono minis.
Yeah, this isn’t that kind of toy.
Same as above, although sometimes mini figures do come with accessories. These guys don’t.
The Murks are $10.99 for two, Gorewads are $14.00 for three, Gremlin Murk is $7.00, Frankenblemm is $6, and Dr. Goot is a special freebie if you buy $35 or more of merchandise. And for indy toys, this is insanely good. You CANNOT by an indy toy for $6. I don’t care what it is, it just won’t happen… unless it’s part of a larger group and the price divides up that way, but.. . $6. Seriously. These toys are almost at mass-market prices, and that sets a new precedent for indy figures.
THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR:
Nothing! Sometimes the colors might make it hard to make out a few details (see: Archie), but that doesn’t matter. The figures are made of a soft, durable, bouncy rubber.
WHERE TO BUY:
There’s only one place to find these guys – go to the Ironhaus Store!
Jimmy Rommel is one of the best indy mini figure artists, especially considering that he doesn’t have a deal with a Chinese factory. And the Murks need to see mass retail, Garbage Pail Kids are back… and seriously, we need more Murks. Many more Murks. We need them in stores! Now!