Written by John Squires
One of the coolest exports of the ’80s were the Madballs, squishy little balls of monstrous fun that are fondly remembered by everyone who grew up in that glorious decade. The line spawned all sorts of spin-off merchandise, including a short-lived animated series, and it was briefly revived several years back for a new generation. Will they ever be back again? Yes. And very soon!
In a press release sent out today, American Greetings announced that they will be giving the Madballs brand a full-on relaunch this fall, which will include not only new brand new Madballs but also playsets, accessories, and animated shorts. Art boutique Mondo recently put high-quality vinyl Madballs figures up for pre-order on their site, but that was only the tip of the iceberg.
From the press release…
American Greetings and master toy partner Just Play have joined forces to re-launch a new series and consumer products program based on the 1980’s brand, Madballs.
The classic brand will re-launch with a series of animated shorts, which are set to launch this fall, and has already secured a number of licensees to support its consumer product program.
Madballs’ new partners include Kidrobot for vinyl figures, collectibles, soft foam balls and limited editions items for this holiday season; Brunswick Bowling Products for bowling balls; Roar Comics for comics and graphic novels; Mondo Tees for additional collectibles; and Gourmandise for cell phone accessories in Japan.
Starting next spring, Just Play will launch a variety of products including classic and mini-collectible MadBalls, and will expand the line with play sets and accessories at retailers worldwide.
“We’re thrilled to bring back Madballs in a way that pays homage to fans of the original series and introduces new ways for today’s kids to engage with this exciting brand,” says Geoffrey Greenberg, co-president, Just Play.
Meanwhile, in the digital marketplace, American Greetings has secured a number of partners for the re-launch including Miniclip, who will add Madballs to their game “Agar.io” later this month; Las Maquinitas Studios for free-to-play games on iOS and Android devices; Neon Mob for digital trading cards; Bare Tree Media for digital stickers; and Playbrains, who will feature the classic Madballs in its combat game “Babo Invasion.”
“We know that brand equity just isn’t enough these days, so we’re proud to partner with Just Play and their strong track record of building great classic and modern brands,” says Sean Gorman, president, American Greetings. “We’re excited to re-introduce Madballs to fans, with a launch supported by ultra-fun, super-cool compelling content for a new generation.”
I am so happy right now. I might cry.