Mordles Review by Doc Thomas
Mordles are great. Make no bones about it. These little guys rock.
Others have already conclusively covered Mordles and their origin as part of Ideal Toys’s 1980s toyline Rocks & Bugs & Things, so I wont go into that here (I highly recommend Dinosaur Dracula’s terrific rundown). As far as I know Rocks & Bugs & Things never made it to my native Australia, so I never had the chance to sample the delights therein. Because of the recent popularity of the series and the subsequent insane rarity, I suspect Bloodstone will forever be on my Wants list, but John Kent of ToyFinity has done collectors worldwide a favor and brought back the amazing Mordles, making them easily available in packs in a variety of different colors (often with bonus figures)!
I wasn’t even going to get in on the Mordle goodness until Poe kindly sent me some in the mail, and as soon as I had some on hand I was hooked! As Dino Drac’s Matt so eloquantly put it, “I don’t think you need to be familiar with Rocks & Bugs & Things to appreciate bagfuls of neon demons.” So far there are numerous different colors available, with individually-painted eyes, teeth and claws. The prospect of having a small army of these little guys is very tantalizing, and with all new variations in the works (including amazing glow-in-the-dark versions!), I don’t see how a collector could pass up.
In addition to the color variations, each pack of Mordles features ten of the little guys all with unique sculpts. Where corners could have been easily cut to have only a few unique sculpts, John Kent went the extra distance to ensure every pack features entirely different Mordles, and that’s awesome.
They even have names! Each type of Mordle represents a “type” or “species” of Mordle (the names of which are listed below). Individual Mordles of each type can have names as well – for instance, there is a Serikachen named Commander Zogg, who helped the Mordles defeat the gigantic Imbalance of Blood Mordle (see Poe’s section below).
This plump little guy features a snickering snarl, looking slightly more evil and monsterous than most. He’s got quite the personality, unlike others who look more animal-like, and this guy looks like he might reasonably fit the bill as “evil”!
Erixmes is the tallest species of Mordle, with a smaller body and face than all of the others but much longer legs. His face features a teeth-baring growl and, because of the size of his little head he’s one of the few that could be argued for as “cute.” (I have consulted with an expert in the field of cuteness and she has expressed that she does, indeed, find the Mordles to be “cute,” so there you have it!)
The Mordle with the most memorable species name has an odd egg-shaped body and a threatening grimace on his little face. Like Erixmes, his body shape is completely unique from the other Mordles which makes Grynt a memorable little guy, especially with his awesome big feet!
Murlun has more of a standard Mordle body like Caborux, though he stands out with his feet (or hands?) out, “standing” threateningly baring his teeth. He’s the only Mordle with what appears to be a “thumb” on his feet (or hands?!) and looks very cool in his unique pose.
This angry little guy is leaning forward on his big feet – possibly the biggest of all the Mordles – looking plenty imposing with an unhappy grimace. It’s like he knows he’s about to be consumed!
Once again deviating from the “standard” Mordle body, Serikachen’s body is very thin despite his large feet, making him look very strange and imposing. He’s nearly smiling, with his big evil eyes! This little fellow happens to have an individual name – he’s “Zintar the Explorer.”
The fattest of the bunch, Talmesca has a large body dwarfing his feet, looking the angriest of the entire lot. His little snarl shows off his angry teeth, this guy’s no charmer!
Chubby little Vlain combines Rellun’s grimacy with Talmesca’s body to make a mean lookin’ little Mordle that definitely doesn’t like the look of you, not one little bit. He’s very similar to his brother…
… who shares his body, but has smaller feet and a big evil smile, showing his shiny teeth with which he wishes to eat you. Zerak is full of personality!
Lucky last is the unpronounceable Yorzwurl, who’s stature reminds me of a small demonic armless kangaroo, with long feet out and a tall (for a Mordle) body, looking angrily at you. His body is also unique, a modification that looks like all the others mixed together. He’s very cool.
While none of the Mordles have articulation, that’s fine – that’s not what these toys are about, and with their small size and durable PVC bodies, they look terrific. Not to mention putting a bunch of them together makes for an amazing little display!
Poe Ghostal’s review of the Imbalance of Blood Mordle
The folks at Toyfinity are slowly but surely developing a mythology for the Mordles. It has ties to the Glyos-verse of Onell Design, as well as the other Ideal properties ToyFinity owns, Robo Force and the Mordles. You can read the Mordles comic here.
The story of the Mordles has also been fleshed out somewhat on the packaging cards for the toys. For example, the green-and-purple “Rampaging” set says that it features “Mordles Commander ZOGG™ and the Rampaging Storm” and on the other side has the following tale:
During the incident known in Mordle history as the Imbalance of Blood, the Mordle population found itself beset upon by a berserk monstrosity of a size not seen before on planet Uzalek. Only the intervention of Piotr of the Murlun and a devoted band of Mordle warriors of green shade ended its reign of terror. Led by Commander Zogg and his enforcers Doudles the Talmesca and Derexmis the Erixmes, these warriors are a “rampaging storm” unleashed against anything which threatens the Mordles way of life.
The “bio” for the purple-and-yellow (as in, purple bodies with yellow highlights) “Nebular” set is more to the point:
A group of intergalactic mercenaries approached planet Morganthus, their minds full of thoughts of untold riches to be plundered. Their commander found a nest of strange eggs…and then the screaming began.
The Imbalance of Blood Mordle stands about four inches tall, towering over the other Mordles. He appears to be of the Zerak variety, but for some reason he’s grown to gigantic proportions. It’s made from rotocast vinyl, so it’s hollow, which really only adds to its charm. It comes in a plastic bag with no card.
The jumbo Mordle’s removable feet are compatible with Onell’s other vinyl figures, such as the Rig. As you can see, the aesthetic compatibility of Onell’s tech-style designs and the more organic Mordles is questionable – but fun!
Even if you’re not into the whole Mordles thing, the jumbo Mordle is one of those fun toys that would be perfect for your desk at work or as a gift for a kid. At $15, it’s more expensive than a similar product might be in a store, but quite competitive for an indie toy. He’d make a great foe for those Mego-style Ghostbusters Mattel made a few years back.
So, where can you get your own Mordles? Currently, Mordles can be purchased at the ToyFinity store for $10 per set of ten figures, one of each species. (The Imbalance of Blood jumbo Mordle is currently sold out, but will likely be offered again, though possibly in different colors.) There is a Club Mordle that allows members early purchasing options, but it won’t be open for sign-up again until next year.
Of course, there’s always the chance the Mordles might prove enough of a success to make it into retail (or at least comic shops). They have that kind of character and collectability that kids love. If ToyFinity starts creating some new designs and perhaps work in some sort of game (and Onell Design already has some experience with that), there’s potential here for a real success story.