Halloween 2020: Chris resurrects the Slime Pit!

What do you do if it’s almost Halloween and you need to slime some action figures, but you can’t find your Masters Of The Universe Evil Horde Slime Pit? If you’re Chris, you gather up some spare parts and build your own. This is our first new Halloween article in quite some time, and it’s a big one. So come up to the lab and see what’s on the slab… it’s time to get your goop on!

If you’re like me, you sleep alone with a gun under your pillow and a bug out bag full of cocaine, gold, and Semtex by the door, just waiting for the day Big Brother finally sells out the white man to the Jews and the lizard people, and this whole goddamned farce of a society crumbles around us.

Okay, most of that was lies. I don’t have a bug out bag, and even if I did, I don’t own any gold or cocaine to put in one. The only plastic “explosives” by my door are those little red Lego dynamite sticks. They really are by my door; that’s the only space I have for my tubs of minifigs. But if society collapses I don’t think they’ll be very useful. There is no such thing as lizard people fnord. Big Brother IS the white man, and judging by the white people I see on a daily basis, I don’t think the Jews or anybody else would be interested in buying. Our brand is pretty tarnished. And I do have guns in my bed, lots of them. But they’re all from action figures.

Oh, those beautiful action figures. You hit your early teens and you think you’re done with them. But you don’t get rid of them, do you? No. There’s an attachment there. You don’t know what it is. Nobody tells you what it’s called. But the bond is there. And the bond is strong.

You throw them in a box in the back of your closet until you get your first job. One of your coworkers has a desk with two or three (or five or twenty) toys on it, and you think about that box. You haven’t looked through it in a while, and when you do you’re impressed. Some of the action figures are awful, and you wonder why you ever liked toys so blatantly bad. But now, seeing with the eyes of a working consumer in his /her/its early adulthood, you realize for the first time in years that some of these toys are amazing. Not just amazing to a child, but truly, objectively impressive. They’re so well made you wonder how the toy companies ever turned a profit manufacturing them. You’ll be astonished how well they’ve held up. And you’ll realize with absolute certainty that one or two (or five or twenty) of these treasures must now go on your desk. And just like that, the lights come up, the dust blows away, and you feel that bond, still there, strong as ever.

I’m not saying this is definitely what will happen if you give me an office desk with a storage bin above it. But this is definitely what happened when they gave me an office desk with a storage bin above it.

It might stop there for some of you, and that’s perfectly normal. Not all geeks are alike, and some of you will adore your action figures in and of themselves alone. I have nothing but love for you. But for some of us the bond is deeper, almost alive. It needs. It demands. For us, our action figures live. They have minds and wills and attitudes and agendas. They want something. They are not content just to be, they must do. And there’s only one solution for action figures who live in action verbs.

They need some goddamned ACCESSORIES.

Accessories for action figures come in three broad categories: playsets, vehicles, and accessory packs. Remember accessory packs? Glorious, weren’t they? As a man who still haunts the toy aisles, I can attest that you don’t see them much anymore. Then again, you really didn’t see them much back in the day, either. Hasbro put out a G.I. Joe accessory pack each year from 1983-1988 (two in ’87), but that seemed to be the only regular accessory pack on the market. Packs from other toy lines seemed to sort of appear and disappear at random. They were never something you could rely on.

But when you found them, sweet mother of God, it was like finding gold. There are three particularly exceptional accessory packs that I remember with clarity, and I remember them because they were amazing and, for whatever reason, you could almost always find them on discount. A bunch of new weapons for some of my favorite toys, and they’re on sale? Hell yes! Every time I went to the toy department I would root them out and snatch them up like a greedy little truffle pig. Those accessory packs were for G.I. Joe, Wheeled Warriors, and Masters Of The Universe. And I’ll be damned if just seeing these pictures doesn’t fill my heart with day-glo laser ‘80s love.

Was electric blue plastic super cheap in the ‘80s? Because these accessory pack people used the hell out of it. Electric blue rifle? Sure. Electric blue Cobra Commander sci-fi pistol? Why the hell not. Electric blue battle axe and Sword Of Grayskull? Help me, baby, tell me what can I do?

But as fulfilling as it was to drop 88¢ and get a miniature arsenal for your playthings, there stood on the opposite side of the bell curve a whole different experience. You – or, more likely, your parents – could drop a whole lot of money and get one huge accessory to use for a whole toy line simultaneously. I’m talking of course about playsets, and this is where the Slime Pit comes in… kinda.

Let’s talk about playsets. If there were such a thing as the king of all 1980s playsets, it would have to be Castle Grayskull. I can already feel some push back on this from the G.I. Joe fans out there. Yes, the USS Flagg was bigger and had more features, and was all around a more impressive toy. I am not arguing that. But it’s massivity was exactly it’s problem. Very few parents were willing to shell out a hundred bucks in 1985 so their kid could have a seven and a half foot plastic boat in their house. It was too big to be a household success. I don’t know anyone who had one, and I have yet to hear a single person wax nostalgic about playing with their USS Flagg. For us grown up ‘80s kids, the Flagg is something we talk about wanting, not about having. It is a legend, yes, but not a memory.

Grayskull, on the other hand, was ubiquitous. You either had one or you knew someone who did. My brother was a much bigger Masters Of The Universe fan than I was, so he had Grayskull and I got to occasionally play with it. It was dark. It was weird. It was menacing. It was AWESOME. But it was big. If you were asking for it for your birthday or Christmas you weren’t going to get much else. Yeah, it was only $25, but it counted as an elaborate toy to most adults, and there was an unspoken understanding among us ‘80s kids that you got, at the very most, one elaborate toy per Christmas/birthday. One. And the tradeoff was that you were getting fewer smaller gifts as a result.

And therein lay the problem with playsets: they were pretty much all elaborate. From the Ewok Village to Boulder Hill and the thousand ginormous playsets made for G.I. Joe, all of them took up a lot of real estate. And that’s what set the Slime Pit apart. Most playsets were essentially headquarters where numerous action figures lived and worked. But the Slime Pit was only big enough to accommodate one figure at a time. It was technically a playset, but in size and price point it was more akin to a vehicle. It didn’t take up a lot of room and it had a function unique to this specific toy. Of course, none of this meant anything to us at the time. All that mattered was that it looked cool as hell, it was smaller and cheaper than other playsets, and it was designed to do one, and only one, very disgusting thing to your favorite toys. And it came with a can of bright green snot.

It was PERFECT.

I mean, just look at it! Big dragon skull on top, perched above a bone claw used to trap hapless victims until the ooze poured down over them. What kid wouldn’t love this thing?

When I made the decision to revive The Sci-Fi Guys, I had a lot of old unpublished material to look through. I still do. It will surprise absolutely no one that much of this unpublished detritus of my past revolves around Halloween. I found a long forgotten article I was preparing but never wrote, at least not that I can find. All I have left are a few pictures of my old Slime Pit and a Halloween compatible bone monster I intended to slime.

Recognize this figure? That’s the Mutant Warrior from the 2002 version of the Slime Pit. I have no recollection of owning this, and based on the pictures I can certainly see why. It looks more like a dunk tank than the original Slime Pit. I’m sure I found this thing on sale and planned to lampoon it, because it looks absolutely terrible. But that’s only a guess. The years have erased that memory. I don’t recall ever having seen this Slime Pit in person. Not at all. Cool figure, though.

Anyway, this seedling of an idea seemed like as good a place as any to start writing a new Halloween article, so I decided I would test out some of the more easily procured slimes on the market today. Having no clue where my 1985 Slime Pit might have gone, I hit eBay to see what I could find.

And that’s pretty much what they all look like. Apparently I was one of the few kids who managed to make it into adulthood with an intact Slime Pit. Almost every one you find is missing the skull, the very part that makes it work. Oh, there are plenty to be had with skulls still attached, but they start at $50 and the bidding increases from there. At the time I was shopping for a new Pit, the most reasonably priced complete Slime Pit was over $80. Not a chance in hell.

I looked around for a Slime Pit with few flaws aside from decapitation, and finally found mine above for $13. The paint job really is in wonderful condition, and aside from being a tiny bit wobbly – a flaw that plagued even brand new Slime Pits right out of the box – it was in remarkable shape. I was very impressed. I wasn’t concerned with functionality because I intended from the start to take this beautiful broken monstrosity and do to it the very Halloweeniest of Halloween things.

I’m going to bring it back from the dead.

As soon as I won the auction I looked for skull goblets and found an auction for two goblets of the same mold, but differing paint jobs. Note to other authors out there: eBay only stores the full pages of ended auctions for so long, and after that those images you’re relying on using in your article will be gone. So grab them while you can. These are images I stole from other auctions, but you get the idea. After procuring my skulls and determining which one was the better color match, it was a quick trip to grab a cordless Dremel, because you can’t be Dr. Frankenstein if you don’t have a bone saw.

A few hacks and gouges later and my slime skull was ready to mount. But how? I contemplated several alternatives, none of which would have been aesthetically pleasing. Part of the Slime Pit’s appeal is how fantastic it looks, and I didn’t want to screw that up. I finally decided that since I was playing Dr. Frankenstein, I may as well be willing to experiment. I had never used hot glue before for anything but placing a fake wax seal on my wedding invitations, so I had no idea how it would perform. But I used a red glitter glue stick for my wedding invitations, so I knew color options were available. Sure enough, they make black glue sticks. Armed with a new glue gun and a few dozen colored glue sticks, I made my way back to the lab.

BOOM! I hate to pat myself on the back, but I absolutely love the way this turned out. The hot glue looks not unlike slime itself, and is surprisingly strong. I see now why all those lifehack video makers use it. Its easy to work with when molten but sets tough as nails. And since I had this lovely little monster on the slab already, I drilled a couple of holes and bolted the two halves of the pit together to get rid of the wobble. This is going to be a living, breathing Slime Pit using water-based slime, so to avoid rust I took a note from the original designers and stuck with all plastic construction. Some nylon bolts did the trick nicely, and now this thing is rock steady. This might just be my favorite of any toy refurbishment I’ve ever done.

For a hunk of 35 year old Mexican plastic, this bastard is SOLID. But enough jibber jabber… it’s slime time!

I have had these small vials of slimes hanging around the house since last Halloween. There’s not enough in each to pour over a figure, so I mixed them. Now for our first victim.

This is DC Primal Age Batman. Funko and DC decided, for who knows what reason, to create a line of five and a half inch action figures based on the size and sculpts of the 1980s Masters Of The Universe line. The DC Primal Age line has a full host of heroes and villains from DC’s various comics. They even made a Grayskull sized Batcave, which is admittedly extraordinarily bad ass, and would make a much better lair for Skeletor than that goofy looking Snake Mountain. And while that’s all well and good, if slightly confusing, what’s even more baffling is that they set the whole thing in a bizarre He-Man-esque universe, where the heroes are prehistoric sword and sci-fi versions of themselves and the villains are all MOTU style monsters. All tied in, as far as I can tell, to absolutely nothing whatsoever. No ongoing monthly title, no cartoon, no movies, nothing. It exists in an odd little vacuum, just like some of those weird late ’70s/early ’80s toy lines from those odd little no-name toy companies which don’t seem to exist anymore.

I don’t know why DC Primal Age exists, but it’s kind of outstanding. What I do know is that when you find a He-Man style Batman figure on clearance for $4, he’s definitely worth sliming.

I don’t remember my exact intentions for the article from way back in 2006, but it appears I wanted to rate the different kind of slimes I could get my hands on. That seems like a fairly noble Halloween endeavor, so I will say that whatever these little novelty vials of slime were, they did the job well. Round 2!

Our next slime I had to order online, because if there’s one thing growing up in the ’80s taught me it’s that anything worth having is worth having twice as much if it glows in the dark. I didn’t take a picture of these glowing, but the glow is strong enough to be worth the extra expense. It’s not a glowstick, mind you, but the glow and texture are both perfectly Halloweenish, so these get my approval.

This is… someone. From Fortnite, I think. Sometimes you buy action figures in sets and the figures you want come with figures you don’t really care about. That’s what we have here. I’m not going to go look up his name; you can do so if you’re that interested. He reminds me of Chapel from the Spawn comics, but white. So we’ll call him Whitechapel. Corporal Washington Whitechapel. Code name: WHITEWASH. Let’s give him the treatment.

Oh, yeah! Pink glow in the dark slime for the win!

Our next contestant is Skeletor from the new Masters Of The Universe Origins line of six inch figures. I’ve been looking forward to these, but I did not expect them to be this well made. These are fully articulated figures that can be bent and hunched down to the five and a half inch pose of the ’80s figures. I don’t know why you’d want to; the rigid, bent legged pose of the original line was it’s weakest feature. These have working elbows, knees, wrists, and ankles, and in a world where these types of figures are usually $20, they cost $15. I have zero complains about the Origins line.

Zero complaints about the green glow in the dark slime, too.

The yellow’s good, too. I’m sure I took pics of the blue slime swallowing some poor figure, but I’ll be damned if I can find them. Regardless, the case of glow slime was a good purchase.

Check back soon; we’ve got more figures to slime and more slime to test. But for now it’s time for me to head out to a little Halloween celebration. So until next time, keep it spooky out there, and have a very happy Halloween!


UPDATED NOVEMBER 1, 2020, 8:06 AM

Unlike most playsets, the Slime Pit was cool enough to merit it’s own origin story.

Okay, let’s talk about slimes you should avoid. First on that list is Galaxy Slime Orbs. As you can see, the colors are wonderful, but this isn’t slime. It’s more like translucent putty. It even bounces. There is no liquidity to this stuff, which I think we can all agree is one of the hallmarks of slime. The picture the skull’s mouth above was taken 20 MINUTES after I put the slime in. Yes, technically there was some flow, but no kid will want to wait seven hours for this crap to drown a toy. It’s not suitable to be called slime, and is not a good fit for the Slime Pit.

Also, Galaxy Slime Orbs come with a goddamned user’s manual. For slime. I would have loved to have been in the meeting where a grown ass adult was assigned the job of writing a manual for goo. I could have saved them some time. I wrote a manual for Galaxy Slime Orbs and the whole world can have it for free. Here it is: “This stuff is terrible. Don’t buy it.”

Glitter Slime suffers from the same problem as Galaxy Slime Orbs, and looks nowhere as good. The colors are thin and the glitter fell out of the mixture and coated my hands within minutes of opening it. I picked this up at Dollar Tree, which means I paid a whole dollar for each little container of this garbage. That is grossly overpriced for what amounts to prepackaged disappointment. Don’t think of this as slime. Think of it as little tubs of suck.

One last slime trap to watch out for, and that is “unicorn poop emoji slime.” It may not be called that exactly, but it is sold under names containing most of those words in various semi-random orders. Mine was labeled “Slime: Me, Pull, DUI.” Well done, translator. Just excellent. I’m not sure what you were wanting to convey to the kids, but I’m 1000% positive that a citation for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated was not on the list.

As I’m sure you’ve guessed, this isn’t slime. It’s more putty. This one really hurt; I was hoping to slime some figures in beautifully colored, jewel clear slime. I was especially looking forward to the uncolored slime, which I have never seen marketed. Instead I got twelve little smiling piles of shit filled with sadness. As you can see, the putty also contains little plastic flowers for some unexplained reason. It’s not enough they lied to me about it being slime, they also shipped it to me with hippy flakes in it. Not cool, Asia. In a world where every single product is manufactured in the Far East, I see now why they made the Slime Pits in Mexico.

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