Company: Moose Toys
Moose Toys have been around since 1985, producing all manner of novelties and kid’s toys. When I was a kid in the mid-90s, they were probably best known for their wide variety of Yo-Yos (which came in a whole array of shapes, sizes and scents) and the Amazing Live Sea Monkeys.
To be honest, they weren’t a huge brand when I was a kid. They pumped out a lot of product, but while it sold respectably, very little of it seemed to capture the childhood zeitgeist. Until a few years ago, when they hit it REALLY big with a couple of blind-bagged toylines – Trash Pack and Shopkins, which helped take the company to a whole new level of success.
The Trash Pack brand has been off the market for a year or so, but it’s now returned with a sequel/reboot series in the form of Grossery Gang. Taking the concept of cutesy, anthropomorphic garbage and applying it to food instead, Grossery Gang’s key conceit isn’t departing radically from the original theme, but I think this is a good case of releasing a new product that still maintains a good understanding of what made the original so popular.
Grossery Gang are sold in a whole variety of different blind-boxed formats (the cereal box is especially cool) but I suppose you would call the Crusty Chocolate Bar this the entry level or booster pack format. Each Crusty Chocolate Bar sells for 3 or 4 bucks, and features two Grossery Gang characters. It’s a good pricepoint in comparison to other blind-boxed/bagged formats like Lego Minifigures, and the packaging itself is great.
After opening the wrapper -- which looks better than most real chocolate bars -- you’ll be treated to a moulded plastic chocolate bar that features the Grossery Gang logo, and some insects crawling over the surface. Viewed from a distance, it also looks a lot like a poo, which I’m sure at least partially intentional. There’s also a checklist, which is designed to look like a supermarket receipt. There are tons of different designs, each of which appears to be made in two different colourways. Rarity is ranked as Common, Rare, Ultra-Rare, Special Edition and Limited Edition. Some of them look similar to previous Trash pack designs, but I don’t think they’re straight reuse – more like reinventions of prior concepts.
Inside, the two characters ("Grosserys") are individually wrapped – I got a Rot Hot Chili (ultra-rare) and Fungus Fries (common). You’ll see that Rot Hot looks kind of fuzzy in the pic below, but it’s not out of focus; he’s got a fuzzy finish to appear mouldy. He’s also cast in a harder plastic than Fungus Fries, who is very soft and squishy like a pencil topper. I assume that most other Grosserys are cast in the softer plastic, but will have to update once I've picked up some more.
Trash Pack kind of passed me by, but it always looked like great fun – I’m sure I would have bought an obscene amount of them if they’d been round when I was a little kid. Grossery Gang serves as a nice reboot to the line, and a great jumping on point for those new to the brand. Highly recommended for kid and adult collectors alike.