Jarrod Fairclough – Welcome back to this haunting edition of Little Shop of Horrors, where we browse eBay to find the most terrifying and horrifying merchandise available. We’ve done it for Kermit and Miss Piggy, and last year we did a Halloween Edition. Today we set our spooky sights on fast and frantic Fozzie Bear.
When it comes to plush toys, it seems that Fozzie is often the character the mostly comes off second best design wise. For such a simple design, toy makers have a hard time capturing that cartoonish look about it, usually resulting in nightmare fuel such as this.
Ask any Australian or European Muppet fan what the worst Muppet toy line is, and they’ll tell you it was the Happy Meal toys that were available in 2003. Every toy was warped, misshapen, gangly, skinny and awful, Fozzie included. He strangely did not come with his hat, his head was bigger than his body, and the eyes bulged like he’d realized there’s been a hand inside him since 1976.
Perhaps a product of a bad batch, this version of Fozzie is too tan rather than orange, with eyes too low beside his eyes. There’s no definition to his tongue, the eyes dart off in different directions (a common complaint of many Muppet plush). Perhaps the most redeeming feature of this toy is the bow tie which has the exact same pattern as the real Fozzie, rather than just pink polka dots.
Grey hat Fozzie gets points for having defined fingers and toes, as well as the correct tie pattern. Yet the color of the hat, the flat printed eyes, and the wonky smirk make this thing a terrible product, not to mention the strange hue of orange they chose.
You may not know that Frank Oz was once electrocuted on the set of The Great Muppet Caper after spilling his coffee on some exposed wires. Upon hearing this, toy company Nanco created a ‘shocked Fozzie’ plush that was only available for a limited time, with a mere 500 in the world. Or at least that is the only story I can come up with to justify why this monstrosity exists.
More so a product of poor painting, this Baby Fozzie figure looks like he’s always happy legally now (#RenewTheMuppets) and the strange placing of his hands do not lend themselves to a natural pose. Though the character was round in Muppet Babies, Baby Fozzie still had legs, rather than looking like a ball with a stand. The paint work in the mouth is an issue, as both puppet and cartoon Fozzie has always had a wide mouth, whereas a lazy painter here makes no effort to keep it from looking small.
Finally, Muppet costumes are always difficult. The strange head shapes mean eye holes need to go in unfortunate places, but in this case it feels like they could have just put them in the correct position rather than down by less than an inch, creating two pupils in each eye. Bonus points for the bow tie, but negative points for the strange body that looks like Fozzie keeps forgetting leg day at the gym.