Tough Pigs Soapbox

April 2005


Toys R Ugh

the 4th annual Ugly Muppet Toys Pageant


Ladies and gentlemen, frogs and pigs,

welcome once again to

the Tough Pigs April Fools tradition: 


The Ugly Toys Pageant!


   When TP pal John Hamilton sent in his votes for this year's Pageant, he said, "I often worry that Muppets' souls are trapped in these ugly toys."


   Now, he was talking about the huge Kermit doll that looks like it's about to eat the toddler, but in the bigger picture, that's a good way to describe the eerie specter that is the Ugly Muppet Toy. In the comments that follow, you'll notice that on the whole people refer to an ugly toy as "him," rather than "it." 


   The ugly toys have souls. And some of those souls are very, very dark.


   And, speaking of dark: To present the Pageant rules, we've got that unearthly trio, the homemade baby-head Sesame dolls. Take it away, kids!


   Over the last two weeks, the Ugly Toy contestants were appraised and rated by you, the Ugly Toy consuming community. People rated each toy on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being not that ugly and 5 being extreeeeemely ugly. On the next couple pages, we'll count down the "winners," starting with the Not That Ugly toys, and working up to the toys that have been voted by You, The People, as the ugliest toys of the year. Color commentary from the voters is provided for your entertainment.


   Thank you, boys! And good luck getting into grad school. 



Not Really That Ugly


Kermit and Animal jelly lollipops

(unknown, 2002)


Score: 1.8


"I actually like the look of these. It's the taste that's ugly."

- Scott Hanson


"That's a good likeness of Kermit... and you can eat it!

What's not to like?"

- Jonathan M


"Ugly, only from the perspective that eating jelly pops

is like chewing the insole of an orthopedic shoe."

- Jay Fosgitt




Steppin' Out Fozzie action figure

(Palisades Toys, 2004)

entered by Peter Papazoglou

Score: 1.9


"Those eyes are a travesty, and a careless move by Palisades."

- Scott Hanson


"He looks wooden and lifeless. The dummy doesn't look too good either."

- Tom Holste


"I think Fozzie's trying to look at the dummy and the microphone, 

at the same time."

- Joel Swanson


"He's Steppin' Out of the short bus."

- Peter Papazoglou




Rock 'n Roll Ernie

(Tyco, 1998)

entered by Peter Papazoglou

Score: 2.0


"Ernie, the 80's are over."

- Tom Holste


"Noisy toys are an automatic ugly."

- Scott Hanson


"Hold on there, I have a Rock n Roll Ernie.

If you could just hear him sing Splish Splash,

you'd fall in love with him."

- Ryan Roe




Kermit and Miss Piggy Valentine plush

(, 2005)

entered by Peter Papazoglou

Score: 2.6


"I could swear Kermit had a neck.

Daphnie deserved a Kermit with a neck."

- John Hamilton


"It's not really that ugly. Daphnie, however, may be hideous."

- Carolyn Wiesner


"At least their heart is in the right place."

- Mike Cervantes




Elmo police officer plush

(Gund, 2004)

entered by John Hamilton

Score: 2.7


"Can you imagine being arrested by Elmo?

Seriously. Just try to picture it."

- Grant Harding


"Oh no! Elmo failed his fitness test!

You know, fitness test!"

- Kynan Barker


"Ridding the world of evil, it's... Pear on Patrol!"

- Chris Smigliano


"Bad toy, bad toy! Whatcha gonna do?"

- Mike Horner




Semi-Finalists: Kind of Ugly


Zoe and Elmo plush

(Sony Japan, 2003)


Score: 2.9


"Maybe someone will remove their feeding tube."

- Mike Cervantes


"This one's Elmo, that one's Zoe. 

One is sucky, the other blow-y."

- Chris Smigliano


"I guess anything goes in Japan."

- Carolyn Wiesner


"Whatever the hell is in that juice container,

there sure is a lot of it."

- Kynan Barker




Giant Kermit plush

(Disney Store UK, 2004)


Score: 3.0


"This Kermit is only good for scaring small children,

and smuggling commercial quantities of cocaine."

- Kynan Barker


"It's not a giant Kermit, that little girl is three inches tall."

- Ryan Roe


"Won't somebody please think of the children!"

- Kellie Bartlett




Jimmy Spencer "Muppet Show 25 Years" bobblehead

(Forever Collectibles, 2002)

entered by Peter Papazoglou

Score: 3.1


"Pointless, and therefore ugly."

- John Hamilton


"This isn't ugly. It's just from 2002, when Muppet fans were

sucked into an alternate universe where we all had to

pay attention to stockcar racing."

- Kynan Barker


"Forever Collectibles, you're a tricky one.

Trying to hit two markets at once. Pretty sneaky, sis."

- R.D.




Glow in the dark Sesame figures

(Sony Japan, 2003)

entered by Kevin Williams

Score: 3.2


"First there were Sesame Babies, and now Sesame Ghosts:

Your favorite Sesame characters are available

as angry, vengeance-seeking spirits!"

- Kynan Barker


"It's the Albino Muppet Children's Choir."

- Lara Frazier


"Whatever you do, don't feed them after midnight."

- Tom Holste




Animal plush

(Nanco, 2003)

entered by Jess Healey

Score: 3.3


"He looks drunk."

- Erik Browne


"Scooter needs to stop dragging the Electric Mayhem

to the Renaissance Festival."

- Lara Frazier



- Ryan Roe




Finalists: Mostly Ugly


Sweetums PVC: "I'd love to eat you!"

(Schleich Germany, 1978)

entered by John Hamilton

Score: 3.5


"I'd love to eat you!"


"... But as a common barn owl, my diet consists primarily

of moths and small rodents."

- Kynan Barker




Animal plush

(Disney Store UK, 2004)

entered by Toby Olie

Score: 3.6


"He just got out of the dryer."

- Mike Cervantes


"Why do most Animal dolls look like a Muppaphone with legs?"

- Mike Horner


"I'm constantly astonished that toymakers live in a world

where Animal's head is pink. It's not pink! It's never been pink.

It's red! It's not like that's particularly rare or something --

it's one of the primary fucking colors!"

- Kynan Barker


"Looks like they got halfway through designing this toy

and just stopped."

- Kellie Bartlett




Statler plush

(Disney Store UK, 2004)

entered by Toby Olie

Score: 3.7


That's not Statler, that's...


"... Wayland Flowers' Madame."

- John Hamilton


"... Jay Leno, after being punched in the nose."

- Jeremy Wilcox


"... Count Olaf, from A Series of Unfortunate Plush."

- Kevin Williams


"... Granny, from Loonie Tunes."

- Lara Frazier


"... That old dude from the Six Flags commercial."

- Jonathan M


"... My grandfather."

- Alicia C




Fozzie Bear plush

(Disney Store UK, 2004)

entered by Carolyn Wiesner

Score: 3.8


"It's not funny, he has a very serious thyroid disease."

- John Hamilton


"He looks like he's witnessing a murder."

- Grant Harding


"Show us where the bad man touched you."

- Isha Matos




Big Bird pencil bag

(Sony Japan, 2003)


Score: 3.9


"I tawt I taw a Snuffleupagus!"

- Grant Harding


"Aw, I kinda wanna step on him."

- Scott Hanson


"Weird coincidence -- inside the Bird costume,

that's exactly what Caroll Spinney is shaped like."

- Kynan Barker


"This is why Muppets shouldn't drink when they're pregnant."

- Jay Fosgitt





How bad can it get?

The winners are on the next page!



Soapbox Contents

2004 Ugly Muppet Toys Pageant

2003 Ugly Muppet Toys Pageant

2002 Ugly Muppet Toys Pageant