Scrushkins: the ugliest, coolest doll you’ll never own

My mother had a doll sitting on a bench in her entryway when we visited last week. "That’s the ugliest doll I’ve ever seen," was my first thought. "I want it," was my second. That’s pretty much what Grandma thought when she snatched it for 50 cents at a garage sale.

Scrushkins troll-like doll with bug eyes, yellow hair, red carpet-like beard and a big ugly mouthTwo things I love about this troll are that the eyes can be pointed in different directions and his hands have Velcro which only seem to adhere to his butt.

Scrushkins were sold in the mid 1990s, invented by Funanuf and sold through a now-defunct company called Toy Vision. Funanuf tells me Scrushkins are no longer sold. Nooooo!

The fine print on this Scrushkins marketing photo reads, "Kids love to create thousands of moods and expressions on these amazing creatures! Lion, bird, frog, monkey, elf and pig. Whether happy, sad, grumpy, or mad, the Scrushkins express how you feel. Made of the incredible new, moldable Scrush fabric, each Scrushkins is hand-painted. No two are alike. Appeals to boy and girls ages 3 to 103. Express yourself with Scrush!"

"Kids love to create…"  What? They marketed this wickedly cool doll to kids? The fools! Who wouldn’t want this monstrosity prominently featured in their office, on top of their monitor, sitting in their entryway or snuggled with in bed? The fact that Grandma and I both love this ugly troll tells me Toy Vision had an untapped gold mine on its hands.

That’s all I have to say about that, until my Ebay searches turn up scrushalicious gold sometime in the future.


12 Responses to “Scrushkins: the ugliest, coolest doll you’ll never own”

  1. Kevin says:

    That is no doubt one of the ugliest dolls I have ever seen. I am not sure I would want him sitting on my monitor staring at me all day. It nearly the equivalent of one of the Krypt Kiddie dolls. Not because they are ugly, but it would just be odd having them both staring at you all day.

    December 27th, 2005 at 8:07 am

  2. Rebecca says:

    Last summer, I went to a yard sale with my 12 year old daughter (you never know what you can find!) and she came up to me “I need 50 cents!” So I give her it and what does she buy? A fantastic troll scrushkins! Leave it to her to find something so bizarrely attractive. After awhile, we went to the local 7-11 to buy drinks and the clerk, looked at my daughter with her new purchase and said “Awww! What’s your babies name?” I looked at his name tag and said “Earl!” and so the troll was aptly named! I don’t mind Earl looking at us- he’s just a new weird addition to our collection of oddities. Why be normal?! Bah! After I got home with him, I looked up Scrushkins on the internet and was sad that they do not make them any more. If only the marketing had been better!!

    January 22nd, 2006 at 7:07 pm

  3. Anonymous says:

    I sell at a flea market, as does a friend of mine and we have a game where we try to “unload” something UGLY onto the other’s table without getting caught. I bought “Earl” at a yardsale for 50 cents also with the intent of him being a “gift”. Turns out that he’s sat so long in our livingroom that he’s become one of the family and a keeper. Go figure!!

    July 2nd, 2006 at 1:53 pm

  4. m murray says:

    hi, ihave just bought a troll the same as the one in the picture from a boot sale.
    he was still in his now faded box. mine has no name tag and no name yet. that was what i was looking for when i came accross this.
    my husband thinks he is ugly but i think he is cute and so do my children.

    October 29th, 2006 at 2:13 pm

  5. Brickwell says:

    I have a whole set of these things. I bought them direct from ToyVision when they were going bankrupt. I especially like the pigs. I made this page for them about ten years ago. There were also little version of these.

    August 7th, 2007 at 11:23 pm

  6. Violet says:

    I have the troll! My dad gave him to me when I was about 7, I’m 20 now!

    Funny Kevin mentioned the Krypt Kiddies, I’m pretty good friends with the lady who makes and designs them! Small world, eh?

    November 1st, 2007 at 6:59 pm

  7. jade says:

    that is weird, i have this doll, except its face is a bit more…together, il tke a photo of it sometime if you want haha.

    April 4th, 2008 at 6:04 am

  8. zincink says:

    that troll should def. stay out of the sun lol!

    June 6th, 2008 at 9:40 am

  9. Tio says:

    Glad to hear there is still life for some Scrushkins post ToyVision.

    Having worked for ToyVision and surrounded by these guys all day… I was sure they were going to be a huge hit.

    Agreed on marketing. We were trying for a big hit and mass consumer market with Toy’r'us, walmart, target, etc… With fickle buyers from those companies looking for mass market, commercial support, TV support and such.. it was hard to get them to buy.

    What we also found out, is that showing the same product to them multiple years was not something they wanted to see. Give us the new model — and where is the marketing support were what the large retailers were looking for. Competing against disney movies and characters made it really tough.

    In retrospect, going for small markets, novelty, etc probably would have been the means for success and a Scrushkin in every home.

    Had the internet been a viable option back then (93/94) it would have been an altogether different story.

    At least I have a few boxes of the whole family left in storage to pass along to future generations.

    btw… had never heard of Funanuf until today — so not sure why they are taking credit for our product. Trust me as we had to manufacture raw materials in the americas (the Scrush material), ship it to taiwan, then to china for inclusion of other materials and final assembly.

    Some fun times.

    August 1st, 2008 at 10:26 am

  10. Tessa says:

    I absolutely adore Krypt Kiddies and Rita (the creator along with her husband Ed) is just the sweetest. They make the best little demon babies ever!

    October 9th, 2008 at 11:30 pm

  11. csb says:

    Ha, ha, ha… Kevin Said:

    “Not because they are ugly, but it would just be odd having them both staring at you all day.”

    I’m not bothered much by a lifeless doll staring at me all day, being on the Internet all the time it’s more like a scary Tom Cruise staring at me that is really scary!

    April 9th, 2009 at 7:57 am

  12. Kelsey says:

    Oh dear. I was in the North American commercial for these toys. I still have the lion they gave me.

    May 25th, 2009 at 7:52 pm