Scumbug Datestamp:1990, Mirage Studios, Playmates Toys.
Scumbug is an early Teenage Mutant Ninja Turle figure, but not one of the earliest. He was probably one of Shredder's first back-up mutants after he finally realized Bebop and Rocksteady were incompetant. But, ah, Scumbug, Scumbug; he's a figure that holds a very special place in my heart. The figure that taught me how to pine and love from a far. You see, my next door neighbor had a great number of Turtles toys I didn't, from the Pizza Tosser, to the Turtles Blimp, to Ace Duck, but ol' Scumbug here was the one I loved the most. He was so close, yet so far away. I could play with him everyday, but never take him home. Something about him was so nasty, so beautifuly grotesque and eye-catching, that it immediatly pulled me into his world every time our eyes met. Luckily, sometimes old romances do rekindle if you wait long enough, and Scumbug was handed over to me some 20 years later in a box of my girlfriend's brother's old toys. Score!
Why I Love It:
C'mon, Scumbug rules. Scumbug, Scumbug, just listen to the way it rolls off the tongue- it says it all! I didn't know anything about him, but I didn't need to, you can just tell by looking at him that he's the baddest, grossest card in Shredder's rogues gallery. That teal and periwinkle colorscheme, the antennae pulled into a topknot, he even has an action feature where when you twist his head side to side his loose-hanging jaw rattles up and down. He's just...brilliant. He's the apex of late 80's/early 90's gross-out sculpting and comedic yet threatening wackiness. Of all the figures in the Turltes line-up to feature the "humanoid mutant caught in mid-transformation" look, Scumbug does it the best. His pink flesh is peeling away to reveal spikes and purple-tinted claws, tiny pincers and bugs crawling all over his body. You can even tell he was on his way to the office by the remaining half of his shredded tie and dress shirt. You'd almost feel sorry for the poor bastard if you couldn't tell by looking into his bulging eyes and maniacal, double-mandibled grin that he's pure evil.
Scumbug certainly came with additional accessories, presumably a metal fly-swatter or something, but I have no way of knowing. Both Scumbugs I've encountered in my lifetime have been loose and accessory-less, and fairly beat-up. I could browse an online TMNT archive until I find a carded pic, but I'm far to lazy to do that right now. There is evidence of something plugging into him, given he has a gaping hole on each of his pectorals. What sinister object could possibly make Scumbug more dangerous? Only the mint on card collectors know for sure...
What If The Source-Material Was a Mystery?
It doesn't matter, Scumbug easily transcends mere source-material. He's gross, loud, weird, and evil-looking. If you want a bad dude to freak out girls, or long for the era of gross-out chic, Scumbug is your go-to guy. Besides, you can probably Ebay him for nothing. Although if people lived in my world, Scumbug would be more precious than gold. In fact, all trade would be based around old Ninja Turtles figures, and Scumbug would be a top denomination.