The Complete Guide to Mini Boglins
Released in 1991 by IDEAL, Mini Boglins followed the initial run of the larger Boglin line that launched in 1987, born from the creative minds of Tim Clarke, Larry Mass and Maureen Trotto.
Rather than being rubbery hand puppets like their larger older cousins, Mini Boglins were made from small, solid coloured PVC with no moveable parts. This allowed for much more variety in their design than the larger Boglins, and led to each Mini Boglin being unique in shape, colour and facial features, as well as allowing for items of clothing and accessories.
This variety allowed for Mini Boglins to be allocated into tribes based on the theme of their character design, with the initial 6 tribes growing to 12 by the end of the run.
Over the years, the Mini Boglin line saw several updates released, with the lore expanded expanded each time and the Boglins’ backstory developed and adjusted. This guide fully documents everything there is to know about Mini Boglins and their history.
In 1991, six tribes launched and were available in packs of 1, 3, 5, 10 and 20. Each tribe had six Boglins, five normal members headed up by a Chief. The six tribes were: The Clumsies, The Freaks, The Greeedies, The Jokers, The Rude Dudes and The Tough Guys.
Here’s how each tribe lined up in the first release:
Tribe description: They almost didn’t make it to their new home in the chimney. Chief Trog finally managed to get them there against all odds.
- Chief Trog: Does D.I.Y: Damage It Yourself.
- Tat: Burns the candle at both ends.
- Tong: Too dumb for words.
- Trung: Often gets an eyeful at mealtimes.
- Trap: A former percussion player.
- Trub: Takes ear piercing too far.
Tribe description: They are a rag-bag collection of odd-balls who live down the drain, led by Chief Bug, the ugliest of them all!
- Chief Bug: The ugliest of the uglies.
- Burg: Would give his eye teeth to be beautiful (Ed: oddly not a typo).
- Boik: Gets the hump about his looks.
- Bog: The terror from Transylvania.
- Blurp: Can’t help poking his nose in.
- Barf: A vampire of the mini kind.
Tribe description: They found the perfect place under the fridge, where Chief Glonk and his tribe can really tuck in.
- Chief Glonk: Never leaves the dinner table.
- Glup: He’s the burger burglar.
- Gurg: Prefers double helpings.
- Grol: The master pasta eater.
- Glerp: Doesn’t waste time chewing his food.
- Glob: Makes himself a snack.
Tribe description: They live under the stairs and are full of mischief, but their jokes usually back-fire on them. They are led by chief Prog, who keeps some form of order with a catapult.
- Chief Prog: A mean shot with his catapult.
- Prod: Tells a tale of disaster.
- Poig: Is always getting himself into trouble.
- Perk: Turns pale at the sight of water.
- Plag: An experienced explosives expert.
- Purg: Scares his friends with his ghostly gags.
The Rude Dudes
Tribe description: They are noted for their disgusting or rude behaviour, where else would they live but under the toilet.
- Chief Smog: Likes to set a rude example.
- Spig: His manners leave much to be desired.
- Stog: Picking his nose is his favourite habit.
- Spew: You cant take him anywhere.
- Splang: Don’t introduce him to your granny.
- Stroll: Never gets picked for a welcoming party.
The Tough Guys
Tribe description: They live in the garden and are not really as tough as they look, although Chief Krusha would have you believe otherwise.
- Chief Kar: Is menacing & he means it.
- Klab: He’s as hard as nails.
- Killa: The undefeated boxing champion.
- Kug: The legendary pirate of the high seas.
- Klang: The savage samurai.
- Kurg: Is always muscling in.
In the initial run, Mini Boglins came in six colours: yellow, blue, brown, gray, light orange and olive green. Chiefs could also be found in the rare silver colour, and some figures also came all in black, making them ‘pathfinders’.
From the back of the Mini Boglin Carry Case:
Most of the Mini Boglin lore from the initial release could be found amongst the tribe descriptions in the booklet (as described above) and on the back of the Mini Boglin Carry Case, which provided a back-story of sorts for the Mini Boglins and why the tribes ended up where they did.
From the back of the case:
There are several intriguing elements introduced in this paragraph, none of which were expanded upon anywhere else in the initial launch run.
Who exactly some of the Boglins were captured by isn’t elaborated on – there’s no enemy mentioned – and the mysterious King Boglin wouldn’t get another reference until several decades later.
Packaging and Merchandise
Mini Boglins came in packs of 1, 3, 5, 10 and 20 on initial release.
In Europe, the packs had different artwork:
Mini Boglin Swamp Carry Case
IDEAL also released the Swamp Carry Case, which it said could hold up to 12 Boglins, and came with a Chief, and a removeable bridge and tree.
Included with every box of Boglins was between one and five Mini Boglin Power Cards, which served as a Top-Trumps-esque game that could be played alongside collecting the Boglins themselves.
Each Boglin had its own card, with ratings for: Rank within its Tribe, Power Rating, Bodyweight and Disgusting Level.
After proving popular in their first year, IDEAL updated the Mini Boglin roster, introducing even-rarer Gold Chiefs, and, rarer still, a Scout to each of the tribes. The Scouts came in one of two types of special glow-in-the-dark rubber.
Scout variation examples:
Gold Chief examples:
Two new tribes were also introduced, the Army Guys and the Disgustings.
Here is how every tribe now looked, with their new Scout additions:
The only notable change to the lore in the 1992 update was the slight tweak to the backstory, in which pathfinders were replaced with the newly-introduced Scouts in their role in finding the Boglins’ new homes.
Packaging and Merchandise
New designs for the packs of 1, 5, 10 and 20 were released following the 1992 update:
The 1992 update also gave cards to the new tribes, and slightly changed the colouring of all the card from the launch lineup:
Series 2 (1994)
Where the 1992 update was rather understated, in 1994 IDEAL launched Series 2 of the Mini Boglin line, which brought a swathe of updates and changes.
These updates were:
- Three new tribes: The Medievals, The Prehistorics, and The Samurai.
- Rebranding of Pathfinders to Spies, with a member of each tribe officially given the title of spy, and exclusively available in black.
- Introduction of a Messenger to every tribe. These were all brand new Boglins, as opposed to ‘promoted’ existing tribe members, and each came with a small envelope engraved on them to mark the rank. Tribes now had 8 members in total.
- Scouts and Chiefs also had their own brandings, with a star and crown respectively.
- Several Boglins were retired from tribes and replaced with new members.
- The Disgustings and the Freaks were retired completely, becoming the only former tribes not featured in Series 2.
- The introduction of a Battle Game for the Boglins, with the use of heated stickers that stuck to the underside of each Boglin.
- New packaging design, and the introduction of a cage of 12 Boglins. The Boglin Swamp Carry Case also received a rebrand.
Here is how each of the tribes now looked:
Notes: Trub was replaced by the similar, updated Tell, and the iconic melted-candle Boglin Tat was replaced by Tang. Messenger Talk introduced.
Notes: Glob replaced by the pizza-loving Gulp. Gunk introduced as messenger.
Notes: Perg, Plag, Poig and Perk have all been mercilessly culled in favour of Pelt, Prang, Porg and Plig. Pard introduced as messenger. Spy Prod and Chief Prog are the only surviving members of the original tribe.
The Rude Dudes
Notes: Splang is the only casualty, being replaced with Spoilet. Stick comes in as messenger.
The Tough Guys
Notes: The only chief replacement, with Krusha coming in for the iconic Karf. Kik introduced as messenger.
The Army Guys
Notes: No retirements for the Army guys, with Messenger Flare being the only new addition
Notes: The Samurai were considered extremely special, and came only in unique neon colours. Scout Yell is the only Scout to not come in the two glow-in-the-dark colours.
The Rare Dudes
Notes: The Rare Dudes were a collection of rare boglins from across the different tribes. Interestingly, three members of the retired Disgustings tribe make an appearance here, meaning Scout Droup and Chief Drok are the only non-engraved ranked boglins in Series 2.
Series 2 launched the Mini Boglins Secret Battle Codes, which was descibed in the new Booklet. Each Boglin came with a sticker attached under them, which when heated would reveal a secret symbol.
Like the card game, the Battle Code game took the form of a simple Top Trumps-esque 2 player game, in which players pit Boglins against each other, reveal their scores and symbols on their stickers, and whichever Boglin had the most points would win. Special symbols like the tower and hand-print served to apply special effects to the point scoring.
The Booklet again updated with the History of the Boglins. Very much the same vein as the established story, but now with a mention of the engravings:
However, the Battle-Code-specific booklet included some new backstory, and introduced a new enemy of the Boglins: the evil hooded Klorr. At this point we didn’t know who Klorr was, what he had against the Boglins, or what his end goal was – all we knew is that he’s a Mini Boglin gone rogue. Klorr himself would, many decades later, be released in limited supply.
The packaging once again had a re-design, with the Battle Game taking front-and-center of the new branding. The most notable update was the Cage – which came with 12 Boglins, and marked the first Boglin packaging where you could see every Mini Boglin inside.
The Cool Dudes
In the 90’s it was common for children’s breakfast cereal to contain collectible free toys, to encourage purchases of mutliple packs. Kellogg’s Frosties featured an exclusive tribe of Mini Boglins known as The Cool Dudes, which were even smaller than the standard Mini Boglins, and most of which took inspiration from their larger counterparts in terms of design.
The Cool Dudes were available in six standard neon colours: yellow, blue, pink, green, orange, and red – as well as rare, limited edition gold.
Slime Mini Boglins
Slime Mini Boglins were also released, and were sold in single packs, each with a toilet that contained green slime.
There were four to collect; Splurge, Splash, Splutter and Splodge; who came in blue, yellow, pink and orange colour variants.
Boglin Carry Case Rebrand
The carry case also got a rebrand of its box, which now featured members of the newer Medieval tribe, and now came with two Medieval Boglins. The case itself remained the same.
Mini Boglins Board Game
The Mini Boglins Game, a board game based around the slime toilets, also released in 1994. Players competed to return tribe members to their homes, and the game came with a slime toilet, slime Boglin, and one Boglin of each colour.
In 2020, Timothy Young published this article, in which he details his involvement in the design and creation of many of the series 3 Mini Boglins. Young was responsible for the design and sculpture of 34 Boglins, and he features design sketches, photos of moulds and anecdotes about the process.
In 2017, Original designed Tim Clark released a new tribe called the Zombies – eight undead Mini Boglins that were available exclusively at Comic-Con that year.
Only 100 of each were moulded, so they remain the rarest Boglins.
Shortly after the Zombie Mini Boglins, in 2018 Clarke also released a limited number of sculpts of the original King Mini Boglin. Clarke revealed that this mould was actually designed back in 1992, and was the King that was referenced on the original Mini Boglin Carry Case and in the lore pamphlets, but was never put into production.
Alongside the Boglin King, the Boglins’ nemesis Klorr also got a release. Similarly, his design had been created back in the 90’s but never been created into a figure. Klorr, as well as a Glow-in-the-Dark version of the King, was released in very limited supply.
- Different languages sometimes had different descriptions for each Mini Boglin.
- Colour chart: This shows every possible colour variant of every Boglin from every tribe, from every release:
- Change to Boglin Tribes: Before being fully discontinued, in 1995 the Mini Boglin line briefly changed branding to ‘Boglins Tribes’. This came with new packaging, where you could now buy sets of 3 or 5 of the same tribe, removing the ‘surprise’ element of previous packs. The Jokers were also renamed to the ‘Perilous Pranksters’.