Taking food fights to a whole new level...

As a kid, I loved the same things that all kids from my era loved. He-Man, GI Joe, Thundercats, Ninja Turtles... I had all of those. But, I also owned some toys that were not as popular; toys often forgotten about today. These are the toys that really stand out in my mind. Toys that I have fond memories of, despite the fact they may be uncommon or strange.

One such set of toys was a line of action figures known as Food Fighters. And no, I’m not talking about that band fronted by Dave Grohl. I’m talking about the line of toys released by Mattel in 1988. The action figures took the idea of a cafeteria food fight to a whole new level by creating characters that represented different forms of food who were military soldiers. Weird? Yes. Awesome? You bet!

The line consisted of 10 different action figures, divided into two teams. The Kitchen Commandos, who were your good guys, consisted of Burgerdier General, Major Munch, Lieutenant Legg, Sergeant Scoop, and Private Pizza. The Refrigerated Rejects, or your “bad guys,” consisted of Mean Weener, Chip the Ripper, Short Stack, Taco Terror, and my personal favorite, Fat Frenchy. You could tell what team each food piece belonged to by the color of their sleeves and boots. The Kitchen Commandos had green sleeves and black boots, while the Refrigerator Rejects sported brown boots with black sleeves.

The figures were made of a hollow, soft plastic. They squished easily, and almost felt akin to a bath tub toy because of how soft they were. Because of this, it was easy for the paint to wear off with play. But the plastic, although soft, was still sturdy, and you never had to worry about parts breaking off; especially since the legs and arms popped in and out of socket very easily. Each figure was packaged with one gun and a backpack that plugged into a small hole in their back. If most kids were anything like me, they probably lost the weapons pretty shortly after opening them, though. They were really tiny, and easy to lose track of.

There were a few vehicles released as well, including the Combat Carton, the Fry Chopper, and the BBQ Bomber. I never had any of these, but I always wanted the Combat Carton. I thought that was the coolest looking of the three. It was an egg carton on wheels, painted in camo. It always stood out to me as something that looked fun, and it fit in real well with the idea of the figures. There was also a rumored Refrigerator playset that never saw release. Some pictures of it do exist from an old magazine advertisement, and man... that thing would have been so cool if it were actually released!

These toys didn’t last long, and weren’t even very easy to come by during their initial release. Most of the time you could only find them at smaller, “discount” store chains such as Hills. But they were dang cool. I still remember the day I came home from the store with 3 or 4 of these guys after spending some birthday money. And to this very day, these remain some of my absolute favorite of all of my plastic treasures.

CLICK HERE for more Food Fighter toy images!

-Story and Photos by "Pixel" Dan Eardley

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