Trash bag Bunch

It is the early 90’s, environmental movements are beginning to emerge strongly and the hole in the ozone layer seems to be one of the biggest problems for the planet Earth. In this day and age, pollution, mutation and radiation are on everyone’s lips.

Cartoons are not far behind, and series are beginning to appear on the subject to raise awareness among children. It is the time of Captain Planer, Toxic Crusader and TMNT. All of these series touch to a greater or lesser extent on the subject of pollution and the importance of recycling.

The idea:

Meanwhile, toy designer Mel Birnkrant, along with her neighbors and environmental groups, was fighting the state of New York to prevent the creation of a garbage dump next to the Hudson River next to her home. ¡ But even out of that unpleasant situation, Mel and his partner Andy managed to get a good idea for a toy line. The idea consisted of putting PVC figures inside garbage bags, which when placed in a glass of water would dissolve, thus revealing the figure inside. After some tests, they went to the toy company GALOOB to sell them the idea.

Garbage bag bunch

As he explains in Mel Birnkrant blog, the product presentation to GALOOB was based on this self-explanatory drawing and a prototype of the box that would be used to sell the figures. As we can see in the image, the first idea for the name of the line was “The garbage bag gang. There was no figure or design of these; in the presentation, everything was based on the idea of how to package the figures.

It just so happened that GALOOB was just finishing the design of some new PVC figures called“Robots, Aliens and Monsters”, but they were looking for a way to sell them, and Mel and Andy’s idea fits perfectly, so they decided to buy the packaging idea from them and bring out their new line of figures. The line was renamed and thus was born “Trash bag bunch”, known in Spain as “Los Guerreros de la basura”.


The collection consists of a total of 36 figures divided into two groups, 18 for the good guys and 18 for the bad guys., “Disposers” and 18 for the villains, “Trashors”.

Trash bag bunch - Checklist

The side of the good guys, “Disposers” were mostly robot and humanoid figures armed to fight pollution, on the other side “Trashors” were a group of colorful ugly critters ready to pollute everything. There was no comic book or animated series to support this line of figures. The history of these bugs boils down to what is written on the back of the cardboard:

Gladiators of the landfill, they fought a cleaning battle against the filth of their planet MUGRE. Trapped in strange garbage bags, they were expelled from the planet by Professor Garboff. Now these creatures of filth, kind and evil, have arrived on Earth, where the battle continues. The “Disposers” – against dirt and filth – fight for a cleaner, pollution-free world. Meanwhile, the “Trashors” – the evildoers of garbage – perform acts of toxic terrorism on the land, water and air of our world. Be a “garbage lord” and collect and trade all the “Garbage Warriors”.

Reverse side of the cardboard of the figures.

With this simple story, some nice designs of very colorful figures and the great idea of the fizzy garbage bag, Trash Bag bunch became a bestseller and was distributed around the world. It is, without a doubt, a collection much loved by the children of the time, today converted into collectors.

Second wave:

It seems that the success was especially strong in northern European countries, as both Denmark and Sweden released a second wave of figures entitled“Trash bag bunch II”where there were some new figures (new sculpture) and others that were a repainting of the sculptures of the first wave. Today these pieces, especially those with new sculpture, are the most expensive pieces in the collection.

At the date of publication of this post we have been able to see these pieces for more than $150 on eBay; So, getting hold of this complete second wave is, without a doubt, a real challenge, not only in monetary terms, because these figures are very scarce and you don’t see them every day.

Unpublished material:

In addition to these very rare figures exclusive to Northern Europe, catalogs have been seen with photos of other pieces that never came to light. GALOOB was planning to release more figures, including a Playset of a crane with bag refills, where you could grab the bags with the crane and put them in a garbage can with water so that the bags would fall apart. Unfortunately we were never able to enjoy this piece.

Trash bag bunch 2

Trash bag bunch playset
The Playset never made it to the stores