Food Fighters (Mattel)

Some of the best toy lines out there are the ones that very few people know about it. The 1988 Food Fighters (not to be confused with the band Foo Fighters) from Mattel is one of those lines. Combat at its Kookiest was its tagline, and kooky it was.

The series wasn't based on a television show, a comic book, or any other sort of entertainment related items, but rather was designed specifically for an action figure line. A total of ten figures were produced, along with four variants. Each figure, which included a weapon and a backpack, was made of a soft, hollow plastic similar to a squeaky toy that you would give your dog – though without the squeak.

The Kitchen Commandos, AKA the good guys consisted of; Burgerdier General, Lieutenant Legg, Major Munch, Private Pizza, and Sergeant Scoop. Each figure wore black boots, green combat gear (non removable belts, and removable backpacks), and carried a red weapon.

A variant of Major Munch was produced which depicts the character as both a chocolate glazed (original), and a strawberry glazed (variant) donut. A variant was also produced of Sergeant Scoop which depicts the character as a chocolate covered vanilla ice cream cone (original), and butterscotch covered vanilla ice cream cone (variant).

The Refrigerator Rejects, AKA the bad guys consisted of; Chip the Ripper, Fat Frenchy, Mean Weener, Short Stack, and Taco Terror. Each figure wore brown boots, black combat gear (non removable belts, and removable backpacks), and carried a blue weapon.

A variant of Chip the Ripper was produced which depicts the character as both a chocolate chip cookie (original), and a chocolate macadamia nut cookie (variant). A variant was also produced of Short Stack which depicts the character with maple syrup on top of his head (original), and blueberry syrup on top of his head (variant).

Three vehicles were produced for the series; Combat Carton (Kitchen Commandos), Fry Chopper (Kitchen Commandos), and BBQ Bomber (Refrigerator Rejects). Each vehicle contained a "firing mechanism" that either shot projectiles, or dropped things like a bomb.

A Refrigerator Playset was designed and advertised in toy catalogs as an item that was coming soon, but due to lackluster sales, the series was cancelled prior to it being released. Much like the vehicles, the playset was designed with projectiles and dropping bomb like items in mind via its firing popsicles, and bombing soda cans.

Unfortunately Food Fighters suffered the fate of a series that was simply unknown - With no animated Saturday morning cartoon, or sufficient advertising, the series simply drifted off into plastic history.

For those few who do remember it, the secondary market can become quiet the battlefield. Full mint on card sets of ten figures can fetch as much as $150.00, and mind you, that's not including the variants. A mint on card set of just the four variants can fetch as much as $250.00. The vehicles don't see as much success, and can sell for as little as $75.00 for all three, mint in boxes.

For those of you reading the comments, you may have seen some chatting about a duo of unreleased Food Fighters that someone 3D printed and is selling for a thousand dollars. The question at hand is are these legit designs of unreleased figures? The seller has an intriguing tale to their conception, but I'm not 100% convinced. For the asking price, if I was buying them, I would also expect them to remain a one of a kind pair, and not get reproduced over and over. Unfortunately, completed listings show this isn't the case, as the seller has already sold one.

Definitely an interesting listing, and I wish the seller the best. But, buyer's should definitely consider the above when determining if this is something they're going to drop that much cash on. There's really no guarantee these are based on authentic concept designs, and you're essentially paying a hefty price for a potentially mass produced custom pair of figures. Even legit prototypes of actual licensed products can sell for less than that. And those are one of a kind.

Legit or not, these look great, and they would definitely fit in with the line. I'm just not 100% convinced they're the real deal - in terms of being based on an unproduced concept. But who knows, I've been wrong before.

If you want to take a look at the listing, it's HERE (for now).

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  1. I remember this line very well. I had a couple of Kitchen Commandos. I always wanted a vehicle, but never got one due to money. Well, I should say, with the other toy lines out there at the time, I didn't have any money left to get more of this line. It's an obscure line, but a fun one none the less!

    1. Yeah, unfortunately that was another flaw in the Food Fighter line. By that we mean that by the time kids got done spending their allowances on GI Joes, or He-Man figures, there was none left for Food Fighters.

  2. I wonder if anybody here might know the name of the toy designer who developed these characters for Mattel, anyone?

    1. i dont know. but i heard this story that the desinger (for a new food fighter who was a cake guy) made a design for the guy but was never made due to cancelation. and then his friend saw the designs and 3D printed them. but the guy who drew the designs never gave him permission to make them so they had a fight. they ended up deciding that they would make 5 of the cake guy and 2 color varients of the cake guy. they raffled the 5 cake guys and they sold the 2 vanilla cake guys on an auction. someone is selling them on ebay for 1000$!

    2. yeah u should check them out on ebay!

    3. Errol McCarthy did the concept sketches for the unreleased characters (he also did he-man packaging art).

      McCarthy also drew concepts for a corn dog, bag of popcorn, jar of jam, a bowl of oatmeal, a half-eaten sandwich, and a can of sardines.

  3. Replies
    1. I think it's ridiculous that the guy wants $1,000.00 for it. That's lame.

  4. 100% based on unproduced second series. The figure was produced by a buddy of mine and actually have a scan of the original artwork concepts. There are several vehicles, and other figures that were slated to be in the 2nd series stuff. I think my favorite unproduced figure is the corndog, which was made into a figure like this as well.

    1. You think you’d ever be able to make the scans public?? I and many others I’m sure would love to see them!