Toy fads come and go. Most are short-lived in both their production, and in the memory of those that initially fell for their seductive allure. Every once in a while though, one stands out as being so darn cool that its memory far outlives its shelf life. And just about everyone that was sucked into buying a grotesque little creature called Suckerman retains a fond recollection of a toy that managed to stick in their memories about as well as it stuck to walls, floors and just about everything else it was ever flung against.

In 1978, Mattel Toys introduced Suckerman, a toy that looked like a reptilian sort of vampire, complete with fangs, scales, and creepy eyes. Standing at a respectable 16” tall and available in black, red, green or glow-in-the-dark white, he was creepy enough in appearance alone. What made Suckerman unique, however, was a series of 28 suction cups that lined his vinyl body on both sides giving him the ability to stick to any flat surface he was thrown against. Fling him towards the top of a wall and he would gradually slink down with the help of gravity. With a little forethought, he could give a sibling or parent a scare with his stealthy, slippery ways. And if one was fortunate to have the glow-in-the-dark version, the site of this alien monster crawling down a wall in the dead of night was the stuff that childhood nightmares are made of.

Of course, there was little else one could actually do with a Suckerman and once everyone in the household had been subjected to his slithering ways, the novelty began to wear off. But mention Suckerman to anyone who ever owned one and watch their eyes light up with nostalgia. These fond recollections have served Suckerman quite well over the years in the collectors market and they can command a respectable price at toy conventions and on Ebay where they continue to enjoy a cult-like status. Suckerman also likely inspired another enormous toy fad in the 80s, Wacky Wall Walkers, which slithered down walls with the same agile grace of their predecessor.

Fads may come and go and many are quickly forgotten, but Suckerman remains one of the exceptions – a toy that remains stuck in the collective memories of anyone who ever had the fortune of experiencing his frightfully playful antics.

Were you the proud owner of a Mattel Suckerman back in the day? We’d love to hear any memories you have of this popular 70s toy in our comments section below, as we tip our hats to a toy that really sucked, but in a good way.

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