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Grot Dog

The Grossery Gang
by yo go re

Well hot dog, we have a wiener!

Grot Dog can bring tears to his opponent's eyes as he whips his spiky onion mace about! There's one thing that bugs him more than a stale bun and that's the dirty bugs who are trying to take over Cheap Town! Grot Dog is a foot long warrior who's ready to do his wurst!

Oh, terrible puns, I wish I could quit you! "Wurst" is the German word for a sausage, which probably comes from an ancient root word meaning "to mix," connotating the way sausage is made. That same root also gave us the word "war" (from the sense of the confusion large-scale conflicts bring), so Grot Dog would be a warrior no matter what! And while we're discussing Germany, "wiener" comes from wienerwurst - "sausage from Wien" (aka Vienna) - and Grot Dog's alternate name, "Franco," is a reference to frankfurters, themselves named after the west-central German town of Frankfurt.

Part of the second series of Grossery Gang figures, Grot Dog comes with one of the squishy rubber figurines. The name (with a second T on the end of "Grot") was previously used for a character in the Trash Pack line, and there have been two Grosseries named "Horrid Hot Dog," but this guy appears to be someone new. This soft PVC piece gives us a bright red dog in a moldy bun, though he's not as comically cross-eyed as the art on the back of the card shows.

It seems in the fiction that Fungus Fries is the leader of the Bug Strike fighters, and Grot Dog is his right-hand wiener. He's as loyal as he is moldy, and every bit as strong as he smells - a mustard-crusted mayhem machine! His face is sculpted with a giant snarl on the right side of his mouth, and his eyes are uneven - the left one is higher than the right. They're both so big that they bulge out over the sides of the sausage and onto the bun surrounding it. There are bumps sculpted all over the surface, which might be representative of meat sweats or chopped onions or maybe just some dirt that's gotten stuck to him during battle.

Maybe it's because Moose Toys is an Australian company, but there's something about Grot Dog's design that makes me think of Wez from The Road Warrior - maybe it's the tuft of burnt sausage casing "hair" sticking out of the top of his head, maybe it's the spike on his shoulder, maybe it's the way he wears his bun like a vest... looking at pictures, this clearly isn't based on Wez, it's just a feeling. Grot Dog wears fingerless gloves with metal studs around the wrists, kneepads, and a single blue sneaker.

The sausage remains a bright orange-red here, with a pale yellow bun that looks more like raw dough than bread that's ever seen the inside of an oven. Gray-green mold is painted along the front, but since the back of the figure goes unpainted, there are spots that are clearly molded to be... mold... but now just look like divots. Because ketchup wouldn't stand out well enough, Grot Dog uses mustard as warpaint around his eyes.

This figure has a little less articulation than the average Gorssery Ganger - yes, even accounting for the lack of a neck. There are swivel/hinge joints at the hips and left shoulder, and a plain swivel for the right shoulder. Why the change? Because Grot Dog has an action feature: the arm is spring-loaded, so when you raise it, it swings back down. Luckily for posing options, it does "stick" a little when it's at the top, so you can have him holding his weapon high until you want it knocked down.

As the bio said, Franko's accessory is a mace, made from half an onion. One side is flat, so you can see all the layers in there, and the other side has spikes coming out of it. The head is connected by a plastic chain to the handle, which seems to be sculpted like another sausage? Hard to tell, since the whole thing is silver.

"Putrid Power" had Grub Sub, "Time Wars" has Jock Slop Burger, and "Bug Strike" had Grot Dog - it's like every series is required to have one sandwich! Even with an action feature, Grot Dog is a hot design and another good addition to the Grossery Gang ranks.

-- 12/20/18

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