Facts about Troma’s Toxic Avenger franchise

Mitch Cohen as the original Toxic Avenger
Mitch Cohen as the original Toxic Avenger
The Toxic Avenger was created by Lloyd Kaufman in 1983 and has since become recognized worldwide as the definitive youth-oriented, “cult” monster hero. The Toxic Avenger’s name and likeness is recognized worldwide. The words “Toxic Avenger” have become part of the modern lexicon, used in New York Times Editorials, TV shows, rock song, and other mainstream media.

The Toxic Avenger spawned a popular Saturday-morning cartoon show. The Toxic Crusaders, which penetrated 96% of the US television markets and was often the top rated show in its time period. The show also appeared in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Australia. Most people who were children when The Toxic Crusaders aired (1990-1993) also know the Toxic Avenger is today; Toxie, as he is affectionately called, is a part of youth culture’s mythology.

Four low-budget, live-action Toxic Avenger movies have had theatrical releases in the US, Europe, and Asia, including runs of about one year in cities like New York, as well as 120 prints released in Japan by Shochiku, 50 print released in Germany by End/Ufa, etc. The high-anticipated fourth film, Citizen Toxie: The Toxic Avenger 4, premiered at the 2001 Cannes Film Festival, and marked the return of Toxie to the Big Screen after nearly 15 years.

Major US home video releases have resulted in more than 500,000 DVDs and rental cassettes sold through Vestron, Warmer Bros., LIVE, and Troma Team Video. All four Toxic Avenger films continue to perform well in the sell-through market.
Major worldwide movie-related licensing: there were over 100 licenses for Toxie merchandise in the US and abroad, including a line of Playmates action figures, two marvel comic book series, Topp’s trading cards, Nintendo and Sega video games, Thermos lunch boxes and thermoses, Colorforms play sets, International Games board games, a CD-Rom, model kits, Halloween masks, and much more.

Mainstream worldwide television exposure, including USA Networks/Sci-Fi Channel (US), HBO/Cinemax (US), Showtime/The Movie Channel (US), Entertainment Tonight (US), ABC’s Prime Time Live (US), ABC’s Nightline (US), American Journal (US), MTV’s The Big Picture (US), Tonight With Jonathan Ross (UK), E! Entertainment Television (US), HBO Ole (South America and Brazil), Canal + (France), Telepiu (Italy), Bravo (UK), the BBC (UK), CNN (International), 24 Studen (Germany); FilmNet (Europe), Channel 4 (UK) and many, many more.

Toxic is the icon of Troma Entertainment – he is the Mickey Mouse of Troma Studios. He was spokes-monster for the Net Hold channel, Troma’s Edge TV, which launched in 1997 in Benelux, Scandinavia. He is the star of the Tromaville Cafe’ , a television block featured throughout Europe, the UK, and Africa. Toxie appears at the head of every single Troma Team Video cassette release. He marches in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade every year, and he’s been a favorite with modern rock musicians. More recently, 20 brand new episodes of Troma’s Edge TV have been produced for channel 4 in the UK, which began airing in October 2000. The series stars everyone’s favorite hideously deformed creature of superhuman size and strength, as well as the rest of the characters from the Troma Universe.

The Toxic Avenger’s image and name have been pervasive in the environmental movement: For example, he has been utilized by the EPA, the Armed Forces, and a group of young environmentalists in Brooklyn who themselves “The Toxic Avengers.” The Green Party has also contacted Troma about using Toxie. At the 2000 and 2001 Cannes Film Festival, Toxie was used as a figurehead for a joint recycling program between Kodak, ECO (Earth Communications Office) and Troma.

The Toxic Avenger is the figurehead for the Troma Studio Web Site, www.troma.com, rated “A” by Entertainment Weekly and rated in the top 5% of all Web Sites by Pointcom Survey. Far and away the most common query by visitors to our sites? – “When is the next Toxic Avenger movie coming out?”

Troma has launched a website entirely dedicated to the Toxic Avenger, www.toxicavenger.com. The site features clips, behind the scenes info and pictures from all 4 movies. It also includes information on all things Toxic Avenger since his inception by creator Lloyd Kaufman 22 years ago.

CLICK HERE to visit our gallery of vintage Troma Production photos. (WARNING: Some photos contain nudity)

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