For those unfamiliar with Toxic Crusaders I'll try and give you some background information before getting into the review of the show.
The show is loosely based on a B-rate independent gore film called Toxic Avenger. Mirage Studio's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which started out as an independent comic book, was adapted by Murkami Wolf and Swenson (MF&S for short) animation studios for a cartoon, and by Playmates toys for an action figure line. After the Turtles became larger than life Playmates toys and MF&S tried to repeat their success. That's where Toxic Avenger comes in. Toxic Avenger was created similarly to the Ninja Turtles (both have humble beginnings) so the idea was to use the same marketing formula for Toxic Avenger.
Video games, trading cards, action figures, and a cartoon, were all done by the same companies who did Ninja Turtles stuff, and Toxic Crusaders is born. A lighter, goofier, Toxie makes it to the silver screen and it bombs. The companies learn that Ninja Turtles wasn't a success because of how they marketed it, but because of what it was and Toxic Crusaders is all but forgotten.
Recently Troma has released DVD sets. Though they're poor quality they're still fun, and they have sparked my interest in this forgotten property.
Review of the show:
Toxic Crusaders features the kind of comedy you would expect from the Naked Gun movies. The show is slapstick and satire, along with action and kiddie fodder.
The animation isn't poor, but seems rushed. Backgrounds look as if they were sketched in pen and colored in pencil. Poor animation is somewhat typical for a 90's cartoon, and Toxic Crusaders is really no exception. The voice acting is decent, however certain character voices should have been rethought. Toxie's voice seems a bit too nerdy and high for a main character's voice, but after a while it grows on you.
The character designs are fun, though certain ones are a bit boring like Dr. Killermoff or Nozone. Really the show lacks a certain creative direction. The writing is clever, but the satire unfortunately comes off as stupid. The show doesn't take itself seriously, but it isn't supposed to.
Toxic Crusaders is really an aquired taste. You either love it or you hate it. The show really seems to be making fun of cartoons based on toy lines, even though it is one. The quick resolutions and bringing in characters at random points is supposed to be funny, but those who don't understand the genre will believe it to be a poorly written show.
As a kid I wasn't really interested in this property. I had one or two toys only because they fit in with the Ninja Turtle toys. I played the video game at my friends house, and that was it. If you're in the same boat as me and love cartoons, cheesey slap stick comedy, and overall absurd nineties-isms like half assed morals, then this show is for you.