Apparently, some of those weird monsters from Dungeons & Dragons were made in China–literally! According to Tim Kask, a D&D play tester,
There once was an unknown company in Hong Kong that made a bag of weird animal-things that were then sold in what once were called dime stores or variety stores for like $.99. I know of four other very early monsters based on them.
Gary and I talked about how hard it was to find monster figures, and how one day he came upon this bag of weird beasts… He nearly ran home, eager as a kid to get home and open his baseball cards. Then he proceeded to invent the carrion crawler, umber hulk, rust monster and purple worm, all based on those silly plastic figures.
The one that I chose was known in the Greyhawk campaign as “the bullet” (for it’s shape) but had only amorphous stats and abilities, not being developed. Gary told me to take it home, study it, and decide what it was and what it could do.