All posts by georgemcgowan

Sputnik Supplies Ro-Boy – Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category Nominee

Collecting the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category – Part 9

Sputnik Supplies Ro-Boy Vinyl Figure

It seems I’ve been exploring the intersection of iconic monsters and horrible movies in recent posts. In last week’s Classic Movie Poster post, I profiled 1958’s Attack of the 50 Foot Woman  – a bad movie with an iconic and timeless poster.

As we continue to review 2014 Rondo Awards nominees for Best Toy/Model/Collectible, today’s featured collectible certainly fits the bill for iconic monster/bad movie as we take a look at Sputnik Supplies original creation Ro-Boy.  Ro-Boy by Sputnik Supplies

Ro-Boy is a unique blend of the classic Big Boy restaurant mascot

Bobs Big Boy

with the infamous Ro-Man Extension XJ-2 from the campy, not-so-classic 1953 B-movie Robot Monster:Robot Monster

Sputnik Supplies is the brainchild of artist Paul Schiola who explains the inspiration behind his creations as:

“My love for vinyl toys and sculpting led me in a direction where I could meld the two and produce a truly collectible toy…make small runs of cool, unique and truly collectible vinyl-like toys; each one is an individual work of art and is always handmade by me here in the U.S.A.”

Ro-Man Extension XJ-2 is the titular monster and/or alien from The Robot Monster, a film with such a low budget that they used a gorilla suit because they didn’t have the budget for a full robot suit. 

It’s worth noting that the lack of budget and resulting gorilla/robot mash-up is the singular reason this film remains in the popular culture–it certainly isn’t the movie itself!

Product Details

  • Height: 7″
  • Handmade in USA
  • Sculptor: Paul Schiola
  • Hand-painted
  • MSRP: $85

 

Where to Buy Sputnik Supplies Ro-Boy

The only place that I could find this collectible figure was direct from the artist:

Sputnik Supplies Website

Paul offers these limited edition figures @ $85 which includes shipping.

Sputnik Supplies Ro-Boy Rondo Awards nominated Best Collectible 2014
© Sputnik Supplies

Summary

I love this figure.  Of all the nominees in the Rondo Awards category for Best Toy/Model/Collectible, it the only original creation.

While I love licensed merchandise, and am awed by the incredible life-like detail of many models, maquettes and even action figures of today, there is something magical about the discovery of a toy that isn’t from a movie, comic or TV show.

As a kid, it always felt like discovering something uniquely mine.  Obviously, a mass-produced plastic toy wasn’t uniquely mine, but the feeling was pure and joyful just the same.  I think it is one of the original draws I felt to monsters and genre movies in general– the fantastic and original creations of the artists and filmmakers were magical to me and, I suspect, most other monster kids.

I really appreciate that, while inspired by a rather infamous movie monster/alien, Ro-Boy is a creation of the artist’s imagination–and a hand-painted, handmade one at that.

The price point is steep, as it is for most of the nominees in this category.  But, given that this is really a work of pop culture art and is clearly NOT a toy, I’m okay with $85.  I imagine that price will only go up once Sputnik Supply sells the original inventory and it winds up on the secondary market.

The Robot Monster

Speaking of the movie that inspired Ro-Boy,  I watched it last night on Amazon Prime as I was drafting this article.   Honestly, I can’t say for sure if I had ever seen this film in its entirety.

My thoughts?  This movie is so bad it’s good!  It’s not going on my list of favorite films anytime soon, and I love 1950s B-movie SciFi camp.  If you haven’t seen it, it really is  good fun and worth a little over an hour of your time.

You can stream it for free with an Amazon Prime membership:
(click image to watch movie)

or you can watch it for free onYouTube:

 

So what do you think of Ro-Boy?  Any Sputnik Supplies aficionados out there?  And The Robot Monster?  Share your opinions about this movie and the collectible toy it inspired below!

Raising Modern Monster Kids

Can Today’s Kids Still Be Monster Kids?

The term ‘Monster Kid’ is widely applied to generations who grew up during the great monster craze that swept popular culture in America during the 1950s and 1960s.  I came of age in the 1970s and there are plenty of my generation who relate, and adopt, the moniker of Monster Kid as well.

Many of us Monster Kids are far from childhood in our age but have had the privilege of raising kids of our own.  Is it possible to raise modern Monster kids in the digital age?  This Monster Kid Dad is giving it the old college try, with some mixed results.

Through my series, Raising Modern Monster Kids. I’ll keep readers updated on this journey and share my successes – and failures – for all to enjoy.

This is what my 8 year old son wrote in school on Friday:

Raising Modern Monster Kids - 8 year old tells Godzilla's orignRaising Modern Monster Kids 8 year old draws Godzilla

 

As you can tell, my son loves Godzilla.  We saw Godzilla 2014 in the theater last summer and he loved it.  But that wasn’t the first Godzilla movie he saw.  No, Terror of Mechagodilla, King Kong vs Godzilla, Godzilla vs Mothra, Destroy All Monsters, Godzilla: Final Wars and Son of Godzilla all preceded the Legendary reboot in my son’s Godzilla movie viewing.  He’s 8 and he calls out the monsters as guys in suits, but once the giant monster brawls begin, he doesn’t care.

I really liked Legendary’s Godzilla  and I’m okay if this new version becomes my son’s preferred Godzilla.  He’ll have to make his own choices. All I can do is make sure he is exposed to the classic movies that inspired the reboot and hope that he falls for them like I did.

I’m optimistic that I can raise modern monster kids who love the new but treasure the classic.

This one is clearly in the ‘Win’ column!  Enjoy and Happy Memorial Day to all you Monster Kids — young and old!

Howl Through Wednesday with the Wolf Man Collectibles

 Wolf Man Collectibles to Help You Have a Howling Hump Day

The Wolf Man CollectionI’m a Wolf Man fan and have been all my life, so I thought I’d share a few pieces from my Wolf Man collection

Starting from the left, we have my custom clay Wolf Man face sculpture  (sans one fang) that I made in 4th grade art class — still love it in spite of it’s obvious amateur flaws

In the center, my 1963 Wolf Man Soaky from Colgate-Palmolive

On the right, my 2009 Funko Force Wolf Man (despite the fact that the package says “The Werewolf”)

We’re half-way through the week and that is enough to get me howling at the moon — have a great day!

What are your favorite Wolf Man collectibles?  Share them and stay away from the wolfsbane!

 

Classic Movie Posters Gallery – Attack of the 50 Foot Woman

Classic Movie Posters Gallery

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman Three Sheet Poster

(click image to enlarge)

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (Allied Artists, 1958) Three Sheet (41″ X 81″)

This 1958 camp science fiction movie has the unique distinction of being considered one of the worst science fiction movies ever made and one of the most valuable movie posters of all time.

Released on May 19, 1958, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman has become a cult classic and has remained in the public eye largely due to this poster.  The poster is like a comic book cover with its over-the-top action combined with a powerful composition that draws the viewer in.  The poster is serious, while the sci fi romp it promotes is anything but.

artwork is by Reynold Brown.

A master of 1950s matinee movie art, Brown designed so many classic genre movie posters for science fiction and horror classics including Tarantula, House on Haunted Hill and Creature from the Black Lagoon.

I highly recommend the book Reynold Brown: A Life in Pictures to all fans and collectors of vintage movie poster art: 

No six-sheet was produced for this film, making this three-sheet the largest poster format available for this movie.

This poster goes for big bucks, ranking in the top 100 most valuable movie posters.  Heritage Auction sold a VF+ on Linen poster  at auction for $33,460.00 in 2014.

I enjoyed this film, but it isn’t one that I care to watch again anytime soon — too many other movies that I haven’t seen or love to watch again and again to spend time on this one.  That said, I appreciate the timeless appeal of this poster and love that it remains a pop culture icon, being parodied and replicated on every imaginable product.

Check out the the wide range of custom products on Etsy featuring this artwork.

And, of course, if you’ve never seen this movie, it’s worth watching once:

Related Articles:

Jakks 40-Inch Godzilla 2014 Action Figure – Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category

Collecting the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category – Part 8

Jakks Pacific 4o” Godzilla Toy

It’s Monday and that means it’s time for another entry in my continuing series profiling all the nominees in the 2015 Rondo Awards.  With the one-year anniversary of Legends Godzilla, or Godzilla 2014 as it’s become known, hitting the theaters, we’re taking a look at the Jakks Pacific company’s 40″ Godzilla toy figure.

This blog is about collecting classic monsters and Godzilla is as classic as they come.  We can – and should– have lots of discussion about whether or not Godzilla 2014 is a classic movie.  I know Godzilla fans on both sides of that line.  While a new film like Legendary’s 2014 Godzilla will have supporters and detractors, there is no arguing that the monster itself is a classic — even if we disagree on whether the film is.  I, for one, liked the movie and am excited about the sequel.

Jakks 40-inch Godzilla 2014Jakks 40 inch Godzilla ToyJakks Pacific 40-inch Godzilla

What makes a monster classic?

One point I want to make very clear to my readers, classic is not the same as vintage. So I will frequently cover new and modern collectibles in this blog as is clearly the case with this entire series about Rondo nominees since they were all released in 2014.  I do, however, draw a line in terms of what is considered classic.  For purposes of scope, I consider Alien a classic.  And Jaws.  I believe new classic monsters are being created all the time, although time is exactly what determines a classic.

Monsters that stand the test of time — and survive reimagining and reboots, both good and bad, are a major determinate of a character’s legacy.  For Monster Kids, there is probably less disagreement about whether Dracula Untold was a good reboot than if Godzilla 2014 was. Although Toho’s announcement that they are getting back into the Godzilla movie business further fuels this debate.

Finally, there are plenty of classic monsters from not-so-classic films.  Many of the 1950s horror and sci fi films will never show up on the best movies ever made list, but for genre fans like myself, the monsters make the movies.   We appreciate a bit of camp and understand the impact of low-budgets– none of which make a film a classic for our purposes.

NOT classic monsters:

I don’t consider serial killers/slashers classic monsters –even with supernatural overtones like Freddy and Jason, and I won’t cover those characters here.  Clearly they’ve stood the test of time and are being rebooted by the movie making machine.  Plenty will disagree with me but my blog, my rules.  Now that that’s clear….back to our regularly scheduled broadcast!

Jakks 40″ Godzilla

Two points to make on this one:

1. This is a toy.

The category is called “Best Toy, Model, Collectible” and the nominees represented all three of those sub-categories quite well.  Frankly, it’s hard to compare a $200 limited edition maquette to a $10 toy on similar merits and I’d like to see the Rondo Awards merchandise categories expanded so that we can vote for like products in similar categories rather than make contrived comparisons.  This Godzilla figure may be collectible, but it is first and foremost a toy.  My 8 year old son loves to play with this guy.  He’s not getting anywhere near my limited edition collectibles but this one is built for roughhousing.  I’m sure he looks great on a collector’s shelf as well, but I like seeing him stomping lego sets and other action figures in my son’s room.  He’s also fairly priced at $50.

2. This is a HUGE toy.

We all no that Godzilla has gotten bigger with passing decades in the movies and this is one big toy.  At 3.5 feet long and 2 feet high, he dominates the play room.  As the King of the Monsters should!

Product Details: Jakks Pacific 40" Godzilla Toy in Box

  • 3.5 feet in length
  • 2 feet in height
  • MSRP $50
  • 12 points of articulation

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s a comprehensive video review go this toy by The Review Spot – you can visit their Youtube channel here.

 

Where to Buy Jakks Pacific 40″ Godzilla

While originally a Toys-R-Us exclusive, this toy is easy to find at local big box stores as wells on-line:

Amazon.com

Prices start at $39.99 + shipping and both the $0″ and 24″ figures are available: Jakks Pacific Godzilla Toys

eBay.com

Lots of auctions starting at reasonable prices like $19.99, so I definitely recommend checking eBay: Jakks Godzilla 40 inch

Entertainment Earth

Listed for $49.99
Godzilla 2014 Movie 24-Inch Action Figure
Order Godzilla 2014 Movie 24-Inch Action Figure from Entertainment Earth!


 

Summary

Godzilla is one of the most-merchandised of all the classic monsters. There are collectors who focus not just on Big-G, but on specific lines like X-Plus.  Godzilla is one of my favorite monsters and I love the Toho films.  My favorites are from the Showa era simply because those were the movies I saw growing up.  Sure, they were aimed at kids and more than a little campy, but that’s part of their appeal.  I enjoy watching these with my kids who also love them.

I am glad that we have a new updated Godzilla series that, in my opinion, has remained true in spirit to the original Toho films.  It’s not a guy in a suit stomping on model cities, but it honors the original story, captures some of the Godzilla as “terrible defender”  story lines from my favorite era, and introduced the King of the Monsters to a new generation of movie goers.

Time will tell if Godzilla 2014 is a classic, but there is no debate that this classic monster continues to be loved by collectors and kids alike.

So, in honor of the one-year anniversary of Godzilla, tonight we’ll sit back and watch this new-classic monster movie as a family and have fun — because, to me, that is what classic monster movies are all about.

Click the image below to watch it on Amazon Instant Video:

Frankenstein Friday!

The Monster gets his due with Frankenstein Friday

Frankenstein Friday

It’s Alive!  Alive!

Welcome to Frankenstein Friday, folks where the weekend comes to life and we put down our means of commerce to focus on friends, family and — for us Monster Kids — Frankenstein and friends!

Each week, I’ll feature ol’ Frankie in one of his multitude of forms and let you know where you can go to add him to your collection!  These will often be ads from our sponsors that you can click and buy — helps us pay the bills.  But looking is free so enjoy as you choose!

Today’s character collectible is alliteration at it’s finest with a Funko Frankenstein Figure:

Hanna-Barbera Frankenstein Jr. Pop!       Vinyl Figure

Hanna-Barbera Frankenstein Jr. Pop! Vinyl Figure Funko

From Hanna-Barbera‘s Frankenstein, Jr. and the Impossibles comes this Frankenstein Jr. Pop! Vinyl Figure! Frankenstein Jr. aka, “Frankie” stands 3 3/4-inches tall and looks just as you remembered him with his green superhero outfit with his “F” logo on his chest and is packaged in a window box.

Order Hanna-Barbera Frankenstein Jr. Pop! Vinyl Figure on Amazon

Have a good weekend everybody and celebrate well!

Distinctive Dummies Karloff Fu Manchu Figure– Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category

Collecting the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category – Part 7

Distinctive Dummies Boris Karloff as Fu Manchu Mego-style Figure

This week’s entry in my continuing series profiling all the nominees in the 2015 Rondo Awards takes us out of the classic horror genre and into classic adventure with Boris Karloff as the notorious Dr. Fu Manchu.

Karloff Fu Manchu Distinctive Dummies Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy nominee

 The first thing to note of this figure is it’s terrific resemblance to Boris in his role as Fu Manchu.  Compare the figure above to this image of Karloff as Dr. Fu Manchu that I found for sale on Amazon:

While I would like to have this figure with the infamous doctor’s smile on his face, I can’t find any real flaws in the sculpt.

Product Details:

  • Limited Edition:  100
  • 8″ Mego-style Figure
  • Individually had painted
  • Type S Bandless Body
  • Sculptor: Steve Thompson
  • Box art: Robert Aragon

The Boris Karloff Collection from Distinctive Dummies

This Fu Manchu figure is the third figure in the Boris Karloff series, which also includes:Distinctive Dummies Boris Karloff Series Fu Manchu, The Black Cat & The Raven

Here’s the company’s promo video with some fun clips from all these great Karloff films:

As of this writing, both the Black Cat and The Raven figures are still available at DistinctiveDummies.net 

About Distinctive Dummies

Distinctive Dummies creates numbered Limited Edition, retro styled 8″ inch action figures in the retro Mego-style.  The Mego Corporation was a toy company that dominated the action figure toy market during most of the 1970s. Responsible for such great 8″ Action Figures as The Mad Monsters, World Greatest Superheroes, Wizard of Oz and Planet of the Apes to name a few.  Distinctive Dummies also has a line of 12 inch figures.

 

Distinctive Dummies Facebook Page

About Mego

Distinctive Dummies makes Mego-style figures and, just in case anyone reading this is unfamiliar with Mego or the Mego style figure, it’s time to do your homework.  The first and last stop for all-things-Mego on the web is the site Megomuseum.com  — here’s a link to their post on the Boris Karloff as Fu Manchu figure.

The Mego Museum Facebook page is a great place to keep up on ‘real’ Mego figures as well as companies releasing new retro-style figures in the Mego tradition.

Where to Buy Distinctive Dummies Karloff Fu Manchu Figure

DistinctiveDummies.net

currently has all three figures available on their site for $80.

eBay

Current auctions for this toy on eBay


Summary

I’ve never really considered Fu Manchu movies to be in the horror genre, so I’m glad this one didn’t win the Best Toy/Model/Collectible category in this year’s Rondo Awards.  All three of the other figures in this collection from Distinctive Dummies are from truly classic horror films, and I could see myself voting for the Morgan figure in next year’s awards given the high quality and terrific likeness to Karloff that the previous three figures have had.

I grew up with Mego and they remain some of my favorite toys ever.  I’m glad to see so much activity from current companies making retro style figures in the Mego-style.  While these are clearly collectibles and not toys (I’m not giving my 8 year old son an $80 action figure anyway), the deep genre focus of these limited edition items are great for collectors of classic monsters.

Keep up the great work Distinctive Dummies and we’ll keep buying!

 

 

Classic Movie Posters Gallery – Dracula’s Daughter

Classic Movie Poster Gallery

Welcome to my new series focused on collecting vintage movie posters. Film posters are one of the most interesting collectible category to me personally as they are truly works of pop art and, in many cases, better than the films themselves!

Every week, I’ll feature a classic movie poster from a vintage horror, retro science fiction or classic fantasy movie. You’ll see the most iconic posters as well as the forgotten and bizarre from throughout the history of movies.


 

So without further ado, I give you Dracula’s Daughter (click to image enlarge)

Dracula's Daughter RealArt One Sheet 1949
Dracula’s Daughter (Realart, R-1949). One Sheet (27″ X 41″).

Gloria Holden “Gives you that weird feeling,” as she peers out hungrily from behind the blood and bat laden title on this fabulous one sheet.  This is the one sheet for the 1949 re-release of this classic picture and it has an over-the-top pop art sensibility that appeals to the comic book fan in me.  Plus, what’s not to love about the tag line, “She gives you that Weird Feeling.”  I can just imagine the 13 year boys in 1949 seeing this poster and having all kind of weird feelings, which is pretty much the only kind of feelings 13 year olds have.

Dracula’s Daughter was released this week in 1936 and is a direct sequel to Browning’s Dracula.  The success of Bride of Frankenstein led Universal to green light this sequel and, while not as well known as other classic monster equals, is a favorite of mine.


I Found a framed giclee print  for $9.95 @ Etsy

 

X-Plus War of Gargantuas Vinyl Figures – Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category

Collecting the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category – Part 6

X-Plus War of Gargantuas Vinyl Figures

I continue my series profiling each of the 2015 Rondo Awards nominees for Best Toy/Model/Collectible category with the X-Plus set of vinyl figures from Toho’s 1966 kaiju classic, War of the Gargantuas.

X-Plus War of Gargantuas Vinyl Figures - Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category
PHOTO: JOHN STANOWSKI / KAIJU ADDICTS

 

NOTE: I recently wrote a Monster Kid Memories piece about the impact War of the Gargantuas had on me as a formative Monster Kid when my 5-year-old self tried (unsuccessfully) to watch this movie after convincing my parents to let me stay up late to watch it on TV.   This event was extremely influential in my life-long passion for monsters of the movies.  While I don’t consider this one of my favorite monster, or even kaiju, movies, it certainly is one of the most influential.  If you’re interested, you can read this post by clicking here.

The purpose of this series is two-fold:

  1. review the nominees for Best Toy, Model, Collectible category in the 201 5 Rondo Awards
  2. provide current availability and pricing

I’m not an expert on vinyl figures.  I’m intrigued by them and have been tempted for years to dabble though the price points have kept me at bay so far.  To date, I’ve continued to focus my limited collecting budget on vintage collectibles but if there is a category that could pull me into modern collectibles (other than comics) it is these high-quality, realistic Japanese vinyl figures from companies like X-Plus.

X-Plus, the company behind these amazing figures, specializes in highly detailed soft vinyl figures from the Godzilla, Gamera and Ultraman franchises as well as other Japanese anime and fantasy films.

Product Details

  • MSRP:  $170.00 (sold out at retail)
  • PX Previews Exclusive” on front of package
  • 2014 Diamond release re-issue
  • Material: Soft Vinyl
  • Series:  TOHO 30CM
  • Sanda 12″, Gaira 10.5″

Vinyl figure collectors are a passionate lot, especially kaiju vinyl figure collectors.  Given my lack of expertise in this category, I’m going to defer to two of the more passionate collectors in this field.

First up is this comprehensive video review by Richard Eso from his Fresh Vinyl channel on YouTube:

 

Next, I highly recommend you click the link below and head over to kaijuaddicts.com to read John Stanowski’s review of this figure set.  John is the voice behind Kaijuaddicts.com, which is a gold-mine of information for anyone interested in learning more about X-Plus, vinyl kaiju figures and collecting vinyl in general.  If you’re like me, after you read this review you’ll want to bookmark this site and spend some more time on it–ALOT more time in my case as I’ve found this to be a very informative and readable blog for kaiju vinyl collectors.

Full review over at Kaijuaddicts.com


Where to Find the X-Plus War of Gargantuas Vinyl Figures

In short, good luck!

Both of the reviewers above made it clear that collecting vinyl figures means pre-ordering from Previews or through your local Diamond retailer or face the immediate mark up of the reseller marketplace.

Since the standard process is to pre-order these figures, it’s not surprising that my research didn’t find any in stock at the usual sites.  It appears that another release is in the works, but X-Plus and Diamond have not yet provided specific details on the date.  Since this is a fairly new release, I would expect individual items to begin show up on auction sites and in dedicated collector marketplaces from time to time, but given the passion of X-Plus collectors and the desirability of these particular figures, expect to pay a handsome markup if you are lucky enough to find these guys for sale.

Summary

I’ve learned a lot about soft vinyl figures and X-Plus in writing this post and my interest is piqued.

I’m definitely going to keep an eye out on upcoming releases and pre-order through my local comic shop if something catches my eye — for example, X-Plus just released a gorgeous diecast model of the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea which I would LOVE to have since that is one of my all-time-favorite movies.  Just released in January 2015, t’s selling for $350 on Amazon and over $500 on Amazon

I can certainly see why any vinyl kaiju or X-Plus collector would want to have these figures in their collection.  Not only is War of the Gargantuas one of the best non-Godzilla kaiju films from the 1960s (my opinion) but these figures just look great.  I understand some of the issues with the paint jobs, but as a collector of vintage monster toys, I’m in awe of the realism and detail of these guys and X-Plus figures in general.  The paint jobs certainly are minor in my opinion

I’d love to have these Gargantua figures in my collection thought I doubt I’ll be shelling out $500 or more for them in the near future.

That Nautilus model on Amazon at $350, however…..

 

 

Frankenstein Hallmark Ornament – Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category

Collecting the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category – Part 5

2015-Rondo-Classic-Horror-Awards

Frankenstein Christmas Ornament by Hallmark

Happy Frankenstein Friday all you Classic Monster Collectors!  This is the fifth installment in my review of the 2015 Rondo Awards Best Toy / Model / Collectible category nominees.

Today, we’ll take  a look at a rather curious item, the Frankenstein’s Monster Christmas Ornament from Hallmark.

Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Hallmark Frankenstein Ornament

 

What makes today’s nominee curious is simply the combination of the character, the Frankenstein Monster, with the product category, a Christmas ornament.

In previous installments of this series, we’ve reviewed the 2015 winner, the Creature action figure, as well as some beautiful (but expensive) maquettes for Lily Munster and Forry Ackerman.  Action figures and maquettes are highly collectible and I have a good deal of experience in both of these categories.

When it came time to prepare for this article, however, I was left staring at the page simply because collecting Christmas ornaments is outside my range of experience.  Who is the collector of this type of figure.  A Frankenstein completist would certainly want this.  I can even see a Universal Monsters collector having this.  But what about Christmas ornament collectors? Do people specifically collect character ornaments?  Do these items appreciate in value?  In my experience, I’ve learned that there are collectors for just about everything ever made, so

My family celebrates Christmas with gusto. My wife and kids and I love the annual tradition of selecting our white pine and decorating it with the multitude of ornaments we’ve collected over the years.  You heard right, ornaments we’ve collected.  Growing up, my siblings and I always got a Christmas ornament for Christmas.

At some point, probably the early 1980s, these ornaments became pop culture characters and were dated with the year.  I have a Darth Vader, X-Wing Fighter, Incredible Hulk and many others that represent whatever I was interested in at the time.  While we don’t display these ornaments year-round like I do other collectibles, these ornaments are an important part of our annual holiday tradition.  Each Christmas, I unpack and hang these ornaments from my youth with my children.  Many of these ornaments are  stored in their original boxes with date marked on them.

Without even realizing it, I am a Christmas ornament collector.

Specs

  • MSRP $14.95
  • 2.23″ W x 4.76″ H x 2.28″ D

Here’s a great video review of the 2014 “Hallmark Horror” Collection from Cannibal Reviews.  The Frankenstein ornament is reviewed first, but it’s worth watching the whole video as the other ornaments are of interest to classic monster collectors as well:


Clearly Hallmark is targeting the collector market by dating each of their ornaments and encouraging a “gotta have this year’s” mentality.  Because these items are limited in their production, they may actually see some appreciation over time.

My research for the “Where to buy’ section below already reflects the reseller inflation on sites like eBay where this item is listed in the $25 range.  Given that this is a seasonal item and was released just last year, however, means there are plenty of these on clearance this time of year.  I found it for 50% of MSRP on Hallmarks’ website (link included below) and plenty of deals to be found on ebay and Amazon (links below).

One of the most attractive aspects of this item is the combination of the high-quality sculpt and paint with a very budget-friendly price point.  This would look great as part of a larger Frankenstein -themed collection, but I’m also intrigued with the idea of a shelf of genre character ornaments as it’s own sub-category of my broader collection given the quality and range of Hallmark’s offerings.  I’ll be keeping an eye out for their 2015 holiday collection and be sure to update you on any items of interest to classic monster collectors!


Where to Find the Frankenstein Ornament by Hallmark

eBay

Currrent eBay listings for Hallmark Frankenstein Ornament

Amazon

Hallmark 2014 Frankenstein’s Monster Ornament

Hallmark

On sale for $7.47

Summary

In the process of writing this review, I learned a few things:

  1. Without even knowing it, I am a Christmas ornament collector.
  2. Just because an item is sold as a Christmas ornament, doesn’t mean it has to be packed away in storage 11 months out of the year.
  3. Hallmark is creating a genre-fan’s smorgasbord of ornaments worth the attention of classic monster collectors.

I think we might start a new tradition this Halloween — a Halloween tree complete with monster and character ornaments!  At first, I thought this was going to be a very short profile of this item because I didn’t really know what I was going to write.  That’s the beauty of writing – and collecting — you never know what you’ve been missing and, if you’re open to it, you just might stumble on to  a new favorite.

Love to hear from you guys out there — are ornaments part of your classic monster collection?  How do you display them?