Category Archives: Collector Resources

Collecting Monsters @ San Diego Comic-Con 2017

Finding Monsters Amidst the Mayhem

San Diego Comic-Con 2017

 

Obviously, San Diego Comic-Con has a much broader pop culture and  entertainment focus than Monster Bash or Monsterpalooza, so seeking out new and interesting classic monster, retro Sci-Fi and vintage fantasy film memorabilia takes a bit of effort. Well, your roving reporter with an eye for magnificent –and not-so-magnificent — Imagi-movie memorabilia was on the job!

San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC) is unlike almost every other Comic-Con in that it is, first and foremost, a Hollywood marketing event. It’s focus is on the blockbuster film franchises and licensed product associated with the big brands in entertainment.  There remains a small resilient group of vendors selling vintage product, including **gasp** comic books, but most of the real estate is dominated by big pop culture brand names such as Hasbro, DC, Marvel and such.

In spite of that, I found quite a bit to interest us Monster Kids and collectors of classic genre film memorabilia.  Read on and see if you agree with assessment from the world’s largest gathering of geek culture….

Entertainment Earth

I’m a big fan of the folks at EE, and have partnered with them to promote their exclusive monster kid merchandise in the past.  The were kind enough to take me on a tour of their current product offering and we’re working on some fun exclusives down the line.  Here are the highlights from my visit:

Twilight Zone Action Figures

The Twilight Zone 3 3/4 inch Action Figures by BiffBangPow are black and white works of art. I love the Kenner-esque simplicity of their design. And yet, unlike those wonderful early Kenner figures, the characters are instantly recognizable with quality face sculpts. My favorite are the Dummie Jerry and Willie if for no other reason than it’s one of my all-time favorite episodes.

Prices on these figures range from $9.99 to $11.99 and are in-stock at Entertainment Earth should you want to add these to your collection.

KISS Dynasty Action Figures

Another 3 3/4 action figure line by BiffBangPow is the KISS collection. While some might argue that a rock band falls outside the purview of this website, any 1970s Monster Kid would beg to differ. KISS was the soundtrack to many of our childhoods and their kabuki mask/super hero/monster make-up personas fit right into our Monster Kid lifestyle Each set features the iconic rock band in costumes from specific tours.  The 1979 Dynasty tour is pictured above. EE also offered convention-exclusives:

Ghoulsville by Retro-a-Go-Go

Ghoulsville Retro-a-go-go

One of the most refreshing modern/vintage combinations is the revival of the classic Ben Cooper Halloween brand. Through licensing deals, like the giant handcrafted vacuum mold masks that debuted for Halloween 2016 by the cool retro-design RetroaGoGo.com.

I was thrilled to see Retro-a-Go-Go with a booth at SDCC this year, entirely focused on their monster products! They debuted Series 2 of their Ben Cooper Vintage Halloween Mask Line, including this super cool glow-in-the-dark Graveyard Ghost:

Grave Digger Retro-a-go-go

I was also blown away by the great prints featuring our favorite monsters like this one, titled “Monster-Rama” by artist P’gosh who also designed the blow-mold masks above. Prints available soon at Pgosh.com

Monster-rama Poster Ghoulsville

I did quite a bit of social posting while on the floor at Comic-con and the item that had the most responses was this awesome T-Shirt, also available online at Retroagogo.com:

Monster Freak T-shirt Retro-a-go-go

One of my favorite collections from the entire Con, is this new set of enamel pins based off the Ben Cooper mask collection. They come in their own tiny little display boxes and I added the whole set to my personal collection! They were selling like hotcakes at Comic-Con so I’d be surprised if they didn’t see out.  But keep an eye out for them to appear soon on their website retroagogo.com

Ben Cooper Monster Enamel Pins

Famous Monsters of Filmland

In stark contrast to the wonderful, nostalgic fun of Retro-a-Go-Go, the Famous Monsters booth was depressing.  You might know that one of my most cherished collections is my first-run FMoF magazine collection. Like so many of you, Uncle Forry had a lifelong impact on me.  While part of me is glad the brand still exists, it makes me sad to see how lacking in imagination its product offering is.  Everything they do feels like a minimal-effort money-grab, and it’s a shame.  Their Comic-Con exclusive vinyl figures were flat out awful, and were really just color variants of figures available at the manufacturers booth right down the show floor:

Famous Monsters Vinyl Figures SDCC 2017

Fortunately, they still know where their bread is buttered, and classic Famous Monsters cover art and Captain Company designs are still to be found in their product offering. Nothing new here, but reliable and always worth my money:

Famous Monsters Pinbacks SDCC

Famous Monsters cover lithograph SDCC

Sideshow Collectibles

On the upper-end of collectibles, Sideshow never fails to impress with their stunning sculpts and I was glad to see some true Monster Kid fare among this year’s premiers.

Vamperella Sideshow Maquette

Vampirella Sideshow Maquette

This Vampirella statue is 10 inches tall and really captures the spirit of this iconic Warren character. She is available now for pre-order on Sideshow’s website and is expected to ship Summer 2018.

Sideshow Swamp Thing

Always great to see the Swamp Thing in any form and this massive maquette is awesome! No info on when this guy will be available for pre-order, but I was really impressed with the sculpt on this 16? inch statue! More details on Sideshow’s website.

X-Plus Gigantic Series

X-Plus Gigantics Godzilla

X-Plus Gigantics Kaiju

Vinyl kanji collecting is a very specialized sort of classic monster collecting, and one where I am certainly no expert.  I do know that X-Plus has designed some amazing figures over the years, but I don’t think they have ever released a line-up as fantastic as their Gigantic Series.  These figures are impeccably designed and reflect the different manifestations of Godzilla and his pals through the years.  These also fall into the ‘really expensive stuff’ category with prices in the $400-500 range per figure.  My favorite is the Godzilla figure from King King vs Godzilla that is available for pre-order and ships in Spring 2018.

McFarlane Toys

Mcfarlane Stranger Things Action Figures

The breakout hit for Netflix in 2016, Stranger Things is a new favorite of mine and taps the 1980s kids vs the world ethos that I grew up loving.  As usual Todd McFarlane gives us highly detailed sculpts on his 7 inch articulated action figure line debuting fall 2017.

A-Box

Facehugger SDCC

While pop culture subscription boxes are everywhere these days and usually excite me less than a re-run of the Brady Bunch, this Alien Covenant mystery box from A Box really grabbed me…  or at least the life-size replica face hugger did!

________________________________________________________________________

Not a bad showing for us Monster Kids at San Diego Comic-Con 2017. Stay tuned as your intrepid roving reporter continues to report on classic monster, retro Sci-Fi and vintage fantasy film memorabilia for all you Monster Kids and collectors!

(News) Announcing New Ongoing Column in SCARY MONSTERS Magazine

Collecting Classic Monsters Partners with SCARY MONSTERS Magazine

Scary Monsters Magazine

I started CollectingClassicMonsters.com because I was frustrated with my experience trying to research details on items I collected.  Information was scattered all over the internet and print resources were often outdated.  I have always envisioned creating a central hub for collectors of classic monster, retro Sci-Fi and vintage fantasy film memorabilia; a ‘digital clubhouse’ if you will.  A place where collectors could find well researched and detailed profiles of collectible items — both vintage and modern.  Though this isn’t my ‘day job,’ the response I’ve received from collectors and Monster Kids encourages me to continue pushing my “labor of love” forward.

With that in mind, I’ve partnered with Scary Monsters magazine to create a new ongoing column that extends the Collecting Classic Monsters mission into the print medium.  We announced this new column in issue 105 of Scary Monsters with a really nice conversation I had with Don Smeraldi, the new co-publisher of Scary Monsters magazineIf you haven’t already, I encourage you to pick up a copy and read more about my Monster Kid origin story:

Scary Monsters Interview 105

While this interview focuses more on why I started CCM, we also announced the new ongoing Collecting Classic Monsters column will begin in Scary Monsters #106, which is scheduled for publication  this fall. It is our combined intention for this column to be part of every issue going forward.

According to Publishers Don and Vicki Smeraldi:

Being a Monster Kid is a lifestyle and collecting is such a big part of being a Monster Kid for so many.  It’s our goal to elevate Scary Monsters to be everyone’s favorite classic monster magazine out there.  We want to spark (and in some cases re-ignite) a contagious enthusiasm for all the classic creature features from the days of our “TV-rabbit-ear” youth and spur involvement from the entire classic monster kid community.

Well said! I am excited about this expansion of Collecting Classic Monsters into print and I intend the columns to be consistent with the  format to the website.  I’ll strive to keep the column fresh and informative and always interesting.  While always focused on collecting and collectibles, I’ll feature interviews with collectors, in-depth profiles on collectibles both vintage and modern, and share my unbridled Monster Kid enthusiasm for all things classic monsters.

I hope you’ll consider subscribing to Scary Monsters and supporting Don and Vicki’s efforts. It’s not an easy time to be  print magazine publisher and every back issue you order or magazine copy you purchase at the newsstand goes a long way to help, but those subscriptions make the biggest impact.

Scary Monsters 105 Blood Relatives
Catch my interview in Scary Monsters #105 available now

Visit their online store MyMovieMonsters.com to order your copy and see what other ghoulish goodies you can add to your collection!

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(Book Review) Aurora Model Kits by Thomas Graham

The Most Useful Reference Guide to AURORA MODEL KITS Gets Useful Update

Aurora Model Kits by Thomas Graham

Aurora Model Kits with Polar Lights, Moebius, Atlantis 3rd Edition by Thomas Graham (Schiffer Publishing, 2017)

Perhaps no company or toy line better defines 1960s and 70s Monster Kid culture than the beloved Aurora Plastics Company monster model kits.  Launched in 1963 with the iconic Frankenstein Monster, Aurora quickly added  Dracula and The Wolf Man. 

Aurora Frankenstein Model

The company had a hit on their hands with the original trio and quickly expanded to include a full line of iconic Universal Monsters, Toho creatures and more.  For the next 20 years, fantastic creatures of film and TV appeared to feed the ravenous appetites of Monster Kids.  Today, the Aurora monster model kits sit beside Famous Monsters of Filmland and Shock Theater as the matches that set fire to many a lifelong love, some would say obsession, with classic monsters.  The gorgeous painted box art by James Bama evoke the glorious cover art of Famous Monsters of Filmland and is a strong contributor to collectibility of these model kits to this day.

For many collectors of classic monster memorabilia, the Aurora model kits are holy grails.  Thomas Graham‘s reference book has been a valued resource for collectors since it’s first publication in 2005.  The 3rd edition, published in May 2017 provides an additional 15 pages more than the previous editions and more comprehensive coverage of the model companies that followed Aurora, including Polar Lights, Atlantis and Moebius. Executives from these companies explain how they have added to the list of revived Aurora models, with information on reissues and current collectors’ market values.

Aurora Model Kits History

(click on image to see larger version)

Over 500 color photographs enhance this comprehensive history and guide to Aurora models, now updated to include new companies continuing the Aurora tradition. Aurora executives, sculptors, artists, and engineers who created the models tell the story in their own words. Every model Aurora made is described in detail.
Aurora Model Kits Book Contents Page

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Aurora Model Kits 3rd Edition Interior Spread

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Collector Resource

While we focus on the iconic monster models on this site, it’s important to note this is a book about all the products from Aurora and the companies that followed.  To that end, this book provides excellent coverage of all the model categories including other licensed characters figures from Film and TV, dinosaurs, aircraft, auto, military and more. Importantly for collectors, Graham provides a comprehensive directory of every model with details to help you determine the precise version for your collection.

Aurora Model Kit Directory

(click on images to see larger versions)

The Directory includes In-depth information on every model kit:

  • original release dates
  • factory number
  • box art description and versions
  • reissue details
  • approximate current value

If you’re a serious collector of monster model kits, or just love these kits and want to know more about their history, I highly recommend this book.  I’ve owned the 2nd edition for several years and the 3rd edition update is an important expansion that I am finding quite helpful in understanding the reissue versions from Polar Lights, Moebius and Atlantis, which I often find confusing.

In addition, the updated pricing valuation is useful.  Really a limitation of price guides because valuations are fluid and change with the latest auction price, Graham’s research is helpful in setting a benchmark for what a collector can reasonably expect to pay, or price to sell, a specific model kit for.  A  general rule of collecting is that an item is worth what a buyer will pay for it.  Regardless, I find having a benchmark for valuation a useful reference point when considering purchases and the research Graham has done is quite helpful for collectors.

Where to Purchase:

Aurora Model Kits with Polar Lights, Moebius, Atlantis 3rd Edition by Thomas Graham is available now. Retail Price is $29.99 but can be found for less online.  Click the image below to  order on Amazon:

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2016 Rondo Awards Ballot Recommendations

Cast Your Vote in the 2016 Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards

Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards

For the past 15 years, The Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards has honored those who strive to keep the genre of Classic Horror vibrant via research, creativity and film preservation. Truly the Oscar, the Emmy and the State Fair Blue Ribbon, the ‘Rondos’ is essential  for us Monster Kids! The Rondo Awards ballot is an essential way for fans to support their classic horror fandom.
I’ve voted in the Rondos for years, and find that, every year, the ballot is a source of discovering new films, books, podcasts and websites.  The ballot is a bounty of high caliber monster kid media and I encourage you to visit the Rondo Award website to give it a thorough read and see what new gems you discover!

Friends of Collecting Classic Monsters on this year’s ballot:

Supporting creators that you discover via the Rondo ballot is a worthy endeavor,  but voting in the Rondos is also important.
All of  the artists, writers, film makers and creators who keep the genre alive and vibrant are doing this from a love of the genre. Let’s face it, no one is getting rich in the classic horror genre!
To that end, I’m recommending the following “friends of CCM” for your consideration as you cast your Rondo ballot this year:

Category 8.  Best Independent Film:

 WERESQUITO: NAZI HUNTER by Christopher R Mihm
Christopher R Mihm is a Minnesota-based independent film maker with the noteworthy accomplishment of releasing 11 films in 11 years (with his 12th scheduled to release later in 2017). That is a remarkable achievement in it’s own right, but even more important, his films are all loving homages to 1950s and 60s drive-in genre cinema all set within the shared ‘Mihmiverse.” His 2016 film, Weresquito: Nazi Hunter” is a slightly darker film than many of his predecessors, and feels more late-60s than many of his previous light-hearted Sci-Fi / Horror romps like The Giant Spider (a personal favorite of mine) or his first film, The Monster of Phantom Lake.  I highly recommend all Monster Kids watch his films and vote for his latest as Best Independent Film.

Category 10.  Best Documentary:

 KONG: LONG LIVE THE KING by Frank Dietz and Trish Geiger
Frank Dietz and Trish Geiger are the driving force behind Benevolent Monsters Productions whose previous team-up was  BEAST WISHES, about Bob and Kathy Burns.  This time, the pair give us a loving tribute to the original movie monster, King Kong, through the stories of fellow Monster Kids. The film is currently making the film festival rounds and I was fortunate enough to view it earlier this year.  An easy choice for Best Documentary in this year’s Rondos.

Category 13.  BEST ARTICLE:

Rondao Award 2016 Best Article David Weiner
“The Great American Werewolf Reunion” by David Weiner in
David Weiner was the last editor of the most important monster magazine of them all, Famous Monsters of Filmland, and he did a stellar job.  Until David took over the editorial helm of FM 3.0, I found the writing inconsistent and frequently missing the tone of the magazine I loved so much.  With David’s writing and overall editorial leadership, the magazine regained my interest and again captured my subscription support.  As a true Monster Kid, it was always evident that David was ‘one of us’ and his deft balance of classic and contemporary genre filmdom made the magazine appeal to me as a life-long reader as well as a fan of modern genre films.
His article on the making of American Werewolf in London is an excellent example of his journalistic ability blended with his fandom.  It’s unfortunate that the publisher canceled the magazine just as David had established this balance of  readability, tone and  content. David deserves your vote.

Category 16:  Best Magazine Cover:

Famous Monsters 286 Rick Baker Artist

Famous Monsters of Filmland #284                                                             American Werewolf in London                                                                         Artist: Rick Baker

This painted cover by the one-and-only Rick Baker of his legendary SFX creation is one for the ages and, in my opinion, stands alongside the classic Warren era covers by Gogos and crew. Simply awesome!

Category 18.  Best Multi-Media Site:

Rondo Award Best Podcast Monster Kid Radio
MONSTER KID RADIO podcast by Derek M Koch
​​​​​​​If you read this website, then I assume you listen to this podcast.  I you don’t then I highly encourage you to stop reading this and subscribe immediately.  For over 300 episodes, Derek and an expansive rotation of guests have discussed a classic – and sometimes not-so-classic –  genre films from the silent film era up to the 1970s.  I have listened to every episode and I can honestly say that I anticipate the new episode of Monster Kid Radio as a highlight of my week every week!
Not only should you vote for Derek in this category but you should subscribe and listen to his podcast; I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Category 17.  Best Website:

Collecting Classic Monsters

Website: Collecting Classic Monsters                                                                       Publisher: George McGowan

Yup! We are nominated for Best Website! It’s our first Rondo nomination and it is a HUGE honor! But you know what would be an even bigger honor than being nominated? WINNING!  There are a lot of GREAT blogs and websites nominated in this category, many of which I read weekly and urge you to support).

That said, I believe that the quality of this website stands up against any of them and my passion for these iconic movies, characters and collectibles is always at the forefront of my efforts.  If you agree, then I would appreciate your vote on the Rondo ballot!

Sorry if this is self-serving, but it is my website after all and, if I don’t ask for your vote, then I don’t stand a chance of winning.  This category includes some big media heavyweights so it’s a long shot….but you can help!

Category 29.  The Monster Kid Hall of Fame:

The is a write-in category and you can include up to 6 people on your ballot.  In 2016, we lost Vince Rotolo, founder of the B Movie Cast podcast and a true pioneer in terms of bringing focus on classic genre films to new media.  His podcast continues in his absence and inducting Vince into the Monster Kid Hall of Fame is a great way to honor his innovation and contributions through the years.

How to Vote

The easiest to vote is to copy-and-paste the ballot from Rondoaward.com  into an e-mail, mark your choices and send your picks to David Colton, at taraco@aol.com by Sunday night at midnight, April 16, 2017 (that’s this coming Sunday, folks!)

  • You do not have to vote in every category. Vote for all or a few.
  • One vote per person, please. Every e-mail must include your name to be counted.  All votes are kept strictly confidential.
  • Feel free to spread the word about the Rondo on social media.
  • But please do not mass-produce ballots; suspicious ballots will be rejected at the sole discretion of Rondo organizers. Let’s keep this a fun vote!

Please take 5 minutes this week and vote in this year’s Rondos.  To vote, email taraco@aol.com and let me know what discoveries you make on this year’s ballot!

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(News) We’re Nominated for Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards

Collecting Classic Monsters Nominated for    Best Blog & Website of 2016

Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards

For the past 15 years, the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards have honored the best in classic horror research, creativity and film preservation.  The awards are the brainchild of David Colton, founder of the Classic Horror Film Board, and the spectacular sculpt of the iconic actor Rondo Hatton is by legendary artist Kerry Gammill.  

I have voted in the Rondos for years and I was completely shocked to see this little work of passion of mine nominated for the Best Website/Blog category this year — I don’t even know who nominated us, but I am so grateful.  I found out about our nomination as I was reviewing the ballot over the weekend!  It isn’t an exaggeration to say that I shouted in surprise when I saw our website included among the very best of the web! What an honor!

See the full ballot here.

What are the Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards?

Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards

Rondo Awards founder, David Colton, explains it best in a recent interview on Dr Gangrene’s Mad Mad Mad Blog:

The Rondo Awards are an effort to honor and recognize those people and projects that keep the classic horror genre alive and vibrant. It is not so much about ‘favorite actor’ or ‘favorite monster’ but about the latest scholarship in books and magazines, the fun and creativity in writing, art, music, special events and horror hosts like yourself, and in the efforts to preserve the classic films.

Every vote is our attempt to thank and recognize all the creative people — fans and pros alike — who work so hard, often without any pay at all — to keep the classic monster genre young and vital.

Classic Horror Film Board 2016 Rondo Award Ballot

Who Can Vote?

Short answer: everyone! To cast your vote in this year’s Rondo Awards, simply copy and paste the ballot into an email and send it to David Colton at taraco@aol.com by 12AM Midnight, April 16, 2017.

You aren’t required to vote in every category to participate so vote for what you know and love!  To view the official ballot of the 15th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards, click here.

It’s truly an honor to be nominated, but it would  fantastic to win too! I’ll stop short of groveling, but I would really appreciate your vote and spreading the word about our nomination.  We are in a very competitive category with a lot of great websites and blogs, so every vote helps.  Regardless of who you vote for, we hope you will take the time to cast your vote and spread the word.

Cast your vote for the 15th Annual Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards! 

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(Video) Mark Hamill’s Pop Culture Quest Trailer

Less Than One Week Until This Geek Collector Series Premieres!

Contrary to public perception, collecting is a social sport.  One of the most enjoyable aspects of being a collector is being part of the larger collector community.  Thanks to social media, the proliferation of collector events and comic-cons, collectors have an abundance of options to commune over every collectible imaginable.  It’s always a treat to see pictures of other collectors’ stuff – from new finds to creative displays.  Now, we have our own TV series hosted by Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill.

Turns out Mark is a collector himself and his new series will feature him visiting some majorly impressive collectors as well as taking us behind the scenes of some of our favorite pop culture creators.  The show is called Mark Hamill’s Pop Culture Quest and if debuts on November 15 on Comic-ConHQ, the streaming service owned by San Diego Comic Con.

Yep — you saw that right, Mark is going to take us for a tour of Bob’s basement with the one-and-only Bob Burns! The series’ Executive Producer and vintage monster toy collector Scott Kinney assured me that there are LOTS of monster goodies in this first season.

You have to subscribe to watch the show, but it’s free for 30 days, so binge the first season and then you decide if you want to keep the subscription.  You can subscribe at Comic-ConHQ.com

 

(Video) Monsterama Episode 22 – Alien Movie Props

Alien Movie Props in The Bob Burns Collection

Original Alien Face Hugger Puppet

We wrap up the Monsterama series with a monster movie that is near and dear to me.  On the heals of Star Wars, I was space crazy like most other pre-teen kids of the late 1970s.  But I had never lost my love for monster movies.  Famous Monsters of Filmland had effectively (to younger readers) folded the Star Wars generation into their world of classic monsters to stay relevant but also because George Lucas was himself a monster kid who had grown up under the  influence of Uncle Forry and crew.   Then, in 1979, the perfect merger of sci-fi and monster movies arrived to scare all of us Star Wars fans out of our seats.

My parent’s dropped my younger brother and I off at the theater and bought us tickets, giving permission for us to see Alien.  It was terrifying.  I was twelve and it was one of the first monster movies I had ever seen on the big screen.  It was also the first R rated movie I had ever seen.

Needless to say, Alien had a huge impact on this monster kid and I take great pleasure in knowing that so many of the original props used in this terrifying monster in space movie are in the possession of the one and only Bob Burns.  This episode of Monsterama takes us back inside his collection for a closer look at his amazing collection of movie memorabilia from the Alien franchise.

Enjoy:

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(Video) Monsterama Episode 21: Ape-Mania

FX Artist’s Tribute to the Planet of the Apes

Brian Penikas and Ape-Mania Staff

Brian Penikas is a talented practical effects artist best known for his design of the Creeper in Jeepers Creepers.  Like many modern make-up artists in Hollywood, Penikas fell in love with practical effects thanks to the magical work of his predecessors.  For Brian, it was John Chambers‘ brilliant work for the original Planet of the Apes films  that set Brian on his career path.

This episode takes a look at Ape Mania, Brian’s tribute company that honors the work of John Chambers and the seminal science fiction franchise, The Planet of the Apes.  Since 1996, Brian and his crew have been making film-quality PoTA replica props, masks and memorabilia as well s appearances at events.

Planet of the Apes was one of my formative Monster Kid events as a youngster and it’s great to see professionals honoring their own influences and keeping us modern monster kids well stocked with museum-quality collectibles.

Watch the episode here:

Ape Mania Collectibles

Apemania.com is still the place to go to see their officially licensed merchandise.  The site hasn’t been updated in quite a while and many of the products are quoted price, but it’s well worth a visit to check out the full line of products as well as a great link resource page for other Ape-related websites.

Ape-Mania resin kits

Ape Mania’s line of resin kits are available in three styles:

  • Unpainted $135
  • Bronze finish $159
  • Signature Series Fully Painted & Detailed by Ape Mania artists $275
  • Available at Apemania.com

Lawgiver Statue Replica Bust by Ape-Mania

Lawgiver Bust

Latex masks: Check out this thread dedicated to Ape Mania masks at The Halloween Mask Association.

Anyone have Ape Mania products in their collection? We’d love to see some pics! Share them on our Facebook page or Tweet them to us and we’ll feature them here in a future post.

 

Get Our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

 Our Favorite Modern Collectibles of Classic Monsters

Sample page from the 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

We live in a wonderful time for genre fans and collectors.   Our fellow monster kids have created companies who specialize in modern collectibles of classic movie and TV characters that are great to collect in their own right.   We also know not every monster kid or collector has the time or inclination to spend big bucks on the beloved monster and sci-fi toys, magazines and movie posters of our youth.

As a collector, I try to balance vintage with modern memorabilia and I take the same approach here on Collecting Classic Monsters.  Anyone who has been with us for awhile knows we love to talk about vintage collectibles and memorabilia here on CCM, but we also make a concerted effort to not get stuck in the past.

With that in mind, we created our inaugural holiday gift guide as a resource for our fellow collectors and fans of classic monsters.  We spent a lot of time putting this together and curating some of our favorite monster kid stuff – from vinyl kaiju figures to classic sci-fi model  kits as well as must-have books, magazines and DVDs that classic monster fans need to have in their library.

Through the wonders of digital publishing, we were also able to embed hot links for each and every item in our gift guide.  That means, if you see something you can no longer live without, you can simply click on the link within the gift guide and wind up at the website where you can order it.  All the images are clickable links too!

Here’s a sample of the what’s inside the gift guide:

Live Link Example from our Holiday Gift Guide

Our goal is to curate some of the coolest collectibles out there and then make it really easy for you to add them to your collection.

We had a ton of fun designing this guide and made it a tribute to those wonderful mail order ads in the back of our favorite classic monster magazines or yesteryear.  Modern-day monster collectibles presented in a guide that looks like those old Captain Co. ads from  of Famous Monsters.  T’s exactly that balance  we are aiming for here at CCM.

Our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide is entirely free for our readers.  All we  ask is that you subscribe to our weekly newsletter in return.  It’s our gift to you for making our first year a great one!

If you’re already a newsletter subscriber, you still need to enter the email address you’d like us to send the holiday gift guide to.  Sorry to ask you to do this extra step, but those spam filters out there don’t like us sending emails with attachments so this helps us get the gift guide to everyone who wants it and no one who doesn’t.

Get Your Holiday Gift Guide

(Video) Monsterama Episode 19: Basil Gogos Artwork

Basil Gogos is THE Artist for Generations of Monster Kids

Basil Gogos Artwork and Artist

Like a bizarro-world Norman Rockwell, Basil Gogos artwork changed the face of classic horror.  For 25 years, Monster Kids delighted in his horrifying yet dazzling images of their ghoulish heroes on their favorite magazine covers. His film monster portrait art of Frankenstein, the Creature from the Black Lagoon. the Phantom of the Opera, and countless others graced the covers of Famous Monsters of Filmland from 1960 until the end of Warren’s publication in 1985.    His intense colour and bold, impressionistic brushwork gave a unique sense of drama and sophistication to these iconic characters.

In this episode of Monsterama, Elvira takes us on a journey back to those days when Basil Gogos’ artwork beckoned to us from the magazine racks like sone ghoulish siren calling us into the wonderful world of Horrorwood Karloffornia. Enjoy:

Collecting Basil Gogos Artwork

Basil is still with us and has kept much of his artwork within the family.  While original paintings from the Famous Monsters era are quite hard to come by, some of his more recent work from the 1990s and 2000s are available here at Artnet – price available on request.  Good luck!

Limited edition lithographs signed by Basil are currently available on eBay for $100 each.  Here’s the Bela as Dracula version:

Basil Gogos Lithograph Bela Lugosi as Dracula

 

Basil returned to monster magazine covers in the 1990s painting the covers for Monsterscene magazine:
Monster Scene Journal Magazine #1

He also painted the Universal Monsters commemorative stamps series for the U.S. Postal service:
   Classic Movie Monsters Collectible Stamp 32 Cent Sheet

In 2005, Kerry Gammil penned this fantastic book featuring full-colour reproductions of Basil Gogos’ artwork as well as many previously unpublished paintings and drawings:

Famous Monster Movie Art of Basil Gogos

Do you have a favorite Famous Monster cover by Basil?  Share the issue # with us and we’ll compile a gallery of our readers’ favorites.