Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Raising Modern Monster Kids: Making Monster Art

Raising Modern Monster Kids Takes                 Effort By Monster Kid Parents

Monster Kid Bedroom Illustration

In the 1960s and 70s, classic monsters were everywhere! On TV, Halloween costumes, model kits, toys, comics, coloring books…growing up in the “monster boom” was great. If you were a lucky monster kid, your parents supported, even encouraged your love of monsters.  Regardless, it wasn’t hard to surround yourself with the things you love.

Today’s kids have incredible access — they are growing up in an on-demand, always-on world that puts the world at their fingertips.   They have networks dedicated to cartoons, not just an after school block of time and Saturday mornings.  Gone are the days of scouring the TV Guide for anything monster-related to watch and then doing everything in your power to not miss it.  But access to so much media means that classic monsters aren’t really in the mix for today’s kids.

I read a lot of 1960s / 70s Monster Kids (and adults in general) talking about how today’s kids are spoiled and how we grew up in the good old days.  I don’t dispute that we grew up during an amazing time and we’re lucky to have done so.  But I’m not so quick to throw today’s kids under the bus.

Raising Modern Monster Kids requires effort by Monster Kid Parents.

I’m a parent of grade school kids, and while they have tremendous access to all kinds of entertainment, the classic monsters aren’t really in the mix.  Sure, there’s the Hotel Transylvania movie franchise, but I’m talking about the real classic monsters.  I could simply bemoan this fact and wax poetic about how my childhood was the good ol’ days.  But that’s not how I roll.  I’m raising my kids as modern monster kids by proactively exposing them to the classic monsters I grew up loving (and still do, obviously, since I have this blog).

Recently, I scanned a printed some pages from my favorite 1970s monster coloring book, Monster Gallery, and my kids and I spent a chilly March afternoon coloring.  If you had this book as a kid, or want to learn more about it, please read my recent post and check out all every page of this fantastic coloring book:  Colors of a Monster Kid: The Monster Gallery Coloring Book 

it was great fun, and the kids picked their favorite monsters to color. My 9 year old loves the Wolf Man.  He is not a natural artist and almost never finishes a picture when he’s coloring.  But this was different.  As you can see, not only did he finish it, he did a great job and really focused on it.  He had fun doing it and it shows.  Here’s his finished art:

Wolf Man from Monster Gallery Coloring Book

My 11 year old daughter, who loves all things ancient Egypt, picked the Mummy.  Anyone who follows me on Instagram or is friends with me on Facebook knows that she is artistically talented (I’m constantly posting pictures she has drawn).  So getting her to sit down and color with me isn’t a challenge like it is with my son.

The Mummy from Monster Gallery coloring book

I can rarely pass up the Fly, simply because I like a little sci-fi with my monsters:

The Fly from Monster Gallery coloring book

I’ll continue to journal my efforts to raise modern monster kids here and share my success (and failures) along the way.  In case you missed them, here are some of my past writings on my effort to raise modern monster kids:

Related Articles:  Can Today’s Kids Still Be Monster Kids?

So, what do you think? Can modern kids still be Monster Kids?

 

 

Have you Subscribed to our Club Newsletter Yet?

Get Classic Monster Collecting News in Your Inbox Every Friday

What’s a club without a newsletter?

As the digital clubhouse for Monster Kids and Collectors, weIreally appreciate the response our website has received in our first year and we want to make sure all you Monster Kids never miss an update from us.  As you probably know, Facebook is making it increasingly difficult for publishers to share their posts with everyone  that follows their page without paying to do so,. While we love how active our Facebook page is, we know that a lot of our posts aren’t being seen in your timelines.

The solution is simple- subscribe to our weekly newsletter and get every article from the past week delivered to your inbox.  We also share exclusive content with our newsletter and often publish articles weeks in advice of sharing with our website and Facebook readers.  We’ve also lined up some cool special offers that we will be offering exclusively to newsletter subscribers.

Oh, and we will NEVER sell or share your email with anyone else – you have our solemn vow!

Signing-up is as easy as filling in your name (First and Last please) and email address in the sign-up form on the right side of our website.  You can also click on the Email Signup app on the left sidebar of our Facebook page to register.

We’ve got lots of ghoulishness in store as we head into the Halloween season – so we hope you’ll join us!

 

Every Movie Monster Categorized and Included on One Poster?

Diabolical Diagram of Movie Monsters

diabolicaldiagram-moviemonsters-xlarge

We love our movie monsters – all shapes and sizes! From giant Kaiju to tiny puppets, we relish them all.  In a very Monster Kid like way, the folks over at  Pop Chart Lab have created The Diabolical Diagram of Movie Monsters, a web diagram of cinema’s popular and obscure creatures.  This poster is available for sale at Etsy.com

Let us know if you can think of any they left out!

(click image for a huge version)

diabolicaldiagram-moviemonsters-xlarge

This poster has been available for a couple of years but was produced as a limited edition of 1000 – You can get your own copy of this poster at Etsy.com

 

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?

 

Celebrate St Patrick’s Day with Classic Monsters

St Patrick’s Day Isn’t the Most Obvious Classic Monster Holiday

1906 Portrait of Bram Stoker, author of Dracula,

While Ireland and Halloween go hand-in-hand with the modern holiday’s roots tracing back to the ancient Celts harvest festival, Samhain, the connections to the patron saint of Ireland are more tenuous.  Enter Abraham ‘Bram’ Stoker; Irishman and author of Dracula, one of the most famous books ever published and, arguably, the most famous of all monsters.

Stoker was born in Dublin in 1847 and it is said that he grew up on a steady diet of his Mother’s stories of the supernatural.  Ireland has a long history of fantastical and mystical creatures from leprechauns and banshees to it’s own vampire, the DeargDue.  The Celts, whose traditions never disappeared from Irish culture, had hundreds of gods and an equal number of demons and monsters.  Stoker grew up hearing these stories and they undoubtedly influenced his fascination for the macabre.

Dracula was published in May 1897 and, although it was critically well-received, it was not a bestseller.  In fact, it wasn’t until after Stoker’s death in 1912 that his book would achieve commercial success.  Stoker wrote a total of 18 books, including Lair of the White Worm, but it is his haunting tale of the vampire that has given him lasting fame.

For more about Bram Stoker, watch this video from Biography Channel (click to watch full screen)):

It’s fair to say that fans of classic monsters owe a debt of gratitude to Bram Stoker.  So, while tipping a pint at the pub today in celebration of all things Irish, raise a pint to Bram Stoker and that famous monster of his, Count Dracula.

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