Category Archives: Monster Toys

Everything Old is New Again: Mego Is Back with Retro Action Figures

Officially Licensed Bela Lugosi Dracula Included in Wave 1 Mego FiguresDracula Bela Lugosi Mego Packaging

image courtesy of MegoMuseum.com

Amidst all the fun new classic monster merchandise to be found at San Diego Comic-Con 2018, nothing is more exciting to me personally than the return of Mego action figures! It isn’t overstatement to say that Mego was the defining toy brand for many a 70s childhood with their lineup of super heroes, Planet of the Apes and classic monster dolls, I mean, action figures!

Mego figures are highly collectible and there are passionate communities on the internet with great expertise on these classic toys. These groups have been abuzz about the return of Mego and it’s iconoclastic founder, Marty Abrams, since Mego Meet earlier this summer.

At Comic-con, Mego revealed its Wave I  line-up which will be sold exclusively at Target stores in the U.S. starting this summer. Decidedly retro in it’s lineup, the single figure that has our rapt attention is the new Bela Lugosi Dracula figure. Officially licensed by Lugosi Enterprises, this is

 

Bela Lugosi Dracula Mego figure

images courtesy MegoMuseum.com

This figure is eight-inches and true to the original Mego stye. Sold exclusively at Target, it will retail for $14.99.

Mego Mad Monster Figures

The fact that Mego officially licensed Lugosi’s likeness is intriguing simply because Mego’s previous run at classic monster action figures, the much loved Mad Monsters lineup from 1974, were intentionally public domain versions of the classic Universal Monsters. Dreadful Dracula, The Human Wolfman, The Horrible Mummy and the Monster Frankenstein drew influence from the literary world rather than the Universal characters and were a huge hit with 70s kids then and collectors today.

While a dedicated article about Mego’s Mad Monsters is well past due on this website, there is little I could add that isn’t included in this well-done video from the Mego Museum and Plaid Stallions gang.

Watch the Mega Mad Monsters documentary:

The Mad Monster figures are tremendously collectible and can be quite expensive. A quick survey of eBay shows the several current auctions averaging around $75 for loose figures and several hundred for figures in package.  Figures Toy Company re-issued these figures a few years back and they can be easily found online for $15 at EntertainmentEarth

Mego is planning a Wave 2 release this October so we have reason to hope that more classic monsters will be included in the lineup. Which monsters do you most hope to see? Do you want licensed or unlicensed figures?

Ladies and Gentlemen, I Give You KONG… from Mezco!

Kong Gets New 7″ Action Figure from Mezco ToyzKing Kong Mezco FigureThe King Kong of Skull Island figure stands approximately 7” tall, is designed with over 25 points of articulation, and includes interchangeable hands and head portraits.

Mezco Toyz is known for their incredibly detailed figures but their classic horror / science fiction offering has previously been limited to their fantastic Frankenstein’s monster 1:12 Figure.

So it’s welcome news that they are adding the King of Skull Island to their lineup with this beautifully detailed 7″ figure.  As a huge fan of Kong, I’m excited they included multiple head options to capture his personality beyond that of a raging beast.  I would have liked to see a more gentle/emotionally expressive option for the closed mouth face, but that’s only a nit-pick on my end. In general, I think this figure is pretty great and will definitely be adding it to my Kong collection!

THE KING KONG OF SKULL ISLAND FIGURE FEATURES:

  • 17.78cm tall, highly detailed King Kong sculpt
  • 28 points of articulation
  • Two (2) interchangeable head portraits
  • Five (5) interchangeable hands including a holding hand for figurine accessory
  • One (1) set of shackles with real chains
  • One (1) scaled Ann Darrow figurine 

King Kong Mezco Action Figure

King Kong Mezco 7" Action Figure

This cool figure is available now for pre-order with shipment  estimated just in time for the holidays (December 2018).

Collecting King Kong – Related Articles:

 

Monster Cereal Mascots Go Geeky Tiki

General Mills Monster Cereal Tiki Set Coming Soon From Beeline Creative

Monster Cereal GeekiTiki Set

The company behind last year’s Universal Monsters tiki mugs, Beeline Creative, is taking breakfast to a whole new level with this new set of General Mills Monster Cereal Tiki Mugs.

These mugs are available for pre-order now at Entertainment Earth.

Count Chocula, Frankenberry, and Boo Berry – General Mills’ beloved cereal monster mascots- are combined with the unique stylization seen in traditional Tiki culture in these 3 one-of-a-kind 18 to 22-ounce ceramic mugs. They’re top-shelf dishwasher and microwave safe.

Count Chocula Tiki Mug

Count Chocula Tiki Mug

Frankenberry Tiki Mug

Frankenberry Tiki Mug

Boo Berry Tiki MugBoo Berry Tiki Mug

These mugs will first be sold at San Diego Comic-Con 2018 at the Entertainment Earth Booth #2343. You can pre-order the complete set now at Entertainment Earth for $60. If supplies remain after the show, your order will be filled and shipped to you then, in August 2018.

My guess is that these will sell out at Comic-Con but I also think Beeline will produce more based on pre-orders at Entertainment Earth. So I think it is a risk worth taking though it may take longer to get them then August or September. Us collectors are used to being patient and if you’re like me, you really can’t live without these in your collection.

(Toy Fair 2018) Super7 Debuts New Universal Monsters & Planet of the Apes Collections

Toy Fair 2018 Spotlight on Super7Super7-Universal-Monsters-Reaction-figures-2018

Super7 is best known for resurrecting the legendary 3.75 inch action figures in the retro Kenner-style and a fan-fave with many classic monster collectors for it’s original run of Universal Monsters figures released while ReAction was licensed by Funko.

Well, based on what Super7 just showcased at Toy Fair 2018, they are embracing our childhood nostalgia in toto with a slew of cool new products that hit us Monster Kids right in the nostalgia sweet spot.

Universal Monsters ReAction FiguresSuper7 Universal Monsters ReAction 2018

One of the gripes some folks had with the original collection of UniMonster ReAction figures was the sculpt quality was just a little too much like the original Kenner Star Wars figures, meaning not very good.  Well, that will not be a concern this time around based on the prototypes on display of The Wolf Man, Creature from the Black Lagoon and The Mummy.  Packaging was features for updates of the Phantom of the Opera, Frankenstein as well as two cool new additions in the Metaluna Mutant and Mole People. We did  get a look at the Mutant prototype and it is absolutely glorious!

But the Universal Monsters licenses gets way more interesting with these new seasonal collections set to debut late summer 2018:

Super Soapys

One of my all time favorite classic monster lines is the Colgate Palmolive Super Soaky soap bottles from the 1960s.  Super7 is releasing an expanded collection with all new sculpts that pay direct tribute to those amazing  bath products of yesteryear with their new “Super Soapy” collection releasing in time for Halloween 2018:

Super7 Super Soakys Universal Monsters
image courtesy Paul Schiola of Sputnik Supplies 

The new collection includes the iconic Frankenstein, Wolf Man, Creature and Mummy with updated molds and adds the Invisible Man, Bride and Metaluna Mutant. As you can see in the picture above, they even had a collection of the original Colgate figures on hand to showcase the homage they’re paying.

Super Buckets

new molds for buckets to used while Trick or Treating or just nifty displays.

Super7 Super Buckets 2018

Super7 Universal Monsters Halloween Buckets 2018

Tumblers

Super7 Universal Monsters Tumblers

Puzzles

Super7 Universal Monsters Puzzles 2018

50th Anniversary Planet of the Apes

While Super7 debuted a Planet of the Apes collection last year, they have stepped up their game in a big way in honor of the 50th Anniversary of POTA with this upcoming line of 3.75-inch ReAction classic POTA figures set to release in April 2018:

Super7 Planet of the Apes 50th Anniversary

But they didn’t stop there, Super7 also revealed unpainted prototypes for Wave 2, which is due late summer 2018:

Super7 Planet of the Apes 50th Anniversary Wave 2

This set includes a couple of deep dives like Urko from the TV show, astronaut Cornelius and a fantastic Lawgiver statue. And the mutant comes with a removable face!

I think its safe to say that Super7 has dialed up the nostalgia factor to eleven for all us Monster Kids and done so in a manner that pays respect to the classics they are renewing. While I tend to focus my personal collection on vintage items, I plan to stock pile as much as this new Super7 collection as I can get my grubby monster-loving claws on this Halloween season. What are your thoughts, monster collectors? Love to hear from you in the comments section below.

Related Articles

Monster Kid Must Haves: Universal Monsters Tiki Mugs

The Perfect Gift for The Monster Kid        in Your Life

Classic monsters and mid-century pop culture go together like peanut butter and jelly.  Many Monster Kids, like myself, have an abiding affection for all things Atomic Era, including classic surf music and Tiki culture,  So the folks at Geek Tiki have come up with a perfectly logical combination of Universal Monsters tiki mugs!

The creative, colorful drinkware products combine the beloved Universal Monster characters with the unique stylization seen in traditional tiki culture.

Each ceramic Monsters Geeki Tikis® stand approximately 7” tall, is top-shelf dishwasher safe, microwaveable and boast a capacity of up to 20 ounces.

Collect them All!

I’m not sure if the Werewolf of London drank his Pina Colada out of one of these mugs at Trader Vics, but I sure drink my tropical cocktails from my Monster tiki mugs! I keep these prominently displayed but I’m not afraid to pull them off the shelf when the occasion calls for a Mai Tai!

Bride of Frankenstein Tiki Mug

Bride of Frankenstein Tiki Mug

available online here

Dracula Tiki Mug

Dracula Tiki Mug

available online here

Frankenstein Tiki Mug

Frankenstein Tiki Mug

available online here

Gill-Man Tiki Mug

Creature Black Lagoon Tiki Mug

available online here

The Mummy Tiki Mug aka “Tiki Tut’

Mummy Tiki Mug

available online here

The Wolfman Tiki Mug

Wolfman Tiki Mug

available online here

Where to Buy

These tiki mugs were released earlier this fall and are available at the following online stores:

Amazon.com 

EntertainmentEarth.com

The First Officially Licensed Vampirella Figure is Coming

Executive Replicas Gives Us An Amazing 1:6 Scale Action Figure

Vampirella-Action-Figure

The rivers of Drakulon used to flow with blood, keeping the Vampiri a thriving race. Their world dying, Earthlings chanced to crash upon their planet, their veins rich with life-giving blood. Vampirella, the princess of Drakulon, piloted the crashed spaceship back to Earth, where she spends her life defending Earthlings from evil vampires, such as Dracula, who had migrated to Earth years before.

The epic story, created by our own Forrest J Ackerman for Warren Publishing in 1969,  has become ingrained in popular culture. Now, nearly 50 years later, Vampirella is so popular that Dynamite Entertainment with Executive Replicas and Phicen Ltd. are releasing this Vampirella Asian Version 1:6 Scale Action Figure. Measuring in at 12-inches tall, with all the sexy detail of Vampirella herself, this figure is amazing.  Officially called the Vampirella Again Version, you’ll notice her face has a distinctly Asian look and there’s no word on whether a caucasian version is planned in the future. Personally, I think she looks great and I’m perfectly okay with Vampi having an Asian look – all in all, she looks amazing!

First-ever officially licensed Vampirella action figure.

Vampirella Officially Licensed Action Figure

Details:

The Vampirella Asian Version 1:6 Scale Action Figure includes the following:

  • Height: 12 inches
  • Articulation: 26 points
  • Retail Price: $144.99
  • Available: July 2017 (Pre-orders open now at EntertainmentEarth)

It is every bit as enchanting as it needs to be to make her fans happy. Vampirella comes to life in her Phicen seamless body with stainless steel armature, in her one-piece bikini costume. She has three pairs of interchangeable hands, her knee-high boots, a removable cape, and more accessories. What really captured my attention is the seamless articulation, which is trademarked by Phicen.  Having 26 points of seamless articulation is stunning and goes a long way to explain the high retail price.

Gallery:

(click individual images for full size image)

Vampirella-Action-Figure-Feature-Image

Pre-orders are open now from Entertainment Earth

Check out more Executive Replicas products here.

Celebrate Alien Day with New Alien Merchandise

Happy Alien Day!

Alien Day 2017

We know it’s a marketing event designed to sell stuff, but it sure beats National Boss Day.

For that last couple years, 20th Century Fox is been declaring April 26 “Alien Day.”  This marketing event is inspired by LV 426, the planet where the crew of the Nostromo first encounter the xenomorph eggs in that little Sci-Fi classic, Alien.   We share this otherwise useless information with you because a bunch of exclusive collectibles will be released on this date.  It is a marketing event after all.

We’ll be sharing the coolest of these collectibles as they are announced and released, but we do have some advance news from toy company Super 7.  The company behind the Kenner-inspired ReAction line of retro action figures, Super 7 has given us a sneak peek at a few of the items they’ll be releasing on Alien Day.

Alien ReAction figure carrying case with figures:

Super 7 Reaction Alien Carrying Case with FiguresTrue to the entire ReAction line, this case is inspired by toy cases from decades past.   In addition to holding up to 24 of the 3.75″ ReAction figures, the case will contain an exclusive glow-in-the-dark  Alien figure.  I love this idea both as a collector and as a father.  If I could have gotten an exclusive Kenner Star Wars figure with my storage case in 1978, you bet I would have been all over it.  This case and figure set is available for pre-order on EntertainmentEarth.com

Nostromo 3-pack with Kane, Lambert and Dallas in space suits:

Super 7 Nostromo Japanese Window Box

The packaging features an exclusive Japanese window box style just for Alien Day, which might mean the figures themselves will be available elsewhere but just not packaged in such a way.

18-Inch Alien Warrior:
Super 7 Alien Warrior 18-inch Figure

Super 7 recently announced a new 18-ince Alien Warrior figure, designed as the ‘successor’ to the classic 1979 Kenner Alien figure.

From Super 7’s website:

The imagined successor to the 1979 Kenner Alien toy. Fully articulated with glow accents, metallic snapping jaws (operated with a trigger on the back of the head like the original 1979 toy), and retro style packaging. The figure stands 18-inches and can also hang from its tail like the original 1979 Alien figure.

Initially released in matte black only and available  for pre-order now at EntertainmentEarth.com

ReAction Alien 3.75 inch Figures:

Super 7 ReAction Alien Blind Box

The Alien 3.75-inch ReAction Figure Blind Box will be available from Super7 website starting @ Noon PST on Wednesday, 4/26. Boxes purchased online will be selected randomly between 3 new color variants. https://super7store.com

Personally, I like the my Alien Warriors in black, but to each their own!

ReAction Nostromo Crew Set:

ReAction Nostromo Crew Action Figures

As we mentioned earlier, Super 7 is the company behind the ReAction toy line.  Their partnership with Funko has expired so they’ve regained full marketing rights of this line designed in the original Kenner figure style.  We love the ReAction Universal Monsters  and the crew of the Nostromo are pretty cool too.

These figures are available on EntertainmentEarth.com

Of course, Alien Day might simply be a good excuse to dust off your DVD of one of these fine films and give it watch.  However you decide to celebrate Alien Day, every day is better with monsters (and aliens) in it!

 

Monsters for Free: Anchor Hocking Universal Monsters Drinking Glasses

The Coolest Gas Station Giveaways of the 1960s

Anchor Hawking Universal Monster Glasses Set

Anchor Hocking Universal Monsters Drinking Glasses             Set of 4 – 1963

The mid-1960s was the peak of the Monster Craze in the U.S. and classic monsters were everywhere; on Saturday afternoon television, in toy and hobby stores, on the magazine rack and even at the gas station.  Gas stations in the 60’s would give out a glass with a free tank of gas just as fast food chains did in the 80’s and the subject matter would reflect the popular trends at the time.

Anchor-Hocking, a glassware company, produced a set of four glasses for gas stations featuring the Universal Monsters in 1963. The glasses featured colorful images of Frankenstein’s Monster, the Wolf Man, the Mummy and the Creature from the Black Lagoon but surprisingly no Dracula. The release date of the set falls before the lawsuit that virtually removed Dracula from merchandising due to the Bela Lugosi likeness so it unusual to see the Creature included.
The day-glow vibrant colors, great facsimiles of the classic monsters (which wasn’t always a sure thing during this time period) and the popularity of the four characters featured on the glasses are all reasons for the demand and popularity of this collectible set.  Glasses were painted and have a nice textured feel to them.

The following pictures are the glasses set in my collection:

Frankenstein Monster Drinking Glass

Anchor Hawking Frankenstein Glass

I love the Glenn Strange likeness of the Monster on this glass, but it appears they started at the top with this illustration and ran out of room to include the traditionally heavy platform boots.  His too-small feet really throw the overall design off for me despite the great face illustration.

The Wolf Man Drinking Glass

Anchor Hawking Wolf Man Glass

Wonderful art of Lon Chaney Jr’s iconic character.

The Mummy Drinking Glass

Anchor Hawking Mummy Glass

It’s not often that my favorite piece is a set is The Mummy, but it is my favorite in this case. The Lon Chaney Jr likeness is the best of any classic monster collectible (outside of a Famous Monsters cover) and the vibrant colors just really do it for me!

Creature from the Black Lagoon  Drinking Glass

Anchor Hawking Creature Black Lagoon Glass

My favorite of the Universal Monsters, and a really cool glass.

These glasses aren’t hard to find in good condition but they have gotten quite expensive in recent years.  Considering that these pieces are over 50 years old, the relatively good condition of many of these glasses is a testament to how well made they are.  Anchor Hocking is still in operation to this day and it’s no surprise if these glasses are representative of their product quality.

Based on a quick search of eBay, prices for individual glasses are ranging from $75 to $125 regardless of which character.  Finding complete sets is still possible, though this might be one to put on the estate and garage sale wish list at current secondary market prices!

Justin Ishmael’s Awesome 2-Headed Giant Vinyl Figure

Inspired by Ron Cobb’s Iconic FM 1968 Fearbook Cover

Famous Monsters 1968 YearbookGalligantus-Many-SidesGalligantus Vinyl Figure Multiple Side Views

Former Mondo creative director Justin Ishmael, who licensed Cobb’s artwork from Famous Monsters, is thrilled to announce his 12-inch tall Galligantus soft vinyl figure!

Famous-Monsters-1968-Fearbook

Galligantus is the fist Japanese vinyl piece Ishmael has released. The original sculpt is by Handsome Taro and sofubi cast is by Luke “Grody Shogun” Rook.

Jack-Giant-Slayer-FM-Fearbook-68-Vinyl-ToyGalligantus 2-Headed Giant VinylFamous Monsters 1968 Yearbook

Galligantus is the first of Ishmael’s new “Make-A-Monster” series, which is inspired by the classic model kits we all love.  Your kit arrives unassembled in a vintage-style model kit style box, filled with the nine pieces that make the 2-Headed Giant, and then you simply slot them together — possibly with the help of a hair dryer to warm the vinyl, but no glue needed at all!

Cast in glow-in-the-dark vinyl, this monstrous beast comes with a spiked ball mace on a chain and assembly instructions featuring artwork by Ken Landgraf.

FM-Giant-Pre-Order

Available now  for preorder on Justin’s website , these $200 apiece works will begin shipping in early 2017.

Vintage Advertising for Mattel’s Fright Factory

This Halloween, We’re Focusing On Vintage Ads for Monster Kid Toys

Mattel Fright Factory

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and we’re celebrating with a month-long focus on vintage advertising for all the things us Monster Kids love.  From Captain Company mail order pages in the back of Famous Monsters of Filmland to TV commercials, we’ve lined up a wonder-fest of nostalgia. So buckle up, Monster Kids, it’s time to step into the Time Machine and set the dials to childhood!  And we kick off our series with none other than Mattel’s Fright Factory, one of the greatest toys ever made!

Mattel Fright Factory 1966 Ad

Let’s head back to 1966, the year of my birth, and spend some time with the wonderful Fright Factory from Mattel.  Part of the Thingmaker line up, Fright Factory enabled kids to create plastic molds by pouring a substance known as “Plasti-Goop” into a professional-grade  hot plate — which could reach temperatures of 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit!  This toy line makes pretty much every Most Dangerous Toys Ever list, but kids loved it.  Toxic fumes and extremely hot metal — what more could a Monster Kid ask for?

Here’s the 1966 TV Commercial for Fright Factory:

This write-up on this wonderfully dangerous toy appeared in a 1966 issue of Jack & Jill magazine, courtesy of MagicCarpetBurn :

Jack & Jill Magazine 1966 Fright Factory Article

And since we’re having so much fun reliving this glorious toy, here’s the full instruction manual for your reading pleasure:

Fright Factory Mattel Instruction Manual

Mattel Fright Factory Instructions Page 1 & 2

Mattel Fright Factory Instructions Page 3 & 4

Mattel Fright Factory Instructions Page 5 & 6

Mattel Fright Factory Instructions Page 7

Finally, we wrap up this focus on the Fright Factory with this fabulously freaky print ad:

Mattel Fright Factory Print Ad

Do you remember these ads, 60s Monster Kids? Share your stories with us in the comments section below!