Category Archives: Monster Toys

(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.

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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!

The Twilight Zone Board Game by Ideal (1964)

This Vintage Twilight Zone Game is Rare & Highly Collectible

The Twilight Zone Board Game by Ideal

Picture if you will, 1 to 4 players spending a rainy afternoon enjoying a 1964 board game released by Ideal, the players don’t know it yet but they’ve just begun to play…The Twilight Zone.

Thanks to social media, I learned that today, is National Twilight Zone Day and,while I have no idea why it falls on May 11 (as it apparently does every year), it is a day  I was lurking around the internet this morning and stumbled upon this board game of one of the essential Monster Kid  TV series of all time., The Twilight Zone.

…but I’ve been unable to find any information in regards to how the game play actually worked beyond this description: “In 1964, Ideal released a board game, simply titled The Twilight Zone Game, at the height of the show’s popularity. The game consisted of a cardboard playing surface, 4 colored playing pieces, a colored spinning wheel and 12 “door” playing cards.”

Ideal Twilight Zone Game Inside Box Cover Instructions

If my web search for listings of the board game are any indication, this is a pricey collectible.  In fact, there was only one Current eBay listings which is at $150 mid-auction.  Recently completed sales for this game on eBay ranged from $143 into the upper $200s. At that price, I’ll be spending my collectible budget on games I actually played, but I’m curious if any readers have any recollections of playing the Twilight Zone Board Game? Anyone have this in their collection now?  I’d love to hear from you.

 

Kenner’s Coolest Controversy: 1979 Alien Action Figure

Celebrate Alien Day With The Kenner 1979 Alien Action Figure

Kenner Alien Action Figure in Box 1979Kenner Alien Action Figure 1979 Box

So, 20th Century Fox has created a new Monster Kid holiday with the  first ever ALIEN DAY on April 26th, and it’s being billed as a global celebration of the ALIEN franchise. The day will be marked by all sorts of special festivities and product releases, not the least of which is a 20-city double feature re-release of ALIEN and ALIENS – at the screening of ALIENS at New York City venue The Town Hall, complete with a  Sigourney Weaver appearance.

I was 11 eleven years old when Alien hit the theaters and, still riding the Sci-Fi high of Star Wars two years earlier, I convinced my parents to let me and my little brother see the movie at the theater.  This was a big deal — I had never seen an R-rated movie and my Mom walked us to the ticket booth, bought our tickets and gave permission to the theater employee for us to see the movie.  Then she left…. Needless to say, Alien made a lasting impression on my brother and I!

It’s impossible to talk about Alien 1979 without spending some time on one of the most controversial – and coolest – monster toys of the 1970s.   Kenner was still riding high on their Star Wars license and decided to jump on the next big Sci-Fi franchise to come along.  There was only one problem: Alien was an R-rated movie and the creature was terrifying!

Here’s Kenner’s original TV commercial:

Despite Kenner’s best efforts, and a beautifully designed toy, sales were poor.  Parents thought it was too scary and raised a ruckus.   Kids, most of whom didn’t have parents like mine, couldn’t see the movie and thus weren’t bugging parents for the toy.  Most kids didn’t even know what the monster looked like.  The result; retail sales were bad and Kenner canceled the rest of the planned Alien lineup.

Kenner 1979 Alien Action Figure Face

Kenner Alien 1979 Action Figure Instructions

Collectors Notes

This action figure is a collector’s collectible.  The simple fact that this toy didn’t sell well means there are less available to collect.  Combine that with the fact the Alien franchise has continued to grow in popularity through the years and you get the perfect combination of high demand and low supply.  Scarcity is the main driver of price in collectibles and it is almost impossible to get one of these action figure in-box and good condition for below $1,000.  Not bad considering it cost $ in 1979.  Loose figures are much more common, but even they command $500+ in good condition,

Several of these toys – both boxed and loose – are currently available at eBay, Check out Current eBay auctions here.

2014 Gentle Giant Jumbo Alien

Gentle Giant released a 24″ Jumbo figure scaled off of the original 18″ figure Kenner for Christmas 2014.  The likeness and attention to detail are terrific, all the way down to the packaging:

Gentle Giant 24" Jumbo Alien Action Figure

With a retail price of $499, this isn’t a toy, but it is probably less expensive than a 1979 Kenner Alien in good condition!  You can still get the Gentle Giant figure at retail pricing at the usual places:  EntertainmentEarth.

I found one for $283 + shipping at Amazon which is as reasonably priced as I’ve seen in quite  a while.  Click here to see it on Amazon.

With Ridley Scott‘s Alien prequel Alien: Covenant  headed our way in the near future, there is little reason to believe the Kenner Alien action figure will do anything but continue to increase in demand and value over time.

Of course, commerce is the driving force behind our new favorite holiday, so there are a whole bunch of new collectibles headed our way on ALIEN DAY.

To see some of the new merchandise, check out EntertainmentEarth’s Alien store.

Resources:

(Video) Monsterama Episode 20 – Aurora Monster Model Kits

Aurora Monster Model Kits Are Definitive Monster Kid Collectibles

Aurora Monster Model Kits

What can we say about the Aurora monster model kits that hasn’t been said many times before?

Of all the great monster toys and merchandise available during the mid-20th Century classic monster heyday, nothing rivals the Aurora monster model kits for their impact on Monster Kids of the 1960s and 70s.

From the mesmerizing James Bama box art, to the highly detailed sculpts by Bill Lemon and Ray Meyers, these model kits were true pop art.  Kids spent endless hours assembling, painting and starting at these fantastic works of imagination.

This episode of Monsterama digs into the monster models of Aurora Plastics Corporation in all their versions of their monster model kits up and through to the Polar Lights re-issues of the 1990s.  Sit back and get ready for a sweet trip down nostalgia lane, fellow Monster Kids!

Collecting Aurora Monster Model Kits:

 

Schiffer Collectors Guide to Aurora Model Kits

Over 450 color photographs enhance this comprehensive history and guide to Aurora models. The Aurora empire was once the worlds largest producer of hobby products. Here, corporation executives, sculptors, artists, and engineers who created Auroras models tell the story in their own words. Every model Aurora made is described in detail, with information on reissues.  Published in 2007, market values are a bit dated, but this is still a very useful reference guide that I use frequently.
Aurora Model Kits Collectors Guide Aurora Model Kits (Schiffer Book for Collectors)

Aurora Monster Scenes – The Most Controversial Toys of a Generation

Rated X…for Excitement!  This book is dedicated to one of the great debacles of the toy & hobby industry. Written and presented by the men behind the Monster Scenes, then and now, this is a must-read book for fans and collectors alike. Andrew P. Yanchus, original Aurora Project Manager in 1971, opens his vault of artifacts and doles out his first-hand anecdotes of the series that went so wrong.

Aurora Monster Scenes Book
Aurora Monster Scenes – The Most Controversial Toys of a Generation


The Aurora Monsters: The Model Craze That Gripped the World

Produced by Cortland Hull and hosted by Zacherly, this two hour DVD features in-depth interviews, a wax sculpture demonstration, rare photos, sketches & promotional material related to Aurora, never seen by the public. – 1 hour 45 minutes, plus a “Zacherley, behind-the-scenes” bonus feature.