Category Archives: Monster Toys

It’s Frankenstein Friday Hammer-Style!

 

TGI Frankenstein – Christopher Lee Style

Curse of Frankenstein Mani-Yack Style Transfer

We’re continuing our focus on Sir Christopher Lee this week and what better way to wrap up the week than with his iconic role as the Frankenstein Monster in

Artist Jeff Carlson has done an incredible job of recreating the 1960’s style of the classic iron-on transfers by Mani-Yack and adding monsters not included in those classic collectibles.

His version of the Creature is simply awesome and available for $4.95 at Jeff’s Etsy store.  Click here to visit Jeff’s Etsy store and see his entire collection.  You can also keep up-to-date on Jeff’s latest monstrous creations in his Mani-Yack Monster Designs Facebook Group, so join and support this creative Monster Kid illustrator!

Happy Weekend, y’all!

FUNKO REACTION UNIVERSAL MONSTERS – RONDO AWARDS 2015 BEST TOY NOMINEE

Collecting the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category – Part 10

Funko ReAction Universal Monsters Collection

This is the final installment in my review of the 2014 nominees for the Best Toy, Model, Collectible category of the Rondo Hatton Horror Awards and we finish with the most classic of all monsters –the Funko ReAction Universal Monsters.Funko ReAction Universal Monsters

In 2013,  Funko and  Super 7 partnered to bring Kenner’s unreleased 1979 Alien prototypes to market.  It wasn’t long afterwards that Funko announced a full “ReAction” line of retro 3 ¾” action figures based on characters from 1980’s cult, sci-fi and horror cinema: Escape From New YorkBack to the FutureTerminator, a Rocketeer figure, iconic horror villains as well as the Universal Monsters.  These news collections were designed as an homage to classic Kenner Star Wars action figures of the 1970s and early 80s.

Controversy

The retro style has been a bit controversial as these figures have been panned by some for the lack of detailed likeness to the actors/character.  Funko even extended that feeling of “vintage-ness” through the packaging, which is the same size as the original Kenner packaging from the late ’70s /early ’80s. This has also met with some push-back by collectors who find the side-panel style packaging a challenge to display.

Reis O’Brien, Funko’s head designer of the ReAction line, explained the design inspiration for these figures in this quote from the FunkoFanatic Reaction Forum:

We did originally look towards the first run of Kenner Star Wars figures for inspiration, especially when we first got started, so that’s why you’ll see that our Terminator and Snake Plissken sort or mimic that “softness”, but as we went on, things got a little more detailed, a little closer to ROTJ figures, which you’ll see in the Universal Monsters and Horror lines. Basically, we think there’s a sweet spot somewhere in there that we keep trying to hit. But Kenner remains our main inspiration as opposed to, say, Remco or Mego. But they have their charm, too.

I buy that logic fully and think that they nailed the retro styling of the characters.  I particularly like the packaging, though finding them in pristine condition on store pegs has also been a frustration for collectors.

Funko ReAction-Universal Monsters Packaging Back of Card

There are a lot of great reviews on these figures already published and, frankly, from folks with greater expertise then me.  For your reading please, here’s a great review from one of my go-to resources for collectible toys,  Brian Heller at Plaid Stallions.

Here’s the Funko ReAction Universal Monsters collection, in order of theatrical appearance:

Funko ReAction Phantom of the Opera

Funky ReAction Phantom of the Opera

from The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

Funko ReAction Dracula

Funko ReAction Dracula

from Dracula (1931)

Funko ReAction Frankenstein's MonsterFunko ReAction Frankenstein’s Monster

from Frankenstein (1931)

Funko ReAction The Mummy

Funko ReAction The Mummy

from The Mummy (1932)

Funko ReAction The Invisible Man

Funko ReAction Invisible Man

from The Invisible Man (1933)

Funko ReAction Bride of Frankenstein

Funko ReAction Bride of Frankenstein

from The Bride of Frankenstein (1932)

Funko ReAction Wolf Man Funko ReAction Wolf Man

from The Wolf Man (1941)

Funko ReAction Creature from the Black Lagoon

Funko ReAction Creature from the Black Lagoon

from The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

Product Details

  • 3 ¾” action figures
  • Five points of articulation
  • bubble photo card
  • MSRP: $9.99 each

Chase Variants

Like all variants, forced scarcity is either the bane or the blessing of the completist collector.  The glow variants  were limited to one figure per every six cases and the clear Invisible Man was an Entertainment Earth exclusive.

Funko ReAction Glow VariantFunky ReAction Mummy Glow in the Dark

Funko-ReAction-Invisible-Man-Clear-Variant

Entertainment Earth exclusive                                    Invisible Man Transparent Variant

Funko ReAction Creature from the Black Lagoon

Creature from the Black Lagoon Glow Variant


Where to Buy Funko ReAction Universal Monsters Collection

These figures are available near and far, so the real goal is finding them at the best price.  They have been in the market long enough that they are widely available on secondary resale sites like eBay, but prices have increase because they are still available at retail prices in most stores.  This makes it a buyers market for these figures.

EntertainmentEarth

Amazon offers a full set of figures:

  •  8 figure set includes Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Wolfman, Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Phantom of the Opera, Bride of Frankenstein, and the Invisible Man
  • Numerous sellers competing on price, with lowest being $75.48 shipping included ($9.44 per figure)

EBay

Good availability of the Mummy Glow-in-the-Dark Variant starting at $14.99

Best Price I’ve found on the Clear Invisible Man Variant — listed at $9.99 with 7 in stock

Lots of Glow Creature variant figures as well, starting at $19.99


Summary

While I appreciate that modern toy collectors have gotten used to incredible like-like sculpts, the fact that this line is inspired by 1970’s and 80’s toys is central to the design style.  My Han Solo figure from Kenner didn’t really look like Harrison Ford in 1978 and I didn’t care; I loved it completely and totally.

I think the ReACTION line would have missed the mark if the figures were too realistic.  They certainly wouldn’t have been as retro, so I’m fine with the less-then-realistic sculpts.  In short, I think Funko nailed these figures.

My favorites are pretty much in line with my favorite monsters; The Creature and The Wolf Man were the two “must-own” figures for me.  I was surprised by how much I liked the Invisible Man too.  So far, those are the only three I’ve purchased, but this review has me re-considering the variants, at lease for the Gillman and Invisible Man.

These are priced really well.  So well, in fact, that I got my kids a couple of the figures to open and —gasp– actually play with!

As a child of the 1970’s, who owned the original Kenner Star Wars figures, these bring back waves and waves of nostalgia.  As an adult  vintage monster toy collector, I love how these figures fit right into my collection.  I don’t tend to buy many modern monster toys or collectibles, simply because I focus my limited collecting budget on high-grade vintage pieces.

So thumbs up on the figures from me all the way around–design, price, packaging — Funko nailed it.  And with the recent announcement of the Jaws and Gremlins series, looks like we’ve got lots to look forward to from Funko ReAction.

Let me know your thoughts– do you like the retro style of the Funko ReAction Universal Monsters line or do you prefer the more sophisticated style of modern collectibles?

Happy Frankenstein Friday!

TGIFrankenstein, Folks!

And this week, we’re going hormonal with the Teenage Monster in a really cool reason bust from Executive Replicas — this thing is 3/4 scale and stands 18 inches tall!!
Teenage Frankestein Bust

Product Details

  • Height: 18-inches
  • 200 piece Limited edition
  • Resin
  • 3/4 Scale
  • Pre-painted
  • MSRP: $249.99

Expand your classic horror film collection! From  I Was a Teenage Frankestein (1957) and How to Make a Monster (1958), it’s the one-and-only Teenage Frankenstein.

This resin I Was a Teenage Frankenstein from Executive Replicas offers the misunderstood monster in incredible life-like detail and scale.  

Order I Was a Teenage Frankenstein Bust from Entertainment Earth!

Update May 2017:  This bust is sold out at retail and is only available on the secondary market (at least as far as I could find).  Here are links to a few of these that I found for sale or auction:

 

 

 

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

Collecting the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category – Part 9

Sputnik Supplies Ro-Boy Vinyl Figure

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

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

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

Bobs Big Boy

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

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

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

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

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

Product Details

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

 

Where to Buy Sputnik Supplies Ro-Boy

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

Sputnik Supplies Website

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

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

Summary

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

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

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

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

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

The Robot Monster

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

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

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

or you can watch it for free onYouTube:

 

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

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

Collecting the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category – Part 8

Jakks Pacific 4o” Godzilla Toy

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

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

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

What makes a monster classic?

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

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

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

NOT classic monsters:

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

Jakks 40″ Godzilla

Two points to make on this one:

1. This is a toy.

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

2. This is a HUGE toy.

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

Product Details: Jakks Pacific 40" Godzilla Toy in Box

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Where to Buy Jakks Pacific 40″ Godzilla

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

Amazon.com

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

eBay.com

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

Entertainment Earth

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


 

Summary

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

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

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

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

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

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

Collecting the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category – Part 7

Distinctive Dummies Boris Karloff as Fu Manchu Mego-style Figure

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

Karloff Fu Manchu Distinctive Dummies Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy nominee

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

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

Product Details:

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

The Boris Karloff Collection from Distinctive Dummies

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

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

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

About Distinctive Dummies

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

 

Distinctive Dummies Facebook Page

About Mego

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

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

Where to Buy Distinctive Dummies Karloff Fu Manchu Figure

DistinctiveDummies.net

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

eBay

Current auctions for this toy on eBay


Summary

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

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

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

 

 

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?

 

Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Winner

And the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Winner is….

Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Winner Diamond Select Creature from the Black Lagoon
image copyright 2015, Michael Crawford

Diamond Select Creature from the Black Lagoon

Specs:

  • 7-inch-scale
  • 16+ points of articulation
  • Sculpted by Jean St. Jean
  • 2 variations:  Toys R Us exclusive (simpler, above-water base) and Deluxe variant available through Previews to Collectible Stores (underwater base)
  • Retail Price: $24.99

Deluxe display base

Features a skeleton and an undersea rock formation:

Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Winner Diamond Select Creature Underwater Base
image copyright 2015, Michael Crawford

 

Packaging:

Select-style display packaging with spine artwork:

Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Winner Diamond Select Creature from the Black Lagoon in Blister Pack
image copyright 2015, Michael Crawford

This one got my vote in this year’s Rondo Awards, if only because I love all-things “Creach.”  Regardless of my personal bias, Diamond Select continues to up their A-game with their outstanding collection of the Universal Monster action figures at quite reasonable prices.

It’s a win-win for modern toy collectors of classic monsters.  Here’s a well-done video review from Outside the Box Reviews highlighting this action figure in great detail. Check out their Youtube Channel for more reviews like this one:

Being a new action figure, and not a limited edition piece like some of the other nominees, the Creature is readily available at your favorite collectible or toy shop.  I included links and current pricing to some of the shops I am an affiliate for below:

Entertainment Earth:
Order Universal Monsters Creature from the Black Lagoon Figure from Entertainment Earth!
Universal Monsters Creature from the Black Lagoon Figure

Ebay

The best prices I found were @ Ebay where this toy was listed in numerous auctions with prices ranging from $15-$30.
Click this link to see current auctions on eBay: Diamond Select Creature from the Black Lagoon

Amazon

Good selection available at Amazon at regular retail price too: Diamond Select Creature from the Black Lagoon

Diamond Select Toys

Of course, you can also buy this right from Diamond Select for retail price of $24.99

Congratulations to Diamond Select and Jean St. Jean on winning the 2015 Rondo Award for Best Toy– this is an outstanding modern toy of one of the most classic monsters and I’m thrilled to have this in my Creature Collection.

I’ll continue to profile this year’s nominees for Best Toy in my next post — did you vote for this one?  If not, which one got your ballot?  Share in the comments below.

Collecting Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy / Model / Collectible Nominated Toys

I recently published my ballot for the 2015 Rondo Hatton Horror Awards. Rondo Hatton Horror Award I Voted Button

As an affiliate for Entertainment Earth, I got an email early this morning that one of the nominated toys, the 24-inch Godzilla 2014 Action Figure, was on sale for 25% off today only.

Normally a $50 toy, I thought that was worth sharing so feel free to click the link to Order Godzilla 2014 Movie 24-Inch Action Figure from Entertainment Earth!

This got me thinking that it might be helpful if I compiled some links to sites where readers can buy all of this year’s nominated products — toys, magazines, books, DVD/Blu-rays, etc…

In this post, I’ll start in on the Best Toy/Model/Collectible category.  I’ll link to as many sites as I can find the item and list the current pricing.

Keep in mind, this pricing can, and probably will, change over time and the prices I include in this post are based on the prices listed on these sites the day I published this post.

I’ll also add all of the items sold on Amazon to our Amazon store, Lair of the Classic Monster Collector

Where to Buy Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy, Model, Collectible Nominees

Legends of Cthulhu Action Figures by Warpo Toys

Legends of Cthulhu Action Figure Carded

Legends of Cthulhu is the first retro-styled Cthulhu action figure line. Using a discipline of method manufacturing with distinct artisanal, collectible quality, Warpo makes new vintage treasures for retro toy aficionados, by retro toy aficionados.  Each figure stands 3.75” tall, has 5 points of articulation, and comes with character-appropriate accessories. Figures will come packaged in a nostalgic, Kickstarter-exclusive blister-card, featuring original paintings by artist Ken Kelly.

Sculpted by Eddy Mosqueda

Retail Price: $20 Each

Warpo Toys launched with a Kickstarter campaign to fund this awesome line of retro-style action figures.

For more info check out: http://www.warpo.com

EntertainmentEarth.com

I found the complete set listed for $215 with Free Shipping

Order Legends of Cthulhu Action Figure Case from Entertainment Earth!
Legends of Cthulhu Action Figure Case

Ebay

I found a number of auctions for both single item and complete sets.  Complete sets started at $99 and go up from there.

Click this link to see current auctions/Buy it Now listings:  Warpo Legends of Cthulhu

Amazon

Here’s a link to Warpo Toys at Amazon where carded single figure is selling between $22 – $25 and  set of 4 figures is listed at $80.  I’ve added these to our Amazon store as well

 More Rondo Nominees for Best Toy of 2014 to come in my next post — hope you find this helpful!

Collecting King Kong: Toys & Games

Collecting King Kong Toys & Games

When it comes to classic monster toys, King Kong wasn’t a tier-one classic monster property. While the “unholy quintet” of Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula, Wolf Man, the Creature and the Mummy win in terms of the pure quantity or toys and merchandise, Kong is certainly in the top 10 most licensed (and unlicensed) monster toys. Collecting King Kong toys and games from the 1933 film seems like a good place to start given the impact this movie had on my becoming a Monster Kid

This post focuses on the 1933 King Kong and does not include licensed merchandise from the 1976 or 2005 remakes.  As a 1970s monster kid, most of my Kong stuff was from the Dino De Laurentiis remake, and I plan to cover merchandise from both remakes in future posts.

King Kong is one of the earliest movies to have licensed kids merchandise, and certainly the first monster movie.  Given the age of the film, high-grade examples toys from the 1933 are extremely rare and, as a result, quite valuable.

1933 RKO Jigsaw Puzzle

Collecting-king-kong-toys-RKO-puzzle
This 150 Piece jigsaw puzzle by RKO is extremely rare

This puzzle was produced as a promo piece by RKO and included in the film’s press book, which was sent to movie theaters and included lobby cards, movie posters and other ephemera theater owners could order to promote upcoming releases.  Theater managers had two options for ordering these puzzles:

1. They could purchase 100 puzzles for $6 (6 cents a piece).

2. (1) puzzle free with purchase of $1 worth of film promo merchandise.

Since this was during the Great Depression, most theater owners probably stuck to their basics and ordered posters and other tried-and-true film mercy. The rarity of this item can most likely be attributed to the simple fact that very few theater owners purchased them.  Today, this item is so rare, complete puzzles demand prices over $2,000.

This item does show up from time to time on auction sites, and there’s one on eBay US right now —  Click here for current eBay auctions for King Kong 1933 RKO puzzle

I also found a very high-grade one available at GrandOldToys.com for $2,200.

1962 Marx Wind-Up Kong

Marx 1962 Robot King Kong

As with most 1960s King Kong toys, this was part of a classic monster collection and one of the first of what would become a monster toy explosion in the 1960s.  Along with the Yeti, King Kong was a plush over a tin mechanical skeleton.

I found this video on YouTube of him in action, courtesy of leadfiremech:

1964 Palmer Monsters King Kong

Collecting-king-kong-toys-Palmer-Monsters
Complete set of Palmer Plastics Unbreakable Movie Monsters

 

 

 

 

 

 

Palmer monsters were pretty rough around the edges; many collectors feel this only adds to their charm.

This 3-inch plastic figure was part of the eight-monster set, Palmer Plastics Unbreakable Movie Monsters

  • packaged as a set on a bubble card or on a plastic bag with header card.
  • Each figure was released in multiple colors.
  • Kong included a itybitty Fay Wray, which is usually only found in packaged sets today.

These are rare to find in packaging, but loose ones aren’t hard to come by; here’s the current auctions I found on eBay

1973 AHI Rubber King Kong

Collecting-King-Kong-AHI-Jiggler
AHI King Kong Jiggler 1973

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AHI had the Universal license in the 1970s but they also licensed King Kong from RKO and launched a couple of Kong toys as part of their monster line.

This rubber, non-posable wiggly toy was sold loose and tied to card.

Smaller version of this toy was released in 1979 by Vics.

This item isn’t hard to find loose and there; click here for current eBay auctions for this toy.

1974 AHI Bend ‘Ems King Kong  

King Kong AHI Bend Ems

Image courtesy Plaid Stallions

Standing 5″ and packaged in bubble cards, Super Monsters Bend ‘Ems were rubber toys with wire skeletons which allowed kids to pose them like action figures.

Click here for current auctions to this toy on eBay .

1976 AHI King Kong Squirt Gun

Collecting-King-Kong-toys-AHI-Squirt-gun
AHI KIng Kong Squirt Gun 1974

Technically, this toy probably counts more as merch for the Dino De Laurentis 1976 remake, but I’ll include it here with the rest of the 1970s AHI toys.

If you find this one carded, you’ve got a real gem — very few carded toys are known to exist, so time to check Uncle Steve’s, the retired ’70s rack toy distributor, attic!

Can’t find any current auctions on eBay for this one–if I do, I’ll be sure to update and add a link.  I did find one for sale (no price listed) on L&LCollectables.com.

A carded/sealed one recently sold on eBay for $263

AHI King Kong Little Walker Wind up 

Collecting-King-Kong-1933-Little-Walker-Windups
AHI Little Walkers Wind-up Monsters

3″ tall hard plastic toys w/built-in keys

Shoots sparks out of the mouth as he walks

These toys have been re-released over the years, so it’s important to ensure you’re paying for what you’re getting.

These guys often show up for auction in lots with other Little Walkers on eBay and other auction sites.

 Summary

These are highlights of some of collectors’ favorites, and only a representative selection of the wide variety of King Kong toys over the years.  The variety is pretty amazing, from quirky to classic, and a testament to the timelessness of the character.  Everyone knows King Kong.  For many kids, even today, he is the first classic monster they are exposed to.  These toys, and the many others not included here, are central to many classic monster collections — like mine.

I’d love to here from other “Kong Kollectors” — what toys are your favorites?  What’s highest on your Want List?