Classic Movie Posters Gallery – Dracula’s Daughter

Classic Movie Poster Gallery

Welcome to my new series focused on collecting vintage movie posters. Film posters are one of the most interesting collectible category to me personally as they are truly works of pop art and, in many cases, better than the films themselves!

Every week, I’ll feature a classic movie poster from a vintage horror, retro science fiction or classic fantasy movie. You’ll see the most iconic posters as well as the forgotten and bizarre from throughout the history of movies.


 

So without further ado, I give you Dracula’s Daughter (click to image enlarge)

Dracula's Daughter RealArt One Sheet 1949
Dracula’s Daughter (Realart, R-1949). One Sheet (27″ X 41″).

Gloria Holden “Gives you that weird feeling,” as she peers out hungrily from behind the blood and bat laden title on this fabulous one sheet.  This is the one sheet for the 1949 re-release of this classic picture and it has an over-the-top pop art sensibility that appeals to the comic book fan in me.  Plus, what’s not to love about the tag line, “She gives you that Weird Feeling.”  I can just imagine the 13 year boys in 1949 seeing this poster and having all kind of weird feelings, which is pretty much the only kind of feelings 13 year olds have.

Dracula’s Daughter was released this week in 1936 and is a direct sequel to Browning’s Dracula.  The success of Bride of Frankenstein led Universal to green light this sequel and, while not as well known as other classic monster equals, is a favorite of mine.


I Found a framed giclee print  for $9.95 @ Etsy

 

X-Plus War of Gargantuas Vinyl Figures – Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category

Collecting the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category – Part 6

X-Plus War of Gargantuas Vinyl Figures

I continue my series profiling each of the 2015 Rondo Awards nominees for Best Toy/Model/Collectible category with the X-Plus set of vinyl figures from Toho’s 1966 kaiju classic, War of the Gargantuas.

X-Plus War of Gargantuas Vinyl Figures - Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category
PHOTO: JOHN STANOWSKI / KAIJU ADDICTS

 

NOTE: I recently wrote a Monster Kid Memories piece about the impact War of the Gargantuas had on me as a formative Monster Kid when my 5-year-old self tried (unsuccessfully) to watch this movie after convincing my parents to let me stay up late to watch it on TV.   This event was extremely influential in my life-long passion for monsters of the movies.  While I don’t consider this one of my favorite monster, or even kaiju, movies, it certainly is one of the most influential.  If you’re interested, you can read this post by clicking here.

The purpose of this series is two-fold:

  1. review the nominees for Best Toy, Model, Collectible category in the 201 5 Rondo Awards
  2. provide current availability and pricing

I’m not an expert on vinyl figures.  I’m intrigued by them and have been tempted for years to dabble though the price points have kept me at bay so far.  To date, I’ve continued to focus my limited collecting budget on vintage collectibles but if there is a category that could pull me into modern collectibles (other than comics) it is these high-quality, realistic Japanese vinyl figures from companies like X-Plus.

X-Plus, the company behind these amazing figures, specializes in highly detailed soft vinyl figures from the Godzilla, Gamera and Ultraman franchises as well as other Japanese anime and fantasy films.

Product Details

  • MSRP:  $170.00 (sold out at retail)
  • PX Previews Exclusive” on front of package
  • 2014 Diamond release re-issue
  • Material: Soft Vinyl
  • Series:  TOHO 30CM
  • Sanda 12″, Gaira 10.5″

Vinyl figure collectors are a passionate lot, especially kaiju vinyl figure collectors.  Given my lack of expertise in this category, I’m going to defer to two of the more passionate collectors in this field.

First up is this comprehensive video review by Richard Eso from his Fresh Vinyl channel on YouTube:

 

Next, I highly recommend you click the link below and head over to kaijuaddicts.com to read John Stanowski’s review of this figure set.  John is the voice behind Kaijuaddicts.com, which is a gold-mine of information for anyone interested in learning more about X-Plus, vinyl kaiju figures and collecting vinyl in general.  If you’re like me, after you read this review you’ll want to bookmark this site and spend some more time on it–ALOT more time in my case as I’ve found this to be a very informative and readable blog for kaiju vinyl collectors.

Full review over at Kaijuaddicts.com


Where to Find the X-Plus War of Gargantuas Vinyl Figures

In short, good luck!

Both of the reviewers above made it clear that collecting vinyl figures means pre-ordering from Previews or through your local Diamond retailer or face the immediate mark up of the reseller marketplace.

Since the standard process is to pre-order these figures, it’s not surprising that my research didn’t find any in stock at the usual sites.  It appears that another release is in the works, but X-Plus and Diamond have not yet provided specific details on the date.  Since this is a fairly new release, I would expect individual items to begin show up on auction sites and in dedicated collector marketplaces from time to time, but given the passion of X-Plus collectors and the desirability of these particular figures, expect to pay a handsome markup if you are lucky enough to find these guys for sale.

Summary

I’ve learned a lot about soft vinyl figures and X-Plus in writing this post and my interest is piqued.

I’m definitely going to keep an eye out on upcoming releases and pre-order through my local comic shop if something catches my eye — for example, X-Plus just released a gorgeous diecast model of the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea which I would LOVE to have since that is one of my all-time-favorite movies.  Just released in January 2015, t’s selling for $350 on Amazon and over $500 on Amazon

I can certainly see why any vinyl kaiju or X-Plus collector would want to have these figures in their collection.  Not only is War of the Gargantuas one of the best non-Godzilla kaiju films from the 1960s (my opinion) but these figures just look great.  I understand some of the issues with the paint jobs, but as a collector of vintage monster toys, I’m in awe of the realism and detail of these guys and X-Plus figures in general.  The paint jobs certainly are minor in my opinion

I’d love to have these Gargantua figures in my collection thought I doubt I’ll be shelling out $500 or more for them in the near future.

That Nautilus model on Amazon at $350, however…..

 

 

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 Category – Forrest J Ackerman Statue

Collecting the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category – Part 4

Forrest J Ackerman Statue by Dark Horse

Another week, another post about this year’s nominees for  the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category.  Today’s subject is the Dark Horse tribute to every monster kid’s favorite uncle, Dr. Acula himself, Forrest J. Ackerman.

This article provides detailed specs of this figure, a video biography of this influential man, as well as a current pricing and links to several sites where I found it available to purchase.  From one monster kid to another, please note that this site is an affiliate of some of these sites, which simply means we receive advertising revenue from them.

The Original Monster Kid

Forry was the creator, editor, and principal writer for Famous Monsters of Filmland.  He was also one of the great collectors of classic sci fi and monster memorabilia.  He displayed his extensive horror book and memorabilia collection in his Los Angeles home, affectionately called the “Ackermansion,” where for fifty years, he shared his collection with fans during open-house events.

To say he had far-reaching influence in the science fiction, horror, and fantasy community would be like saying Neal Armstrong was important in space exploration–it’s true in fact, but it simply doesn’t get to the heart of the matter.  Uncle Forry, as he was known, is one of the founding fathers of monster fandom and almost every Monster Kid alive today can trace their lifelong love of all things fantastic to this man, the Original and Ultimate Monster Kid.

Forrest J Ackerman Dark Horse Statue Rondo Awards 2015 Best Collectible Category

 

This statue is a tribute to this influential man and I give Dark Horse great credit for commissioning this piece.  Really, it’s about time.  Collecting is a big part of being a Monster Kid and it only makes sense to have Dr. Acula present on our collection shelf alongside the creatures and characters Ackerman loved as much as we do.

Specs

  • MSRP $179.99
  • Limited edition; 350
  • 13 inches
  • Sculpted by Tony Cipriano

While I don’t have a video review of this statue, I couldn’t resist embedding this great documentary, Famous Monster, focusing on the life of Uncle Forry.

If you’ve seen it, it’s well worth the 45 minutes to watch it again.

If you haven’t seen this…well, you’re at serious risk of losing your Monster Kid club membership!  Enjoy:


 Where to Find Forrest J Ackerman Statue by Dark Horse

eBay

Amazon

EntertainmentEarth


 

Summary

I’m a huge fan of Forry.  Unlike many of my elder Monster Kid counterparts, I never got to meet him, but his impact on my childhood is massive.  I was a 70s monster kid, and found Famous Monsters early in my youth.  I bought every issue on the news stand starting in 1975 through it’s final issue in 1983.

As an adult, I’ve continued to collect Famous Monsters and have filled in many missing keys from the 1960s.

My affection for Forry is the primary reason I like this statue.  Cipriano is an amazing artist and many of his works make me drool a little bit.  This isn’t one of those, largely because the subject is harder to capture than a super hero or Frazetta warrior.  That’s probably the reason I really like this statue, but don’t quite love it.

I don’t own it yet, but now that the original run is sold out at retail and the price is coming down from it’s original MSRP, I can certainly see spending $100 or so to honor the man himself if nothing else.

It’s a really nice piece, and I think it’s important to recognize the importance of Forry to monster fandom.

Anyone own this?  Look forward to your thoughts.

Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category – Lily Munster Maquette

Collecting the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category

Lily Munster Maquette by Tweeterhead

Continuing our deep dive into the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category, this post focuses on the gorgeous Lily Munster Maquette from Tweeterhead.  This article provides detailed specs of this figure, a video review as well as a price list with links to several sites where I found it available to purchase.  Some of these are affiliate links which means I receive advertising revenue from the sites.

Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Lily Munster Maquette by Tweeterhead
image © Tweeterhead

 

For anyone unfamiliar with this San Francisco-based company, it’s worth checking out their Facebook Page or their website to see the jaw-dropping work they do.  In addition to this striking Lily Munster statue, their recent releases include Elvira and a Batman 66 collection.

Statue Specs:

  • Cold-cast porcelain
  • Available in Color and Black & White
  • Limited Edition
  • 1/6th Scale
  • 13″ Tall with Base
  • 2 pieces: Lily + Base
  • Painted Prototype and box design by David Fisher

Here’s a well-done video review from Too Many Figures highlighting this action figure in great detail. Check out their Youtube Channel for more reviews like this one:

Beautifully Sculpted by Trevor Grove

Rondo Award 2015 Best Toy Lily-Munster-Maquette- Production Piece
image © Tweeterhead

 

While the Lily Munster statue was the nominated piece for the Rondo Awards, it is worth noting that Tweeterhead is rolling out the entire Munsters family as a collection — check this out; I really love this collection.

Eddie is the newest piece and is available for pre-order starting May 2015:

Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category Munsters Collection by Tweeterhead
image © Tweeterhead

Where to Find Lily Munster Maquette by Tweeterhead

Tweeterhead.com

  • Sold Out; Original Retail Price: $234.99

Entertainment Earth

Sideshow Collectibles

Ebay.com

Amazon.com

While this statue didn’t get my Rondo vote, it certainly deserved to be nominated for Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy category — the sculpt, paint and event the packaging are first-class.

In summary, I appreciate the quality and craftsmanship of this piece.  For the price, I would still spend my limited collecting budget on a high-grade vintage item first.

But that’s me.  Collecting classic monsters doesn’t have to be about vintage collectibles.  Tweeterhead is certainly proof that modern collectibles of classic monsters, like this Munsters collection, are worthy of collector’s interest and investment.

Anyone vote for this statue in the Rondos?  Anyone have this in their collection?  I’d love to hear from Munsters collectors in the comments section below!

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!

Lesson #2: Monster Movies are Scary

Monster movies are scary.

It’s a lesson I learned early in my journey to becoming a monster kid.  How one responds to that fear is what separates monster kids from everybody else.  Monster kids love the monsters that scare them.

This is the story of how I learned this lesson and how I responded.

My parents were naively trusting. Either that, or they cunningly knew I wouldn’t make it 5 minutes into the movie.  Maybe it was a little of both.  Whatever the reason, they agreed to let me stay up past my bedtime to watch WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS on the network Friday Night Movie.  It was 1971 and I was 5 years old.

The previous summer, I had seem my first monster movie, King Kong, at the public library and I was hooked.  I checked out every library book on movie monsters I could find over the course of that summer and did the same at the school library when summer ended.  Books were good, but in the days before streaming and even VHS tapes, actually seeing a monster movie was a big deal.  Especially when you were my age.

Each week, I scoured the new issue of TV Guide and circled the movies I wished I could see.  I had an early bedtime, so my options were limited.  Then I saw it– the ABC Friday Night at the Movies World Premiere Event — WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS.

I found this TV Guide Ad from 1974 on eBay — though not the channel or the year I discovered this movie, it is similar to the ad that captured my imagination in 1971:

TV-Guide-War-of-Gargantuas

I had never heard of this movie before seeing this ad, but I knew about Ringling Brothers’ Gargantua.  So I figured, by name and appearance, this movie was going to be like a crazy version of KING KONG with two monsters.  I knew had to see this movie, and I carefully prepared my campaign to convince my parents began.  To my surprise, they agreed to let me stay up and watch it as soon as I asked.  Naive, or wiley…always the question.

I spent the rest of the week in complete anticipation of that night.  At last, Friday night arrived and I sat in front of the TV with baited breath.

Fans of this movie know it wastes absolutely no time in getting to the thrills or, in the case of my 5 year-old-self, the terror.

As the eerie sounds of the theremin played over the opening sequence, we see a ship at sea.  With lightening crackling overhead, a lone captain mans the ship against the coming storm.  Within seconds, an octopus tentacle snakes through an open door of the ship and wraps around the captain’s leg.  He fights it off, only to be ensnared again by another tentacle.  We then see the massive octopus, larger than the boat, as it begins to pull the helpless sailor toward it.  Suddenly, the captain is free and the tentacles gone.  The startled and relieved sailor looks out to see an epic battle raging between the giant octopus and something else– a humanoid of massive proportion.  This gargantua kills the octopus, but it’s intent was not to save the captain and his ship.  He then grabs the vessel and, like a child in the bath tub, rocks the boat violently, trying to get at the tasty human morsels inside.

That was enough for me.  I turned off the TV and ran to find my parents.  I hadn’t even made it to the opening title of the film.

I have since seen this movie many times.  I watched it earlier today as I prepared to write this and, out of curiosity, I timed the opening scene at 3:58.  I had convinced my parents to let me stay up late to watch a monster movie and I made it all of 4 minutes.

Where KING KONG made me feel excited and sad, WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS scared me.

This movie taught me an important lesson about monster movies — they were SCARY!

Of course, becoming a monster kid meant facing your fears and watching the movie.  For me, this happened incrementally.

PLANET of the APES was my next attempt.

I made it all the way to corn fields before giving in to the my fear.  I didn’t even get to see the apes in my first effort.  But I made it past the frightening scenes of death in the spaceship and the disturbing, anxiety-provoking music and Taylor’s trek across the Forbidden Zone.  Progress.

But that’s a story for another time.

Attempting to watch GARGANTUAS was a critical step for me as a five-year-old.  Perhaps more important, I didn’t let my fear stop me.  I remained curious about monsters and I kept coming back for more.  I was becoming a Monster Kid.

 


 

If you haven’t seen WAR OF THE GARGANTUAS in a long time or, Heaven forbid,  you’ve never seen it, click on the image below to stream it on Amazon Instant Video.  This is a fun 60’s monster movie and, in my opinion, one of the best non-Godzilla kaiju films ever:

 

5 Local Places to Find Classic Monster Collectibles

In addition to searching online for collectibles like every other collector, there are a number of ways to find monster collectibles locally.  While this is can be time and labor intense, there is simply no feeling like walking into a shop or sale and spying treasure that is overlooked by other buyers and sellers.  This is where you can truly find hidden gems, sometimes for dirt-cheap.  The thrill of the hunt and the reward for the catch are greatest when you put the time and effort into the search in a way that doesn’t exist online.

So here’s my list for local places to find classic monster collectibles:

6. Local Auctions

Almost every community has at least one auction house.  The local companies often run auctions to liquidate assets for business and personal bankruptcy as well as work with collectors and dealers to auction off collections and inventory.  Auctions are usually listed in the classifieds of your local paper but several websites, such as Kbid.com, provide a national database of local auctions where you can search for specific types of items, like monster toys or movie posters, and even bid online.  Auction houses often specialize, so search for one nearby that focuses on collectibles and attend a few auctions in person.  Get to know the people who run the auction company and tell them about your collection.  It is not uncommon that items are brought to their attention that don’t fit a specific auction and they may just refer the seller to you as a potential buyer.

5. Comic & Antique Shops

Every comic book shop is as unique as the interests of its owners. Some only deal in current comics, while others deal in a wide variety of vintage pop culture collectibles.  Prices in comic and collectible shops will be retail, so you’re unlikely to find any bargain collectibles here.  Ebay.com often serves as the price guide for these businesses, as may of these retail stores also host stores online at Ebay.com and other collectible websites.  Again, getting to know the owner/manager and letting them know your interest is a good way to get them to help you build your collection.  These dealers are in position to buy lots of collectibles from local people who don’t have the interest or time to sell online and, if they know they have a potential buyer for a given product, they are more than happy to call or email you when items of interest cross their path.

4. Flea Markets  local-places-find-classic-monster-collectibles-flea-market

Flea markets are an ideal haunt for collectors.  The sheer quantity of dealers, who often take a generalist approach to the merchandise they sell, increases the likelihood of both finding items for your collection and getting them at a good price.  Every major market is home to flea markets — some year-round and some seasonally.  Since many booths are a fish-mash of items, plan to take your time.  You just never know when that unique item might pop up — often in a bin or box full of other not-to-similar items.  Over time, you’ll find the go-to booths where the odds are higher of finding the type of collectibles you are seeking, but be careful not to get into a rut.  It’s worthwhile to get outside your normal routine on occasion since you just never know what treasure might be waiting for you one booth down.  A quick google search will turn up a list or directory of local flea markets.  I’ve found the directory at Collectors.org to be helpful in my search.

 3. Estate Sales

There is an art to buying at estate sales, and in recent years, many estate sale companies have developed relationships with

Local-Places-Find-Classic-Monster-Collectibles-Estate-Saledealers who get first-dibs on items in the sale.  That said, not every estate sale company specializes in every category of collectible, and it is not uncommon to find items prices well below market value simply because they aren’t on the radar of that particular estate sale company.  Of course, the opposite often happens — I’ve been to estate sales where a stack of low-grade comics  are priced well above their value simply because the estate company knows that comics have become highly collectible.  The best strategy for estate sales is to get in early and late.  As estate sales are wrapping up, the willingness to negotiate on prices increases significantly for any items that remain.  Estate sales are usually advertised in local classifieds and several websites, such as Estatesales.net are great resources for finding upcoming local and regional sales and will often include lists of categories of items included in the sale as well as pictures to help you select which sales are worth your effort to

2.  Yard Sales local-places-find-classic-monster-collectibles-garage-sale

Every collector dreams of finding a rare and valuable collectible being priced at bargain prices because the owner has no idea of its worth.  That is unlikely to happen online, but it just might happen if you invest the time and energy into garage sales.  One of the best ways to find collectibles is to scour garage and yard sales in older neighborhoods.  This can be a hobby in it’s own right and is certainly time intensive.    Your local newspaper, penny saver and Craigslist.com are great resources for finding upcoming sales in your area.

1. Your Parent’s House

My mom was the driving influence behind my becoming a collector.  Back when I was saving my allowance to buy comics and Famous Monsters at the newsstand, she would encourage me to stack them nicely in my closet and event to store them in plastic sleeves.  As I grew up and my interests changed, many of my childhood obsessions were donated, tossed out or broken.  But those that survived, my mom eventually packed away in storage for safekeeping.  My own return to collecting as an adult really started when my parents decided to downsize and they asked me what I wanted to do with the comic long boxes and toys that had been stored in their attic and basement all those years.  Deciding to keep them and move them to my home has provided me with hours of enjoyment and brought back a flood of memories of my childhood passion for classic monsters.  If you’re starting out as a collector, the first pace to start is in your own childhood home to see what remains of your childhood collection.  If your mom is like mine, you’ll be surprised at the treasure trove that may be sitting in storage waiting to be rediscovered.

Of course, the World Wide Web has made it MUCH easier to search for and but that most sought after item for your collection.  Here’s our list of the Top Websites for Classic Monster Collectibles

For more information, visit our Monster Collector Resources page – it’s chick full of links to sites about vintage and modern monster collectibles!

Top Websites for Classic Monster Collectibles

Finding Classic Monster Collectibles Online:

For new collectors, finding classic monster collectibles online is a smart place to start.  Not only does the internet make it easy to search for and purchase collectibles, it is also an excellent way to determine current values and prices for collectibles. Having a good sense for what specific collectibles have recently sold for will help you determine how far your collecting budget will go and how much you should pay when something catches your eye.

I’ve compiled a list of some of the best places online to find classic monster collectibles.  I’ve listed these sites numerically below, but the rankings aren’t what matter. In fact it’s not my intention to claim one site is better than another, numbering them simply helps organize this list for ease of use.

The sites I’ve listed range from general merchandise marketplaces, where monster collectibles show up from time to time, to sites that specialize in a specific collectible type, like movie props or movie posters.  This post contains affiliate links, which means that I have an advertising relationship with some of these websites.  Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.

In future posts, I’ll review each of thee sites and detail their advantages and disadvantages.

Here’s my list of top websites for classic monster collectibles:

15. Craigslist.com

The web’s version of classified ads, Craigslist is an excellent resource for finding local sellers, as well as flea markets, estate and garage sales.  Unlike many of the other sites in this list, Craigslist provides no buyer services like payment and shipping. Truly “buyer beware” but a great resource for tracking down local collectibles for sale at potentially below retail prices.

14. RubyLane

This site is an online marketplace for antiques and collectibles. The site is curated and has pretty tight restrictions on what may and may not be sold on their website, along with strict requirements for their sellers.  Monster collectibles can be hit or miss here, but still worth an occasional search.  As I was writing this article, I found some interesting items on this site, including Crestwood’s Frankenstein Comic #8 from 1947 for $500 and 1977 Godzilla Jigsaw Puzzle for $35.

13. Bonanza.com

Bonanza is a customer-to-customer marketplace that launched in 2008.  Bonanza was named 2014’s “Most Recommended” and “Best Overall” online marketplace (beating out Amazon and eBay) in the largest seller survey online, conducted by EcommerceBytes.  A quick search on the site turned up mostly modern classic monster toys but I also found some interesting monster kid goodies including 1970s Fun World Vampire Fangs MIB for $19.99 and 12″ Imperial Godzilla from 1985.  Again, not your primary resource for collecting but well worth including in any deep dive search.  Disclosure:

12. Tias.com

This site launched way back in 1995–the same year that eBay started–and has remained a reliable place to find collectibles ever since.  Hit or miss for vintage monster collectibles, but again, worthwhile site to bookmark and search on occasion or when on a specific search.  Because we’re an affiliate of Tias.com, they gave us this handy little search bar that lets you search their site right from this post:

11. MonsterGalaxy.com 

This is an online store that deals in Hollywood Props, Masks, Statues, Sci-Fi Memorabilia Model Kits and Figures.  Prices here are retail, so this isn’t where you go to find bargains.  Well worth bookmarking and checking regular as their inventory changes frequently.

10. EntertainmentEarth.com

This is an amazing online store for modern toys and collectibles.  Seriously, this website has it all — over 15,000 licensed products from action figures, bobble heads, toys and collectibles.  These guys are online pioneers in customer service best-practices and offer such innovations as “Risk-free Shopping”, “Hassle Free 90 Day Returns” and “Mint Condition Guarantee.”

9. MonstersinMotion.com

Offering “the finest in movie & television memorabilia & collectibles including model hobby kits, with custom built and finished works of art” this is another great site to buy current products and modern collectibles.  Plenty of classic monster collectors focus on modern products because  of prices and availability and then selectively dip their toes into the more expensive world of vintage collectibles as their experience and confidence grows.

8. LIVEauctioneers.com

As the name states, this is an auction site.  Different from eBay in that this site enables you to bid live during auctions around the world from your computer.  Simply search the calendar of upcoming auctions and apply to bid in those of interest, then log in and bid for the collectibles you want.  They offer a handy tool that searches across all auction catalogs to help you find the items you’re looking for and save you the pain of searching catalog upon catalog.  Auctions can be exciting and a great way to get items at a good deal, you have to really exercise restraint to keep from getting caught up in the moment as an auction is coming to a close — I’ve found some great items through auctions on this site and can personally vouch for this as an excellent resource.

7. Propstore.com

This site hosts movie memorabilia and prop auctions from time to time and specializes in Horror and Sci-Fi movies.  They’ve recently held Pacific Rim and Enders Game auctions. They also have an Amazon Store featuring items from past auctions.

6. Amazon.com

And speaking of Amazon…no intro needed for this website, but probably not the first place you think of for vintage collectibles.  Amazon, like eBay and Etsy, is an online marketplace and sellers are allowed to sell a wide variety of products, so you can find everything from original Aurora Model kits and 1960s monster toys to vintage movie posters –always worth a look.  We’ve set up an Amazon store to do some of that work for you, Lair of the Classic Monster Collector to see what we’ve curated on your behalf.

5. Etsy.com

Most people think of Etsy as a site for artists to sell their handcrafted items and supplies, but it has really developed as a strong marketplace for vintage items and collectibles at fair prices in recent years.  This is a must-visit site for classic monster collectors and hardly a day goes by without me finding something I can’t live without in my Etsy feed.

4. Hakes.com

Hakes Americana & Collectibles is an auction site dedicated to pop culture memorabilia.  The company has been around since 1967 and they are experts in many pop culture collectibles categories.  They host auctions several times a year, so sign up for their email to get alerts about upcoming auctions that you can participate in online.  They also offer items for sale on their site that didn’t sell during past auctions and there are always wonderful classic monster collectibles to be found.

3. eBay.com

Still the largest site on the internet for collectibles of every category, and the place to start when searching for collectibles.  In fact, don’t be surprised if you enter the name of the collectible your hunting of in a search engine and most of the page one listings are from eBay — I googled “Aurora Monster Models” and

2. Facebook Collector Groups

One of the best ways to get started collecting is to search for Facebook groups specific to your interest.  In addition to finding a community of people with similar interests, groups provide great forums to ask questions and share in the collective experience of the group membership.  Members of these groups are collectors as well and prices reflect that reality but don’t get marked up to absurd levels as they do on some auction sites.  Paypal is the currency of most groups, and since Facebook isn’t a marketplace, buyers and sellers avoid the fees that are part of selling on auction and marketplace sites.  Here are some of the groups I belong to that I highly recommend:

1. UniversalMonsterArmy.com

This is THE online community for Monster Kids and I highly recommend joining this free forum to connect with other lovers of classic monsters.  This site has 2 forums dedicated specifically to collecting classic monsters:

  • Monsters Wanted:

    Recruit the UMArmy to help you in your search with this Want Ad forum dedicated to the search for specific collectibles.

  • Monsters For Sale:

    An online marketplace for collectors to buy/sell/trade monster collectibles with other collectors.

So there you have it — a useful, though certainly not complete, list of online resources to start, grow and share your classic monster collection.  Did I miss any sites that you recommend?  If so, please share in the comments section below and I’ll add them to the list!

While the internet has made it easier to find those must-have items for your collection, the joy of the hunt is often greater in the physical world – Here’s our list of 5 Local Places to Find Classic Monster Collectibles

And more even more resources, check out our Monster Collector Resources page.

Happy Hunting!