Tag Archives: Bela Lugosi

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

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

image courtesy of MegoMuseum.com

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

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

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

 

Bela Lugosi Dracula Mego figure

images courtesy MegoMuseum.com

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

Mego Mad Monster Figures

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

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

Watch the Mega Mad Monsters documentary:

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

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

20

Dracula 1931 One Sheet Poster Sets World Record

This Is Now The Most Valuable Movie Poster, Sold At Auction For $525,800

Dracula 1931 One Sheet Style A
Dracula 1931 One Sheet Style A

One of just two surviving One Sheet Style A movie posters for the 1931 horror classic Dracula set a world record for the most valuable movie poster ever sold at auction when it brought $525,800 Saturday, Nov. 18, in a public auction held live and online by Heritage Auctions.

The poster surpassed the previous auction record of $478,000 which was also set (twice) by Heritage Auctions. Heritage had just sold the only known surviving Italian issue movie poster from 1946 for Casablanca in July 2017, which matched their own previous world record from November 2014 for an only-known 1927 copy of the poster for London After Midnight.

This particular poster style from Dracula depicts the menacing visage of actor Bela Lugosi, who transformed the character into the now-famous Universal Monster. Recently discovered in the San Diego, California, collection of a noted film historian, collectors and experts consider it one of the most desirable horror movie posters ever produced.

The family of its longtime owner, Lt. Col. George J. Mitchell, Jr., an Associate Member of the American Society of Cinematographers, placed the poster up for auction. Mitchell had owned the poster since the 1950s.

“The reason my dad purchased the poster is because he loved horror films. He was drawn to the Bela Lugosi poster because it brought back childhood memories of seeing the film when it was first released,” Mitchell’s son, Arthur Mitchell said. “He remembered going to the theater … and remembered that there was an ambulance stationed in the lobby, in case anyone was so scared they needed medical attention.”

The elder Mitchell was a longtime cinematographer and photographer, who after World War II and a 20-year career in the U.S. Army, started a small film production company in San Diego, and did video work for AFL and NFL Films, the San Diego Zoo and training films for assorted branches of the military.

“It is a matter of opinion, but this poster probably is the most beautiful of all of the styles,” Heritage Auctions Vintage Posters Director Grey Smith said, “and one of only two styles that pictures Bela Lugosi in realistic terms or a faithful rendering – the other is a photographic image.”

The new owner’s identify was not revealed, although a Heritage spokesman said it was “an anonymous U.S. bidder.” Kirk Hammett anyone?

Watch this Heritage Auctions video for more information about this iconic poster:

Related Articles:

20

Collecting Dracula: 1931 Movie Posters

The Film that Launched the Universal Monsters

Dracula 1931 Lobby Card

Film posters were designed to have short life spans.  They were simply intended to promote upcoming and new releases while a film was in the theater.  When the film left the theater, the posters were thrown away.  Since scarcity and desirability are primary drivers of value, film posters of classic movies are now extremely valuable – particularly for a film as iconic as Universal’s Dracula starring Bela Lugosi. 

The iconic nature of Todd Browning’s Dracula and the enduring legacy of Bela Lugosi’s performance make posters for this film some of the most coveted – and expensive – of all classic film posters.  Unfortunately, only a few posters are known to exist today from the wide range of designs that originally existed.

Below, we’ve included artwork from the original 1931 Universal press book to give you a look at the original designs that are not known to exist any longer.

One Sheet Film Posters

Dracula 1931 One Sheet Style A
Dracula 1931 One Sheet Style A

This poster became the most valuable film poster ever sold when it was auctioned for $525,800 on November 17, 2017 by Heritage Auctions. Read the details here.

Dracula 1931 One Sheet Poster Style F
Dracula 1931 One Sheet Poster Style F

We previously published  in-depth article on the Style F One Sheet in our Classic Movie Posters series.  You can read it here:

Classic Movie Posters – Dracula 1931 One Sheet

The following One Sheet Styles are from the original 1931 Film Press Book but no known examples of these posters exist (if they do…Wow! What a find it will be!)

Dracula-1931-one-sheet-style-b
Dracula 1931 One Sheet Style B
Dracula 1931 One Sheet Style C
Dracula 1931 One Sheet Style C

Dracula 1931 Three Sheet:

Dracula 1931 Three Sheet Style D
Dracula 1931 Three Sheet Style D
Dracula 1931 Three Sheet Style E
Dracula 1931 Three Sheet Style E

Dracula 1931 Six Sheet:

Dracula 1931 Six Sheet
Dracula 1931 Six Sheet

Dracula 1931 24 Sheet

Dracula 1931 24 Sheet
Dracula 1931 24 Sheet

Dracula 1931 Insert

Dracula 1931 Insert
Dracula 1931 Insert

Dracula 1931 Half Sheets:

Dracula 1931 Half Sheet Style A
Dracula 1931 Half Sheet Style A
Dracula 1931 Half Sheet Style B
Dracula 1931 Half Sheet Style B

Dracula 1931 Window Cards:

Dracula 1931 Window Card Style A
Dracula 1931 Window Card Style A
Dracula 1931 Window Card Style B
Dracula 1931 Window Card Style B

Dracula 1931 Herald:

Dracula 1931 Herald Front
Dracula 1931 Herald Front
Dracula 1931 Herald Back
Dracula 1931 Herald Back
Dracula 1931 Herald Interior
Dracula 1931 Herald Interior

Dracula 1931 Jumbo Lobby Cards:

Dracula 1931 Lobby Card

Dracula 1931 Lobby Card

Dracula 1931 Lobby Card

Dracula 1931 Lobby Card

Dracula 1931 Lobby Card

Dracula 1931 Lobby Card

Dracula 1931 Lobby Card

Many of these incredible pieces of ephemera are, unfortunately, lost to history.  And all of them are beyond he reach of most collectors.  Regardless, we have the film and, through this digital gallery, we can all relish the awesome pop culture art of these iconic posters.

Related:

20

Classic Movie Posters – Dracula 1931 One Sheet

Classic Movie Poster Gallery

Dracula-1931-One-Sheet

Dracula (Universal, 1931) One Sheet (27″ X 41″) Style F

It’s October and we’re getting back to basics with a focus on the most iconic of all classic monster movies, the films from Universal Studios.  First up, Bela Lugosi as Dracula in the 1931 film classic.

Watch this video history of 1931’s Dracula from Heritage Aucitions:

From Heritage Auctions website:

This lovely Style F stone litho one sheet, with its stunning image of Count Dracula aboard the Vespa en route to London, is a real gem. In March 2009, Heritage sold another copy of this style, from the collection of Nicolas Cage, which realized more than $310,000. At the time, it was noted that the copy offered was one of only three known. The discovery of the poster in this auction brings that grand total to four known to exist in the entire world. The poster had a tear in the upper white border that extends into the image within the green field between Dracula’s raised fist and the moon behind him, with a tiny fleck of missing paper at the intersection of the border and the green field. There was tear from the left border into the “D” in “Dracula” and down into the black of the cape. There was two tears in the right border that extend just into the image and there were pinholes in the upper two corners of the artwork. The bottom white border was trimmed just below the black line which delineates the image from the border so no color image was lost and the entire image and all borders were intact other than the lower border. Through careful professional restoration all of these issues discussed were beautifully restored. The colors on the poster are as vibrant as the day it was printed and have not been altered at all. Few posters combine the high degrees of rarity, desirability, and sheer artistic beauty like this scarce showpiece.

The poster described in the video,  only the fourth Style F poster from the film ever uncovered, sold at auction in 2012  for $143,400. This poster was part of The Berwick Discovery of Lost Movie Posters – a trove of 33 classic and incredibly rare posters dating back as far as 1930 – many examples of which were thought to be lost for all time, realized $503,035 total,.  The Berwick posters came out of an attic and were found in a small country auction in Berwick, PA, in several lots stuck together with wallpaper paste, which had preserved them for more than eight decades.

In 2009, a Style F one sheet owned by the actor Nicolas Cage went for $310,700 when the actor sold off his collection.

Related Articles: 

I recommend this Kindle book for more information on the classic monster movie posters:

POSTER ART FROM CLASSIC MONSTER FILMS

available at Amazon.com for Kindle

 

20