Where to Buy Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy, Model, Collectible Nominees
Legends of Cthulhu Action Figures by Warpo Toys
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
In the summer of 2014, my family visited the Minnesota History Center in St Paul. The museum has just kicked off an exhibit that I couldn’t wait to see called Toys of the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. As we worked our way through the excellent exhibit, we arrived at the 1970s room and there– right in the center of it all — was my childhood on display. An entire section dedicated to monsters and superheroes. Aurora model kits, Mego action figures and Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine. I was immediately transported back in time; transfixed and flooded with memories that I hadn’t consciously recalled for decades.
My family was patient — and I finally continued through the rest of the exhibit, only to find myself drifting back through the crowd to the monster display. I’d be inclined to blame it on a mid-life crisis given my age, but I’ve been an active comic book collector for most of my adult life, so my passion for childish things wasn’t new– my wife was more than aware of it when she married me. No, it was the monsters. As much as I love superheroes and comics, I had forgotten the monsters. And for as long as I can remember, I’ve loved monsters.
When I got home that afternoon, I tracked down the collector whose toys were featured in this exhibit, and it turns out they belong to fellow Minnesotan, Dave Barnhill. According to his bio on his website SuperMonsterCity.com, “David’s collection now includes more than 200,000 items, making this Minnesota-based collection one of the largest private toy collections in America. Containing rare and highly sought after items representing toy-makers and monster creators from across the US and several foreign countries, David co-founded SuperMonster市 City! because he is eager to share his joy in toys, monsters, superheroes and villains with the world. I highly encourage checking out his site, specifically his Monster Toy Gallery.
And that’s all it took– George the Monster Kid had risen from the grave and my love of classic monsters was alive, ALIVE!
The Digital Clubhouse for Monster Kids & Collectors of Classic Monster, Retro Science Fiction and Vintage Fantasy Memorabilia