Since 2002, the Rondo’s have been fandom’s only classic horror awards — decided by fans, for fans. Every nominee is considered for significant work or achievement made in the year 2017.
I’m honored to be nominated for the second year in a row in Category 17: Best Website or Blog. I humbly ask for your vote.
In addition, I had the honor of being Executive Producer of Christopher R Mihm’s 2017 film, Demon with the Atomic Brain, which is nominated for Category 8: Best Independent Film of 2017.
And of course, I was thrilled to begin a new column in Scary Monsters magazine, which is nominated for Category 12: Best Magazine along with Category 16: Best Cover
I also had the privilege of being a guest on Cult Radio A Go-Go! whose hosts Terry and Tiffany DuFoe are nominated for Category 14: Best Interview for their Videoscope magazine interview of Adrienne Barbeau.
And, of course, Derek M Koch‘s essential podcast Monster Kid Radio which I joined him for an episode to chat about my favorite 50s monster movie, The Blob, is nominated again for Category18. BEST MULTI-MEDIA HORROR SITE.
Voting ends Sunday, April 8, 2018 at midnight your local time. You can vote in as many, or few, categories as you’d like but definitely encourage you to check out the full ballot here: http://rondoaward.com/rondoaward.com/blog/
How to Vote:
Voting is simple. Simply send an email to David Colton, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your name and your vote in the email.
Or just cut and paste the following:
Category 8: Best Independent Film of 2017: Demon with the Atomic Brain
Category 12: Best Magazine: Scary Monsters
Category 14: Best Interview: Terry and Tiffany DuFoe
Category 16: Best Cover: Scary Monsters
Category 17: CollectingClassicMonsters.com
Category 18. BEST MULTI-MEDIA HORROR SITE: Monster Kid Radio
There are many worthwhile contenders in every category and I consider the Rondo ballot a treasure trove full of new artists, writers, creators and creations that I need to dive into. Voting is wonderful and much appreciated. But supporting this community fo creators with your wallet matters so much more!
Meet Flip, a 1960s Monster Kid That Would Have Been My Best Friend
The short film FLIP: a short film follows the exploits of a 1960s Monster Kid who, flush with birthday money from his grandmother, turns directly to the siren’s call of those wondrous novelty ads in the back of his (and our) favorite comic books. It’s a perfect way to kick off our series focused on vintage Monster Kid advertising and gets right to the heart of being a Monster Kid during the peak years of the 60s Monster Boom and why so many of us are collectors today.
Flip: a short film was written and directed by Kirk Desmarais, a comic book mail order historian who is perhaps best known for his wonderful book Mail-Order Mysteries (by the way, if you don’t have this book you need to click the link and order it from Amazon now; we won’t start the film without you so hurry back).
Welcome back! You’re really going to enjoy the book.
FLIP won the RONDO award for best independent film in 2004 and I absolutely adore it!
Without further commentary, enjoy the show:
Flip: a short film is jam-packed with some of the most memorable mail order ads from 60s Monster Kid era and is a perfect companion short to our feature focus on those wonderful vintage advertisements. In no particular order, Flip features:
Does this bring back memories for you? Did you have experiences similar to Flip? Share your memories of those wonderful ads, and not so wonderful products, with us in the comments section or on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CollectingClassicMonsters/
Counting Down to Halloween with Elvira’s Wonderful Series, Monsterama
Monsterama is an original series hosted by Elvira, Mistress of the Dark that focuses on every aspect of monster movie mania imaginable. From Hollywood special effects, creature shops and monster make-up to the latest creature collectibles. As we count down to Halloween 2015, we’re going to feature each and every episode of Monsterama in all it’s Elvira-filled wonder and then we’ll explore the collectibles and merchandise for the featured subject of each episode – should be a great deal of fun!
Episode 1 of Monsterama focuses on the longest running Halloween attraction in the United States. Open since 1966, The Witch’s Dungeon in Bristol, CT is a Monster Kid’s dream come true – literally. Cortland Hull, a Monster Kid Extraordinaire and nephew of the great Henry Hull of Werewolf of London is a sculptor who has dedicated his life and art to preserving the classic monsters of film land. The Witch’s Dungeon, which recently moved from it’s longstanding location to a year-round mansion turned museum as part of Hull’s “Preserve Hollywood” efforts, is a treasure trove of classic movie monsters and Elvira takes us on a virtual tour in Episode 1 of Monsterama!
Over the years, Cortland has produced a series of DVDs based on his (and our) passions – all proceeds directly benefit The Witch’s Dungeon Movie Museum
Finally, be sure to visit Cortlund’s Official Website PreserveHollywood.org for directions and 2015 dates as well as lots of content Love to hear from all you Monster Kids who have visited the Witch’s Dungeon over the years! It’s certainly on my must-do list but I haven’t had the pleasure … yet!
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 is a unique blend of the classic Big Boy restaurant mascot
with the infamous Ro-Man Extension XJ-2 from the campy, not-so-classic 1953 B-movie 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-2is 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!
Paul offers these limited edition figures @ $85 which includes shipping.
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!
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.
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!
3.5 feet in length
2 feet in height
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:
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:
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.
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.
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 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
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!
Collecting the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category – Part 5
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.
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.
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
In the process of writing this review, I learned a few things:
Without even knowing it, I am a Christmas ornament collector.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Available in Color and Black & White
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:
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:
Where to Find Lily Munster Maquette by Tweeterhead
Sold Out; Original Retail Price: $234.99
Listed at $224.99 with free shipping within the U.S.
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!
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:
Select-style display packaging with spine artwork:
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:
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.
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.