Tag Archives: Universal Monsters

Monsters for Free: Anchor Hocking Universal Monsters Drinking Glasses

The Coolest Gas Station Giveaways of the 1960s

Anchor Hawking Universal Monster Glasses Set

Anchor Hocking Universal Monsters Drinking Glasses             Set of 4 – 1963

The mid-1960s was the peak of the Monster Craze in the U.S. and classic monsters were everywhere; on Saturday afternoon television, in toy and hobby stores, on the magazine rack and even at the gas station.  Gas stations in the 60’s would give out a glass with a free tank of gas just as fast food chains did in the 80’s and the subject matter would reflect the popular trends at the time.

Anchor-Hocking, a glassware company, produced a set of four glasses for gas stations featuring the Universal Monsters in 1963. The glasses featured colorful images of Frankenstein’s Monster, the Wolf Man, the Mummy and the Creature from the Black Lagoon but surprisingly no Dracula. The release date of the set falls before the lawsuit that virtually removed Dracula from merchandising due to the Bela Lugosi likeness so it unusual to see the Creature included.
The day-glow vibrant colors, great facsimiles of the classic monsters (which wasn’t always a sure thing during this time period) and the popularity of the four characters featured on the glasses are all reasons for the demand and popularity of this collectible set.  Glasses were painted and have a nice textured feel to them.

The following pictures are the glasses set in my collection:

Frankenstein Monster Drinking Glass

Anchor Hawking Frankenstein Glass

I love the Glenn Strange likeness of the Monster on this glass, but it appears they started at the top with this illustration and ran out of room to include the traditionally heavy platform boots.  His too-small feet really throw the overall design off for me despite the great face illustration.

The Wolf Man Drinking Glass

Anchor Hawking Wolf Man Glass

Wonderful art of Lon Chaney Jr’s iconic character.

The Mummy Drinking Glass

Anchor Hawking Mummy Glass

It’s not often that my favorite piece is a set is The Mummy, but it is my favorite in this case. The Lon Chaney Jr likeness is the best of any classic monster collectible (outside of a Famous Monsters cover) and the vibrant colors just really do it for me!

Creature from the Black Lagoon  Drinking Glass

Anchor Hawking Creature Black Lagoon Glass

My favorite of the Universal Monsters, and a really cool glass.

These glasses aren’t hard to find in good condition but they have gotten quite expensive in recent years.  Considering that these pieces are over 50 years old, the relatively good condition of many of these glasses is a testament to how well made they are.  Anchor Hocking is still in operation to this day and it’s no surprise if these glasses are representative of their product quality.

Based on a quick search of eBay, prices for individual glasses are ranging from $75 to $125 regardless of which character.  Finding complete sets is still possible, though this might be one to put on the estate and garage sale wish list at current secondary market prices!

(Video) Monsterama Episode 15 – Don Post Studios

The Company the Made Monsters out of Monster Kids for Generations!

Hollywood Horrors Don Post Studios Ad

As a kid, the Captain Co. ads in the back of Famous Monsters of Filmland were every bit as fascinating to me as the pictures and articles in the magazine.  Perhaps more so.  Because seeing the movies that were featured in the magazine each month was a crap shoot based on whatever was playing on TV and my ability to convince my parents to let me watch them when they did come on.  But the merchandise was within my grasp.  Though my allowance was meager, I made sure that these ads were front and center with my mom come birthday and Christmas time.  Sometimes, it even worked.

This is a shared experience with Monster Kids throughout the 60s and 70s and perhaps no ads were more want-inducing than those featuring the masks of Don Post Studios.

This episode of Monsterama takes us back to the beginning of this mask making enterprise and brings us all the way to the current time  – with Halloween approaching, there’s no better company to celebrate than Don Post Studios.

Enjoy:

Collecting Don Post Masks

We’ll be featuring much more about Don Post masks soon, but with Halloween approaching:

Click here are the current eBay listings for Don Post Studios Masks

Click here for current Etsy listings for Don Post Studios Masks

To read more about collecting Don Post Masks, and monster masks in general, I highly recommend The Blood-Curdling Blog of Monster Masks – let them know you found them through us of course!


 

Special Announcement!

DON-CON is COMING

Anyone in the Southern California region with an interest in Don Post Studios has to check out the upcoming Don-Con on November 7-8, 2015 in Burbank, CA.  This is a once-in-a-lifetime event to celebrate the transcendent Don Post Studios, who started it all.

Visit their website for more info and to purchase tickets:
Don Con 2015 Celebrating Don Post Studios

(Video) Monsterama Episode 6 – Sideshow Collectibles

This Episode Examines Sideshow Collectibles Incredible Monster Action Figures 
Sideshow-Collectibles-Universal-Monsters

We continue our month-long feature of Elvira’s Monsterama series with a particularly interesting episode for classic monster collectors.  Sideshow Collectibles makes incredibly detailed toys and statues for every genre, but they have a particular fondness for monsters as you’ll see when you watch Episode 6 of Monsterama:

The Universal Monster figures featured in this episode of Monsterama are long sold-out but are available on the secondary market.  Here is what’s currently available at Amazon.com


Universal Monsters The Mummy Pre Painted Polystone Statue by Sideshow Toys


Universal Monsters The Wolfman Pre Painted Polystone Statue by Sideshow Toys


Universal Monsters The Phantom Of The Opera Pre Painted Polystone Statue by S…


Universal Monsters Son of Frankenstein 8in Action Figure Boris Karloff

Watch previous episodes of  Monsterama with Elvira

Click on this link to visit Sideshow Collectibles

Related:

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?

Howl Through Wednesday with the Wolf Man Collectibles

 Wolf Man Collectibles to Help You Have a Howling Hump Day

The Wolf Man CollectionI’m a Wolf Man fan and have been all my life, so I thought I’d share a few pieces from my Wolf Man collection

Starting from the left, we have my custom clay Wolf Man face sculpture  (sans one fang) that I made in 4th grade art class — still love it in spite of it’s obvious amateur flaws

In the center, my 1963 Wolf Man Soaky from Colgate-Palmolive

On the right, my 2009 Funko Force Wolf Man (despite the fact that the package says “The Werewolf”)

We’re half-way through the week and that is enough to get me howling at the moon — have a great day!

What are your favorite Wolf Man collectibles?  Share them and stay away from the wolfsbane!

 

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