Tag Archives: Universal Monsters

Throwback Thursday: Aurora’s Universal Monsters model kits!

I remember Aurora’s Universal Monsters model kits extremely fondly — even if they never actually belonged to me.  My older brother had versions of some of these in the 1970’s, and I was fascinated by them as a tot.  (The original model kits date from the 1960’s, but my brother had the later, glow-in-the-dark versions that were released a decade later.)

These things seemed damn near magical to me when I was a very small boy living in Queens, New York.  I wanted desperately to get my hands on them, like so many of my brother’s belongings.  I definitely remember his glow-in-the-dark “Creature;” “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” was a movie we’d seen on our black-and-white television.  He had others, too — maybe all of the original five: Wolf Man, Frankenstein, Dracula and The Mummy.

I’ve always said that if I ever become wealthy, I’ll have a special room full of the monster collectibles I remember from my childhood.  These things would have a shelf all to themselves.

 

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Throwback Thursday: Universal Monsters action figures.

Tonight’s Throwback Thursday is a quick one, but a fun little ghost of Christmas past — Remco’s Universal Monsters action figures in 1980.

I received Dracula, Wolfman and the Phantom of the Opera unexpectedly under the Christmas tree.  As you can see from the photo below, they were well crafted toys, and damn fun.  I wonder how well they sold, though … How many kids in the 1980’s would excitedly ask their parents for toys featuring movie monsters from a half century earlier?  I could understand Dracula being timeless enough to attract a child — he was still a perennial favorite for boys on Halloween.  But … the original Wolf Man?  And did most kids even know who the Phantom of the Opera was?

I did.  But that’s only because I had a children’s book about the Universal Monsters.  Because I was way too into monster movies even in the second grade.

 

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Throwback Thursday: 1970’s glow-in-the-dark Universal Monsters posters!!!

I refuse to do a Throwback Thursday blog post tonight about the “Back to the Future” movies.  Yes, they were fun in their time, but I doubt they merit inundating the Internet today with images of their scenes and actors.

Behold instead the 70’s-tastic glow-in-the-dark “Creature From the Black Lagoon” poster that adorned the door of the room I shared with my older brother as a very young boy.  In case you didn’t read the preceding sentence, IT GLOWED IN THE DARK.  It did so pretty brightly too.  I remember my brother quite intently and methodically waving a desk lamp in front of it and, when the lights went out, that thing just SHINED LIKE A CRAZY DIAMOND.

My brother put it up there.  I would have been in kindergarten or first grade, I think.  I was so fascinated with this poster that I just couldn’t feel scared by it — kind of like the snakes I indiscriminately snatched up in the woods at that age.  (I’m thinking maybe Darwin would have frowned on that particular boyhood avocation.)

Believe it or not, there are actually collectors out there who not only also remember this, but who have collected all four posters in the set.  (I am still amazed at how information like this can so quickly be yielded by Google.)  There is some conflicting information about the posters’ origin and their first use as promotional materials circa 1975.  At one time they were offered as prizes inside Super Sugar Crisp Cereal.  I have a feeling that’s where my brother got ours.  For the full skinny, check out this neat article over at Retroist:

http://www.retroist.com/2013/10/29/1975-wolf-man-poster-sugar-crisp-universal-monsters/

Man, when I was little, I loved all things glow-in-the-dark.  Many years later, I had a poster of an advancing black panther about to pounce on the viewer.  (I’m talking about the animal, not a member of the Black Panther Party.)  Because that’s what fascinates an 11-year-old.  That poster actually didn’t glow in the dark.  I remedied this with two small dots from my glow-stars set.  (Yeah, I had those too.)  I put one luminescent dot in each pupil, and that bastard’s eyes glowed like the Hound of the Baskervilles.  Necessity is the mother of invention, right?

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Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s monster, in “Bride of Frankenstein” (1935)

I read something interesting online the other day about “Frankenstein.”  The author was unattributed.

“The smart man knows that Frankenstein wasn’t the monster.  The wise man knows that Frankenstein WAS the monster.”

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Photo credit: By The Man in Question (Frankenstein’s monster (Boris Karloff).jpg) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons.