Saturday, October 31, 2015

My "Mad Monster" Collection

Happy Halloween, everybody.  For my final post for this year's Countdown to Halloween, I thought I'd take a group photograph all of the Mego style 8 inch cloth outfit monster figures I've been featuring this month.  Hopefully my collection will be even bigger next year!

I hope everyone has enjoyed all the monster toys and movies I've reviewed this month.  Coming up in November, I've got a handful of horror movie reviews that I didn't have time to finish this month.  I pretty much blew my wad on monster toys, though, but I've got other fun action figures on tap like Flash Gordon, Batman, Garbage Pail Kids, The Venture Bros., and who knows what else, so there is some fun stuff to look forward to.

Then in December, I'm going to be posting a lot of creepy and weird Christmas stuff for this year's Creepmas.

But my really big plans are for 2016!  2016 is the 50th anniversary of 1966, which is my favorite year in pop culture.  1966 saw the premieres of some of my all-time favorite TV shows like Batman, Star Trek, and The Monkees, and there were all kinds of amazing books, movies, music, comics, and art that year.  So I'm going to be celebrating that in a BIG way.  I've got all kinds of features, big and small planned, and I'm going to be reviewing a ton of Star Trek and Batman '66 toys.  I've actually been working on this all year in 2015, I've already got a bunch of stuff written, so I know it's going to be awesome.    So stick around, Bat-Fans, the best is yet to come!

That Monster in the Back is the Scariest One Yet!

Bobby "Boris" Pickett - The Monster Mash (featuring The Groovie Ghoulies)

Universal Monsters Retro Cloth Figure Creature From the Black Lagoon (2012, Diamond Select and Emce Toys)

Universal Monsters Retro Cloth Figure Creature From the Black Lagoon (2012, Diamond Select and Emce Toys)
The Creature From the Black Lagoon was released in 2012, alongside The Bride of Frankenstein as part of the third series of Diamond Select and Emce Toys Retro Cloth Universal Monsters figures.  It features an interesting mix of cloth and plastic that's a little unusual, but works very well.

Attack of the Gill-man
To start off, it has a great headsculpt, and a paint job that almost looks slimy -- like it's been underwater for a long time.  The paint job highlights the details in sculpt and really makes them pop.  Then the figure has a set of originally sculpted hands and feet.  Again, really great sculpts with lots of details, and a paint job in multiple shades of green that makes them come alive.  The figure also has a sculpted plastic piece that sits around his neck and his shoulders that adds an extra layer of dimensionality to the creature -- it works much better than simply having his head pop out of a hole in a cloth jumpsuit.

Night Fishing
Then there's the cloth jumpsuit itself.  To begin with, I have to point out that that in my photographs, the flash from my camera makes the jumpsuit look like a much lighter shade of green than the plastic pieces, but under normal lighting conditions, they are a much closer match, so bear that in mind when viewing my photos.  The jumpsuit is screen-printed with scales and details from The Creature.  In a way, this is like a throwback to old-school Mego figures, such as the Dreadful Dracula, or The Joker, that had costume details screen-printed on to a jumpsuit.  But the print on this costume is much more detailed, and my eye was constantly being fooled into thinking there was an actual scaly texture woven into the fabric, when it was actually just printed on. Finally, there are plastic fins attached on top of the jumpsuit, on his back, arms, and legs.  The final result is a really unique looking figure that sort of bridges the gap between a fully sculpted plastic action figure and a cloth outfit retro figure.

Gill-man Meets Aquaman
The Creature From the Black Lagoon has appeared as a Mego style figure a couple of times in the past, but this figure is easily the best of the bunch.  If you're a fan of the Universal Monsters and 8 inch retro figures, then this is a figure you should certainly seek out.

Brothers From Another Mother
As a final note, Happy Halloween, everybody.  This is my final review for the Countdown to Halloween.  I hope you enjoyed all the scary movies and toys I featured on the blog this month.  I'll be back later this day for one final Halloween post, which will feature all of the Mego-style monster figures I reviewed this month in one big group shot, so tune back in later for that, if you're not too busy trick-or-treating!


Friday, October 30, 2015

Herman Munster 8 Inch Retro Cloth Action Figure (2004, Classic TV Toys)

Herman Munster 8 Inch Retro Cloth Action Figure (2004, Classic TV Toys)
In 2004, Classic TV Toys released a line of 8 inch "The Munsters" action figures in the retro Mego style.  Today I'll be looking at "Herman Munster" from this line.

Herman Munster in His Package
This Herman Munster figure has a nice headsculpt.  It's not as detailed as the Diamond Select Herman Munster action figures.  It's a bit more simplified and cartoony, but that works well for this type of retro figure.  It does a nice job of capturing the likeness and goofy charm of Fred Gwynne as Herman Munster.

Click here for my review of  Diamond Select's Herman Munster action figure.
Click here for my review of  Diamond Select's Hot Rod Herman action figure.

Herman Says "Hello" to Spot
Classic TV Toys and Figures Toy Company have improved their bodies quite a bit since this figure was made, but at this point in their history they were still having issues with their manufacturers and had a lot of broken figures.  My figure was not broken, but his body does not articulate very well, and feels a bit fragile, so I didn't try to force his arms or legs into any extreme positions.

The Friendliest Frankenstein
Herman's cloth outfit captures his TV look, but fits a little too loosely, which hurts it's appearance.  While there is a whole line of CTVT Munsters figures, Herman is the best looking figure, the rest look a bit sloppy.  So I probably won't get the complete collection, but I still had to get Herman, since Frankenstein's Monster is my favorite movie monster, and I like to get all the versions of him I can, even the Herman Munster version, and he does fit in nicely with the other figures in my Frankenstein collection.


The Munsters - Munster Creep (1964)

"The Munsters" were a 1960s surf rock band inspired by the TV show, they put out one album full of instrumentals and vocal songs with monster-themed lyrics, many of them directly referencing the Munsters TV show.  The above video is comprised of home movie footage shot at the Hollywood Bowl, and features the band in what looks like a sound check, along with footage of Al "Grandpa" Lewis, Butch "Eddie Munster" Patrick, and their car the Munster Koach.


The Comateens - The Munsters Theme (1981)

Live video of 1980s New Wave band The Comateens performing their cover of The Munsters theme song.

Herman Munster

Herman Inspects His Black Fingernails

Frankenstein Family

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Universal Monsters "Frankenstein" 8 Inch Retro Action Figure - Diamond Select/Emce Toys (2010)

Universal Monsters Retro Cloth Figure Frankenstein (2010, Diamond Select and Emce Toys)
Frankenstein was part of the first series of Diamond Select and Emce Toys Retro Cloth Universal Monsters figures, along with The Wolf Man, released in 2010.  I bought this figure in a lot of loose action figures on Ebay, and it was missing it's original jacket, shirt, and one of it's boots.  So the shirt and jacket you see in the photos are actually replacements from CTVT, so bear that in mind when viewing the photos.  The original had a more muted green jacket that had buttons and fit The Monster better.  It also had two awesome rubber platform boots that really completed his look.  Mine has one awesome rubber boot, and one not-so-awesome boot that I made out of black electrical tape.  Smooth.  I've included a photo of the figure in it's proper outfit to the left.

Still, even with his missing and replaced costume bits, I still think this is a great figure.  I mean, he has a fantastic face sculpt with lots of fine details, pretty much the opposite of the cartoony Remco Frankenstein figure I featured yesterday.  He also has great hands, and they did a really clever thing were they incorporated the hinge on the articulated wrist of the action figure into the sculpt.  And even though I only have one of his boots, that one boot is a perfect boot.  They probably could have gotten away with some generic Mego boots and no one would have complained... but given him these extra thick platform boots, just like the ones Karloff wore in the movies, really takes this figure to another level.

At some point I'm going to have to seek out some complete versions of this figure and The Wolf Man, with all of their proper costume pieces, but for now I'm just glad to have any version of them in my collection, because my "Mad Monster" collection would feel really incomplete without them.  I have one more figure left to feature from this line this month, and that will be up in a couple of days (heck, there's only a couple of days left until Halloween... this month is going by fast!)  Tomorrow I'll be back with yet another version of Frankenstein's Monster: Herman Munster by Classic TV Toys!

Monsters!  Monsters!  Monsters!


Gene Moss & The Monsters - The New Frankenstein & Johnny Song


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Official Universal Studios Monsters "Frankenstein Monster" 9 Inch Vintage Action Figure (1980)

Remco 9 Inch Frankenstein Monster Action Figure (1980)
Earlier this month, I looked at "Count Dracula" from Remco's 1980-1981 line of 9 inch cloth outfit Universal Monsters action figures.  Today I'm featuring Remco's "Frankenstein Monster."

On the Slab
All of these figures have strange looking accordion-like arms under their clothes (see pic below) and a button on their backs.  When you press the button, their arms contract, as if they were crushing their victims.  Either that or they're just really friendly and want to give you a hug.

The Monster Walks
This figure has a simple, almost cartoonish sculpt, but it has all the key elements and is immediately recognizable as Frankenstein's Monster. It reminds me more of Lon Chaney Jr.'s version of The Monster than of Boris Karloff's.  I'm a big Frankenstein fan, so of course I love this figure.  What do you think?

A Face Only a Mad Scientist Could Love


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)

Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man is the first Universal Horror movie to cross over monsters from one series with another.  It is the second film in the "Wolf Man" series and the fifth in the "Frankenstein" series.  This Universal Monster formula was getting a bit tired at this point... practically every film had the monster dying at the end, followed by a sequel in which it is revealed that the monster survived, only to die at the end of that film... rinse, lather, and repeat.

Let's take a quick look at the previous Frankenstein movies:
  • Frankenstein (1931) - Frankenstein's Monster is burned to death.
  • The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) -  The Monster is revealed to have survived being burned to death.  The Monster commits suicide by blowing himself up.
  • Son of Frankenstein (1939) - The Monster's body is shown to have survived being blown up.  He is revived with the aid of Henry Frankenstein's son and a demented madman named Ygor.  Ygor previously survived being executed by hanging.  Ygor is shot to death, and The Monster plunges to his death in a pool of molten sulfur.
  • The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942) - Ygor is revealed to have inexplicably surived being shot to death.  The molted sulfur has solidified, and The Monster is broken free from the sulfur and lives again.  Ygor's brain is implanted into The Monster's body, then The Monster goes blind and is burned to death for a second time.
Frankenstein's Monster and Larry Talbot
The Wolf Man died at the end of his first movie, too, after being beaten to death by his own father, but since the series had only produced one film at this point, he had not yet had a chance to be resurrected.  A series of movies in which the Wolf Man comes back to life, then gets killed, then comes back to life for the next, probably would have gotten old pretty fast.  But teaming him up with other monsters?  What a great way to bring new life to this dying formula.

There was only one problem, at this point in the production of Universal's horror movies,  Lon Chaney Jr. was the actor portraying both Frankenstein's Monster and the Wolf Man.  So what to do?

Originally, Universal wanted Chaney to play both characters in the same film, using stand-ins and stunt doubles for the scenes where he had to act against himself.  And really, since both the Wolf Man and The Monster involve such heavy prosthetic makeup, it wouldn't have been that hard to pull off.  But Chaney wasn't excited about the idea of doing so much work in once movie, and said if Universal wanted him to play two roles, they had to pay him double his usual salary.  Universal balked at this, and it was decided that Chaney would continue in the role he originated, as Larry Talbot the Wolf Man, and a new actor would take over as Frankenstein's Monster.

In the previous Frankenstein film, "The Ghost of Frankenstein," the brain of Ygor, the evil graverobber (as portrayed be Bela Lugosi) had been implanted in The Monster.  At that point, The Monster was still physically portrayed by Lon Chaney Jr., but his voice and mannerisms were that of Bela Lugosi.  It was an exciting performance from both actors, and set the stage for a bold new direction in the Frankenstein franchise.  With Lon Chaney Jr. no longer playing The Monster, it made perfect sense to cast Bela Lugosi in the part, especially since he would probably have been voicing the character anyway.  But it turned out to be huge failure.


Monday, October 26, 2015

The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)

The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)
"The Ghost of Frankenstein" is the fourth film in Universal's Frankenstein series, but it is the first to not star Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's Monster.  Without Karloff, I was expecting this film to be a dud, but I ended up enjoying it quite a bit.  Bela Lugosi's reprises his roll as Ygor from the previous film, "The Son of Frankenstein," and Lon Chaney Jr. steps into the oversized shoes of Karloff as The Monster, and he turns out to fill those shoes quite well.

Towering Giant
Before I go any further, I think a quick recap from the previous films is in order (click on the titles to see my reviews of those films):
  • Frankenstein (1931) - Doctor Henry Frankenstein and his assistant Fritz build a monster from body parts.  The monster goes on a killing spree, and kills Fritz, and attempts to kill Dr. Frankenstein.  Dr. Frankenstein survives and goes on to marry his fiancĂ©e Elizabeth.  The Monster is chased by villagers into an old windmill, and they set fire to the mill, killing the Monster by burning him alive.
  • The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) -  It is revealed that The Monster has survived the fire.  He meets another mad scientist, Dr. Pretorius, and the two kidnap Elizabeth to force Henry Frankenstein to continue his experiments, this time building a female to be The Monster's Bride. However The Bride rejects The Monster, and The Monster, no longer wishing to live, triggers an explosion in the laboratory, killing himself for a second time, along with The Bride and Dr. Pretorius. Meanwhile, Henry and Elizabeth flee the scene and survive.
  • Son of Frankenstein (1939) - Many years have passed, and Wolf Von Frankenstein, the son of Henry and Elizabeth from the first two films, returns to his father's home, along with his wife Elsa and his young son.  Wolf wishes to continue his father's experiments and redeem his family name.  Wolf meets Ygor (played by Bela Lugosi), a madman with a neck twisted out of shape after he survived a hanging for graverobbing.  The pair discover The Monster's body, still intact, and decide to revive it.  However, after bringing The Monster back to life, Ygor gains control of him by playing a weird wooden flute, and uses him to commit a series of murders.  Wolf shoots and kills Ygor, and The Monster plunges to his third death, this time in a pit of molten sulfur.  The Frankenstein family decides to leave the village behind and return to their old life. They abandon the castle and give the keys to the villagers.
Ygor Digs The Monster Out of the Sulfur
This brings us to 1942's "The Ghost of Frankenstein."  As the film begins, we learn that four years have passed from the previous film.  Although there have been no more monster attacks, the villagers are still leery of the Castle Frankenstein, and decide to blow it up, to rid themselves of the last traces of Henry and Wolf's monster-making legacy.  However, it turns out that Ygor survived being shot by Wolf Von Frankenstein, and still lives in the castle, spending his days playing his flute to the pit of sulfur, which has now solidified and entombs The Monster.  When the villagers blow up the castle, the explosion cracks the sulfur.  Thus, rather than destroying The Monster once and for all, they end up freeing him.  Ygor and The Monster flee through the tunnels underneath the castle, and decide to seek out Ludwig Frankenstein, a heretofore unmentioned second son of Henry Frankenstein, to help make the Monster stronger.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Universal Monsters Retro Cloth Figure The Wolf Man (2010, Diamond Select and Emce Toys)

The Wolf Man was part of the first series of Diamond Select and Emce Toys Retro Cloth Universal Monsters figures, along with Frankenstein's Monster, released in 2010.  I bought this figure in a lot of loose action figures on Ebay, and it was missing it's original shirt and belt.  So the shirt and belt you see in the photos are actually replacements from CTVT, so bear that in mind when viewing the photos.  The original had a gray shirt that fit better and had buttons, and the belt had a more prominent buckle.  I've included a photo of the figure in it's proper outfit to the right.

This figure has a great sculpt.  The face does a great job of capturing the look of the Lon Chaney Wolf Man.  The figure also has some really gnarly feet and hands that really complete his look.  I also like the shredded pants, they highlight those great feet and bring a feral, savage look to the Wolf Man's human clothes.  I also really like the paint job, they added some yellow to the Wolf Man's face, which is a deviation from the all brown look from the original film, but it gives the face some much needed contrast, so I think it was the right choice to make.
The Wolf Man is On the Prowl!
Fang Face!

TV On The Radio - Wolf Like Me


Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Wolf Man (1941)

The Wolf Man (1941)
The Wolf Man is what I would consider to be more of an average, middle-of-the-road Universal Monster movie.  It's a good movie, don't get me wrong, but it lacks a certain pizzaz that most of the other Universal Pictures do.  I think it's because the monster itself lacks any personality.  The Wolf Man monster doesn't have the tragic lovesick sadness of the Mummy, or the gleeful madness of the Invisible Man.  The Wolf Man is more like a rabid dog, without any glimmer of the man underneath poking through.

The Wolf Man Spies on His Next Victim
The film also had a missed opportunity to add suspense.  Throughout the film, the notion that werewolfism is a psychological condition is brought up by various characters.  Lon Chaney Jr., who plays the Wolf Man, often wonders if he is really a werewolf or if he is going mad.  But the film shows us his transformation into the creature early on, which greatly undercuts the tension.  The audience knows he is a monster, even if he doesn't.  Interestingly enough, every scene with the Wolf Man shows him wearing the same outfit, with a dark button up shirt.  But Chaney's never wears those clothes before he transforms until his final transformation in the movie.  It makes me wonder if the filmmakers had originally planned to save the reveal of the Wolf Man until the end of the movie, and then this was changed sometime late in the production process.

Another problem is that Lon Chaney Jr. always seems a bit awkward and out of place when he is in human form.  Chaney plays Larry Talbot, who after spending time going to school and working in America, is returning to his ancestral home of Talbot Castle in England to help his father, Sir John Talbot (played by Claude Rains) manage the castle.  Chaney is a big, tall, almost lumbering presence, with an almost goofy American personality.  Rains is short, thin, and a dignified Englishman.  It's really hard to believe that the two are father and son.

Lon Chaney Jr. as Larry Talbot
Chaney does do a good job playing Talbot's panic and fear, though.  You do believe he is truly distressed about the idea of turning into a werewolf and killing people.  The film also has some nice sets and cinematography, and a fun cameo from Bela Lugosi.  So even with it's flaws, it's still an enjoyable picture, and a must-see for fans of Universal Horror movies.


The Wolf Man (1941) Fan Trailer


Friday, October 23, 2015

My Top 10 Countdown to Halloween Posts From Previous Years

My Top 10 Countdown to Halloween Posts From Previous Years

I only have one day off from work this week, which is cutting in to my blogging time.  In order to get back on track for the rest of the week (I need to do three more monster toy photo shoots, plus watch and write about a handful of movies, and then put them all together into a bunch of blog posts) I'm going to be looking back at my most popular posts from previous Countdown to Halloweens.  After this, it should be all-new toy and movie reviews through the rest of October.  But for now, allow me to introduce... THE GHOST OF HALLOWEEN PAST!

10. Planet of the Vampires (1965)
The Living Dead...In Space!
Horror and sci-fi are two great tastes that taste great together.  Like the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups candy that I stole that line from, Planet of the Vampires tastes delicious, even if it is full of empty calories. The plot of the film is a weird mishmash of sci-fi and horror that is pretty much just an excuse to throw together a variety of elements like aliens, ghosts, spaceships, reanimated corpses, fistfights, laser battles, and mild amounts of blood and gore, all into one movie, with a corny "twist" ending to top it all off.  The story doesn't amount to much, but it all looks fantastic, filmed by Mario Bava with hypersaturated color in a 1960s pop art comic book style.  There's not much depth to this movie at all, it's pretty much all on the surface, but the surface elements are so much fun that it's still worth the trip.

9. Monster Cereal Taste-Off!

Speaking of empty calories, my ninth most popular Countdown to Halloween post is "Monster Cereal Taste-Off," wherein I consume bowls of Boo Berry, Franken Berry, and Count Chocula, and discover that eating this stuff as an adult doesn't quite live up to my memories of eating it as a kid.

8. The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula (1977)
"Who wants Alpo?"
Frank and Joe Hardy travel to Europe to look for their missing father, and find themselves going undercover as rock singers performing at The Castle Dracula in Transylvania in order to crack the case! This bizarro two-part episode plays a bit like a Hardy Boys feature film, and guest stars Paul Williams as one of the other singers at the concert, who performs songs from The Phantom of the Paradise.  It also has Elton John's songwriting partner Bernie Taupin acting as another rock singer, and finally features a very special guest appearance by Lorne Greene as Dracula.  That's right.  LORNE GREENE.

7. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935) - 62 Screencaps

I think this was initially conceived as a "time-saving" post (kind of like this one).  I had a bunch of screencaps left over after I finished my review of The Bride of Frankenstein, so I decided to upload them in their own post.  Lo and Behold several years later, this post that I spent a few minutes on gets about 10 times as much traffic as the one I spent hours writing and rewriting.

6. Saturn 3 (1980)
Kirk Douglas: Master Thespian
Saturn 3 was a sci-fi horror movie that seemed to be inspired by Alien, but with a killer robot instead of the Xenomorph.  I'd like to think the reason this post is so popular is because of the great review I wrote for it, but the search keywords that send visitors to this page are primarily from people searching for "Harvey Keitel Nude," "Kirk Douglas Nude," and "Naked Men Wrestling."

5. Frankenstein (1931)

Frankenstein's Monster is my all-time favorite movie monster, so I'm glad to see that my review of this film is popular enough to make number 5.  And no, it's not from people searching for "Naked Frankenstein Wrestling."

4.  The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966)

Number 4 on my list belongs to "The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini," the last film of AIP's "Beach Party" series.  At this point the Beach Party formula was getting pretty stale, and they had lost the stars of the previous films, Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, so the producers decided to shake things up by changing locations from the beach to a haunted house.  The result was a hybrid horror/teen musical/comedy flick that is pretty dumb, but still fairly entertaining.  Similar to "Saturn 3" the popularity of this review seems to come as much from people searching for pictures of "Naked Ghosts" as it does from people who are actually interested in the movie.

3. Jimmy Olsen is a Sweet Transvestite
Jimmy Olsen Dressed as a Woman While Getting His Face Licked by a Great Dane
In 2013 I did a series about Jimmy Olsen's greatest costumes and disguises, and this entry about Jimmy's many adventures disguising himself in women's clothing is by far the most popular (number two is "Jimmy Olsen Disguises himself as a Baby Girl").  Many people find it via Google Images after viewing this picture of Jimmy Olsen dressed as a woman while getting his face licked by a Great Dane.  Make of that what you will.

2. Frankentoys: The Top 10 Frankenstein Games and Toys of the 1960s, '70s, and '80s
Part 1 -
Part 2 -
Part 3 -

A top 10 list within a top 10 list!  I think my brain is going to explode!  Frankentoys is my top 10 list of vintage Frankenstein toys from the 1960s, '70s, and '80s.  These are all toys that were inspired by or feature Frankenstein's Monster, either individually or as part of a line of toys that Frankenstein was a part of.  This is also one of my personal favorite Halloween posts, so I'm glad to see it's popular enough to make it to number 2.

1. Breeders (1986) Oct 19, 2013
Vagina Face Mutant
Alien rape monsters are on the loose in 1986's Breeders.  Breeders is cheaply made, sleazy trash.   It features amateurish acting, a monster in a cheesy rubber suit, low quality gore effects, and tons of naked women, in a story about alien parasites that rape virgins.  Sometimes, movies like this can be so bad that they are good.  Other times, they can just be boring, offensive, and no fun to watch.  This one has a bit of both... but mostly, it kind of sucks.  If you're curious why a review of this crappy movie can be my most popular Halloween post (it's actually the third most visited post ever on this blog), please reread the description of this movie, then look again at the entries above for "Saturn 3," "The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini," and "Jimmy Olsen is a Sweet Transvestite."  I think a pattern will emerge.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Universal Monsters Metaluna Mutant 8 Inch Retro Action Figure - Diamond Select/Emce Toys (2013)

The Metaluna Mutant came out along with the Phantom of the Opera as the fourth and final wave of Universal Monsters Retro Cloth Figures by Diamond Select and Emce Toys.  This Universal Monster appeared in the 1955 Universal Pictures Sci-Fi film "This Island Earth."  

Click here to read my 2012 review of This Island Earth:

The Metaluna Mutant

One of the interesting aspects of this monster in the movie was that it was hard to tell where it's clothes ended and it's skin began.  It kind of looked like it was wearing trousers with veins on them.  So a Mego style cloth outfit works really well for it.  This figure has a really nice costume, as well as uniquely sculpted hands, feet, and head.  It's pretty darn cool looking.

There is one big flaw, though.  It's shoulder pads are sculpted out of hard plastic, and it severely limits the movement of it's shoulders.  It basically has it's arms stuck pointing straight down it's sides.  So bending the elbows and rotating the wrists are the only arm articulation, which is very limiting when posing the figure.  If you want to turn lemons in to lemonade, you can say that it's perpetually awkward arms give it an unnatural "alien" quality. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Big Bulging Exposed Brain

It's easy to look past the flaws when it has such a weird, cool design, though.  I'm just a sucker for any monster with big bulging exposed brains.  It's got that "Mars Attacks" factor to it.


Here's a song for all the "beautiful mutants" out there...
DEVO - R U Experienced?


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Custom Tomland Monster #6: Cyclops

The Cyclops is my final custom Tomland monster.  I kept the green skin color of the original figure, but added more details to his face, and some reptile type stuff to his chest, arms, and legs.

The original figure had a tattered brown jacket, opened up to reveal his chest, red capri pants, and a red ascot.  Yeah, capri pants and ascots were what all the blood-thirsty monsters were wearing in the 1970s, didn't you know?  I dressed him in a repro Mego pirate outfit from Classic TV Toys that isn't TOO different.  It looks like something the original Tomland figure might wear while his first costume was in the laundry.

Read about the original Tomland Famous Monsters of Legend Cyclops here.

Read about the figures repackaging as a space alien here.

Cyclops - Marilyn Manson

Classic Monsters

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Custom Tomland Monsters #4 and #5: Yog and Zhor

Yog and Zhor were Tomland space aliens that originally appeared in the 1976 "Creatures From Other Worlds" line to cash in on Star Trek and then later as "Star Raiders" to capitalize on the success of Star Wars.  Yog is the fellow with the muppet-like fish-face, and Zhor looks like a "grey alien" with horns.

Yog and Zhor
They both had red and yellow outfits on the original figures, so I thought it would be fun to make them a matching set, and just flip the red and yellow between the two figures.  I gave them both swords and imagine them as space pirates, with fish-boy Yog as the first mate, and horned alien Zhor as the captain.  Sort of like evil alien versions of Gilligan and the Skipper.

Read about the original Tomland Yog figure here.

Read about the original Tomland Zhor figure here.

The Monkees - Zor and Zam

 Believe it or not, I could not find any songs written about Yog and Zhor, the alien Star Raiders.  However, here we have the song "Zor and Zam" by the Monkees, which plays as they return a sentient alien marijuana plant to it's flying saucer.  So... close enough?

More photos after the break...