Universal Monsters

The Universal Monsters that emerged from the Universal Studios between 1923 to 1960, starting with The Hunchback of Notre Dame and including some of the scariest cinematic monsters to have ever graced the silver screen - The Phantom of the Opera, Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, The Mummy, Bride of Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, The Wolf Man, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon, to name but a few - have been the subject of numerous action figure lines over the last few decades. In fact, Universal Monster action figure collection, rather like that of Star Wars action figures, could almost be defined as a specific field within the world of vintage action figures as a whole.

Green Frankie aka Frankenstein’s Monster

Green Frankie by Simba

With Halloween nearly upon us I thought it would be a great time to share another vintage figure from my Universal Monsters collection. I'm a huge fan of these classic horror movies produced by Universal Studios during the 1930s, movies which turned actors such as Bela Lugosi (Dracula), Lon Chaney, Jr. (The Wolf Man) and Boris Karloff (The Mummy and Frankenstein), into legendary Hollywood figures. Whilst the Remco Mini Monsters are the focus of my movie collection, I can never resist buying just … [Read more...]

Dracula – Mini Monsters by Remco

Dracula Mini Monster by Remco

Halloween is almost here so what better way to mark the occasion than with an absolute classic horror film action figure from what has to be one of my favourite vintage lines - the Remco Mini Monsters. This version of the most famous vampire of them all, Count Dracula as played by Bela Lugosi in the 1931 film Dracula, was issued in 1980 as part of Remco's 3 ¾ inch action figure series. These figures may have been small, but they really were perfectly formed with all six Universal Monsters - … [Read more...]

Hugh Jackman IS Van Helsing!

Van Helsing by Jakks Pacific

I actually found today's action figure buried at the bottom of a toy box on a market stall some months ago, but have been waiting for the countdown to Halloween before posting him here. I was pretty pleased to find the companion figure to the Richard Roxburgh as Count Dracula we looked at last Halloween – the vampire's arch-nemesis himself Gabriel Van Helsing, as played by Hugh Jackman in Stephen Sommers' steampunk homage to the Universal Horror Monster films from the 1930s and 40s, Van Helsing. … [Read more...]

Frankenstein Monster – Mini Monsters by Remco

Frankenstein Mini Monsters by Remco

Universal Monsters action figures, it seems, will never go out of fashion. Only this week the Intertubes were buzzing with news of the latest Diamond Select retro cloth Dracula and the Mummy figures, which are set to hit stores this Autumn, following the success of the Wolf Man and Frankenstein last year. These new figures are highly reminiscent of Remco's 9-inch Universal Monsters from 1980, of course, which spurred me to share another classic Remco action figure from the same year – the … [Read more...]

The Phantom of the Opera – Mini Monsters by Remco

The Phantom of the Opera – Mini Monsters by Remco

So here it is folks! The final post in our Halloween series for 2010 and one of my favourite horror film action figures and another Universal Monster movie classic - The Phantom of the Opera as played by Lon Chaney. Issued as part of the Mini Monsters line by Remco in 1980, this 3 ¾ inch action figure may be small, but it has one of the single best movie likenesses of all time. It features one of the earliest of the Universal Monsters – so early, in fact, that the 1925 version of The Phantom of … [Read more...]

Creature from the Black Lagoon by Burger King

Creature from the Black Lagoon by Burger King

Regular readers to this blog may recall that as a vegetarian and somebody who hasn't stepped inside a McDonald's for a couple of decades, I'm not usually a collector of fast food toys...unless, of course, I happen across one at a flea market, as I did with this Creature from the Black Lagoon recently. As a Universal Monsters film fan I couldn't resist this action figure, which was issued by Burger King in 1997 alongside equally accurate movie-likenesses of Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolf Man … [Read more...]

The Mummy from ‘Tales from the Cryptkeeper’

The Mummy from ‘Tales from the Cryptkeeper’ by Ace Novelty

With Halloween fast approaching this seems the perfect time to dig up - terrible pun! - this Mummy action figure from the animated cartoon series Tales from the Cryptkeeper. Running for two seasons from 1993-1994, the Mummy character appeared in episode 11 from the first season - This Wraps It Up – which first aired on December 4, 1993. Created in 1994 by one hit wonder toy manufacturers Ace Novelty, who appear to have only ever produced the Cryptkeeper series, this 4 ¾ inch figure is pretty … [Read more...]