September 12, 2006
As you can see, some outfit called Creepy Classics has put out a fun assortment of small, plastic movie monsters. The figures have an elementary charm to them.. Dracula seems to be a five-year-old, Mummy looks like he's having a good dream, and Frankenstein's monster has a look of both concern and bewilderment. In addition to these they had what appeared to be "thumb wrestling" versions of the same characters. (Each monster held a different blunt item the way you'd hold a baseball bat.) I also saw some pretty nifty decks of playing cards that were cut into odd shapes with monster movie poster art on the backs.
Using the actual movie posters in the package design was a great decision. (The posters are even reprinted on the back of the blister cards so that you can cut them out.) However, I can only guess at why they used these particular movies. For example, why The Curse of the Werewolf and not plain old Wolfman. My first assumption was that the Wolfman license is more expensive or something, but that theory seems blown by the fact that they used straight-up Mummy and Dracula. And then there's Universal's King Kong, with a figure modeled straight off the poster, but at the same time they used King of the Lizards instead of Godzilla and there was little to no physical resemblance to either (which is why I didn't buy him). Dollar Tree is big enough that I doubt Creepy Classics disregarded all copyright laws. I think the big clue is the copyright notice on back.. "Property of X one X Archives Inc." perhaps they have rights to these posters and can somehow produce products derived from them or something. Well, that's enough speculation on a matter that's even more meaningless than usual. I really just wanted to alert you of their existence.
Oh, but I must also say that there are some really decent one dollar masks on the shelves this year.. "Classic" non-descript vamp-ish ghoul-ish characters that could have been sculpted three decades ago. And we're talking over the head latex.. with hair (!), and oh, so beautifully primitive. You know the kind where the "paint job" is a couple of scattershot blasts.. green for eyes, red for mouth. The place was like a walk-in Johnson Smith ad. OK it wasn't that cool, but I was pleasantly surprised nonetheless.
UPDATE: I went back to Dollar Tree to discover that they also have movie posters of each monster! They are about 2.5 feet high, shrink-wrapped on cardboard. The quality isn't top notch, but I've never seen anything like them for a buck apiece.