Welcome to Dark Universe

Merchandising Monsters: A Brief Look At Universal Monsters Memorabilia.

Universal Monsters

Who doesn’t love Universal Monsters collectibles?

Universal Monsters

Image via plaidstallions.com

Since the birth of the Universal Studios classic monsters in the 1930’s, the monsters have had an enduring appeal on audiences for over 80 years. However, the longevity of the monsters must be credited to not only the strong work of the make-up artists such as Jack Pierce and performances by cinema greats like Boris Karloff, but the many companies that helped establish the Universal Monsters through numerous collectibles. Through a variety of fun merchandising opportunities over the years, Universal Pictures has managed the ability to maintain a consistent public awareness of some of the most terrifying, but fun of classic monsters.

When the Universal Monsters first began to haunt our movie theaters, starting in 1931 with Tod Browing’s Dracula and continuing in 1932 with Karl Freund’s The Mummy, there really wasn’t any form of collectibles that existed for them. It was when the classic monsters made their resurgence in the 1960’s and 1990’s that they began to be merchandised heavily. Currently, the Universal Monsters still make their presence known – be it through action figures by Diamond Select Toys , in online video gaming by Universal/Konami or even in online casino games getting in on the monster sized fun!

The 60’s were a fantastic time for monster fans as that was the proper start to the Universal Monsters collectibles. Some of the most famous of monster merchandise were the now iconic Remco Universal Monsters action figures. The original line of Remco monsters included the following figures and playsets:

  • Dracula
  • Frankenstein
  • Phantom
  • Creature
  • Wolfman
  • Mini Monster Play Case
  • Mini Monster Monsterizer

There were also 9″ inch, fully poseabale figures as well. This assortment included:

  • Frankenstein
  • Creature
  • Phantom

Another excellent hallmark in Universal Monsters collectibles were the Don Post masks. which were eventually reintroduced to collectors in the mid-90’s during the resurgence of interest in the Universal Monsters merchandise.

Universal Monsters

 

A full action figure assortment of Universal Monsters didn’t really happen until Sideshow Toys began producing action figures in 1999, which was timed right around the release of Stephen Sommers’ The Mummy, starring Brendan Fraser. This was one of the most celebrated of Universal Monsters as it was one of the most authoritative of lines ever made. Here’s a checklist for those that may be interested:

Universal MonstersSERIES 1

  • Frankenstein
  • Wolf Man
  • Mummy

SERIES 2 (COLOR)

  • Bride of Frankenstein
  • Creature from the Black Lagoon
  • Phantom of the Opera

SERIES 3 (COLOR)

  • The Invisible Man
  • Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • The Metaluna Mutant / This Island Earth

SERIES 4 (COLOR)

  • Son of Frankenstein
  • Werewolf of London
  • The Mole Man / The Mole People

SERIES 5 (COLOR)

  • Dracula
  • Masque of the Red Death / Phantom of the Opera
  • Ygor / Son of Frankenstein

SERIES 1 (SILVER SCREEN) T’R’U Exclusive

  • Frankenstein
  • Wolf Man
  • Mummy

SERIES 2 (SILVER SCREEN) – T’R’U Exclusive

  • Bride of Frankenstein
  • Creature from the Black Lagoon
  • Phantom of the Opera

SERIES 3 (SILVER SCREEN) – CARDED

  • The Invisible Man
  • Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • The Metaluna Mutant / This Island Earth

SERIES 4 (SILVER SCREEN) – CARDED

  • Son of Frankenstein
  • Werewolf of London
  • The Mole Man / The Mole People

SERIES 1 (GLOW-IN-THE-DARK) – CARDED

  • Frankenstein
  • Wolf Man
  • Mummy

With Universal reinvigorating interest in their Universal Monsters through this summer’s The Mummy and the upcoming installments in the “Dark Universe”, it would not be surprising to see new collectibles haunt store shelves in the coming months and years. While Diamond Select Toys no longer has the Universal Monsters license, we do know that Funko still does. The Everett, WA based company previously released two waves of POP! vinyl figures and a throwback line of ReAction figures based on the original Remco line.

Universal Monsters

This past summer saw Funko release a line of POP! vinyls based off of The Mummy and it’s almost guaranteed that we’ll get a line of Bride of Frankenstein POPs in February 2019 to coincide with the upcoming Bill Condon directed film.

What kind of Universal Monsters collectibles would you like to see? Be sure to leave your comments below?

(Steven Biscotti – @reggiemantleIII)

About the author

Steven Biscotti

Mild mannered reporter, Steven Biscotti, has an avid interest in all things comic books, movies, and music (especially pertaining to Coldplay.) He stands 5'7" tall and prides himself on being the same height as Tom Cruise. Steven's favorite monster movie? "The Mummy (1999)."

Be the first to comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*