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More Monsters! More Merchandise! A Brief Look At Universal Monsters on Video.

Universal Monsters

More monsters! More merchandise!

Earlier this month, I wrote about the Universal Monsters merchandise and took a brief look at the Remco line of action figures, along with the extensive line of figures that Sideshow released. For a Universal Monsters fan, it’s fun to chart the natural progression of the classic monsters in merchandise over the years. There’s always been a natural progression of merchandise and collectibles for the classic monsters that started in the 60’s. To this day, collectibles are still being made and while it, unfortunately, isn’t as extensive as it was in the 60’s or 90’s, you could still find the likes of Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Mummy haunting the community in various ways.

The Universal Monsters have been around since the 1930’s and their iconic looks have infiltrated toys, online gaming, and even food! The toys have been around for nearly 60 years, with Remco and Aurora leading the way. Online gaming is a little more recent with some games more on the nose – Van Helsing and others that tie into the theme of monsters like The Mummy – with a Pharaoh slot game. One of my personal favorites has to be the food. The early 90’s saw the classic monsters everywhere, most particularly those of the Pepsi/Doritos variety. Horror Movie BBQ has an excellent piece on this era that I highly recommend giving a read.

Universal Monsters

One of the real highlights for Universal Monsters fans in the early 90’s was the release of the Universal Monsters films on VHS. When they were released by MCA/Universal, new and exciting art was commissioned to accompany each given release. Their was a vast number of films released, but a select amount were released under a specific label – “The Classic Collection” which was adorned with a Universal Studios Monsters label that was quite iconic during the 90’s. Provided below is a list of the films that featured “The Classic Collection” label.

Dracula (1931)*
Dracula’s Daughter (1936)*
Son of Dracula (1943)*
Frankenstein (1931)*
Bride of Frankenstein (1935)*
Son of Frankenstein (1939)*
The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942)*
Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943)*
House of Frankenstein (1944)*
House of Dracula (1945)*
The Mummy (1932)*
The Mummy’s Hand (1940)*
The Mummy’s Tomb (1942)*
The Mummy’s Ghost (1944)*
The Mummy’s Curse (1944)*
The Invisible Man (1933)*
The Invisible Man Returns (1940)*
The Invisible Woman (1940)*
Invisible Agent (1942)*
The Invisible Man’s Revenge (1944)*
Werewolf of London (1935)*
The Wolf Man (1941)*
Captive Wild Woman (1943)*
Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932)*
The Black Cat (1934)*
The Raven (1935)*
Man Made Monster (1941)*
The Mad Ghoul (1943)*
Phantom of the Opera (1943)*
House of Horrors (1946)*
Bud Abbott Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff (1949)
Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man (1951)
Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1953)
Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955)
Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)*
Revenge of the Creature (1955)*
This Island Earth (1955)
The Creature Walks Among Us (1956)*

What makes the Universal Monsters vhs tapes so special for fans is that this was the first time they were available to watch on home video. Nearly 30 years later, the Universal Monsters are being re-released on blu-ray and this time they’ll feature the commissioned art of Alex Ross. While these re-releases will only be available at Best Buy, it’s still exciting to think that dynamic art for classic monsters is still a tactic being used to maintain and win over new fans. The Universal Monsters steelbook blu-rays look beautiful, especially with the art of Alex Ross. These steelbooks won’t see as extensive a list of classic horror films released like the vhs tapes as you could see below:

  • The Wolf Man
  • Dracula
  • The Mummy
  • The Creature From the Black Lagoon
  • The Invisible Man
  • Frankenstein
  • The Bride of Frankenstein

The Universal Monsters steelbooks release in stores on September 12th, the same day and date that Universal’s first entry in the “Dark Universe” releases – The Mummy! They are currently available for pre-order on Best Buy for $19.99

What are some of your favorite Universal Monsters collectibles? Let us know in the 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)."

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