Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Sungold Wolfman

I'm not a big dabbler in 80s toys but these cheap knock offs from a company called Sungold do intrigue me. They did the usual suspects (Frankenstein, Dracula, Mummy, Hunchback) with Freddy Kruger thrown in to keep it topical.

The thing I liked about this Wolfman is it's pretty obviously Lon Chaney and whats more, it's a really decent likeness. That's cause the fine folks at Sun Gold just copied the existing Marx Monster figures from the 1960s to produce this dollar store  nugget.





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3 comments:

Phillyradiogeek said...

I love that this toy features a mummy with his brain exposed holding a bloody straight razor, and Frankenstein holding a bloody knife, then there is a line at the top of the package saying "For Ages 4 and Up."

Caffeinated Joe said...

Love it! I would have wanted them all.

Anonymous said...

Phillyradiogeek noticed the same thing I did. That is Cronenberg-grade card art.

How many times have these classic monsters been depicted on cards and boxes over the years? Probably hundreds . But instead of setting for the same old stuff, whoever did this art tapped into their own twisted genius to make these characters just a little more disturbing. As far as movie monsters go, The Mummy was always boring with a capital "B". Shuffles around and strangles people, big deal. You can find that on most late-night subway platforms in the bad part of town. Here he's a freak that would give Romero the creeps. Somehow, there's something incredibly unsettling about movie-monsters using weapons. The Mummy and Fankie were essentially goons and nothing more. But a rotting zombie mummy with a manic grin slashing wildly with a straight razor is serious scares. Frankenstein as Norman Bates is no joke, either. There's a strong "Garbage Pail Kids" style to the art, especially that fat bubbling monstrosity in the upper right. The card art must have driven parents nuts.

I'm reminded of those notorious Micronaut Aliens. As toys, they were as silly as anything that came out in the 70s. But what made them stand out was the incredible card art done by Ken Kelly, a student of Frazetta. Kelly gave the art a kind of intense viciousness and by most accounts there were numerous complaints by parents, even those already used to visiting toy stores filled with row after row of Star Wars creature cantina characters.

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