Thursday, October 31, 2019

Toy-Ventures: Halloween Costume Countdown

Toy-Ventures this week is a look at five classic Halloween costumes from my collection, some are weird, none are scary but they're all infused in some magical 1970s pop culture goodness. 

Happy Halloween from PlaidStallions, check out every episode of Toy_Ventures here:

Hosted and edited by Brian Heiler (@plaidstallions)

PlaidStallions Facebook Page

Plaidstallions facebook group

Twitter: @plaidstallions

Nosferatu statue 1981

The Esco Company was famous for its chalk were statues of famous celebrities and movie characters. The height of their popularity was in the 1970s, and for monster fans their most famous chalkware statues were a Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Bride of Frankenstein. They are some of the best likenesses ever produced on any Universal monster Merchandise.

In the early 1980s, they extended the monster line with statues of Nosferatu, Phantom of the opera, and the invisible man, as well as some other characters.

For my money, this Nosferatu statue is the prize of the lot. He's just perfect. It contains everything that is needed in the sculpt., and nothing that isn't.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Pod Stallions: John Carpenter

Seeing as it's Halloween, what better time to discuss one of the most influential directors of our youth, John Carpenter.

We discuss how we discovered his work, chronologically going through the body of work, discussing the good, the bad and the seriously underrated pieces in his filmography.

We sidetracked a little bit but anyone who listens to us knows how we do.

We hope you enjoy and have a happy Halloween!

Please  give us spirited debate in our new Facebook group.


Monday, October 28, 2019

Universal Monster paint by numbers

These glow-in-the-dark paint by number portraits of the Wolfman and the Phantom of the Opera were made by craft House in 1975.

They also made a Frankenstein who is somewhat generic-looking, and then a Mummy who bears no resemblance to the Universal Mummy.

The Wolfman is by far the best of the lot. Although I like the way the Phantom resembles his Aurora model counterpart. I love the glow-in-the-dark paint.

New Six Million Dollar Man Shirt in our Redbubble store!

Don't forget to join our new facebook group.

Friday, October 25, 2019

AHI Monster Jigglers :Toy-Ventures

Toy-Ventures this week is all about the PVC rubbery goodness of the Azrak-Hamway 'World Famous Super Monster PVC Wigglies" or we call them Jigglers.

We'll get into their history and why they smell so much like childhood

For More information visit:

Hosted and edited by Brian Heiler (@plaidstallions)

PlaidStallions Facebook Page

Plaidstallions facebook group

Twitter: @plaidstallions

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Japanese Frankenstein Sketchbook

(this one from Matt tasks me a little as i seriously want it!)

This fabulous sketchbook from Japan was made in the 1970s. It features a Karloff Frankenstein from 1939's "Son of Frankenstein".

There's interesting artwork on the inside cover as well. Rather disappointingly, the sketch pages are completely blank, with no artwork in the margins. I can't read Japanese, so I don't know with the lettering on the inside of the book says.

The building that Frankenstein is looming over on the cover with the jet flying out of it looks familiar, but I can't for the life of me figure out what it's from.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Review: In Search of Darkness: A Journey into Iconic 80s Horror

While I am known to occasionally moan about 80s nostalgia veering into hyperbole if there is one thing I would agree on, it would be how important that decade was for horror.

Perhaps it was the political landscape, the rise of mall Cineplexes and video stores, the advances in practical effects but there was something spooky in the air. The sheer volume of output is impossible to dismiss, in fact, it should be discussed, at length.

That's what In Search of Darkness: A Journey into Iconic 80s Horror, the new documentary from former Famous Monsters editor (and Pod Stallions regular) David Weiner sets out to do.

Clocking in at 258 minutes, In Search of Darkness is about 2.5 times longer than many of the films it is celebrating and as it continues, you completely understand why it had to be.

Thematically, ISOD lays out all the subject matter almost as if someone is placing VHS movies on the floor ordered by year and gives a special insight into each one. 

Commentary and special insight from genre notables such as John Carpenter, Joe Dante, Cassandra Peterson, Lloyd Kaufman, and Joe Bob Briggs to name but a few really help to give the documentary an even keel, it never completely aggrandizes or debases its subjects, it just has fun.

The brisk pacing means it also never lingers too terribly long on any subject, that fairness moves you through multiple sub-genres including horror-comedies, a personal favourite of mine.

Along the way, memorable horror trappings such as soundtracks, practical effects and the 80s obsession with bare breasts are interjected into the film providing an important pallet cleanser.

One of the more interesting effects ISOD had on me was that it changed my mind. While I've always freely admitted it was a successful era, I personally thought it too predilected with gimmicky slasher pictures. I now consider that opinion entirely short-sighted.

In Search of Darkness properly showcases just how an inventive time it truly was with slashers bumping elbows with monsters, aliens, demons, zombies,  killer toys, ghosts and most importantly, completely risky ideas and concepts. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I'd like to put on some leg warmers, chill a bottle of New Coke and watch "Night of the Creeps".

 In Search of Darkness is available on Blu-Ray or DVD at the movie's official website. This limited run of the movie will only be available until Oct. 31 with expected delivery for November 2019. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

General Mills Cereal (Killer) School Supplies

(Matt brings us another amazing gem from his collection- BrAin)

Check out this wonderful pencil case set from the General Mills cereal monsters made in 1981.

At first glance, it just looks like a cute school supply set based on Frankenberry, Count Chocula, and Boo Berry.

But then look more closely, and see exactly what haunted house they are escaping from--

"Mother, Blood! -- oh God, mother, blood!"

The image of the Bates Mansion not only on the header card, but on the pencil case as well, just puts this one over the top.

Now we know why the three monsters look so frightened – they didn't realize that they were at the house of a -- ahem-- "cereal" killer.

Now, at last, we know what happened to poor old Froot Brute-- these three cowards obviously left him behind to face certain doom

Monday, October 21, 2019

Topstone Vampire Girl flashlight

(another amazing guest post from Matt!) This wonderful flashlight is based upon the iconic image of the vampire girl from the Topstone mask series, sold in the back pages of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine.

Almost as iconic as her Shock monster cousin, The vampire girl image appeared on all types of unlicensed monster and Halloween paraphernalia throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s.

This flashlight was sold at Walgreens drugstore during the 1970s. Although the flashlight is beautiful, what really puts this one over the top is the gorgeous box art. The box calls her a "witch", but we all know who this is.

New Six Million Dollar Man Shirt in our Redbubble store!

Don't forget to join our new facebook group.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Pod Stallions : Phantom of the Paradise

As we're into the coolest month ever, we pontificate upon one of Brian's favourite movies of all time, the Brian Depalma classic " Phantom of the Paradise".

Please note we thought of the topic exactly one minute before taping but that really wouldn't stop someone who's seen the movie50 times, there was no "boning up" required, we talk Paul Williams, where we first saw the movie, influences, Winnipeg,  the merchandise, alternative casting, shared locations with Logan's Run, the amazing Gerrit Graham and somehow end up at Zardoz? How? Anyway, It's a jam-packed hour.

Please Enjoy and we have a new PodStallions Facebook group, please join us.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Universal, and not so Universal Halloween Die Cuts!

Please enjoy another guest post by my pal Matt, who will take us to school on vintage Halloween decorations- BrAin.

Greetings boils and ghouls! 

Today's post features some of the rarest, best, and most sought after and valuable Halloween die-cuts ever made based on the universal monsters. 

Some of them are solid cutouts, and others are jointed figures. All of them are from that wonderful period of the late 1970s and early 1980s when, in my humble opinion, the golden age of Halloween die-cuts was occurring.

This is not the full extent of my Halloween die-cut collection. But I decided to limit today to just the die cuts that have a universal monster connection. Enjoy!

1) Eureka die cuts Eureka was a company famous for its holiday decorations, they would make cardboard die cuts as well as tissue paper accordion decorations for Valentines, Thanksgiving, St. Patrick's Day, Christmas, and of course, Halloween. 

Monday, October 14, 2019

Toy-Ventures: Tomland PVC Monsters

Time to talk about the quirky series of PVC monster figures that are based on other Tomland series like the Star Raiders, Famous Monsters of Legends and Creatures from other worlds.

Special thanks to Andrew Williams for the photos

For More information visit:

Hosted and edited by Brian Heiler (@plaidstallions)

PlaidStallions Facebook Page

Plaidstallions facebook group

Twitter: @plaidstallions

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Sunday, October 06, 2019

The Shadow Halloween Poncho

I'm giving the reigns to my pal Matt today, for years, Matt has stepped in during the month of October and given us a peek at some of the more amazing things in this collection, so i leave you in gifted hands-Brain

This is a continuation of the previous post I had done in which I showed the multiple variations of Halloween costumes released by Collegeville for The Shadow!

This version I have here may be my favorite of the lot. It is the Shadow poncho costume.

Here is a shot of him in the box. Although the box does not mention that it is a poncho on the outside, it does say "one size fits all" which is consistent. It also mentions that it has "reflective spots". I wonder if they are still included in the box?

As I open up the box, it becomes clear that this costume has never been removed. It is still sealed inside the bag.

The mask is still the same children's mask, intended for a smaller head, in which the red scarf is molded into the actual sculpture of the mask-- this is in contrast to the adult size masks in which the scarf was a separate piece of either rayon or vinyl.

I have carefully unfolded the poncho here so you can see the marvelous artwork. This red, black, and gold coloring is just so striking, and perfect for this character.

Look at the fury in that angry shadow face.

The artwork for this poncho is obviously taken from the famous coloring book, and was featured on multiple items of the Shadow in the 1970s, including the bagatelle game, and the box art for some of the smaller vehicles.

Poncho costumes were a good option for kids who unfortunately had to experience the letdown of a rainy Halloween night.

Oh, and look! The reflective circular stickers are still here.

Happy Halloween. Expect some more Shadow Merchandise in this blog soon 😊

More Shadow Fun! (Also by Matt)

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Toy-Ventures: Remco Monsters at Home

It's October and I'm going to talk about nothin' but Monster Toys and let's start with an underrated classic, the Remco Monsters at Home line. This series of Universal Monsters hand puppets were based on the Remco 9" Figures that came a few years before and rarely get the spotlight.

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel:

More Information about the Remco Monsters at Home line

You can see that cool Remco Monster Commercial i talk over here:

Hosted and edited by Brian Heiler (@plaidstallions)

PlaidStallions Facebook Page

Plaidstallions facebook group

Twitter: @plaidstallions

Pod Stallions Mini: Terrance Dicks

The passing of legendary Doctor Who writer Terrance Dicks could not go unnoticed by us, not only did he create many, many of the surrounds that embody the show that we love but he also was the freaking ambassador of the series through the multitude of novelizations he wrote.

11 year old Jason and Brian were forever changed in their nerdy little hearts by the writings of this man and it would IMPOSSIBLE for us not to give him a proper salute. We love you Terrance and I hope this shows.

Please Enjoy and we have a new PodStallions Facebook group, please join us.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

The Plaid Stallions Halloween Shopping Guide

It's October, my favourite time of the year and it's not just because my best colour is brown. Nope, I love Halloween more than any other holiday and i don't even like Candy all that much.

I am however, a complete rube for the monster and horror-themed merchandise, so here are some of the things that put a twinkle in my eye and total stress on my bank account:

Something Weird Spook Show Spectacular A Go-Go: I love Something Weird Video, Vinyl Records and Spook Shows. This was made for me, I just hope it gets here in time for Halloween.

Frankenstein Tiki Mug I have a real fondness for Tiki bars although it's hindered by non-fondness for anything sweet that involves liquor. There is a whole series of Universal Monsters Tikis out there right now that are tasking me. It's just weird to drink beer out of these things...

GODZILLA: THE SHOWA-ERA FILMS, 1954–1975 The Criterion Collection: This is pretty much my childhood in one little package, a deluxe set of cleaned up Godzilla movies from the "Showa Era" (AKA the UHF years) with tons of extras and little perks. Even though this is a little pricy, it's also like the last Godzilla set I'll ever buy. 

Universal Monsters Paper People by Super 7- Seriously Super 7 is killing it this year with the Universal Monsters but of all the great stuff on their site (and you should check it out) I'm most in love with this tribute to the 1970s Our Ways Studios Jointed Giants.

Zombie Action Figure Fulci's Zombie is one of my favourite horror movies and this licensed figure coming out from Pallbearer Press and Distinctive Dummies is just all kinds of awesome. i was lucky enough to score their Coffin Joe figure before it sold out and let me tell you, it's glorious. Do not sit on the fence on this one because it will sell out and quick.

Mego Horror Wave 7 Figures: As most readers of PS would know, I'm a ginormous Mego nerd and they've really been knocking it out of the park with Horror stuff lately. I'm especially fond of Wave 7's Mummy and Phantom of the Opera which were created by some great people I know. There really is no bad figure in this series to be honest.

Battling Franken Mutants- Inspired by Toho's "War of the Gargantuas" these wonderful inaction figures by Stexe (who also makes this wonderful piece) actually do battle thanks to magnets.

Super 7 Creature Beach Towel- Yeah I want this too, although I'd also like a whole series of the monster surfing. I remember that "Frankenstein goes surfing" was a throwaway gag movie name on "Gilligan's Island"  and I was six and thought it was a real movie. 

Universal Monsters Bend Ems- Apparantly these throw back to the early 1990s Bend Ems are popping up at Walgreens, I don't live anywhere near of one those, so this photo and article links to Dinosaur Dracula's blog, they know more than i do on the subject.

I'd really like to know what other cool stuff you've found this year, leave me a comment here or on our facebook group Pod Stallions so i can hopefully do a part two this month.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin