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)

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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!

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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:

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Five Awesome Halloween Costumes on eBay this week

Seeing as it's Halloween, I thought I'd change things up and do an "all vintage Halloween Costume" edition. The really good ones seem to pop up this time of year and I've managed to find five I wish I could purchase right now. Let's dig in!

Shogun Warriors Mazinga Costume- I remember a kid in my class had this and I was super jealous. I don't even remember what i was wearing but it wasn't a Shogun Warrior.

Close Encounters Alien Costume- I think a lot of people thought Close Encounters would be the next Star Wars in terms of merchandise, it's a good movie but it just didn't have much appeal to me as a kid. 

Atari Asteroids Halloween Costume by Collegeville- This is a favourite here at PlaidStallions because it's just such an oddity. Are you the pilot of that little space ship, nope you're the Asteroid or an old sponge, whatever turns you on baby.

Outer Limits Alien by Ben Cooper- This is before time but I'm very fond of this classic TV show (even it's remake was good) but I can't seem to place what episode this guy is from, I guess it's possible he's an original creation.

1977 King Kong Costume by Ben Cooper- I'm not terribly fond of the movie but I seriously love the merchandise based off it. Case in point this beautiful box and set, so gorgeous!

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

5 Awesome Things on Ebay this week

Fantasy Island Tattoo Halloween Costume- I bought one of these a couple of years ago and I gotta tell you, I don't know what i did without it. Now, you can be just like me.

Frankenstein Conquers the World Super 8 Movie- This was one of those gems that channel 2 in Buffalo would play just before Halloween, it is a childhood favourite and something I just love. I want to own this but i'm swimming in toy-related credit card debt at the minute so i pass it on to you good people.

Gong Show Chuck Barris Halloween Costume- Now, I vividly remember racing home from grade 1 to catch the "Gong Show" every day but I would never have considered going as it's host for Halloween. I would have much preferred the "Chuck Barris CIA Assasin" costume that was sadly never produced.

Love at First Bite Iron Transfer- I've become obsessed with vintage Iron-On Transfers, it was bound to happen and honestly I wish i had gotten into this earlier as the obscure merchandise is amazing. I totally expect to find a "Holmes and Yo-Yo" or "Szysznyk" one. Praying for a "Man Called Sloane" as well.

King Kong Flocked Soap Bottle- Oh my goodness this just hits all the best nostalgia buttons for me. My mum used to buy me all the Avon dinosaur bubble baths as a kid and well, our entire house was flocked as she was a fan of wallpaper. I love this.

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

Friday, October 11, 2019

5 Awesome Things on eBay this week

Stefanie Powers Iron On- Hey, as Max would say on the starting to "Hart to Hart" SHE'S GAWGEOUS!and I agree. Slap this on a $7 T-Shirt and you'll be the talk of the town.

Bionic Halloween Costumes- Hey, if you're a couple, dig the Bionic man/Bionic Woman and are very tiny, then I have the Halloween costumes for you!

Big Box of Flexy Halloween Creeps- As a fanboy of Rack Toys and of course, Halloween, this is the kind of stuff that just brings me endless joy. Now you can own a whole display box of the stuff that would make you impulsively part with your money at six years old. No buyers remorse here, only goodness.

Happy Days Drapes- Who wants to wake up every morning with Henry Winkler peering at them hungrily? You do, you do.....

Durham Kung Fu Figure- This has nothing to do with the TV series, it's more just a take on the fad sweeping the nation at the time (for me it never ended) and I've weirdly never owned one of these. They're pretty cheap and it's hard to find one where the hands haven't melted off, also he has no pants, it's like a naked man in a short house robe which is just...all kinds of wonderful where i sit.


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