Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mini Monster Mash

Who doesn’t love monsters? And by monsters I’m referring to those iconic ones like Dracula, Frankenstein, the werewolf, etc. Ok truth be told…when I was younger…I was terrified of werewolves…but that’s beside the point. When I was a kid some of my favourite tv shows starred many of these monsters. Now at the risk of actually revealing how old I am, I figured it would be a fun exercise to look back at some of my old favourite monster shows…
so without further ado, let’s start with….

you can tell the original show from the remake based on
"normal daughter" Marilyn's hairstyle & wardrobe
The Munsters 
NO….I am NOT referring to the original black & white series that showed in the 1960’s…I’m not THAT old. I’m actually referring to the remake series that showed in the 80’s, The Munster’s Today. From what I know, this was a pretty straight up remake of the original, done in color. For those of you who don’t know who the Munsters are, well from the picture, you can see that they were a family of monsters, with the dad being frankenstein*, the mom as bride of Dracula (or in this case I guess you could say daughter), their werewolf son, grampa Dracula and “normal human” niece. It was a campy sitcom that I remember watching a lot as a kid.

The Monster Squad (tv series) 
And speaking of campy….I also remember watching this show called the Monster Squad. Now from what I remember (with a little help from Wikipedia), it’s about this criminology student who works as a night watchman in a wax museum. He builds this sort of crime computer that when activated accidentally brings to life 3 wax statues…Dracula, Wolfman & Frankenstein. As the story goes, all three possess the memories of their past lives as monsters and to make up for all the bad they did, decide to dedicate their new lives to fighting crime. This show was created by one of the main writers of the Batman series starring Adam West. So if you know that show, you can imagine based on that just how campy this series was.

Drak Pack 
This was a cartoon done by Hanna Barbera that I enjoyed watching it as well. It stared 3 kids who were descendants of (you guessed it) Dracula, Wolfman & Frankenstein and had the powers to turn into the said monsters. And just like in the Monster Squad, they used their powers to make up for all the bad stuff that their monster ancestors did.

The Monster Squad (movie) 
Now this was the big one. When I first heard about it, I thought it was a movie based on the tv show that I loved watching. It turned out to be quite different as it turned out that the “monster squad” being referred to in this movie were just a bunch of kids who were into monster movies. Most of the monsters in this movie, like the wolfman, swamp creature & mummy were the bad guys led by Dracula. Frankenstein however turned out to be good. Anyway the bad guys are out to conquer the world and it’s up to the monster squad, these kids, to stop them.

Yes I know that doesn’t really sound like a great premise, and the whole kids going on a great adventure sounds pretty similar to another excellent kid adventure movie called The Goonies which came out a couple years before this. And because of that, the Monster Squad has at times been unfairly called a Goonies rip-off, but you know what? I really liked it. And as much as I like the Goonies, I do agree with this article that says that the Monster Squad actually was the better movie.

Anyway the reason why I decided to take this little nostalgic trip is because I wanted to write about a little group of toys that I put together recently. Last year, I got my girlfriend into collecting the Lego blind bag minifigures. Now while she has gone all out and practically completed the whole line (to date) I have taken a more conservative approach and only cherry picking the minifigures that I really liked.

I decided to collect minifigures that followed a certain theme. So I got my warriors themed guys (Ninja, Viking, Knight etc), some sports (Hockey, Tennis, Football) and of course monsters.

So in 10 series, Lego has released quite a number of different monster minifigures and lucky for me, most of them were more of the common & easier ones to find. SO I had no trouble getting me a Frankenstein & Werewolf. Dracula & mummy were a little harder since they came from earlier waves that I had initially missed out on. But it didn’t take long before I got a decent sized monster mini mash going on ☺

Ok so I actually borrowed the zombie from my girlfriend for this shoot. To date, this has been one of the most expensive minifigures in the aftermarket. A single blind bag zombie can fetch up to $25-30 on eBay…a little too much for what I’d be willing to pay for a minifigure…..

Anyway, aside from the blind bag minifigures, Lego actually released a separate monster line called Monster Fighters which through eBay allowed me to expand my monster set by adding characters not (yet) available in the blind bag series, like the swamp creature as well as a classic ghost.

I especially love the ghost as it actually glows in the dark and so every night, when I turn off the lights, it’s actually this little glowing ghost (who is stationed on my head rest) that is the last thing I see before I drift off to sleep…..

*yes I do know that "Frankenstein" is really name of the doctor who created the monster...who is basically known Frankenstein's monster...or just monster.  But to keep things simple...let's just call the guy Frankenstein....