Blessings upon you, Larami, for these and your many other contributions to my wasted and wonderful childhood.
Archive for the 'Universal Monsters' Category
Weird Worlds was a kid’s horror and fantasy magazine that ran for eight issues from 1978 to 1981. Much like other Scholastic magazines, many issues featured a detachable poster. I would love to scan the whole run, because it’s a great example of the kind of advanced, somewhat esoteric material kids expected at the time. There were stories by sci-fi luminaries like Bradbury and Asimov, features on UFOs and paranormal phenomena, weird and disturbing facts and Forteana, fantasy art portfolios (Frazetta, the Brothers Hildebrandt). I particularly remember the wonderfully graphic comic book strips by Steve Bissette, best known now for illustrating Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing in the ’80s. You can read a few of these strips at The Horrors of It All.
Also check out this Monsters of the Greek Myths poster, a Scholastic giveaway from the same year. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: 1980 was a hell of a year to be a kid.
(Image via Donald Deveau/Flickr)
I’m not sure what convinced Remco that Universal Monsters were going to compete in 1980, when a little movie called The Empire Strikes Back came out and the horror genre was dominated by ultraviolent slashers and demons from hell, but I’m glad they did: regardless of how much money was lost, the Mini Monsters are some of the coolest action figures ever made. The cards are beautiful too. I love the glow in the dark graphic surrounding Frank and the Phantom on the versions seen here. The figures were first released in non-glow versions (the Creature was dark green).
Azrak-Hamway International (AHI), which acquired Remco in 1974, produced 8-inch Universal Monster figures from 1974-1976. The later Remco line (1980-1981) also included a series of 9-inch figures (hence the “mini monster” designation for the 3 3/4-inch figures), a nifty vinyl Play Case, the awesome Monsterizer, and hand puppets, as well as ancillary items like makeup kits. As always, I’m including some prices below.