Telco Halloween Motion-ettes FAQ

Editor’s Note:  Below are some of the most common questions we have received about the Halloween Motion-ettes.  This article is a sub-article of The Motion-ettes of Halloween Collector’s Guide.  Please review the Guide before reading the FAQ.

The Big Scare BG_alt Q: What’s the big deal about Telco?  Why not create a guide for Topstone or early Gemmy Halloween figures?

A: The Big Scare has plans to produce, at least, one article focusing on the other brands of tabletop animation.  The reason we started with Telco is because, as a company, its offerings were extremely expansive, yet incredibly underdocumented. Twenty-five years later, there is a lot of confusion about the line and very little information.  This has led to misunderstandings in the worlds of collectors and Halloween enthusiasts alike.  While the folks behind The Big Scare own relatively few Motion-ettes, we love their charms and the fact that they represent a simpler time in the world of Halloween.  We have spent the past decade gathering information, comparing photos, and assembling a cohesive history of the line.  To us, it was an endeavor worth the while.

Q: My Telco Halloween Motion-ette is dated 1987 (or 1986).  That’s all I need to know about the year oskeleton glowf its release, right?

A: Unfortunately, no.  Simply because your Motion-ette is dated 1987 (or 1986) doesn’t mean it is from that year.  Telco was notorious for stamping misleading dates on Motion-ette heads, hands, and boxes.  1986 refers to the creation of the Halloween line, while 1987 simply refers to the (true) national launch of the Halloween figures and the introduction of a particular body type.  All Motion-ettes of Halloween are somehow tied to 1986 or 1987.  If your figure has a 1986 or 1987 date, it most likely isn’t from that year… especially if it’s a bug-eyed Devil or a Green Werewolf (Beastman).  Neither was released until years later.  But that’s why we created the Motion-ettes guide!

Q:  I found a Motion-ette that has a very different costume from the ones I see pictured on this site.  Did I stumble upon a rare figure?

A: All  images in our guide are photographs of archival catalog and stock images, intended to educate Halloween enthusiasts on what the actual original products looked like.  So, chances are, if your figure has a different costume from what is outlined in the guide, you probably stumbled upon an imposter, at least a partial imposter.  Motion-ettes were released at a time when crafting was still at its height. Crafters and hobbyists found Motion-ettes to be quite enchanting — not for their factory-born charms, but for the possibilities of modification and re-sale.  Many times, Motion-ette figures were given new costumes, new accessories, or additional lighting features after they were purchased.  They were then re-sold at craft fairs for higher prices.  So, yes, your Motion-ette find is indeed rare.  It’s one of a kind!  But don’t go thinking that makes it better than an original Motion-ette.  In fact, that probably would appeal less to most collectors.  But the only thing that really matters is that you like it!  Many of the Motion-ettes altered by hobbyists are very well done.

Q: I have a figure that has a nearly identical color scheme to the Motion-ettes in the guide, but the face is sculpted a bit differently, and the accessory is one I didn’t see pictured or mentioned in the collector’s guide.  Is it a Telco?

A: Probably n1987 skullot.  It could very well be an EPI animated figure.  In fact, we here at The Big Scare are still trying to pinpoint the make of certain lookalikes, especially the ones that really look like they could be Telco Motion-ettes but don’t have any of the standard accessories.  The accessories make for one of the best ways to determine the brand of your animated monster.  If your figure has the regular skull, the rectangular lantern, or this blow mold pumpkin, it’s probably a Telco, although the pumpkin was also used by lookalike companies.  The cobra, crazy bat, and threatening cat blow mold accessories are also extremely indicative that yours is indeed a Telco Motion-ette.

 Q:  I see a lot of these Motion-ettes listed for high prices on [a popular online auction site].  These prices seem a bit excessive to me.  Is there a conclusive list of fair market values for the Halloween Motion-ettes?

A:  No official guide has ever been created, but, during our ten years of research, we kept a log of final selling prices for various figures in the Telco line.  We created a range using our recorded statistics.  You can find the average price ranges for popular figures in our Telco Halloween Motion-ettes Price Guide.  Please note that these prices are based on our collected data and should only be used as one resource when determining a fair price for a particular animated figure.

Have a question?  Ask it in the comments section, and it could appear above in our official (and ever-growing) Q&A.

16 thoughts on “Telco Halloween Motion-ettes FAQ

  1. Pingback: Telco Motion-ettes of Halloween: History and Collector’s Guide | THE BIG SCARE

  2. Pingback: Telco Halloween Motion-ettes Price Guide | THE BIG SCARE

  3. Pingback: Telco Motion-ettes of Halloween: History and Collector’s Guide | THE BIG SCARE

  4. Any suggestions on how to remove the pumpkin from the witch’s hand to change the light bulb? Never changed it and it finally died last year. Don’t want to break it and it doesn’t seem to want to come off. Thank you!

    • The pumpkin is the most fragile accessory, so you are right to be cautious. There is no easy answer, but a little heat may do the trick. Try a blow dryer or running the hand (ONLY) it under hot water.

  5. I have a Small Fry Telco girl dressed as a spider. The box is dated 1995. Does it, or any of the small fry collection have any value ?

    • Some buyers are interested in the Small Fry collection. While these figures are nowhere near as popular as the Original Telco Motion-ettes of Halloween, they have sold, but the prices are much lower — generally between $9.99 and $29.99. I have not seen the Spider, so I don’t have a figure on that one specifically. It could be more rare than the Ghost and Witch dolls, but that is only speculation.

  6. What is the best way to change the bulb in the head of my Phantom figure. I need to change it but do not wanna damage the figure. I have 7 24″ figures I bought new back when they were still selling them at K Mart and Walmart. I don’t know what they are worth and I don’t care I love them so much I will never sell them. I think I am going to start looking for some I do not have

    • This varies from figure to figure, but you may be able to unscrew the neck from the torso and access the bulb that way, but there’s no guarantee that will work with your figure (attachments vary). Let’s just say that Telco never really thought this out, except in the case of the Ghost. (I have seen people give these figures (the Devil mostly) lobotomies before just to replace the light bulb — not recommended!)

  7. Hello. I recently purchased an unmarked battery powered figure that has the face of the “top hat skeleton”, is holding the skull with the bat on top, but it’s wearing a black hooded robe is only 14.1/2 inches tall, (that’s including the base). It has an empty space next to the on/off switch for a missing second control And it’s hands look to be the witch’s hands cast in white plastic, Its actions include a slight turn of the waist as well as a tilting of its head toward the right shoulder only, then straight back up. That, in conjunction with it’s alternating arm lifting movement causes it to hit itself in the face with it’s accessory. And that cannot be repositioned because its arms are solid metal rods. Lastly It’s light features are clear led eyes that glow red and the bat skull accessory glows white and the sound feature is what I think is referred to as “ghostly”. If you could identify it for me I would really appreciate it. p.s. I opened the base, and the speaker is attached with duct tape.

    • Karen,

      I know exactly what figure you describe. You have a talent for painting pictures with words. In my mind, I can see the exact photo I have of that figure. Unfortunately, I cannot physically see the image as my digital archives are unavailable for the time being. Therefore, even if I did have manufacturer information on that particular figure, I wouldn’t be able to get it to you. Until my archives return, I may suggest looking into Eureka Toys, as those figures (along with those made by Funny Toys) have the “side-to-side” body movement. There are a handful of knock-off companies that also made use of the swaying feature. The one thing I can say with certainty is that it is NOT Telco. I am sorry I cannot be more specific at this time. If I can get more information to you, I will reply in this posting thread within the next few months.

      Thanks for dropping by!

    • Karen,

      You are in luck. In my quest to find an online image of your figure, I stumbled across this photograph featuring the back of a Eureka Toys animated Halloween figure box from the late 1980s/early 1990s:

      If your figure is one of those pictured here, then it is definitely manufactured by Eureka Toys. The Skull and Demon figures seem to fit the bill.

      I hope that offers some help!

      The Big Scare

  8. I recently purchased a telco witch off ebay holding the blow mold pumpkin, with light up face. However, the facial expression is the same as the “fortune teller witch” (downward eyes and frown) do you have any details on this? I have only ever seen the facial expression with downward eyes on the fortune teller witch, not with a standard body.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s