Halloween Treats: Universal Monsters and Frito-Lay

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The following does not constitute an endorsement of any product or retailer.   It is for information purposes only.

Many of you may remember the 1990s, when the Universal Monsters, Pepsi-Cola and Frito-Lay Chips were inseparable.  Recently, that relationship has been revived, although to a lesser extent.  Whilst Halloween shopping this past weekend, we were pleasantly surprised to stumble upon these monster-sized bags of chips bearing not only a Frankenstein image, but an official Universal Studios Monsters logo.  And while the artwork doesn’t look much like the classic Karloff Monster, it is nice to see Universal getting a shout-out from food makers, especially at this time of year.  Each sack holds 20 individually-packaged bags of chips.  If you don’t get too many Treaters, these might make a nice surprise for the kids that do show up, and they would definitely be good for a Halloween Night party.  Another Universal-licensed chip sack features Dracula, but the artwork doesn’t look much like the Universal Dracula or Bela Lugosi.  These are available while supplies last at various grocers, including select Wal-Mart locations.

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Tombstone Halloween Pizzas 2012

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The following does not constitute an endorsement of any product or retailer.   It is for information purposes only.

Every year, Tombstone releases a new series of Halloween-themed pizzas.  For the past few years, the pizzas have featured a variety of characters from Dracula to Frankenstein.  This year’s assortment features a cool werewolf, a Grim Reaper, and a jack-o’-lantern.

We’ve made these easy-to-bake frozen pizzas a staple of Halloween night.  Between the door-busting Treaters and the spooky movies, it’s hard to prepare a big feast.  That’s why we think these “official pizzas of Halloween” are ideal for the most special night of the year.  What do you eat on All Hallows’ Eve?

Spook Spotter: Hotel Transylvania Toys, Scooby Doo Halloween McBoo Buckets at McDonald’s

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The following does not constitute an endorsement of any product or retailer.   It is for information purposes only.

For several years, Halloween selections at fast food restaurants were slim to none.  In recent years that has changed.  A few years back, McDonald’s reintroduced an old Halloween staple – the McBoo Bucket or the McBoo Pail.  After years of being absent from the Halloween season, it made a triumphant return and has been at the fast food chain every year since.

This year, the McBoo Buckets are returning.  Just as in the old days, there will be three designs.  However, as opposed to featuring Ghosts, Witches and Pumpkins, these new pails will feature the cast of Scooby Doo.  They will be coming to McDonald’s restaurants in the mid-October.

But you don’t have to wait until then to get your hands on some Halloween goodness at the nation’s number one fast food store.  Right now, McDonald’s is featuring Hotel Transylvania Happy Meals.  The animated movie monsters have been transformed into toys and are now being given away with the purchase of a Happy Meal.  Collect everyone from Count Dracula to Murray the Mummy.  Available while supplies last.

Finding the Best Halloween Deals

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Any opinions expressed in the following article do not constitute an endorsement of any product or retailer.   The following is for information purposes only.

One of our newest features is called “Swoop’s Scoop,” brought to you by our new friend, Swoop the Bat.  Swoop’s Scoop lets you in on upcoming merchandise of interest to fans of Horror and Halloween, and also gives you the scoop on some of the most affordable finds of the Halloween season.  Look forward to this feature throughout the coming weeks.  Our first installment is a basic overview of where you can track down some really awesome Halloween deals.

Many people believe that the only time you can get great offers on Halloween merchandise is on November 1.  That thinking is flawed.  While that may be the case most of the time at the big box retailers, there are great Halloween deals all season long at discounters.

Ross and Tuesday Morning both offer high quality items at 50-70% off their original retail prices.  You can expect to find everything from snowglobes to vintage reproduction pieces at these “boo-tiques.”  In addition, these types of stores have been known to get shipments from mainstream manufacturers like Department 56 and Annalee.

In addition, Big Lots has its own unique lineup of Halloween merchandise, offering markdowns on items that are similar to those you would find at major retailers and specialty stores.  Looking for skull lights or pumpkin path finders?  What about spooky signs and yard decorations?  They have all of these items and more!

Another place to get great deals on Halloween is one you probably wouldn’t expect – the Halloween specialty store.  In larger cities, there are entire facilities dedicated to discounted Halloween costumes and decorations.  But if your city doesn’t have one of these haunts, you may want to check with the mainstream Halloween stores.  Many places, like Spirit, offer select merchandise from previous years at discounted rates, so it’s definitely worth asking one of the sales associates if  a discount section exists.

Well that covers our overview.  Swoop will be back with posts about great finds all season long, so bookmark us or subscribe!

Welcome to the 2012 Halloween Season!

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The following is for information purposes only.   We are in no way affiliated with the creators of any product nor do we recommend you purchase any product described herein.  Any opinions expressed in the following article do not constitute an endorsement of any product.

Welcome, old friends and new, to The Big Scare, the site that prepares you for all of the tricks and treats in store this upcoming season.  We have a variety of terrifying topics to cover, so let’s waste no time.

First of all, let’s discuss the posting schedule.  Throughout August, we will be sharing updates every Wednesday, the day upon which Halloween falls this year.   Beginning September 3, we will be posting each weekday, providing you with decorating ideas,  haunted histories, as well as links to some of the most interesting (and eerie) items available to purchase this season in our Spook Spotter.  But why wait ’til then?  There’s already a number of finds that Spook the Cat is waiting to dig his claws into…

Let’s start with the biggies.  Many of you enjoy collecting life-sized animatronic figures and displaying them around your haunted homes and personal cemeteries.  This year, we have heard about some interesting ones, including an officially licensed Wicked Witch of the West and a limb-ripping werewolf.  Both will be available at Spirit Halloween Superstores.

For those of you who enjoy the more quaint – and smaller – Halloween fare, we suggest you take a look at the new figures and buildings available from Lemax.  Michael’s Arts and Crafts stores already are displaying their Spooky Town items.  If you haven’t had a chance to see the display in your local retailer, you can check out the offerings here.

Now let’s give you some updates on past Spook Spotter items.  We previously announced the release of a Bride of Frankenstein model from Moebius Models.  That item is now available, and you can order it here.   Secondly, we mentioned another series of  Dark Shadows action figures.  Those have been delayed until 2013, but it looks as if they are still being produced.  We will keep you updated.  In addition, all of the Universal Monster items from Diamond Select and Mezco are on schedule, and many of them will be released this fall.  We will let you know when they hit shelves.

Finally, you have probably noticed some changes around here, aesthetically speaking.  We are pleased to announce that we have a whole new cast of characters who will be helping dismember… disseminate, rather… all of the Haunted Headlines.  You’ve already met Spook the Cat.  Look forward to hearing from his friends Luna the Wolf, Eek the Owl, Swoop the Bat and a whole slew of others who are just dying to meet you!

Well, that does it for this week.  Check back next week when we share some insight on tracking down great Halloween items at low prices!

Jonathan Frid Has Passed: The Original Barnabas Collins Will Live On Forever

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Jonathan Frid, the actor who originated the character of Barnabas Collins and the concept of the reluctant vampire, has died.  According to an article published by actress Kathryn Leigh Scott on her website, Mr. Frid passed away on April 13, 2012.  He was 87 years old.

Mr. Frid lauched to stardom when he was cast in the television serial Dark Shadows (1966-1971) and became a household name in the late 1960s.  He helped to revolutionize the concept of the vampire, making him a sympathetic creature rather than a horrifying one.  Mr. Frid was known for his theater work and his live stage performances, which he continued to do in his later life.  His most recent film work is in the forthcoming adaptation of Dark Shadows in which he makes a cameo appearance.

Mr. Frid may have departed this earth, but he will never be forgotten.  Like Barnabas Collins, he will live through the centuries in the hearts and minds of many a monster kid.  Safe travels to you, the one and only Barnabas Collins.

Source:  http://www.kathrynleighscott.com/?p=2190

Toy Fair 2012 Monsters | Pictures of All the New Toys

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Any opinions expressed in the following article do not constitute an endorsement of any product or retailer.   The following is for information purposes only.

They have risen again.  Nearly 15 years ago, the Universal Monsters saw a resurrection from the grave with the introduction of Classic Monster Postage Stamps.  The stamp collection prompted the release of Universal Monster figures from a major toy studio – Hasbro – and eventually led to the impressive Sideshow Toy line of figures.Now, they’re back.

Two major toy companies have the license  and will be producing some great toys over the next few years.  The first, of course, is Diamond Select, which secured the license from Universal a few years back.  Since that point, Diamond has been issuing two Mego-style Monster figures in their “Retro-Cloth” series and three PVC Monster action figures every Halloween, along with a selection of Mini-Mates and alternative sculpts.  All of those lines are going to continue into the foreseeable future.

This year, Diamond will release two new “Retro-Cloth” figures:  The Bride of Frankenstein and the hotly anticipated Creature from the Black Lagoon.  The 2012 PVC figures include The Phantom of the Opera and Metaluna Mutant from This Island Earth.   The 2012 Mini-Mates include The Mummy and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

In 2013, Diamond will release  new PVC action figures:  The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Mole People and a Boris Karloff Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Diamond is also planning on releasing a Frankenstein Bust Bank.

This year, Mezco also secured a Universal license and will be producing some terror-ific looking pieces.  They will be releasing three stylized figures of The Mummy, Frankenstein and The Creature from the Black Lagoon.  In addition, they will be releasing the Universal Monsters in their Living Dead Dolls series.  The first two will be Dracula and Frankenstein, both of which will be released in 2013.  The final product from the upcoming assortment will be a “Big Frankie” version of their stylized Frankenstein figure.

Let us hope that Mezco will also take on the concept of playsets and introduce all of our favorite characters as small action figures with accompanying “scenes” and “play environments”.  But time will tell…

Another exciting story out of Toy Fair 2012 is that the characters of Mad Monster Party will finally be released in action figure format.  This long-anticipated toy series will be coming from Diamond Select.  Wave 1 will include Boris Karloff’s Baron Boris von Frankenstein, the character of Count Dracula as well as that of the Frankenstein Monster.  Surely, all of our other favorite Monsters are waiting in the wings…

Finally, Diamond will also be producing new Munsters figures, in addition to “Silver Screen” versions of the first series.