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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.