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Updated: February 25, 2024

Merchandising Monsters: A Brief Look At Universal Monsters Memorabilia.

Since the birth of the Universal Studios classic monsters in the 1930's, the monsters have had an enduring appeal on audiences for over 80 years. However, the longevity of the monsters must be credited to not only the strong work of the make-up artists such as Jack Pierce and performances by cinema greats like Boris Karloff, but the many companies that helped establish the Universal Monsters through numerous collectibles. Through a variety of fun merchandising opportunities over the years, Universal Pictures has managed the ability to maintain a consistent public awareness of some of the most terrifying, but fun of classic monsters.

When the Universal Monsters first began to haunt our movie theaters, starting in 1931 with Tod Browing's Dracula and continuing in 1932 with Karl Freund's The Mummy, there really wasn't any form of collectibles that existed for them. It was when the classic monsters made their resurgence in the 1960's and 1990's that they began to be merchandised heavily. Currently, the Universal Monsters still make their presence known be it through action figures by Diamond Select Toys, in online video gaming by Universal / Konami or even in online casino games getting in on the monster sized fun!

The 60's were a fantastic time for monster fans as that was the proper start to the Universal Monsters collectibles. Some of the most famous of monster merchandise were the now iconic Remco Universal Monsters action figures. The original line of Remco monsters included the following figures and playsets:

Dracula Frankenstein Phantom Creature Wolfman Mini Monster Play Case Mini Monster Monsterizer

There were also 9 inch, fully poseabale figures as well. This assortment included: Frankenstein Creature Phantom

Another excellent hallmark in Universal Monsters collectibles were the Don Post masks. which were eventually reintroduced to collectors in the mid-90's during the resurgence of interest in the Universal Monsters merchandise.

Universal Monsters:

A full action figure assortment of Universal Monsters didn't really happen until Sideshow Toys began producing action figures in 1999, which was timed right around the release of Stephen Sommers' The Mummy, starring Brendan Fraser. This was one of the most celebrated of Universal Monsters as it was one of the most authoritative of lines ever made.

With Universal reinvigorating interest in their Universal Monsters through this summer's The Mummy and the upcoming installments in the "Dark Universe", it would not be surprising to see new collectibles haunt store shelves in the coming months and years. While Diamond Select Toys no longer has the Universal Monsters license, we do know that Funko still does. The Everett, WA based company previously released two waves of POP! vinyl figures and a throwback line of ReAction figures based on the original Remco line.

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