Author Topic: How I became a monster loving kid and the monster toy enthusiast I am today!  (Read 8393 times)

Hepcat

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But, when you tell a kid who "lusts" for something that he can't have it, well, he usually WANTS IT MORE!!


Indeed! Deny kids toy guns, and they're more likely to get real ones at first opportunity. There's been plenty of evidence for this phenomenon.

Plus there's the old "Boy who cried wolf" syndrome. What happens when you get hysterical parents with no sense of perspective telling kids sugary soda pop is "bad" for them and not letting the kids drink any? By the time the kids reach their teens, their parents have lost all credibility with the kids. So the parents then tell the kids to avoid drugs because they're "bad" for them? "Yeah sure, mom. Aren't you the one who also told me Pepsi-Cola and Bazooka bubble gum were bad for me?"

 ::)

It would suck to be a kid now. You can't take a pocket knife to school.... The freedoms we enjoyed as kids were gradually stripped away year by year and now here we are with everyone living a virtual life with their heads stuck in their phones and other devices because their real life has been slowly degraded to the point the virtual is preferable.


Great point! Of course virtual reality is preferable to the degraded/constrained limits within which kids have to exist these days. No playing in the streets with the other kids, no unsupervised ball games in the park, no biking around the neighbourhood within a mile or two radius, no jack knives and no guns!  :o

I was much more into sci-fi than cowboys as a kid, but I still coveted a nice cap gun and holster set and now I absolutely positively have to add a good vintage one to my toy collection! Something like this one:



So I can shoot off rolls of caps like kids did all the time back in the day!



And we had firecrackers too!



Whole packs of little bombs for a nickel or a dime! What could be better for a red-blooded kid? (I've always loved the smell of firecrackers/caps/gunpowder.)

No wonder some kids get pissed off and act out in crazy ways. The tyranny of too many rules and too many nosy people trying to run other's lives have put us in the present situation. I'm glad I grew up before the busybodies figured out how to fix everything.


So very true!

 cl:)
« Last Edit: February 03, 2017, 11:19:57 AM by Hepcat »
Collecting! It's what I do!

skully

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Well then Wich2, horrorhunter, and hepcat, we all share similar memories, as I'm sure many others in this group do too. I remember watching the movie "Stand by me", with the kids walking the railroad tracks. When we moved out of the city to Muhlenberg, it was a great mid-sized development called Cherokee Ranch, most all were cape cod style homes, built in the late 40's. Almost every household had kids. Behind the development were 3 sets of railroad tracks, and we walked them frequently. Although we never found any "dead bodies", like in the movie, it brought back memories of walking those tracks. We had a huge playground for us at the top of the hill behind the development, which was right next door to the Reading drive-in. How cool was that!  Every movie that ever came out from late 66 (although our family frequently went to this drive-in while we were still living in the city) up until the late 70's we saw there. There was a whole slew of us from the development that would run down the hill, usually on a Friday or Saturday night, there was a couple of fence planks missing in the back, and we would all pile into the lot and sit in the back, on the ground, usually with blankets, putting those clunky car speakers on the ground next to us, and just having a great time. As for dandelion wine, Wich2, we had something called Tiger Rose, it was sold by the gallon which was bought back then in very "eye-brow" raising ways by us. That, along with a large tub of buttered pop-corn from the concession stand in the drive-in, well, lets just say that we had some "interesting" times in that drive-in.  Sometimes I had to wander to another speaker stand to actually watch the movie playing instead of being with the gang of us.  I loved watching the monster and horror flicks like this on that enormous screen.  Yes, looking back, drive-ins, gigantic 5 cent candy bars, swimming pools (or swimming in creeks), going to the old time Reading Fair(when it used to be good), all the cool cars of the times, bicycles, gum cards, and yes, all the toys and magazines, opening up all those boxes of cereal to reach in for the prize, cracker jack, these were the best of times, we just didn't realize it until much, much later!!

Wich2

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Skull, I recall tasting my Grandma's dandelion wine... but I meant Ray Bradbury's DANDELION WINE.

Proof that wonderful eras for childhood didn't begin with ours! Every kid gets a chance - even today's.

-Craig

skully

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Wich2, you are correct, the children of today will also one day look back at "their" times being the best of times (I hope). 

horrorhunter

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In all fairness I suppose every generation thinks their growing up was at the best time because when we are formed as persons we love that which formed us. I still prefer to think that Monsterboomers had it best, but I am extremely prejudiced in that regard you know.  ;)  ;D
ALWAYS MONSTERING...

Allhallowsday

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Monster memories begin with the movies and the toys.  Those Marx monsters were durable and available... and I remember my oldest brother's Famous Monsters magazine with the back inside cover shot of the Monster glowering at Frankenstein's bride to be... that scared me.  He kept it "hidden" from our mom in his bottom drawer.  It was scary and naughty. 
The next year on Halloween Creature Feature showed the original movie FRANKENSTEIN (1931).  It was a Saturday afternoon (1970)... I had a store bought Frankenstein costume.  I remember leaping around the house and watching FRANKENSTEIN... I don't think it's a mishmash, but who knows?  I was so young...
A few years later I bought a lot of what we called gulla gullas... jigglers.  I later learned some were AHI some were Ben Cooper.  I was fascinated by monster models.  Our cousins gave us a cyclops model from "Lost in Space" which we thought was cool...  I remember Aurora transitioning from long box to square box. 
I had to own a Marx Battery Operated Frankenstein... then I did for a long time.  It's nice to know that that awesomely cool toy in The Munsters really existed!!! 
A few years after I stumbled across my first Frankenbucket that I still own.  That's when I started looking more seriously for Monsters. 
If you want to view Paradise, simply look around and view it.

The Batman

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My parents raised 2 sons - my older brother, who watched a lot of sports, and me - who ignored sports and watched horror, sci-fi and western movies along with The Twilight Zone, Outer Limits, The Munsters & the Adams Family.

My Dad appreciated discussing and watching sports with my older brother.

I enjoyed my own world, watching mostly monster movies and reading books about haunted houses and monsters and loved Halloween every year - which I could enjoy with other kids back then. Over time I met more people into the shows I enjoyed the most and so I had enough friends to relate to.

Building the classic Frankenstein model as my first model kit in the 60's was a really big deal. I repainted it a few times, adding a bit more detail each time. Eventually I would develop a preference for liking the extreme detailed painting far beyond sanding parts to fit perfectly and gluing parts together. To this day I'm amazed how perfectly sculpted that Frankenstein head was for a small model - given the limited tech avail back then. 

The Famous Monsters of Filmland mag was treasured for many years. I love it right down to the funky retro adds and editorial pieces.   




skully

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To All who have so far posted in this interesting subject, these are such great memories that we share, it's actually fun to remember these times, and try to write about them so everybody gets a glimpse, and as mentioned earlier, sometimes sad too.  It's certainly not everybody who have memories like we do, I believe we were the "lucky" ones, but that's just my opinion.  But , I have to agree with horrorhunter, I am prejudiced for the earlier times.  There is no right or wrong here, we are all equal with our own memories, but damn, its tough to beat the 60's!!

freddie poe

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Brother Hep! Mind blowing collection! And being 61 I'm right there with you in  the era. My steps to monsterdom were very very similar. You guys have said it all so perfect.  I will try to put together a story of my first stimuli. Great work! I'm glad I dropped in.

Gasport

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Thanks for bringing this thread to my attention, Hepcat...was a good excuse for me to check in and see what's going on. Haven't been online as much as i used to mainly due to caring for my 93 year old mom with dementia, here in my home. A full time gig in the truest sense of the term! Really enjoyed you [and everyone else] walking us thru what inspired you to follow this very similar path we all chose. I only wish my memories were as crystal clear and precise as yours. One thing i had totally forgotten about was that Hasbro Marble Maze toy...I had it as a kid, too and enjoyed it very much! I had a big plywood toy box that slid under my bed like a big drawer, full of all my favorite toys...just had to clear a space with your hands and you could plunk yourself down in the middle with everything at arms reach...Paradise!!

My earliest monster memory would have to be finding the Aurora long box Frankenstein kit at a local store. I must have been maybe 5 years old. I wanted my brother who was 10 years older than me [he passed away 2 years ago] to help me build it, but i guess he was busy, so i attempted it on my own. I learned 2 things from the experience; First, model glue melts polystyrene plastic. I found this fun fact out when i used about a quarter tube to attach Franky's head to the torso. [wanted to be sure it wouldn't fall off!] When i checked on it the next day, his head had sunken deep in his chest and he was looking at his feet. Secondly; You can't pour turpentine into a plastic medicine bottle to soak your paint brush in afterwards...that, too was an unrecognizable blob with a paint brush stuck in it by the next day. I was upset that my first attempt was such a failure, but luckily, they only cost a buck and the second time my brother assisted me, did a much better paint job & I still have & cherish it to this day.   

Both my mom and dad had no problem with me liking monster stuff. Rarely did they say no to a toy request. The big stuff, like Great Garloo, King Zor, Ideal Haunted House Game, etc, were reserved for more special occasions like Birthdays and Xmas. But they were always okay with little stuff like Marx Monsters, [My buddy ,Doug and i used to sit in a puddle that formed after a heavy rain on my street and play with them...we'd grind their heads into the asphalt til gone to simulate battles, then go off to Grants and buy another for 19 cents!] Monster Print Putty, Kooky Spooky ghosts, Monster models, etc. It was my brother who introduced me to my childhood hero and later in life, good friend, John Zacherle on TV. He plopped me down in front of it one day and said ; ''Watch this, it's cool." He was right. Again, i must have been about 5...It was the creation sequence from The Bride of Frankenstein. I remember when they peeled the bandage off her eyes to that loud burst of music and running out of the room! I came back, though and witnessed like many kids did back then, how Zach would masterfully take the edge off scary scenes like this with his one of a kind wit, warmth and sense of humor...We were always safe in his company. God, how i miss him.

Well, Svengoolie is showing Godzilla in a little while and i've gotta check on my mom before she goes to bed...thanks again for the heads up, Hep...hopefully i'll be back again sooner than later.

Wich2

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Good ta "see" ya, Mike!

Let me know when you're gonna be in town. That quick "Hi" at Zach's memorial was nice, but would love to b.s. over coffee - my treat!

God bless you and your Mum.

-Craig

skully

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Gasport, I watched Godzilla, for probably the 100th. time!!

Gasport

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Good ta "see" ya, Mike!

Let me know when you're gonna be in town. That quick "Hi" at Zach's memorial was nice, but would love to b.s. over coffee - my treat!

God bless you and your Mum.

-Craig
Yes Craig, I couldn't believe how fast that place cleared out! By the time i got past a couple of people i had never met before, both you and David Colton [who i shook hands with quickly, as i did w/you] were gone. Really upsetting!
« Last Edit: February 05, 2017, 12:19:20 PM by Gasport »

Hepcat

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My earliest monster memory would have to be finding the Aurora long box Frankenstein kit at a local store. I must have been maybe 5 years old. I wanted my brother who was 10 years older than me [he passed away 2 years ago] to help me build it, but i guess he was busy, so i attempted it on my own. I learned 2 things from the experience; First, model glue melts polystyrene plastic. I found this fun fact out when i used about a quarter tube to attach Franky's head to the torso. [wanted to be sure it wouldn't fall off!] When i checked on it the next day, his head had sunken deep in his chest and he was looking at his feet. Secondly; You can't pour turpentine into a plastic medicine bottle to soak your paint brush in afterwards...that, too was an unrecognizable blob with a paint brush stuck in it by the next day. I was upset that my first attempt was such a failure....

 :o  :laugh:

...but luckily, they only cost a buck and the second time my brother assisted me, did a much better paint job & I still have & cherish it to this day.

Did you build any other monster kits? Did you get good at painting them?   

Both my mom and dad had no problem with me liking monster stuff. Rarely did they say no to a toy request. The big stuff, like Great Garloo, King Zor, Ideal Haunted House Game, etc, were reserved for more special occasions like Birthdays and Xmas. But they were always okay with little stuff like Marx Monsters, Monster Print Putty, Kooky Spooky ghosts, Monster models, etc.

Wow! Great Garloo, King Zor, Ideal Haunted House Game, lucky you!

 8)
« Last Edit: February 06, 2017, 01:25:33 PM by Hepcat »
Collecting! It's what I do!

Universal Steve

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I am a military brat and even though I am from California my road to being a monster kid started in Texas. I was a kid in 1st grade and just transferred there. I made 3 fast friends. One day one of my friends asked me if I wanted a Mummy model for free. He had a spare. I didn't know what the Mummy model was but the price was right so I took it. I picked it up on the way home from school and I thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen. It wasn't painted but built. I took it home and kept looking at it. My father was not impressed. I then discovered there were more Aurora monster models available. On the base PX they were 33 cents and downtown they were 99 cents. The base did not have them all but there was a hobby shop in town that had them. I would earn my allowance and wrangle a ride down to the hobby shop. My brother built them for me (one of the only few things he has done for me) we didn't paint them but they were still cool. As I got older I started building my own models and I also discovered Famous Monsters of Filmland. Back in that time frame you could walk into any store and find something of the Universal Monsters. As we went from base to base every 3 years and traveling around the world the only familiar thing I found was the monsters were there in some way shape or form. I had been collecting stuff way back then but a lot of it get lost in the moves. I am surprised I was able to hold on to my original Aurora monster models. I have a few other things that I managed to hold onto like the Creature poster sold in Famous Monsters which hangs in my Universal room and a Son Of Frankenstein black light poster I won at a fair.  I just kept collecting as time went on. When I got married we had a spare room (nowhere near the size of my room now) I used for my collection. When my son was born I packed it away and put it in storage. He needed a room. I still kept collecting but I would basically get it and look at it and put it in a box. I couldn't do too many models because there was no room to put them. Then we had a daughter and we outgrew the apartment.  I built a house and designed it so my new room would be in the basement and I was hammering on the workers to make sure the basement would be dry.  8 years later I was able to start construction on it. It was great to start unpacking things and by that time I discovered EBay. Being a hopeless collector it was a good outlet to get some of my lost stuff back.  I always like the thrill of the hunt for Universal monster goodies. I found a place in Salem Mass. which sometime I will make the hour and a half trip with the hopes of getting something new or rare. I still do the models which keeps a steady flow of collectables coming in. I will never stop collecting. Then when the kids got married and moved out, I needed more room so I added to the room and that is getting full. 17 years ago I started my website and it caught on and is still running. It is in need of some repair. I had health problems and 3 operations last year. My webhost updated their software without warning so I have to redo my clips and some of my sound clips. My computer needs some work I haven't had time to repair it but hope to soon because some of my programs I need for the site don't work. That plus time makes it a little overwhelming. I do have 1/4 of it done.  Hope I wasn't too long winded. This road to becoming a monster loving kid and monster toy enthusiast took 60 years to travel. It a road I never regret taking.
Universal Steve
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