Author Topic: easy to ask, hard to answer....  (Read 8028 times)

preyer

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easy to ask, hard to answer....
« on: February 11, 2009, 07:19:02 PM »
suppose you're a newb at monster collecting (personally i'm not a newb at collecting, but haven't the slightest idea where to start with monsters), what are the things that even the beginner will have no problem finding? any holy grails to be on the look-out for?

pretty general question, sorry. guess this is one of those 'take it for what it's worth' posts, lol.

i guess, too, it's good to know how well collectors guides compare to real world prices. any comments on that?

ChattyLMS

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Re: easy to ask, hard to answer....
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2009, 07:21:47 PM »
Good luck, Preyer!
Laura ::) ::) ::) ::) ::)

preyer

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Re: easy to ask, hard to answer....
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2009, 08:32:54 PM »
thanks, lol.

okay, how about this tack: in the world of universal monster collecting, what would you classify as junk?

Dr.Terror

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Re: easy to ask, hard to answer....
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2009, 08:37:21 PM »
Buy what you like and pay what you feel it's worth to you.
Morning, noon, or night, Anytime . . . . the count may strike. If you're caught you have to linger, Cause Dracula may bite your finger!

ChattyLMS

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Re: easy to ask, hard to answer....
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2009, 09:15:32 PM »
Quote
okay, how about this tack: in the world of universal monster collecting, what would you classify as junk?

That's really hard to answer!  One person's junk is another person's treasure.
Laura ::) ::) ::) ::) ::)

monsterphile

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Re: easy to ask, hard to answer....
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2009, 09:37:18 PM »
...and one man's treasure is another's trash.  A lot of UMAers love the Big Frankie model.  The original is a particularly expensive model.  For me, I am NOT a fan of him.  In general, I don't like anything that's "too" silly.  I originally started out collecting Wolf Man stuff, but occasionally got the other monsters when I picked up some lots.  Although the Wolf Man still is the ,ost represented Universal Monster, I now have shelves of Frankenstein (shares with the Bride), the Mummy, Dracula, King Kong, and Lon Chaney (Hunchback/Phantom/etc.).  I have Harryhausen movie stuff, SciFi, autographs, and all sorts of other stuff mixed in on shelves and even hanging from the ceiling. 

It really does boils down to collect what you like.  Even if you're not buying there, type in the various monsters at Ebay and look around to see what's out there. 

Rob

toysoldierman2001

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Re: easy to ask, hard to answer....
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2009, 10:12:49 PM »
I say buy what you like and spend what your budget allows ;D

mjaycox

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Re: easy to ask, hard to answer....
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2009, 12:08:18 AM »
No self-respecting monster collector should be without the following relatively easy to find, mostly affordable pieces:

1) AHI super monsters 8" loose. Like Mego action figures, but actually licensed by Universal. Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolf Man, Mummy can all be had loose for the $35-55 range. Creature from the Black Lagoon will set you back about 300-400, sometimes more. He is the most desirable. But the others can be had inexpensively.

2) Sideshow 8" Universal Monsters Action Figures (1990-2000s). Readily available on Ebay packaged and loose. Are like garage kits that can be played with. Are mostly affordable. Some, such as Dracula, are rarer.

3) Reissue set of Aurora model kits by Polar Lights. Repopped kits by a company in 1990s. Excellent reproductions--very available and affordable. Look at our Gallery to learn what the Aurora model kits were.

4) A decent set of monster movie reference books. Vintage books are preferable to modern ones. Everyone has their own favorites, but mine are: a) " A Pictorial History of Horror Movies": by Dennis Gifford (went hrough several printings).  b) "Horrors-From Screen to Scream" by Ed Naha. These are both very affordable. If your tastes runt o the more modern books of serious scholarship, perhaps the  best is "Universal Horrors" by Weaver, Brunas and Brunas, available from MacFarland Press. It is probably the best book ever written about Universal. 

5) Remco Monsters 9" loose (1980). Frankenstein, Mummy, Wolfman and Dracula are all readily available loose for about $40. Most can be hand boxed for under $100. The second series which contained Phantom of the Opera and Creature is a bit more expensive. Expect to pay a couple hundred for those.

6) A growing run of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine. (1958-1980s). The greatest and most important of the MANY monster mags. Most mid to later issues, which are still excellent (issue 35-on) can be had for approx 15-30 apiece, which is not bad. Prices are up right now somewhat as the great, lamented editor, Forrest Ackerman, sadly just passed away.

7) Monster Soakies 1960s, a nice representative toy from the 60s. These four containers held bubble bath, and feature delightful sculpting as well as paint schemes.  All of them can be had for $40-60 apiece.

That's all I can think of for now. But it is a good place to start.

Have fun!

Matt
"I don't want to live in the past. I just don't want to lose it."
     -The Two Jakes

raycastile

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Re: easy to ask, hard to answer....
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2009, 01:17:47 AM »
Matt's list is a good one.  I would add the four monster glasses from Anchor Hocking.  Those can usually be found for less than $50 each, sometimes a lot less.  I spent less than $100 on my set of four, but I bought them a long time ago.  Sometimes the Creature sells for $100-$150, just because it's the Creature.  If you're patient, you'll find him in the $50 range, but you might have to bite the bullet and spend more on him.




You can also find MPC mini monster figurines for pretty cheap, usually less than $10 each.  You often see them listed in quantities.  Search "mpc monster" on ebay right now and see.  There are some great MPC lots ending in the next 24 hours.





The bigger MPC monsters are called "Pop-Tops."  They have detachable heads.  They are harder to find, especially with the heads intact.  They sell for $35 or more.


Palmer Monsters are pretty cool, too.  They also sell for about $35 each.






The classic monster figurines are the Marx toys.  These are a staple of any monster collection.  Prices go up and down on original 60s orange and teal figures, but the last few on ebay sold in the $10 range.  This is a good time to buy them.  If you don't mind reissues, you can find cheap deals on tan, black, red, glow-in-the-dark and other color variations.  Just keep in mind these are repops.  Only the teal(blue) and orange are originals.




From the 1970s, you might consider a set of Mego Mad Monsters.  These were reissued a couple years ago, but the new figures used fragile bodies that break easily.  The originals are reasonably affordable loose, so you might as well buy originals.  I think you can find any of these for less than $50 loose.  It looks like the current going rate on ebay is about $25 each, so this is a good time to buy them.




Also from the 70s, monster jigglers are usually pretty cheap.  You can find them for $10-$35.  For some reason, they don't command the same prices as Russ Berrie jigglers and other more esoteric rubber toys.

This is a Ben Cooper Frankenstein jiggler:


This is an AHI Frankenstein jiggler:



From the 80s, the Remco mini-monsters are cheap and easy to find, loose or carded.



The Imperial monsters are also very cheap and common.




Raymond Castile

depressedlarrytalbot

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Re: easy to ask, hard to answer....
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2009, 03:56:40 AM »
Preyer,

These guys mean well, guy, but the truth is, everything I have is worth having. Everything I don't have, is junk. This is absolute.  listen to Uncle Depressedlarry.
Happy to help.    ;D
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 06:44:09 AM by depressedlarrytalbot »

depressedlarrytalbot

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Re: easy to ask, hard to answer....
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2009, 04:02:30 AM »
{I have to say things like that to keep up a brave face because I live in Australia}   :'(

[Australia = aboriginal word: "Land Deprived Of Toys"]
« Last Edit: February 12, 2009, 07:14:40 AM by depressedlarrytalbot »

Toy Ranch

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Re: easy to ask, hard to answer....
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2009, 08:49:43 AM »
Did you grow up as a kid playing with monster stuff and loving monsters, or did your interest develop as a teen or adult?  I think this is the first question you have to ask yourself.  If you started as a kid, then probably start by collecting monster stuff from that era.  If you got interested later, then you don't have an emotional tie to the stuff of your era. 

Ask yourself if you want to collect vintage items from the 60's, or if you want great representations of the monsters.  Most of the 60's and 70's stuff, as you can see in Raymond's pictures, isn't very exact/detail oriented.  They are often a bit more whimsical.  If this appeals to you, then fine, but you might be happier (and it's not going to be so hard to find or hard on the wallet) collecting stuff from the 90's and onward.  For the price of a carded AHI figure, you can get about a whole set of loose 8" Sideshow figures, which are much more detailed and have many more characters.  There are monster toys in the $5000 and up price range, and in the $5 and under price range, and all in between. 

You can also look at different types of monster item...  you may be more interested in music/records/cd's or you may mostly enjoy the movies and start a horror DVD collection.  You may be into models and collect garage kits to build and display.  You may be more interested in masks and busts or books or props from the films or action figures or Halloween costumes or comics or trading cards or magazines or  ....  it goes on and on. 

So first figure out what you are interested in, and then the icons of that sub-genre are more easily identified. 

preyer

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Re: easy to ask, hard to answer....
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2009, 10:53:31 AM »
great replies, all. i feel much more in-tune with what y'all're saying when you reference something.

TR, i always liked monsters, but it was never a passion. when i was a kid, it was all about 'star wars' (i was born in '69). still, i've always been a collecter, even as a kid. back in the 70's the big thing to collect was beer cans. so, here i was all of eight walking up and down the road looking for discarded cans, dragging my dad to the flea market, etc.. ah, those were the daze. today, it's almost as if collecting is too easy. what's a stunning home collection now would have only been seen in small museums back then, lol.

anyway, being a collector by nature (and i'm afraid that later in life someone will label me a 'hoarder' and well-intentioned people in white coats will start visiting me), and really just now getting into the old monster flicks as a result of my interest in movies, it's got me curious about collecting. also, i used to sell used toys as an outdoor 'vendor' at a flea market and i know at one point i've actually had some of this easier to find stuff. sadly, it's like even grandmas know that megos are worth *something* and some of them are even aware that people collect marx, so i rarely came across that stuff. and for some reason the aurora model kits never came up except in sales where the seller knew what they had ~ that's not a bad thing, but when they want what they *think* it's worth then there's little incentive when your goal is resale.

when it comes to collecting, i've got some experience. just not in monsters. :)

right now, were i to strike out and look for a specific monster, it'd have to be frankenstein. those movies were brilliant. too, i was born too late in time, so i have an affinity for vintage wares. it's pretty bad to feel nostalgic for an era i never lived in, huh? i have to blame my mother on that, as she always loved antiques and i grew up watching old reruns and listening to (then) forty and fifty year old radio shows on tape she'd get me like 'the shadow.'

those pictures were great, btw. one thing i love about the plastic pieces are the amazing amounts of 'flash' from the moulds. now that, i have to admit, reminds me dearly of all those little green army men i used to play with (yes, i had the awesome navarone mountain, which is my second favourite toy ever). 'vintage' to me means it's special: not only harder to find and ostensibly more likely to increase in value, but it better suits my personality.

were price not an option, my collection would be mostly vintage items, and in a dream world authentic movie props. sure, i'd have some busts and such, but if my wife ever let me play around with scratchbuilding i'd have life-size statues and such. given the time and money and you could come visit vampirella sitting in my basement.

as i've grown older, my tastes have narrowed. i'd love a collection that everyone could enjoy, the kind that begs for questions. as it is, i've tended to be the kind of collecter that had a ton of clutter few people could appreciate. just as soon as it was clear i wanted to tell a story about some hunk of plastic i could already see their eyes glazing over. i could almost hear their thoughts: 'oh, man, this guy is going to drone on about this thing, isn't he? and there's a thousand other pieces he wants me to see! maybe i can fake a heart attack....'

don't get me wrong, i love the new stuff. ironically, despite knowing how passionate the new artists are, i don't know, i'm not connected to much of it. i don't know, it's like the more perfect an item is the less character it has sometimes. does that make sense?

raycastile

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Re: easy to ask, hard to answer....
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2009, 12:09:44 PM »
don't get me wrong, i love the new stuff. ironically, despite knowing how passionate the new artists are, i don't know, i'm not connected to much of it. i don't know, it's like the more perfect an item is the less character it has sometimes. does that make sense?

Makes sense to me, with toys and many other things in life.
Raymond Castile

Toy Ranch

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Re: easy to ask, hard to answer....
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2009, 01:30:43 PM »
Ha, well that makes perfect sense and your sensibilities about collecting are ones that I share as well.

There are probably more Frankenstein toys than any other monster, so that's a good way to start. 

If you narrow it down to Frankenstein and vintage as a place to start, then here are some basics...

Soaky
Marx Figure
Marx Robot
Marx Windup
Anchor Hocking Glass
Pez
Speaker Head
Trick or Treat Bucket
Binder
Wallet
Hasbro Paint By Number
Mani-Yack T-Shirt Transfers
Various Jigglers


That's going to set you back $5000 if you do it on the cheap.  The key pieces are not necessarily hard to find or expensive though.  A soaky, Marx figure, loose Marx Robot, and some jigglers you can probably land for under $750.  Some of those are going to run a lot more.

Raymond's site, The Gallery of Monster Toys is a great place to start looking.
http://www.thegalleryofmonstertoys.com/

Look at our gallery here for photos of most stuff.
http://www.universalmonsterarmy.com/forum/index.php?action=gallery


 

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