Category Archives: Retro Toy Corner

Seven Kickass Horror Toy Prizes From The Cereal Box

Until my sixth-grade Health class, I always just figured Boo Berry was considered one of the five main food groups.

I fondly remember the days when I would awake before everyone else in my house at the tender age of nine (yeah I’m an early birdie) on a gorgeous Saturday morning to catch the first wave of the ABC Saturday Morning lineup. I would hop out of my TMNT bedsheets, wander down the shagged rug hallway into the kitchen where the breakfast of Saturday morning splendor would commence, consisting of a bowl of my favorite cereal- Apple Jacks… or if we’re talking the Halloween season, duh Monster Cereals.

More often than not, when a glorious unopened box of cereal sat on the shelf with that eye-popping picture on the bottom left corner announcing to the world it held a treasure from the General Mills Gods inside, your morning breakfast turned into a goddamn win for the rest of the day.

Hey, when you’re a kid in the fourth grade, it’s the dumb little things like worthless plastic surprises in your sugary bowl of goodness that make life that much better.

Pulling out your mystery toy from the breakfast treat you valued as much as air felt like a victory of sorts; especially if you had siblings who always tried to beat you to the cereal prizes. Admit it. We all know that one person who dumped the entire box out into a giant bowl in an attempt to fetch the wonder toy, and hell maybe you’re guilty of it. However, in the case when a cereal brand would offer a horror-themed toy inside its four cardboard walls, all bets were off, and you bet your sweet ass I was getting that tiny Halloween treasure before anyone else.

I’m a selfish bastard. I have no regrets.

In honor of these nostalgic moments, let’s take a look back at “lucky seven” times digging towards the bottom of the cereal box for plastic horror valuables paid off big time. From plastic Frankenberry premiums to Monster Mitts, let’s stroll down horror cereal paragon memory lane…

Monster Mitts – HoneyComb

Back in the early ‘70s, Post Honeycomb cereal packaged these fabulous cheap plastic gloves marketed as Monster Mitts. Four different and colorful designs were placed at random inside select boxes consisting of a ghoulish hand unzipping to expose a skeleton, a bloody veiny mitt with the inclusion of a spider, a sea-monster type mitt, and a blue veiny mitt with an all-seeing eyeball. SWEET.

Monster in My Pocket- Kellogg’s Frosties (UK)

The toy line released by Matchbox in 1989 found its way into the UK version of Tonny the Tiger’s Den in the early ‘90s with one of the little buggers hiding inside along the sugary cornflakes as a promo. Later on, in 1995, the UK ran a Wrestlers Monster In My pocket crossover promo with the cereal. I’m an American brat. So I never got to see this cool advert as a kid, so didn’t become hip to this until the internet came along.

Addams Family Flashlights-Addams Family Cereal

1991 was Addams Family madness and were even invading your morning breakfast ritual thanks to Ralston cereals. I don’t remember the cereal being anything great but the flashlights promptly displayed in front of the box rather than inside in the form of members of the Addams clan reeled us in. Lurch, Thing, Cousin ITT, and Uncle Fester mini flashlights were up for grabs in this little diddy, and while the cereal itself didn’t last long, the flashlights themselves are highly sought after by vintage cereal toy fanatics. I still have my Cousin ITT blinker, and it remains a treasured childhood relic.

Spooky Speedsters- Monster Cereal

 The only thing the Church of Boo Berry could make me love it anymore is the inclusion of cereal box prizes once more. The Monster Cereal brand released various spooky treasures inside the marshmallow box of splendor for years, however, the Spooky Speedsters were one of the coolest. Back in 1981, Count Chocula had the coffin-shaped Midnight Creeper, Franken Berry rode the Silly Stretcher, and Sir Boo of Berry cradled the Crazy Cloud Car. Good stuff guys.

Monster Cereal Mascot figurines- Monster Cereal

Moving along with Monster cereal toys, the 8” tall, soft and squeezable vinyl figures are considered the treasure trove of monster cereal collectibles and if you have all four of these beasts, I envy you, kind sir or madam, more than a desperate rabbit who watches in sadness as some selfish kids eat his damn cereal.

Glow in the Dark Universal Monster Heads- Super Sugar Crisp

Before Golden Crisp, Super Sugar Crisp was the domain name for the Post sugary crispy cereal fronted by a sleepy-looking bear mascot; and in the 70s’ Universal Monsters dominated this cereal’s campaign- possibly in competition with General Mills’ Monster Cereals. In 1976, the Universal Monster glow-in-the-dark finger puppet heads that included Frankenstein, The Mummy, The Wolfman, and The Phantom of the Opera were fantastic treasures to find among a box of pediatric diabetes.

Those were cool enough, but I believe these to be the grand-daddy prize of all cereal treasures:

Universal Monsters Glow-in-the-Dark Pull-Out Posters-Super Sugar Crisp

In the same year of super monster madness via Post Super Sugar Crisp 1975, the cereal brand released fuckin’ amazing Universal Monster pull-out posters that were also glow-in-the-dark! These are deemed highly collectible in not only the cereal treasure hunter’s community but the horror genre’s fandom at large. I remember my Uncle had a few of these plastered on his walls when I was a kid, but have since been long gone. I’ve been on the hunt for these for a long time, but have yet to acquire any at a decent price. One day…

Also, it’s sort of hilarious they used the same commercial for the finger puppets as they did for the posters.

Five Really Cool Vintage Toys Spotted In Silent Night, Deadly Night’s Ira’s Toys!

Five Really Cool Vintage Toys Spotted In Silent Night, Deadly Night's Ira's Toys!

Well, it’s that time of year where we move on from gawking at all the cool, nostalgic shit Halloween 4‘s Vincent Drugstore had buried within that film, and move on to some Christmas toy spotting in, of course, Ira’s Toys from Silent Night, Deadly Night!

Now, when I see a movie of any kind presently from the 80s and 90s and said scenes are in grocery stores, toy stores, or shopping malls, I can’t help my eyes from wandering into the background of scenes and looking for nostalgic treasures from our childhood. It’s a weird tick I have I guess, but nevertheless, actually a fun game for oneself when revisiting old classics and can make them new to you all over again when you watch with a new set of eyes.

Ira’s Toys set the stage for traumatized Billy Chapman to begin his murderous rampage against all the people he deemed as “naughty”; which was pretty much anyone doing anything remotely sinful to him. And the toy shop is undoubtedly, now an iconic image among horror movie fans across the board. So let’s get to some vintage toy shopping, shall we?!

Masters of the Universe: Castle Grayskull

Introduced by the Mattel toy line in 1982, the coveted Castle Grayskull from Masters of the Universe sold a whopping 3.5 million sets during its run in the 80s! The He-Man and Skeletor figures sold separately each came with half of a plastic sword which could be joined into one “complete” sword, corresponding to the storyline in the included mini-comic. Together, the combined sword was used as a key to open the jaw bridge to the Castle Grayskull playset. It was a pretty badass playset.

STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI JABBA THE HUT ACTION PLAYSET

Released in 1983 in conjunction with the great Return of the Jedi, Kenner spared no expense in its wildly successful Star Wars line. The toy version of the intergalactic gangster was kept strictly under wraps until the debut of Return of the Jedi in theaters, seeing as how the playset mimics a spoiler-y scene in the film complete with a “slave chain”. Pretty sure that wouldn’t go over too well with today’s audience.

Snoopy’s Dream Machine

Now, THIS is a rare find indeed for just about any toy scavenger- the 1979 Snoopy Dream Machine! This motorized contraption of Snoopy and his arch-nemesis the Red Baron required batteries and has a spinning propeller with flashing lights as Snoopy chases The Red Baron in his famous plane. It was hard to spot, but here’s a close-up picture of what the toy actually looks like.

Worthpoint

Dick Smith’s Monster Makeup Kit

Oscar-winning Makeup Artist Dick Smith (The Exorcist, The Godfather, Taxi-Driver) released several how-to books and make-up kits back in the 70s and here we got one right here at Ira’s Toys! This particular set was first issued in 1976, came with 16 molds, a manual, flex flesh, and a bottle of blood. For eye candy purposes, here’s a set I found a google that gives us a better look at it.

Worthpoint

And finally… Glorious 80s Halloween Plastic Costumes!

Ahh. The wonderful sounds and smells of a plastic garbage bag Halloween costume. Going to our local drugstore for the very latest, and greatest in noisy plastic wear was part of the Halloween tradition right along with grabbing a fun horror flick next door from Action Video, (my Mom and Pop rental store growing up). Of course, the Ben Cooper costumes were the heavyweight when it came to Halloween, but even the knockoff brands were just as good- well, I mean if they held up until the end of the night, you were in good shape- and most of the time they did. However, while they may look ridiculous, they are FAR more menacing than any kiddie costume you’ll see at the big chain stores today. I suppose Ira’s Toys here was no exception and stocked the noisy plastic wear all year long! What a great gal that Ira was.

Ira’s Toys, which is named after the film’s producer Ira Barmak, WAS an actual toy store at the time located in Herber, City, Utah, but has since been transformed into a Crossfit gym named The Mountain Gym. While you won’t be able to go there for any nostalgic toy-gazing horror movie style, you can always work on your sprints and jogging time with the spirit of Billy in the air. That outta get you going gon that treadmill a little bit faster!

Silent Night, Deadly Night – Collector’s Edition [Blu-ray]

Check Out This Custom Lego Myers House Halloween Set!

It’s almost Christmas, and everyone is entitled to one good Lego set. If only this were an official Lego release, this would be the dream build for both Lego and horror fans alike; right alongside an Elm Street house at that. But, we can live vicariously through a custom YouTube builder and dreamer on what COULD be if Lego got their shit together and made something like this for fans.

Bricktory Lap, a Youtuber and Lego Imagineer pieced together a superb build of the Myers house from the 1978 film, complete with Laurie, Michael, and Loomis minifigs. The set consists of 589 pieces total and is play-accessible with four bedrooms inside the house. Particularly, the room with Judith Myers’ tombstone on the bed paying homage to Annie’s death discovery. He even put the dead dog in there that Michael ate for breakfast on that fateful Halloween!

From designing the build to a cover box-set, Bricktory made a great concept here that I could see being a huge hit on the market.

Beautiful stuff here.

Make sure to check out his channel for other pretty cool builds, including Squid Game and Back to the Future!