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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!

Forgotten Playthings: 30 Years of “Dolly Dearest”

I was nine years old scouring our local Mom and Pop video rental store with a friend after devouring a Personal Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut next door when I first laid my eyeballs on Dolly Dearest. Of course, I was intrigued right away as killer dolls were certainly high on my personal interests list; yeah I was a twisted kid. The late 80s’ and early 90s’ brought terrifying playthings front and center in the horror genre with films like Stuart Gordon’s DOLLS, Puppet Master, and the massively successful Child’s Play. However, this one looked different from the rest. Not only was the antagonistic toy shown as a female, but it featured mainly a female led-cast as well; also to note it has a female director as well- Maria Lease but of course you’re not looking at these things as a kid. Being a young girl, this hit all the right horror notes for me and I immediately rented this sucker to see what this was all about.

Needless to say, my 3-day rental turned into a week-long bender on this Sanzia devil doll because I couldn’t get enough of this fuckin’ movie.

The story goes, a well-to-do picture-perfect family of four moves from Los Angeles down to Mexico where dear ol’ Dad seizes an opportunity with an empty doll factory in an effort to start up a successful business. Young daughter Jessica (Candice Hutson) is undoubtedly upset about this up and sudden move but has a change of heart when she and her father discover a plethora of “beautiful” (I think they’re rather creepy) dolls inside their families’ newly acquired factory that seemed to be never released to the masses. Father Elliot (Sam Bottoms) allows Jessica to take one and that’s when the fun begins as they leave the factory and stroll right on past an underground Mayan tomb of Sanzia, (Satan on Earth) where prior to the family’s arrival, an archeologist accidentally released the malevolent spirit of Sanzia; a devil child spirit that, SPOILER ALERT, possesses these dolls.

Now we got a movie!

As soon as this creepo doll is brought home Jessica begins acting strangely. Drawing weird demonic pictures, lashing out, all-around acting like a typical spoiled brat-zo. Which wouldn’t really raise any red flags except the kid starts speaking devil language to the housekeeper in a threatening manner- who is by the way very religious. Well, being as how Dolly Dearest is possessed by a Devil spirit, this doesn’t go over too well with the girl who is rapidly being manipulated by this doll, and she doesn’t last long in the movie. Mom Marilyn played by Pet Sematary’s Denise Crosby, notices these changes right away, most especially after an Omen-like incident with Jessica in the car sensing the house is being blessed by a priest. Elliot is about as blind as a bat to any of this shit and chalks all these outbursts up to tantrums so he is of NO HELP at all in this situation. Soon, Jessica is totally consumed by the spirit of Dolly and Sanzia and it’s pretty much up to Marilyn, older brother Jimmy (Christopher Peter Demetral), and Sanzia Expert Archeologist Karl Resnick (played by Rip Torn) to put a stop to Dolly and the rest of the possessed porcelain freaks in the factory from taking over children’s souls all over the world.

On top of some cool casting, there are some really great behind-the-scenes people attached to the movie. Dolly took a lot of hints from Child’s Play, including using Ed Gale as Dolly for a few of the more difficult scenes that required human-like movement. The doll itself was sculpted by Brian Wade (The Thing) and brought to life by puppeteer Vance Hartwell (Army of Darkness). The unsettling score was composed by Mark Snow, who is probably most famous for his television work on shows like “The X-Files” and “Smallville.”

Dolly Dearest hasn’t gotten quite the love I feel like it deserves over the years; possibly due to the overload of killer doll flicks of the time and it came too little, too late. Grant it, it’s not the greatest movie in the world, however, I feel it has so much charm and is a nostalgic blanket for me personally that warms me to the bone anytime I watch it. It sure as hell doesn’t deserve the sweeping under the rug treatment. Vinegar Syndrome recently released a blu-ray that has been long-overdue and if it’s been a while, or have never seen it, give Dolly a watch (click here) and bask in the peak of 90s’ killer doll flicks.