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Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Marx Universal Monsters Figures

A few years ago, I was looking for Auora monster kits when I came across these solid plastic glow-in-the-dark figures on eBay at a fraction of the price. The largest is about 6" tall and the poses are similar to the Aurora ones. There is no maker's mark underneath, but I understand they are re-issues of figures first made by Marx in the 1960s, possibly made by Uncle Milton Industries in the USA in the 90s. In the picture, they are shown glowing nicely under a UV light, although the originals were made of plain coloured plastic. The figures are: The Creature, Frankenstein's Monster, The Hunchback, The Mummy, The Phantom and The Wolfman. Oddly, no Dracula figure was made. Poor Quasimodo didn't really deserve to be classed as a monster. Also, I note that on the Polar Lights reproduction of the Aurora kit, he's referred to more kindly as 'The Bellringer'.

Here's a piece of trivia: The Quaker Oats Company, makers of Sugar Puffs until recently, bought the Marx toys company in 1972.


  1. After their animated film version of the book the idiots at Disney claimed legal rights to the title of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Polar Lights didn't have the bucks to contest it in a legal battle hence the name change to Bellringer of Notre Dame for the retro model kit..

    Quasimodo, Blackie Lagoon, Frankenstein's Monster, The Mummy, The Phantom and Larry Talbot/The Wolfman all evoked sympathy due to their circumstances and were less the horror of the horror movie than their circumstances.

  2. Thanks for the correction, Doc Quatermass. I'd mistakenly assumed it was due to a more enlightened view of disability, but now see that Polar Lights have reverted to the original name for their latest release of the kit!

    Absolutely agree with your second point - getting the audience to empathise with the 'monsters' - and in the process often identifying the real monsters - is what makes these tales so powerful.