To cultivate mini horror fans at home, you’re going to need to begin (or continue) their classic monster education. Rustle up some popcorn and introduce them to Boris Karlof’s Frankenstein (then, if they’re old enough, Gene Wilder’s Young Frankenstein.) Sneak in some Bella Legosi as Dracula and round out your introductory course with Claude Rains as the Wolf Man. Watch the old Phantom of the Opera and Hunchback of Notre Dame for extra credit.
If your kids latch onto the kitchy awesomeness of these gothic classics, it may just be time to switch the theme of the playroom to classic monsters.
Given the success of Mattel’s Monster High dolls which finally offer an interesting alternative to oh-so-pink Barbie and Co., it’s pretty safe to say that classic monster themed toys aren’t going away anytime soon. On the contrary: more and more classic monster models and toy lines keep popping up at places like San Diego Comic Con all the time. Basically, horror fans with kids, your time is nigh.
I don’t want to spend all of the real estate here on Monster High, but they’re at least worth a look. Mattel has revamped a bunch of our favorite classic monsters into teenage girls, including Frankenstein and Dracula. My favorite, however, has got to be Howleen Wolf. She’s the daughter of the infamous werewolf, but still manages to take care of her pet hedgehog.
And then there’s just some brands that always get it. Diamond Select makes Minimates, which are little LEGO-style figures for all kinds of awesome shows and movies, like the Walking Dead and Battlestar Galactica. This season, they’ve released a few new quirky additions to their Universal Monsters line like Frankenstein, Dracula, The Creature from the Black Lagoon and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
LEGO has followed suit by creating their own Monster Fighters building sets. Full of Gothic castles, mad scientists, hearses and fun updates on classic monster archetypes, these sets sate our appetite for horror with a fun LEGO twist.
Diamond Select also specializes in busts, banks and action figures focusing on all kinds of geekery. Their Universal Monsters Retro Cloth line is highly detailed and affordable, making it insanely tempting for collectors. You may want to buy two so you can play with one and keep one in the box (they’re that awesome). Just as an example, check out the Bride of Frankenstein.
And what would a classic monster toy collection be without a couple of squishy, huggable, totable plushies? Check out this ultra adorable soft plush Dracula from Footzeez.
While Hitchcock’s Psycho may not fit the definition of classic horror for some, there’s no denying the classic creepiness of Norman Bates and the infamous shower murder scene. The shower sequence is perhaps the most famous in all of the genre, and even left Psycho’s lead actress Janet Leigh with a lifelong fear of showers. Perhaps that’s why one of the creepiest of Mezco’s uber cute and terrifying Living Dead Doll line is the Norman and Marion set. Don’t be scared, the line also includes more traditional classic monsters as well.
And of course, Funko has also thrown their horror hat in the ring with signature doe-eyed horror plushies.