Monster Toys

Aurora Jekyll and Hyde model kit The early to mid-1960's saw a craze for monsters among American children, as strong as the mania for spies, British rockers, cowboys, or any other pop-culture fad of that era. It all began when the old, classic monster movies were syndicated to television starting in 1957; by the first few years of the 60's, millions of kids were hooked on the black-and-white horrors, and parents were comfortable enough to let them have their fun. This was the first time that kids could enjoy the Universal monsters in their own homes - prior to this, the movies had only been shown in theaters, in original runs and re-releases. But once kids got a load of Lugosi, Karloff, and the other ghoulish actors, they immediately adopted them as their own - as well as the newer (to them) crop of monsters appearing at the same time onscreen, such as the Creature From The Black Lagoon.

So Frankenstein, the Wolfman, Dracula, the Mummy, and others became as popular as rock stars. James Warren saw the trend coming fairly early on - and almost certainly helped nurture it - with his Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, which gave young monster-lovers a monthly forum to exchange information about their favorites, as well as to read articles and look at photos introducing them to horrors yet undreamt of.

As the 60's wore on, all sorts of different monster-themed merchandise became available to kids. The plastic model kits from Aurora were a big hit, but there were dozens of other items available to attract kids' pocket money also. We're locating the Monster Toys sub-category squarely here in the 1960's section, because this was when children's love for these freakish beings was at its peak.

Dracula - Golden Press


Aurora Model Kits
Creature from the Black Lagoon
Dr. Jekyll as Mr. Hyde
Forgotten Prisoner of Castel-Mare
Frankenstein's Flivver
King Kong
the Munsters
Phantom of the Opera
the Witch

Other Items
Enlarg-A-Graph Monster Set by Emenee*
Palmer Monsters
Universal Movie Monsters lunchbox*