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Sungold Monster Toys: Mini-Monster Figure Twin Packs!
by: -RoG-

If you're into collecting horror toys, there's a good chance you've heard of Sungold's line of bootleg "Monster" toys that were released in the nineties. These figures were roughly the same scale as the Tales From The Crypt toy line and featured some of the classic Universal Monsters along with one of my favorite knock-offs of Freddy Krueger, which I'll get to in a bit.

Sungold Monster Figures
(photo credit: Knock-Off Collector)

While the toys were cheap knock-offs, horror figure collectors fell in love with them as the packaging is absolutely stellar and some of the characters appear to be doing "the robot. As you can imagine, it's becoming harder to track down a complete set these days. Tricky as they may be to locate, there's another set of horror figures by Sungold most people don't know about that's far more difficult to find; and if you do find a set, be prepared to fork over a hefty chunk o' cash for it.

I'm talking about the Sungold Mini-Monster figures twin packs. While the larger Sungold Monster figures made their way to the US, these miniature versions were only released in the UK. There were six sets in the toy line for a total of 12 figures, and they were quite different from their larger counterparts:

Sungold Monster Toys: Mini-Monster Figure Twin Packs!

As you can see, the packaging art follows the same amazing motif as the larger figures; various monsters and mutants making their way through a brick wall after having presumably terrorized the city behind them. Then again, maybe they're about to attack the city. All I know is that shit's about to go down either way. Actually, considering there's a green hand that's been screwed into the wall, it's probably fair to say that the shit has already gone down. Nailing a hand into the wall is one thing, but screwing a hand into the wall is another matter entirely. That takes time, patience, and pure psychosis. No wonder "HELP" is scrawled in blood on the brick wall behind Frankenstein's Monster. But hey, many of these creatures have clearly been exposed to toxic waste, so we can't really hold their actions against them, can we?

Some years ago, I was lucky enough to snag a complete set, and I just dug them out of storage to share with you today. So let's take a closer look at each one individually to shed some light on these rare and wonderful little sets of monster figures:

Sungold Monster Toys: Mini-Monster Figure Twin Packs!

This first figure looks like they were going for some kind of Igor / Hunchback of Notre Dame kind of look, but his employer clearly didn't provide any dental coverage. Monsters kill and get killed constantly, so I can understand health coverage being hard to find, but they should at least be able to secure a decent dental plan. It's not asking too much. He's also appears to be suffering some kind of flesh-eating virus as evidenced by the green splotches all over his body, but at least he's got a good headband to soak up all the sweat and the virus makes its way to his vital organs. Honestly, he looks pretty chipper for a guy covered in green boils.

Sungold Monster Toys: Mini-Monster Figure Twin Packs!

This is clearly their attempt to work Frankenstein's Monster into the mix, and I'm definitely a fan of it. Sure, it could've used the metal bolts on the sides of his neck, but at least they added in the stitches all over his body. I do feel like he deserves a better pair of shoes though; I mean Frankenstein went through a lot to come back to life, so the least they can do is not have one of his swollen feet poking through the front of his shoe. After all, monsters need good arch support too.

Sungold Monster Toys: Mini-Monster Figure Twin Packs!

Dracula has definitely seen better days. I'm pretty sure he went to Macy's or something and one of the ladies working at a beauty counter convinced him to sit down so she could give him a makeover. What he didn't realize is that it was her first day on the job, hence the reason she painted his fingernails, lips, cheeks, and eyebrows bright red. Maybe that look works for some people, but red eyebrows on pale white skin just doesn't work. He looks like a tortured clown. Fortunately for Dracula, he'll never know how bad he looks since he can't see himself in a mirror.

Sungold Monster Toys: Mini-Monster Figure Twin Packs!

I'm a fan of almost any monster with blue skin, and this guy is no exception. In a way, he's providing some exposition on just how corrosive all the toxic waste depicted on the package art really is. I mean, this guy was clearly wearing a hazmat suit, complete with a gas mask, and look what happened to him. Now it looks like the tubes from his gas mask have mutated into large grubs that are invading his body. Either that, or they've become tasty oversized gummy worms, which may explain why there's one in his mouth. Hey... there are worse ways to go.

Sungold Monster Toys: Mini-Monster Figure Twin Packs!

Another blue character, but I have no idea what he's supposed to be modeled after. It's possible he's a distant, mutant relative of Kratos? I wanna say he's spent some time underwater, as he appears to be covered in some seaweed and chains. Perhaps he was chained up to a rock and tossed overboard, but some of the toxic waste spilled into the water and revived him enough to break free. Eh, screw it... let's just all agree that he's a mutant street vendor named Frank who sells hot dogs with questionable ingredients. Yeah, I think that works as a good backstory for this guy.

Sungold Monster Toys: Mini-Monster Figure Twin Packs!

Ah ha! Maybe this pirate guy can explained what happened to the previous figure. I'm guessing he made that guy walk the plank after suspecting him of starting a mutiny. The story is finally coming into focus. This red-bearded, pale-blue-skinned character has many of the standard items you'd associate with pirates: a peg leg, a hook hand, an eye patch, and a skull & crossbones hat. Can't really blame a crew for wanting to mutiny against a guy who's lost a foot, an eye, and a hand. I mean, this is a person who clearly screwed up in a big way not once, but three times; and now he's in charge of the lives of a full crew? That'd cause significant unease in even the saltiest of sea dogs, I assure you. Sorry, Captain... the mutiny was warranted your this case.

Sungold Monster Toys: Mini-Monster Figure Twin Packs!

Man, they really are all about the blue skin with these monsters, aren't they? Regardless, I absolutely love this mummy figure. Rather than just wrapping the dressing around his face, he's actually fashioned them to look like a nice head of hair. After spending thousands of years rotting away in a sarcophagus, you're bound to lose your hair, so I think this mummy using his bandages as a makeshift toupee worked out really well. Martha Stewart, eat your heart out.

Sungold Monster Toys: Mini-Monster Figure Twin Packs!

Alright, so this guy is a bit of a mystery. I'm not sure if he was a doctor or if he murdered one and stole his or her lab coat. I'm also unsure about why the letter "H" is written on the jacket three times. H for Hospital? H for Help? H for Hell if I know. This also appears to be the same character from the packaging, as he has the matching green clown hair. Only difference here is that he's not suffering from a vicious head wound where his brain is exposed, so perhaps the packaging is giving us a little foreshadowing. Guess that's why he looks so apprehensive; he's just waiting for an axe to come crashing into his cranium at any given moment. Maybe he's actually a scientiest who created all those toxic chemicals to begin with, so that forthcoming headwound is merely his comeuppance.

Sungold Monster Toys: Mini-Monster Figure Twin Packs!

I'm all about skeleton man toys, and this guy doesn't disappoint. First off, he has red stars in his eyes, and if I were a child, I would most certainly imagine he shoots lasers from them. However, since I'm a fully grown adult... I *KNOW* he shoots lasers from them. I also approve of his wide front tooth gap and green side hairs. Most importantly, he leaves his shirt wide open to expose his rib cage. That's the skeleton equivalent of a muscle head not wearing a shirt to show off his pecks, but this is far better. Why? Because his rib cage looks more like the swinging door to an old saloon in a cowboy movie. One look, and you find yourself wanting to step through them to walk inside and order a drink from the barkeep. Hell, he's even posed like he's ready to draw his pistol... if he had one. Give him a gun and a cowboy hat and he could easily pass for the ghost of Billy the Kid.

Sungold Monster Toys: Mini-Monster Figure Twin Packs!

Here's another character seen crawling over the wall on the packaging, and he looks a lot like the Toxic Avenger if you ask me. Take away that orange hair, give him a tutu and a mop, and you have Toxie in a nutshell. Even his facial expression looks similar to it, and given how bright the packaging and the figure is, I wouldn't be surprised at all if these figures were somewhat inspired by the Toxic Crusaders toy line. Who knows, maybe that's not even his hair; maybe they just tore it off the bottom of Toxie's mop and dyed it orange. Either way, looks good to me.

Sungold Monster Toys: Mini-Monster Figure Twin Packs!

Man, I'm not even sure where to begin with this guy. He's got a variety of colored arm and leg bands, possibly inspired by the Ultimate Warrior, so that's a fine start. He also has a Roman gladiator skirt and a bright pink vest which may or may not be covered in leeches. Combine all that with an expression on his face that just screams, "I'm a badass and there's nothing you can say to convince me otherwise.", and I'm 100% on board with this guy. As a bonus, I think he'd fit right in as a member of another new street gang in The Warriors. A gang that's so tough, they wear leeches.

Sungold Monster Toys: Mini-Monster Figure Twin Packs!

Naturally, I had to save the best for last. This imitation Freddy figure is the one that all horror collectors always try to hunt down, and it's easy to see why. First off, his colors are way off; a bright blue hat, a yellow & red striped sweater, and green pants. The razors on his glove weren't painted silver either, so it just looks like he's been digging in the mud a lot with his right hand. But the best feature of all is that he has a facial tattoo. Freddy Krueger has a facial tattoo. And given the fact that it's on one side of his face, you gotta wonder if it was influenced by the tribal tattoo on Mike Tyson's face. Or maybe it's the other way around. Maybe Mike spent some time in the UK, visited a toy store, saw this Freddy Krueger bootleg toy and immediately took it to a local tattoo artist and said, "This! This is the tattoo I want on my face!" Oh, I'm sure he'll deny it, but we all know the truth. Regardless, this is clearly one of the most incredible Freddy Krueger figures a horror fan can own, because it's not every day you find Freddy with some serious face ink.

Now as I mentioned at the start of this article, there was a larger version of the Freddy Krueger knock-off figure from the "Monster" toy line, and while he doesn't have the same face tattoo of his smaller counterpart, he's still a genuinely awesome figure. Check it out:

Sungold Monster Toys: Sharp Hand Joe!

Come to think of it, he actually looks like a very friendly guy who just happens to be wearing a deadly razor finger glove. And wouldn't you know it... it turns out he isn't Freddy Krueger after all. Behold!

The Sungold Monster toys "Sharp Hand Joe" Freddy Krueger knock-off bootleg figure! Simba Toys.

Yep, we had him pegged wrong the entire time. His name isn't Freddy Krueger, according to the back of one of the alternate toy packages, his name is Sharp Hand Joe! No wonder he seems so friendly! Wouldn't YOU want to know a guy named Sharp Hand Joe? I know I would if for no other reason than to be able to tell people stories about him. It wouldn't matter what those stories were either; it could be something completely banal like, "Today I went to the grocery store to buy some cereal. Oh, and SHARP HAND JOE came along with me." You see? What was at first a snoozer of a story, has suddenly become an incredibly exciting tale that demands the listeners undivided attention. That's one hell of a powerful name. I salute you, Sharp Hand Joe. We all do. Come on everybody! Let's all go out and get face tattoos in his honor!

Alright, that about wraps it up for the Sungold Mini-Monster Twin Packs. Be sure to drop a comment below and let me know which figures you like best! And before I go, I thought you'd like to see my collection of all the colorful twin pack sets together, so here you go:

Sungold Monster Toys: Mini-Monster Figure Twin Packs!

Such a happy family.

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