When I was born, the popularity of 12 inch
dolls figures were quickly dying out to the
smaller 3 3/4 inch action figures. Primarily thanks to the fantastic Star
Wars toyline at the time, everybody was hopping on the smaller action
figure bandwagon. Even G.I. Joe who had been churning out the larger ones
for ages was getting in on the action. Another company that decided to
give the small figures a try was Remco. They had already released some
larger toys based on all the classic Universal Studios monsters along with
some hand puppets, but it was their Mini Monster toyline that
really captured my attention back then. Why? Mainly because there was a
great play set you could buy for them to have monsterific adventures in.
Yes indeed, the Mini Monster Play Case was not only a great place to hold all of your favorite figures, but it also opened up to reveal a laboratory inside the mansion. I'm not really sure why they called it a "mansion" on the box because... well... I've seen better mansions.
Seriously, somebody wasn't doing a very good job of keeping up with the appearance of this place. Then again, I suppose when you sleep all day and hunt for BLOOD all night, it's hard to fit in time for home improvement projects. Bob Villa, where are you when the creatures of the night need you?
The figures themselves were really nice and came in two varieties - normal and glowing. Naturally, every kid out there wanted the glow in the dark monsters. As I already mentioned, these are creatures of the night, and therefore our imaginations would want us to play with them in the dark. It would only be appropriate.
And here's the whole lot of 'em - Dracula, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Wolfman, Phantom of the Opera, Mummy and Frankenstein. Yeah yeah, I know it's technically Frankenstein's monster, but tell that to the people who made these figures and put "Frankenstein" right on the package.
So the inside of the set may not look all that impressive at first glance, but trust me, at the time it was released, this thing was primo spectacular. For the sarcophagus, the cage and table, you had to engage in a bit of origami. They were made out of cardboard and you had to fold them together to form each piece correctly. Also included were a few glow-in-the-dark stickers such as an instrument panel, a skull and a mummy's head on the sarcophagus.
It's no surprise that everybody's favorite part of the laboratory was the table where Frankenstein would lay. Strapped in with two red rubber bands, you could flip the table over and make Frankenstein appear and disappear in an instant... you know, in case the cops showed up and wanted to make sure Dracula and company weren't harvesting human body parts to build a monster or something. Hey, it was my imagination and I could do whatever I wanted with it.
And speaking of imagination... this playset was the perfect place for all kinds of monster mayhem back in the day. I remember many of the adventures my monsters had all too well. And now I'm happy to present you with my best attempt at retelling of one those very adventures:
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