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Hide – Go – Bleak: Mezco Toyz’ Annabelle Scavenger Hunt @ Ripley’s Odditorium

annabelle, ripleys believeit or not, the conjuring, mezco toyz
Dolorous Dollies…
The Mills Brothers once sang “I’d rather have a paper doll to call my own, then a fickle-minded real Iive girl.” They may have had second thoughts had they met Annabelle. Not since The Twilight Zone’s Talky Tina has there been such an unholy host. Introduced to audiences in The Conjuring (2013) the doll has become a pop culture icon warranting a self titled film in 2014. On August 11, 2017 New Line Cinemas and Warner Brothers will reveal the backstory of the menacing muñeca with the release of Annabelle: Creation, directed by David F. Sandberg (Lights Out & the upcoming DCU Shazam).

Finders Weepers…
To celebrate the film’s imminent arrival Mezco Toyz – sole authorized maker of the official Annabelle prop replica – and Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Times Square – the fine folks who pride themselves on displaying all things weird and wonderful from across the globe – partnered for a special scavenger hunt. On August 4, all intrepid Ripley’s visitors had chance to track down 13 Mezco Annabelle replicas hidden throughout the maze-like Odditorium complex.

Of course Ms. Annabelle was in fine company surrounded by the over 500 unique items on view at the Believe It Or Not! exhibition. The collection of curiosities now known worldwide began in the 1920’s as a newspaper feature created by illustrator Robert Ripley.

annabelle, ripleys believeit or not, the conjuring, mezco toyz

Polk Salad Annie (belle) – Gators got your granny. Chomp! Chomp!


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New World Ardor… Living Dead Dolls Celebrate A Record Breaking Sweet Sixteen

Mezco Toyz, Living Dead Dolls Series 27. (L to R) Mephistopheles, The Banshee, Milu, Spring-Heeled Jack and The Hopping Vampire

Mezco Toyz, Living Dead Dolls Series 27. (L to R) Mephistopheles, The Banshee, Milu, Spring-Heeled Jack and The Hopping Vampire


Sweet Sixteen and Never Been Kissed, Any Wonder?…
2014 marks the sixteenth anniversary of Mezco Toyz’ Living Dead Dolls line. This milestone makes these creepy creations the longest continually produced series of horror themed dolls on the planet. Mezco’s Mike Drake informed me that the company will be honored for this world record at the Toy Industry Association’s 111th Annual American International Toy Fair which begins in New York City in just a couple of days.

The outre, coffin encased, dollies are the brainchild of Ed Long, Damien Glonek, and “Mez” Markowitz, whose artistic imagination must be commended on this long run of sardonic but fun characters. Damien notes, “I couldn’t be happier with the support and dedication our fans have given us throughout the years. The dolls have taken on a life of their own…” As for their inception, “There was never a thought out plan when we first started. Living Dead Dolls was built upon a do what we like attitude and it grew into something beyond our wildest expectations.”

Living Dead Dolls Series 27…
A world record calls for a world vision and so for Series 27 the creators have set their nets wide and come up with a cosmopolitan collection of characters of myth and legend. 

Spring Heeled Jack – The Victorian urban legend of penny dreadful fame that terrorized London. A creeper and a leaper.

The Banshee – The Irish fairy who heralds death with her mournful wail. If she sits with you for a pint of Guinness be sure your life insurance policy is paid up.

Milu – The Polynesian goddess and guardian of the land of the dead. Mess with this Tiki temptress and you won’t be drinking piña coladas at Trader Vic’s for long. She’ll fill you full of flys and feed you to her pet lizards.

The Hopping Vampire – The life force absorbing Jiangshi of pan-asian folklore and popular film series.

Mephistopheles – The devilish trickster and adversary of Goethe’s Faust. Sign on the dotted line at your own risk.

In addition, Colonial America will get it’s due with a Headless Horseman LDD, complete with malevolent looking pumpkin noggin, and Series 1 character Posey, comes back from the undead in a ghostly white special edition.

Mezco's LDD Creature is still in the working stages, but promises to be a real collector's treat.

Mezco’s LDD Creature is still in the working stages, but promises to be a real collector’s treat.

SkeletonPete Says…
Also announced, though not on display at Mezco’s early reveal, is an LDD version of The Creature from the Black Lagoon. It will join the already available Frankenstein, Bride of, and Dracula dolls. It’s going to be a must own for creach fans like myself. The still to be approved prototype is pictured in Mezco’s 2014 Toy Fair catalog and it is already too cool to pass up.

Twilight Twiggies: Mattel’s Monster High @ NY ComicCon 2013

Mattel's Booth @ NY ComicCon 13 included an elaborate Monster High installation.

Mattel’s Booth @ NY ComicCon 13 included an elaborate Monster High installation.


Strike A Pose…
The Mattel Toy Company, famous for that most iconic of fashion dolls Barbie, has tapped into an outre oeuvre that certainly bolstered their bottom line this year with the fantastical fashionistas of the Monster High product line. The ghoulish gal and guy figures with names like Draculaura, Frankie Stein, and Clawdeen Wolf, are only part of the company’s multi-faceted brand (apparel, films, games, apps) which has captured the imagination of the pre and early teen population, and methinks their Moms too. I can only imagine how many young ladies will be masquerading as their favorite Monster High hellion this Halloween.

At the bustling New York Comic Convention this past week Mattel featured their spring 2014 crop of diabolical debutantes in a beautiful installation with castle spires and cascading stairways.

The "Ghoul Spirit" Cheer Team, Gets Set for Spring 2014

The “Ghoul Spirit” Cheer Team, Gets Set for Spring 2014


I Put A Spell(ing Bee) On You…
The Monster High packages are noted for online interactive content, like a special club key allowing access to Draculaura’s “sweet sixteenhundred” birthday party. Check the official Monster High website for the range of interrelated activities.

Mattel's Webarella Gives a Multi-Limbed Wave @ NYCC 2013

Mattel’s Webarella Gives a Multi-Limbed Wave @ NYCC 2013

Six Arms To Hold You…
Mattel’s ComicCon exclusive, the six armed daughter of Arachne Webarella, was quick to be scooped up by first day convention attendees. She waved teasingly from the castle parapet for the rest of the show.

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Dread Presidents Attack @ Toy Fair 2012

"I am not a creature!"

One Nation Under Gort…
I simply could not let President’s Day go by without giving you a look at Heroes In Action Toys and Toy Tokyo’s collaboration, “Presidential Monsters”. These cloth garbed dolls recast our commanders in chief as classic film creatures; a hysterically horrific spin on American history. Baracula, Monster from the Watergate Lagoon, The Ronmy, Zom-Bush are highlights of the product line. Clever details like The Watergate Creature’s web-fingered victory signs and LincolnStein’s bolt equipped Top Hat (ready to be juiced by the upcoming Doctor Benjamin FranklinStein) will make you laugh out loud. Interns won’t stand a chance against the JFK “Phantom of the White House” or saxophone toting “Wolf Bill”. Not that they did in reality either.

Better Than Voodoo Economics…
In addition to the 7 currently available action figures, there are plenty of others to come. Prototypes displayed at Toy Fair included Andrew Jackson as Nosferatu (my personal favorite) and Teddy Roosevelt as a white furred Yeti. Also coming is a ghostly George Washington as “The Spirit of ’76”. Apparently Sarah Palin is also in the wings with a Vlad the Impaler spoof.

Ken Pierce and I had a great time chatting with the folks at the Toy Tokyo booth during Toy Fair 2012 and it’s always a treat to visit their store in Manhattan’s East Village. Be sure to check them out for a mind-blowing array of collectible goodies.

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Tonner Dolls Unveils DC Super Heroines @ Toy Fair 2011

Wow, I’m still wading through the massive amount of amazing collectibles encountered at the 2011 Toy Fair. While snooping for fantasy character tie-ins I got pretty much stopped dead in my tracks by the Tonner Doll Company’s display of “DC Stars”. The new line includes comic book super heroines Catwoman, Dove, Raven, Black Canary and a stunning Teen Titans Starfire in sizes from 13 to 17 inches. In addition there is a jaw dropping 22 inch version of Wonder Woman to compliment 2010’s 13 inch model.

Tonner is renown for their beautifully rendered limited edition figures. Their licenses include the Harry Potter and Twilight franchises and my favorite Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” characters. The company also has their own “Sinister Circus” characters with a nice creep factor for the gothically inclined.

Kenny P. and I agreed that we’d love to see Ms. Emilie Autumn and her Bloody Crumpets get the collector doll treatment. Think of the cool accessories – tea cups, rats and candelabra, stilts and some pirate gear for Maggot.

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