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Wail to the Chief: New Presidential Monsters @ Toy Fair 2014

Artist Ken Kelly at NY Toy Fair 2014 with original painting for Presidential Monsters Series.

Artist Ken Kelly at NY Toy Fair 2014 with original painting for Presidential Monsters Series.

House of Dread Presidents…
George Washington’s birthday (he’d be 282 years old today) seems a perfect opportunity to bring you up to speed on the current state of the union for Mark Huckabone’s Presidential Monsters Series.

A few years ago I was able to share an advance look at the Heroes Entertainment collection that puts a monstrously humorous spin on US political characters. Both current and historical figures are represented from George Washington’s apparition as the “Spirit of ’76,” through our current prez as the caped and fanged Baracula.

At New York Toy Fair this year Ken Pierce of the PiercingMetal website and I were extremely lucky to pass by the Heroes Entertainment/Toy Tokyo booth at the same time legendary fantasy artist Ken Kelly was visiting with two pieces of original art. Pierce, a huge KISS fan, was thrilled to meet the creator of that group’s iconic Destroyer and Love Gun album covers. The artist also has an exclusive agreement to paint original art on Gene Simmons’ line of bass guitars.

One of Kelly’s paintings, titled “The North Shall Rise Again,” depicts a kite flying, lightning harvesting, Benjamin Franklin as Dr. Franklinstein with his recycling mad assistant Algore pulling the switch to revive a wounded Lincolnstein Monster, top hat and all.

It’s that kind of good natured satire that pervades the entire Presidential Monsters series with characters like Yeti Roosevelt, the green gilled Nixon Monster from the Watergate Lagoon, Bill Clinton as a saxophone playing werewolf, and Andrew Jacksferatu.

"Take Me To Your Leader," demands Martian Van Buren

“Take Me To Your Leader,” demands Martian Van Buren


Series 1 and 2 are currently available and include Baracula, Lincolnstein, Reagan The Ronmy, Wolf Bill Clinton, Zom-Bush (“W”,) JFK as Phantom of the White House, Nixon Monster From the Watergate Lagoon, and the aforementioned George Washington as the “Spirit of ’76.”

Series 3 (Late Spring 2014)
Algore, Dr. Franklinstein, Jacksferatu, Yeti Roosevelt

Series 4 (Fall 2014)
Eisenhowler, Hillvira, Jimmy Pea-Nutz, Van Palin

Not yet on the release schedule, but previewed at Toy Fair, are Lyndon After Midnight, casting LBJ as the Chaney Sr. silent screen vampire, my favorite Martian Van Buren, and Headless S. Grant.

General George Washington, looking good for 282 years old.

General George Washington, looking good for 282 years old.


Junior Presidents…
In addition to the articulated, fully clothed, 8 inch dolls, Heroes Entertainment was showing a “junior” edition of carded cast figures that are currently in the works.

The Dark Knight Rhizomes! Hasbro Potato Personas Abound

Batman gets the Hasbro Potato Head Treatment


Some totally tube(r)ular Mister Potato Head personas have just been released or are on their way. As you can see from these images, Hasbro Toys has plenty of new personalities to adorn your root cellar this coming season. The ability to morph the old spud into a plethora of popular characters has kept the franchise fresh – and tasty.

I Was A Pre-Teen Tator-Tot…
I’m old enough to remember when the kit came minus a potato replica and my parent’s refrigerator was regularly raided for real food to bring the gent to life. Depleting dinner menu items wasn’t really high on most Mom’s lists of great things, but the inclusion of the faux-tato in the early 60’s did limit your ability to make recombinant DNA stlye creations.

Mash-Ups…
The members of rock band KISS are available separately and in a limited edition collectors set that includes 3 parody album covers. Elvis is depicted in both white Las Vegas jumpsuit version and ’68 Comeback Special black leathers. The newly minted Three Stooges were a perfect choice for spud characterizations and come with their own weapons of mass disruption, a wrench, clobbering mallet, and ubiquitous pie. Star Trek’s Mr. Spock and Lt. Uhura join the already available Captain Kirk and are an absolute scream. Hasbro has just announced that Superman and Wonderwoman will hit the stores this August.

Battle Ready Batata…
Toy Fair 2012 also afforded a sneak peak at the Batarang wielding Dark Knight which will appear around the time of the third installment of the Batman trilogy The Dark Knight Rises. Makes me wonder… if Batman is represented in potato form is his alter ego Bruce Wayne being played by Christian Kale?

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