Toys & Collectibles

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.

Toys & Collectibles

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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