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Featured Creatures: Diamond Select Universal Monster Previews @ Toy Fair 2013

DST Universal Monsters Series 5 will arrive in 2014

DST Universal Monsters Series 5 will arrive in 2014

It was a great treat to visit with the folks at Diamond Select Toys during the 2013 American International Toy Fair. They have an upcoming array of items sure to please collectors of franchises that include Marvel Superheroes, The Walking Dead, Star Wars, and Tomb Raider. Star Trek fans are sure to be pleased with the goodies coming their way from DST. I’ll be posting information and photos on those in the coming weeks but I’m going to begin DST NYTF13 coverage with my favorites, the Universal Monster Series.

Fall 2013 Series 4…
As announced in previous posts Diamond Select will be releasing Wave 4 of the series in fall 2013. That includes Lon Chaney Sr. as Quasimodo, from the silent 1923 classic The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Mr. Hyde as portrayed by Boris Karloff in Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. The Quasimodo specialty (large base) package will pair him with a cathedral gargoyle to perch on and include the “King of Fools” accessories. Mr. Hyde will sport a roof top base and include Dr. Jekyll parts to facilitate his transformation.

The Series 4 Toys “R” Us packages will be blister packed with simple bases. Dr. Jekyl will include an interchangeable Mr. Hyde head. Exclusive to Toys “R” Us will be a Moleperson figure from the The Mole People (1956).

Series 3 Legacy Box…
The Universal Monster Series 3 figures including This Island Earth’s Metaluna Mutant, Erik The Phantom of the Opera and The Invisible Man) will be boxed together in a special legacy edition.


New Bust Banks and Retro Cloths…
Also announced for fall, but not on display at the DST booth, are Bust Banks Series 2 depicting the Bride of Frankenstein and the Wolfman. They’ll join their cohorts the Black Lagoon creature and Karloff Frankenstein monster which are currently available in full color and black and white versions. Retro cloth fans will be able to add the Metaluna Mutant and Phantom of the Opera to their collections.

Bust Banks

Diamond Select Toys’ Bust Banks

Super-Articulated Series 5 Announced…
Looking ahead to 2014, the Universal Monsters series will expand with “super-articulated” figures. Series 5 will offer The Creature from the Black Lagoon and Karloff’s monster from Son of Frankenstein.
DST Son of FrankensteinDiamond Select Creature from the Black Lagoon

The Series 5 prototypes as pictured are yet to be approved by the licensor and represent the “large base” specialty versions. There’s some really nice Kenneth Strickfaden inspired lab apparatus with SoF. It brings back fond memories of the gear that came with Aurora’s Bride of Frankenstein model kit. I’m hoping that Inspector Krogh’s wooden arm, nestled at the prototype figure’s feet, will be a separate accessory. I can imagine how awesome the highly posable figure would look brandishing the appendage above its head.

An as yet unannounced third figure will be exclusive to Toys “R” Us. Which Universal Mon-Star are you hoping it will be?

Diamond Select Toys’ Next Wave of Universal Monsters Collectibles

Diamond Select Mini-Mates, "Kings of Fools" Quasimodo and Esmeralda


Toy Fair 2012 revelations continue with a look at Diamond Select Toys. In this centennial year of Universal Pictures, Diamond Select is poised to continue their roll-out of licensed Universal Monsters figures with an interesting assortment of creature creations. Product waves 1 & 2 gave us exceptional interpretations of the “top tier” in Universal’s horror hierarchy, featuring Frankenstein, Count Dracula, The Mummy, and The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Select packaging added great extras like the Mummy’s massive sarcophagus and a jaw-dropping Julie Adams figurine for the Gillman to menace.

Phantoms and Mutants and Moles, oh my…
Waves 3 & 4 – due in September 2012 and 2013 respectively – will offer an intriguing variety as we dive deeper into the monster pantheon. Some of my favorite characters will be represented including silent horror icon Lon Chaney Sr. in the role of The Phantom of the Opera and the mother of all bug-eyed monsters The Metaluna Mutant from 1955’s “This Island Earth”. Select packaging will again include impressive extras (pipe organ, Metalunan Interocitor) and collectors should be aware of some Toys R Us variants. The Invisible Man is listed for a Toys R Us September 2012 release also but wasn’t on display – or was he?

The pictured Wave 4 prototypes (some still awaiting licensor approval) give us a sneak peek at the next range of silent through 50’s options. This time Chaney Sr. portrays Notre Dame’s hunchback, Quasimodo. Boris Karloff’s Dr. Jeckyll is complimented by his monstrous Mr. Hyde in select “roof top” edition. Karloff’s J&H terrorized comedians Abbott & Costello and is a fun, unexpected, choice. I’m extremely jazzed to add The Mole Man (“The Mole People”, 1956) to the collection. I always loved those creepy claws.

More Monstrous Fun…
Other goodies expand the “Retro Cloth” line with Series 3’s “Bride of Frankenstein” and “Creature From the Black Lagoon” and Munsters fans will love the details on the “racer” garbed Herman, Grandpa, and Lily characters due for September 2012 release. The Munster kids – werewolf Eddie and and misfit Marilyn – will arrive in a two pack this summer and sometime in the future we may even be treated to a Munster’s mansion grand stairway, with house pet “Spot”.

For those strapped for shelf space (like myself) the very popular Mini-Mates figures can quench your collector itch without making you a candidate for an episode of Hoarders. A nice option for memorabilia minded Dads and Uncles, the design ingenuity of these blocky little babies always makes me chuckle. Mummy and silent Hunchback sets are in the pipeline for later this year.

Diamond’s newest Universal related product is a line of vinyl “Bust Banks”. Starting with the Frankenstein monster (prototype pictured) and the Black Lagoon Creature. Imagine the coolness factor of carting these puppies to the local TD Bank change counting machine. Both are slated for September 2012.

SkeletonPete Says…
Diamond continues to produce quality sculpted figures in packages priced to give buyers the opportunity to own display pieces as well as keep pristine packages for their collections. Considering that Frankenstein’s bride was on the short list for the Universal Monsters line, my personal wish-list would include Ernest Thesiger’s Dr. Pretorius (complete with bottled homunculi), Dwight Frye as Fritz, and of course Colin Clive as Dr. Frankenstein.

Keep an eye on SkeletonPete for information on Diamond’s first wave of “Mad Monster Party” figures, and hit Ken Pierce’s PiercingMetal Musings for Toy Fair coverage, soon to include Marvel Select, DC Direct and superhero mini-mates.

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