It all started with Sean’s artwork, which rekindled an old, precious childhood memory. Flack then added to the fire by showing us both his collections (here and here). After much hard work and many battles, I finally got my own sets of both. Here’s my review of the Space Creatures and Space Raiders from Diener.
Due to the positive response I received after sharing my collection of Diener Space Creatures, I thought I’d round out the week with a related post — my collection of Diener Monsters.
Originally I had these guys sorted out by color just like my Diener Space Collection, but an errant shot with a Nerf gun leveled the lot of them and I haven’t had the time to re-sort them out by color again. You’ll just have to trust me … they’re all there. If you don’t believe me, I’ll show you the credit card statement. ;)
Take another look at this great piece of artwork, drawn by Sean Hartter:
Well, how do you think he did?
Like the other original Diener figures from the 80s, this set came with eight different characters to collect, with each one available in one of five different colors: yellow, orange, brown, green and blue. Also like other Diener figures, these figures have been released as hard plastic figures, softer rubber figures, and pencil erasers. In recent years, it appears some of these figures may have been re-released in updated, more modern colors.
Along with the eight figures I have pictured, I have a ninth figure that looks like a hawk/birdman. I’m not sure if he’s part of this collection or not. There’s at least one more McDonalds/Diener collection out there that I wouldn’t mind owning, one that consisted of mythological creatures: Medusa, Minotaurs, and Unicorns for example, and I wonder if the Hawkman isn’t a part of that collection.
And don’t forget; there was also a dinosaur collection, a wild animal collection, and even a collection of McDonald’s characters.
Perhaps it’s time for me to go do some more eBay “research” …
After seeing a couple of different conversations regarding figures from Diener Industries here at the Retroist, I couldn’t resist sharing a couple of pictures from my own collection.
Throughout the years, Diener has released a wide variety of small rubber figures. Those of you who grew up in the late 70s/early 80s like myself were probably introduced to Diener toys through McDonald’s Happy Meals. Three separate collections I remember McDonald’s offering were the “Dinosaur” series, the “Monster” series, and these guys, the “Outer Space” series.
The “Outer Space” collection (my own name for them) consisted of 8 different figures that came in one of 5 different colors: orange, green, yellow, pink, and blue. As a kid you would have needed to eat a lot of Happy Meals to collect all 40 of these guys. Nowadays, you only need three things: a credit card, an eBay account, and a bit of patience. If you’re lucky enough to pick all of them up in a single auction, be prepared to pay for the privilege; I paid somewhere between $1-$2 per figure (before shipping). If you pick them up in small lots, expect to acquire lots of duplicates before you get them all. Probably the hardest part about tracking these figures down is that most sellers don’t know the proper name for them, so be prepared to spend a lot of time searching for things like “rubber orange robot thingy”.
Diener is infamous for reusing the same molds over and over again. The original McDonald’s releases were made from some sort of rubber, but I’ve seen the same figures released in both hard plastic and as pencil erasers.
Out of the 8 different figures, 4 are robots and the other 4 are space ships. Personally I like the robots much better: they stand up better, and assuming there’s any sort of scale going on in Diener-land, are monstrous in size compared to those tiny ships!
Around 1980, McDonalds teamed up with Diener to release a series of plastic toy figures with their Happy Meals. They had a bunch of different types in that release, but none are as well remembered as The Space Creatures. 8 brilliantly colored figures (in 5 colors) that have been cherished for nearly 30 years.
You can find more of Sean’s work at his website and look for more of his work to appear here on the Retroist regularly.