Egg Monsters - Transformable Eggs

Egg Monsters…Are Transforming Egg Monsters?!

Friends, just a couple of weeks ago I was cleaning up my work space, down here in the Vault. When the telltale rattle of the mail chute made me look up from my writing. What came down the chute? Why, nothing more than three oddly transformable toy eggs. After a few seconds I realized these were transforming Egg Monsters. Right there on my desk where transforming versions of Jason Voorhees, Frankenstein’s Monster, and Dracula. Of course I still had no clue what Egg Monsters were!
Egg Monsters - Reissue

Thankfully we have the internet, right? I will certainly admit that it took me a little bit to actually find out some actual information on the Egg Monsters. While those that were sent to me are actually a modern reissue. The first Egg Monsters appear to have been released by Bandai back in 1987.
Egg Monsters - Frankensteins Monster

Thanks to a blog and Google translator, I think I understand what these toys are. If I read it correctly, friends, they were a toy line known as Charan-Poran transformable eggs. It appears these toy eggs came in all manner of types. Not just Egg Monsters but even the likes of Dinosaurs were featured in the toy line.
Egg Monsters - Dinosaurs

I very much doubt they were ever made available here in the States, at least not back in the 80s. That is however until I took a moment and looked up the Meteorbs. From the Masters of the Universe toy line.
Egg Monsters - Masters of the Universe - Meteorbs

These are in fact a series of toys that were originally known as Tamagoras. Mattel bought some from Bandai I suppose and gave it that Eternian twist. Featurning names like Tuskor, Cometroid, Ty-Grr, as well as Gore-illa to name a few. Bringing these toys into the Masters of the Universe definitely made sense at the time. Especially since Transformers were making a killing in the toy wars.

Throw in the fact that for a moment, the Universal Monsters were actually contemplated for a “Vintage Horror Movie Series” branch of the Transformers. The idea of a series of transforming Egg Monsters doesn’t seem all that strange, right?

Egg Monsters - Universal Monsters - TFWiki.Net

Image courtesy of the Transformers Wiki!

Thanks to that Italian blog we also know there were more than three characters available. Besides Jason, Frankenstein’s Monster, and Dracula – there was also toys for The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Mummy, and even The Wolf Man!
Egg Monsters - Wolfman

I suppose the question is how will I go about and obtain the rest of the toys in this series. I might indeed have an overactive imagination but I feel my Jason needs to square off against that Wolf Man!
Egg Monsters - Jason Transformed

The internet comes through for us again, friends, as here is an Egg Monsters commercial!

Universal Monsters - Dracula - Phantom City Creative

Mondo Gallery Presents The Universal Monsters!

The Universal Monsters are hands down my favorite series of films. Indeed of all time. I have shared my literally earliest film memories on the site before. Which of course was for James Whale’s 1931 cinematic masterpiece Frankenstein. However that was only my first taste of the beautiful dark universe that the studio had to offer.

[Via] Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

This is a fact that I’ve shared on the Saturday Frights podcast once or twice before. Even as a young boy I sided with the Universal Monsters. The Frankenstein Monster, the Wolf Man, and Creature from the Black Lagoon were hunted and hounded by mobs and interlopers.
Universal Monsters - Doctor Frankenstein

Granted of course the actions of Dracula, The Phantom of the Opera and The Invisible Man are a little more harder to defend.
Universal Monsters - Dracula - 1931

Having said that though I still side a little with them. The outcasts,the forgotten and shunned, are feelings I understood as I was growing up. Luckily the midnight movies I could tune in on our TV antennae, gave me a first class education on the classic horror films offered by Universal Pictures.

Now I do realize I am not in the minority when it comes to loving the Universal Monsters. Thanks to my co-writer on the Saturday Frights Facebook page, Rockford Jay, I learned this evening of a new art exhibit.

Universal Monsters - Mondo Gallery

Illustration images courtesy of Mondo.

Taking place at this very moment in Austin, Texas – you can visit the Mondo Gallery. Checking out the beautiful artwork of such talented artists like Francesco Francavilla.
Universal Monsters - Frankenstein - Francesco Francavilla

I would be remiss in not pointing out that one of personal favorites happens to be Eric Powell’s. Focusing on my favorite of the Universal Monsters – The Wolf Man!
Universal Monsters - The Wolf Man - Eric Powell

Let us not forget Jonathan Burton’s take on 1933’s The Invisible Man. A character that I feel you can still sympathize with as it was his experiment that unintentionally drove him mad.
Universal Monsters - The Invisible Man - Jonathan Burton

Then there is Stan & Vince’s work featuring The Mummy. In truth, while not my favorite Universal Monster, I personally feel this illustration captures the spirit of the classic film posters of old.
Universal Monsters - The Mummy - Stan and Vince

Want to get a better taste of the Universal Monsters artwork being featured? Thankfully there is a video that has been uploaded to YouTube!

Universal Monster Legacy - Frankenstein

Universal Proudly Shares Its Universal Monster Legacy!

Beginning back in 1923, it can be said a Universal monster legacy was born by the studio. Starring Lon Chaney, the legendary “Man of a Thousand Faces” in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. While his appearance as the misshapen and tortured Quasimodo brought shock and fright to audiences. I say it was a mere two years later when Chaney would portray The Phantom of the Opera that a true Universal monster legacy was birthed!

[Via] BFI Trailers

It was in fact, Gaston Leroux, the author of the novel we have to thank for this film. As well as then Universal Pictures President Carl Laemmle who was vacationing in Paris in 1922. The two men met and Laemmle admitted to Leroux he was enamored with the Paris Opera House. Leroux was of course happy to give Laemmle a copy of his 1910 novel.
Universal Monster Legacy - The Phantom of the Opera

However I have to also add that the Universal monster legacy that we know best. All came about in 1931. With Tod Browning’s film adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula in February. Then capturing lightning in a bottle again…so to speak…when Frankenstein was released that November.
Universal Monster Legacy

Consequently Universal Pictures became known as the house that horror built. While of course many films by the studio could be considered thriller or macabre. The Universal monster legacy continued in 1932 with The Mummy. The titular role offering Boris Karloff another chance to show off the make-up effects of Jack Pierce!
Universal Monster Legacy

From there it certainly seemed like Universal Pictures was on a roll. In 1933 you had The Invisible Man starring Claude Rains. April of 1935 saw the release of The Bride of Frankenstein. And while I have related my experiences with Frankenstein at three-years-old it is in fact James Whale’s 1935 sequel I hold as the better film.

1935 was also the year that the Werewolf of London stunned audiences. Followed by 1936’s Dracula’s Daughter and then 1939’s Son of Frankenstein. The Invisible Man Returns hit theaters in 1940 as well as The Mummy’s Hand and The Invisible Woman.

It was on December 12, 1941 however when Universal added a new icon to their Universal monster legacy. The Wolf Man starring the son of the actor who helped Universal Pictures begin said legacy. Lon Chaney, Jr.!

Perhaps when you have the time you might care to listen to episode 53 of the Saturday Frights Podcast – featuring The Wolf Man?

Together with more sequels as well as remakes like 1943’s The Phantom of the Opera. Universal Pictures sort of closed the curtain on that legacy with 1954’s The Creature from the Black Lagoon and its following two sequels.
Universal Mosnter Legacy

I of course find that most of the creatures from the Universal monster legacy are sympathetic. I would stress that is what in fact makes them such memorable film icons. However with the likes of Dracula, Ihmotep (The Mummy), as well as the Invisible Man. There is some real terror, fear of the insane or the unstoppable. I will certainly admit that I have always possessed a fondness for these films as I think my shelves will attest.

On Friday, Universal Pictures is releasing the latest reboot of The Mummy starring Tom Cruise, Sofia Boutella as the titular character, Anabelle Wallis, and Russell Crowe as Dr. Henry Jekyll. This is step one in Universal’s new Dark Universe, an attempt to revive these franchises in a shared cinematic universe. I will be quite honest as always. I’m kind of looking forward to this and I most certainly hope they can pull it off. However as the video below shows, the studio has NOT forgotten their…

Universal monster legacy!

Rock Out With John 5 And The Creatures…AND The Universal Monsters!

The only positive side about knowing nothing virtually about any music at any period of time is that I can count on friends to steer me in the right direction. Yesterday on Facebook Matt Lappie was kind enough to share this AWESOME music video by John 5 and the Creatures entitled “Making Monsters”.

John 5 and the Creatures - Universal Monsters Band

Friends, I can hear what you are asking though. What does this have to do with the Retroist?!

Universal Monsters mob

Well, that is a valid question and I can say that while Making Monsters employs some beautiful stop motion animation of the Creature from the Black Lagoon, Frankenstein’s Monster, and the Wolf Man…it also features glorious clips from those very Universal Monster films.

Dracula - Bela Lugosi - John 5 and the Creatures

Plus there is that whole Aurora Creature from the Black Lagoon model kit kicking it off…

Aurora - Creature from the Black Lagoon

…and to make it even better the music by John 5 and the Creatures is really great. I suppose that is only natural as he has worked with David Lee Roth, Marilyn Manson, and Rob Zombie!

[Via] Jonny Coffin

So crank it up, assuming you won’t get in trouble at work of course, and join the Monsters out on the dance floor!