Mad Scientist Monster Lab Mania

I got this for Christmas (the Christmas before Nintendo hit and thus the last Christmas I even asked for toys), but it would be the perfect toy to get and play with on Halloween: Mad Scientist Monster Lab. The crown jewel of the Mattel Mad scientist line (which included Dissect-An-Alien, Glowing Glop, Eyeball Makers, Splatters, and various other gross, sci-fi/classic monster toys), the Monster Lab offered the young Mad-Scientist-to-be the opportunity to “make” a monster and then “bubble off their flab”. The monster making and bubbling started with the fabrication of a skeleton from plastic bones, the covering of the skeleton with Monster Flesh compound, and the addition of various features (horns, eyes, etc). Once the monster was created, Powered Monster Flesh Remover (which my friends claimed was simply citric acid) and Secret Froth formula were added to the water in the lab vat. The monster was then dropped into the vat and his flesh would gradually be eaten away, reducing him to a skeleton once more in a dramatic display that the commercial proclaimed to be “Too Gross”.

Now I don’t recall spending a huge amount of time with the Monster Lab. I spent a lot more time with the Eyeball Makers and Monster Kits (which had been reduced to $1 at the local Toys-R-Us). I think the fact that it constantly required fresh supplies of Monster Flesh, Monster Flesh Remover, and Secret Froth Formula kept me from enjoying it as much as I could would have liked. That, and the fact that the monster flab-bubbling process left a thick green residue on the bottom of the vat that wasn’t shown on the commercial. But if I had the chance today, I wouldn’t mind tossing a few monsters into the old lab and seeing if it was still “too gross”.


Doug is a child of the 80s who was raised in Ohio and is now living the life of oblivion in the bay area of California.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Awesome post, Douglas! I still have my Monster Lab, though I’ve run out of all the necessary ingredients long ago, too many nights at the Bunsen burner trying to keep my creations in line I reckon.

    The skeleton creations however made very, very good models for stop-motion animation. :)

  2. I played with mine nonstop for ages. I don’t remember if I bought replacement supply packs or what, but I found that the stuff included went a long way to begin with. And personally, I loved the silty muck at the bottom of the vat, especially since it would have antennae, jaws, eyeballs and so on poking out at the surface. Watching them dissolve, witnessing the unique way they’d collapse each time was like art-in-motion to me. When I wasn’t doing the intended routine of making a monster and then torturing him to death in a tank of corrosive chemicals, I would play with the skeletons, which were excellent toys in their own rite. Similar modern toys like Stikfas have always failed to capture quite the same appeal for me. Those monster skeletons allowed for free-form building almost on par with Lego, but with a horror twist. I carried it a step further by constructing a scale model cardboard mad science lab backdrop, with lots of creepy details painted in. When I eventually ran out of supplies, and had lost a few little bits and pieces, I ended up buying a whole new set and did it all over again.

  3. I would’ve needed to have this, had I set my radar on it as a littler Square.
    I had Mattel’s Creepy Crawlers kit instead (the ‘black cauldron’ version with a bright green Goop storage area on top). Man that was fun and a half.
    Took a while to heat up the Plasti-Goop, but the insect molds were nicely detailed and rather realistic. Most of my creations were black and red blends, and got appropriate scares when used correctly (it’s an art, really).
    And the resulting critters lasted an impressively long time.
    In fact, I found one in the bottom of my last remaining toy storage unit, some time ago.
    Took a while for me to poke it, to make sure it was my creation, and not some freakishly large cockroach claiming the area.

    Goop toys are fun.

  4. I remember now what I did when I ran out of supplies; I just substituted with vinegar and baking soda. I think that was even mentioned in the manual, although the may have recommended citric acid.

  5. I’d buy this set in a heart-beat, given the chance. I was in love with this toy for years as a kid, to bad when the flesh ran out I was kinda stuck.

    Since this set was a gift from my trip to the US, I wasn’t able to get supplies. This set wasn’t available in my neck of the woods.

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