Tuesday, September 20, 2011
The 3rd Dimension: Remco Mini Monsters Mummy
I have been on a bit of a Mummy kick lately, mostly due to my father buying me the Polar Lights recast of the old Aurora Mummy's Chariot hot rod model kit, which I have liked since I was a kid. (I still need to pick up some version of the original Aurora Mummy.) So that lead me to not only watching some classic Universal Mummy movies but also pulling my bin of Old Toys (tm) out from under the bed in my Bonus Room and digging up (oh I slay me) this classic from my childhood.
Both of the Universal Mummies (Im-ho-tep, played by Boris Karloff in The Mummy, and Kharis, played by Tom Tyler in The Mummy's Hand and Lon Chaney, Jr. in The Mummy's Tomb, The Mummy's Ghost, and The Mummy's Curse) are favorites of mine and so I have, over the years, accumulated a lot of Mummy stuff. This piece remains the oldest one of my Mummy relics, so it holds special value to me.
Remco put out both a large size and small size line of Universal Monsters in the late 70s and early 80s. My brother and I never had any of the big ones but we did have most of the small guys, in the form of Frankenstein's Monster, Wolfman, Creature from the Black Lagoon, and the Mummy. I don't think we had Dracula, and I know for a fact we did not have the Phantom of the Opera.
Like all of the monsters, the Mummy is a solid construction, with 5 points of articulation -- both arms at the shoulders, both legs at the hips, and his head. The real beauty of this toy is the detailed sculpt. For a toy made in 1979, this guy looks fantastic. The bandages have plenty of detail on them and are wonderfully non-uniform. The face, while not at the level of the RealScan stuff we have today, looks suitably close to Karloff for me to say that this is Im-ho-tep. Which is funny on it's own level because Im-ho-tep spends exactly one scene bandaged up, and the rest of the movie masquerading as a modern Egyptian.
But oh how much I dig this toy. The Remco Monsters never had anyone to menace (learning their lesson from the Aurora Monster Scenes perhaps?) but the fact that we had 3 3/4" Monsters to play with meant that they could "play" with various other toy lines too. Want to have Cobra disturb an Egyptian tomb? Here you go!
Once I build the Mummy's Chariot I am seriously considering putting together a small "Mummy Shelf." And if I do, you can bet the treasures of Princess Anaka that this guy will be front and center.