A BLOG FOR MONSTER KIDS, MONSTEROLOGISTS - EVEN HUMANS WHO LOVE MONSTER MAGAZINES!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

MONSTER MAIL ORDER: BEFORE CAPTAIN COMPANY (PART 1)








It didn't take long after the first issue of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND was published for James Warren to capitalize even more on what would soon be known as the "monster craze". If the magazine didn't have enough monsters in it to satiate the rabid fans, why not also use it as a sort of catalogue and sell monster sidelines as well?

Novelty items were a rather big business in the 50s through the 60s. Magic tricks, shrunken heads, "3D" glasses, and many other "gag" gifts were sold ubitquitously in comic books, so why wouldn't it work on the same demographic in FAMOUS MONSTERS, thought the always shrewd James Warren? As early as the second issue of FM, the faint beginnings of what was to become Jim Warren's mail order monster, CAPTAIN COMPANY began to show.

But it wasn't always known as that. In issue #2 there were two pages of ads for monster sideline products, such as masks, rubber bats, and, yes, shrunken heads! They were introduced by a blurb at the top of the page that made it sound like kids were already clamoring for this stuff, and so it turns out, indeed they were . . .

"In answer to the thousands of readers who would like to have their own monster masks and other monster items, FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND has created a mail order department -- featuring exciting  items for all monster-lovers, at low cost."

And so, MONSTER MAIL ORDER, which was later to be named CAPTAIN COMPANY, was born!




5 comments:

Mike Scott said...

I think that Topstone stuff was in every issue after that (unless the Star Wars, etc. stuff pushed it out)!

prof. grewbeard said...

it's funny, i was just wishing today that someone would put out affordable versions of the Topstone masks again...

John said...

Ah, yes. That's the key word . . . "affordable".

Mike Scott said...

Don't know affordable they are, but here are some people who are (were?) selling Topstones pulled from the original molds.

George Ligouri : honey041@aol.com

NightOwl Studios: http://www.nightowlpro.com

Darrell Viduari: vxxfx@hotmail.com

Monster Mayhem: http://www.deathstalkerstudios.com/

Yellow Phantom said...

Love those Topstones!

Great contact list there Mike. Generally you can pick up a blank pull from the master molds at around $60. From there you can either finish it yourself, or have an artist do it for you. I picked up a finished witch from Justin at Night Owl for $175 a few years back. Aaron at Monster Mayhem, and Pete at the Devil's Workshop all do excellent finishing work too.

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