Friday, September 3, 2010

MONSTER MAIL ORDER: BEFORE CAPTAIN COMPANY (PART 3)








In FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND #4, the now-regularly appearing MONSTER MAIL ORDER department expanded to include more full page spreads, as well as two quater page ads, all shipped from the Philadelphia address. The products varied from the usual rubber masks and bats fare to more "sophisticated" (and more expensive) items, such as instruction manuals on hypnosis and the ever-present "he-man" full page ad that promised to turn excess flab into hardened fighting muscle. One could also acquire such useful implements as a "Mad Doctor Hypodermic Needle" and a "U.S. Army Type Time Bomb". The selection of 3D comics also expanded from one to three.

But wait! That's not all! Now you could get your very own film projector through  MONSTER MAIL ORDER, GENERAL PROMOTION CO., or as the coupon said for these, just plain FAMOUS MONSTERS. The choice of Lon Chaney as THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA film was in 50 or 100 foot reels in either 8mm or 16mm stock. Initially, you could only buy an 8mm projector through the magazine. In any event, now it was possible to watch the famous unmasking scene that we had all viewed numerous times as stills in FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND whenever and however many times we wanted ... all for a measly 12 bucks ... for both projector and film!

Also of note, appearing for the first time in FAMOUS MONSTERS was a new rubber monster mask. But this wasn't just any ol' rubber monster mask -- it was the SHOCK MONSTER mask! Made by the legendary Topstone Rubber Toys Co. Inc. in Bethel, Connecticut, it was listed as the HORROR MONSTER in their catalogue, but Warren's soon-to-become CAPTAIN COMPANY, as usual, pulled out all the stops on the hype, and elevated it to future cult status as the SHOCK MONSTER!














3 comments:

Max the drunken severed head said...

This series on monster merch ads before Captain Co. is very nice! Thanks!

John said...

Max, thanks for the comment! This one was fun to do.

Mike Scott said...

A few more issues (#12) until "General Promotions" becomes the "Captain Company", but it's starting to shape up already. We've had the masks and the home movies. Just need some LPs and some paperbacks and you've got yourself a CC!

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