Wednesday, March 2, 2011
RIVALS OF CAPTAIN COMPANY (PART 2)
We saw in yesterday's post the one-page monster mail order ad from the 1964 one-shot 3-D MONSTERS magazine from FAIR PUBLISHING. It was probably there to fill ad space to whoever wanted it. AMERICA'S HOBBY CENTER took out one page and threw their pointy hat in the monster-models-for-sale ring.
Calvin T. Beck's CASTLE OF FRANKENSTEIN was probably the closest competitor James Warren had . . . when it came to magazine sales, anyway. Beck waited until issue #2 (ads shown below) before he starting selling his monster sideline products under the moniker of GOTHIC CASTLE. Here we see many of the familiar toys, models, films, and other gadgets, gizmos and goodies (including the errant gag joke) that were to be found everywhere in the classic Monster Kid era. Beck, however, did not appear to have the same marketing sense as Warren, and, resultingly, his product line didn't seem to ooze the same hype as Captain Company's voluminous catalogue pages. Nevertheless, stuff was there if you wanted it. Since copy machines were a little rare in those days, most of us would clip out the coupons, thereby committing the heinous crime of amputating a beloved monster 'zine. Those of us who had the moxie would, of course, draft out a careful "facsimile", which was more than acceptable to the outstretched hungry claws of the horror huckster.