Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Masks of Famous Monsters - Issues # 6-8

Welcome to the sixth installment in The Masks of Famous Monsters Series. Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine was an absolute treasure trove of early mask history. By combing through the 191 issues published between 1958-1983, it's possible to gain a good understanding of the decades of evolution and history of Don Post Studios and Topstone monster masks. The eventual goal of this series is to catalog and archive each monster mask appearance in the pages Famous Monsters.
Compared to the previous five issues, #6 and 7 offered little in the way of definitive monster mask history.  Of course, the classic early Topstone monster mask ads that were introduced in previous issues could be found in these issues, but otherwise, no new examples of monster mask fun could to be found lurking within the pages...

We're treated to a brief Shock Monster appearance  on page 38 of issue #7. This Shock meant business too, and came equipped with what looks like Skeleton Rubber Hands (offered in issue #6).
Skeleton Rubber Hands Ad from Famous Monsters #6

What little issues 6 and 7 offered in the way of monster masks was easily made up for with issue #8. Issue 8, released in September of 1960,  picked up were previous issues left off in terms of marking definitive points when Topstone masks debuted in the pages of FM.

The issue starts out strong, as page 7 gives us a glimpse of a young Vampire Girl enjoying a good read...
Issue #8 would be the first Famous Monsters to feature three pages of monster mask ads! It was on page 51 that Monster Kids were introduced to some new Topstone selections...

Issue # 8 is were the Lagoon Creature ad would make it's FM debut. In addition, ads for the Mohawk Indian, Savage Cannibal, and Jeckyl and Hyde would appear for the first time...
The first Topstone Lagoon Monster Ad to appear in Famous Monsters
Topstone - Mohawk Indian Mask Ad
Topstone - Savage Cannibal Mask Ad
Topstone - Jekyl and Hyde Mask Ad
As if these masks weren't enough for young monster kids to sink their teeth into, three new hands were offered up too: Gigantic Lagoon Monster Hands, the strange Two Thumb Hand, and perhaps the strangest monster hand ever offered, the Octopus Hand...
Topstone Gigantic Lagoon Hands Ad
Topstone Two Thumb Hand Ad
Topstone Octopus Hand Ad
Finally, as the icing on the cake, Issue #8 is topped of nicely with a half-page ad featuring a Zacherly mask and a "Me, Worry?" Alfred E. Newman "super" mask. The Alfred E. Newman mask was sculpted by John Chambers for a Fred Astarie TV special. Later, John would go on to let Don Post use the old to create this classic mask...
Zacherley and Alfred E. Newman Mask
 That puts the wraps on the masks of issues 6-8 of Famous Monsters. As always, check back next month for another look at the The Masks of Famous Monsters!


  1. Has anyone actually seen the Cannibal in real life? I saw the Ubangi in that Green Ghoul set (elsewhere) - and that's the only sighting I've seen of that one - well, it might be in the old DEVO movie, too.

    I'm not entirely surprised that these haven't been re-pro'd for the market (good taste prevails?), but that no one is showing their originals is odd, particularly when we see the Mohawk so often. Sure, they're crass and pretty embarrassing now - but I still want to see them.

  2. Hi Mars-

    I have definitely not run into a Cannibal anywhere, original or repo. The person to ask this question to is Ray Castile over at the Universal Monster Army. If anyone has seen one, it's him.

  3. Hello all,I was searching the web for any info I could find on one of the coolest halloween masks I ever had as a kid. I had that cannibal mask many years ago . Me and my buddy's named him Harry . What we would do, one of us would go outside of the house I lived at, when it was dark outside put the mask on and one of us would go inside and turn all the lights off and arm himself with a wiffle ball bat for protection. Then Harry would enter the house as quiet as he could and try to grab the other guy before you got nailed with the bat. We had a blast scaring the living shit out of each other like that. I was the holy terror in our neighborhood with that mask . It's a wonder that no one ever caught me scaring people as they sat on their porches on those warm summer nights. Yes Harry was active even in the summer time until that dreadful day when my Mother found out what I was doing with that mask. Well that was the end of Harry. I had so much fun back in those days. If only someone would remake that mask I would buy it in a second.