Saturday, June 19, 2021

1989 Be Something Studios Franco Catalog Insert

Having just released a new four-page color catalog one year prior in 1988, the new 1989 Be Something Studios line-up fit neatly onto a single-page insert in the 1989 Franco Catalog. The line-up features the catalog debuts of a few classic characters that are still produced by Zagone Studios today including Victim Moan and Fatal Fantasy...



Be Something Studios - Fatal Fantasy mask

Be Something Studios - Victim Moan mask


Friday, June 18, 2021

1979 Be Something Studios Catalog

 

Today's post will serves a few purposes. First, as a correction, as the 1979 Be Something Studios catalog has been posted here before, but was incorrectly listed as the 1977 catalog. In addition, these specific scans have not been posted until today. These come straight from the Zagone Studios archives and are much cleaner and crisper without all the tape and marks present in the previous scans. 

 

 The '79 line-up introduced some of the early classic BSS masks that are highly sought after today by collectors including the Executioner, Drac, and Dream Girl masks. 

 

A few of the characters from the 1977 catalog have been updated for the '79 lineup. The most notable being the '77 Unicorn has been re-sculpted as the Evil Unicorn, and the very rare 1977 Corpse mask with the squared off jaw has been re-sculpted... 


1977 BSS Unicorn mask / 1979 BSS Evil Unicorn mask

 
1977 BSS Corpse mask / 1979 BSS Corpse mask




 

Be Something Studios Die Ann Mask

Be Something Studios Drac Mask

Be Something Studios Dr Deranged Mask

Be Something StudiosExecutioner Mask

Be Something Studios Fang Face Mask


Be Something Studios Saber Tooth Beast Mask

Be Something Studios Vampira Mask

Be Something Studios Dream Girl Mask


 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

1977 Be Something Studios Catalog

 The 1977 Be Something Studios catalog has been posted here before, but these specific scans have not been posted until today. These scans come straight from the Zagone factory and are much cleaner and crisper. In order to keep some sort of sense of things, I have decided to start posting the old Be Something and Zagone catalogs in chronological order. In cases like this, some duplicates will be posted when there is an improvement over the originals. 

 

Historically, this is a really cool catalog that features some early work from a few sculptors including Billy Baccarella, a young Billy Ystrom, Artie Clafford, and it may have included work from Mike Saenz as well. I will try to get some clarification the next time I speak with Tony Zagone. I have included several close-up scans of individual masks of interest here as well...

 





Be Something Studios - Wicked Witch mask

Be Something Studios - Two-Face mask

Be Something Studios - The Corpse mask

Be Something Studios - Living Dead mask

Be Something Studios - Fang Face Female mask

Be Something Studios - Fang Face mask

Be Something Studios - Devil mask

Be Something Studios - Bloody Mary mask

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

1978 Franco Catalog - Be Something Studios

 

 There is something awesome about a good old fashioned black and white Halloween mask catalog. It's certainly not the quality of image, but if you are old enough to remember holding something like this in your hands, you know what I'm talking about. The 1978 Franco catalog featured three pages of early Be Something Studios masks, all of which are quite rare these days, and a few that I have never seen in person. I've posted a few color catalog shots below as well...




Be Something Studios - Demon mask

Be Something Studios - Fantome mask

Be Something Studios - Fun Ghoul mask

Be Something Studios - Hanging Eye Do mask

Be Something Studios - Uncle Ooze

Be Something Studios -Unicorn mask


Monday, June 14, 2021

Zagone Studios / Be Something Studios Catalog Week

 



 

Good evening Creeps! This week at the Monster Mask Blog, we'll be digging into a full week of vintage catalogs from Be Something Studios. Before the world got crazy with the pandemic, the mother load of BSS and Zagone catalogs scans was hand delivered to me by River Lev, who is a sculptor and painter at Zagone Studios, which is located about 7 miles from the Phantom's crib. I have been dying to post these, and they are a certainly a large motivating force in the revival of the blog. 

I plan to post five of these catalogs this week starting on Tuesday. Several of these have been posted in the past, but not with this level of clarity. These scans are gorgeous! I'll try to post hi-res pics of several of the masks as well. 

A bit of personal history that I'll share... Be Something Studios are the nearest and dearest to my heart. Growing up in the Chicago suburbs, these are the masks that were in my local costume shops, as Zagone Studios was located in Chicago (now in the southwest suburbs of Chicago). They are the masks that I absolutely fell in love with and became obsessed with as a kid. In Fall of 1985 when I had just turned 11, my Mom began allowing me to ride my bike a few miles from the house and visit a small party shop called "Corky's Partytime" in Hoffman Estates Illinois. Corky's did Halloween right. They had a killer display of Be Something masks and all the amazing staple of costumes, makeup, and props tht one could hope to find in the mid-1980s. I rode my bike up to Corky's every damn day after school to look at the masks. It was all I wanted to do. The only thing that could pry my attention away from the masks was when the annual local haunted house opened up at the community pool. But even then, I still visited every day. 

So for some folks, it's Don Post Studios, or Distortions Unlimited, or whichever studio may have captured your attention. But for this guy, it was Be Something Studios. THIS is why I am so thrilled to share these!!!

Some other thoughts... If you're a long time reader of this blog, you've heard me say this before, but it bears repeating. I really believe that through the years Be Something/Zagone has the the most impressive line-up of original characters of any other studio. Yes, DPS, and Distortions have had their share of classic originals, but BSS/Zagone has been churning out killer originals for decades now.  I've also been saying for years now, that Zagone masks are the best masks to wear if you're going to wear them. Nobody does it better. Now, I will say, I do love to wear my Trick or Treat Studios Rob Zombie mask, it fits like a glove as do many of the masks that Justin sculpts. But over the past 40+ years, nobody has done it better than the Zagones. I may be biased by my childhood love for their masks, but I really believe that BSS/Zagone made (and still makes) the very best mass-produced masks on the market. I do love a good mask debate though, so by all means, tell me I'm wrong!

Alright, enough already. Let's get to the catalogs shall we...

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Random Sunday Morning Mask Pic: Vintage Don Post Studios Instagram

The Random Sunday Morning Pic post was a long-standing tradition here at the monster mask blog, and it will continue on with the blog's revival. I thought the relaunch would be a good opportunity to point out some resources that have popped up during the hiatus. I wanted to start with my favorite place to visit on Instagram for good vintage Don Post Studios photos... The Vintage Don Post Studios page on Instagram where Joshua Warren regularly posts wonderful photos, a good many of which I have never seen before. The content is generally exclusive to Don Post Studios, but occasionally features other studios as well. Good stuff here. Check it out if you haven't already...


Image Source: Vintage Don Post Studios


Saturday, June 12, 2021

1952 Topstone Catalog

 

Hey Creeps! Let's begin the revival of our little blog with the oldest piece that resides in the Phantom's catalog collection. Fresh off the scanner bed... it's the 1952 Topstone catalog. This is one of the few Topstone catalogs that I have had the pleasure of owning and scanning to share, as most of the other Topstones that I have posted have come from other online sources or collectors.


If I may say so myself, this is a beautiful catalog. The graphic design and type treatment is gorgeous and the illustrations are simply incredible. The Chamber of Horrors page being among my personal favorite in perhaps any mask catalog. And, who can resist the allure of the glamorous Mermaid Caps?


The majority of the masks in this catalog simply don't exist today, so there is little in the way of photographs to use to compare to the illustrations. But, the little monster kid in me still can't help stare at these images and wonder what they might have looked like in person.


As a quick aside, I've tried to keep the watermarks on these scans as unobtrusive as possible. I am not trying to take ownership of these images, rather I want to avoid the issue that occurred during the early days of the monster mask blog when my un-watermarked scans of a few classic 1960's catalogs began showing up on eBay and being pawned off as originals by scammers.