Monday, October 1, 2012

The Munsters (Figures Toy Company)

The Munsters are a classic icon of television as it used to be - When programs were wholesome, funny, meaningful, and at the same time managed to avoid being fowl, and rude. They're from a time long gone in the world of television, and missed treasure that can fortunately be relived on DVD today.

The idea for The Munsters was originally proposed to Universal Studios by animator Bob Clampett who wanted to do a cartoon series on the premise. However, it wouldn't be until the early 1960's that the concept would be revisited when a similar treatment was submitted by Rocky and Bullwinkle writers Allan Burns and Chris Hayward. The series was put into production, and aired from 1964 to 1966 for a total of 70 episodes.

Star Fred Gwynne, Yvonne De Carlo, Al Lewis, Beverley Owen (1964), Pat Priest (1964–1966), and Butch Patrick would find great success on the series, but at the cost of being type cast for the remainder of their careers. Butch Patrick would be the only cast member to embrace his typecasting, and go on to utilize it to create songs based on the character Eddie Munster.

The show suffered from ratings drops due to the use of black and white film, which was slowly being phased out in Hollywood. Shows such as Batman, presented in full color were pulling viewers away from the format at a rapid pace, and lead to the shows cancellation in just two seasons. When the series was run in syndication, it quickly garnered a new fan base, as well as pulling in old one, far surpassing its original popularity. Today, it's classic television at its best.

In 2004, Figures Toy Company produced the entire family as a one shot set. They were designed both in packaging and sculpt in the same sense that the old Mego toys were produced - Though they weren't exactly spot on sculpts of the actors. Herman, Lily, Grandpa, Marilyn, and Eddie - Figures Toy Company produced them all.

Each cardboard backer was designed to resemble a beat up wall with cracks and missing drywall sections. To the left of the bubble which encased the figure were six circles which each held an image of the "dolls" available.

Probably the most notable pieces in this set are the clothing. Each one is meticulously accurate to those worn by the characters in the show - Down to the color of the fabric. Mind you, most people wouldn't know this considering the show was in black and white.

All and all these are not bad figures, and certainly would be something a Munsters fan would want to own.

Join us next time when we take a look at The Addams Family!

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