Little Dracula (DreamWorks / Bandai)
DreamWorks / Bandai
Happy Halloween, all! In honor of the day, we're going to cast our sights at a relatively unknown / forgotten series from DreamWorks / Bandai. 1991's Little Dracula!
Little Dracula was a character created for UK children's books by Irish Author Martin Waddell which became a US television series...Whoa, that's a lot of countries involved with one series. The stories began being published in 1986 with the first book, "Little Dracula's First Bite". It would be followed by seven more books, unofficially ending with 1992's, "Little Dracula's Other Monstrous Poster".
In 1991, Fox Kid's picked up the rights, and developed it as an animated series. Unfortunately appeal never really took hold, and as such the series was cancelled after just one season (13 episodes). However, just because US children didn't enjoy the series didn't mean that it was a total flop. France and Germany television studios ordered an additional 13 episodes for a second season which aired throughout various European countries.
The year Little Dracula debuted on television, an action figure line was produced by DreamWorks / Bandai. Why DreamWorks and Bandai? That's easy enough to answer. DreamWorks released the figures in the US, while Bandai handled the remaining globe.
Each figure featured numerous accessories as well as an action feature which was activated by twisting arms, legs, hands, feet, or simply by pushing a button - Corresponding to each figure as denoted on the bottom left of each package. Unfortunately for the toy line, it was as short lived as the television series in the US.
With that said, nine figures did manage to make their way to retail shelves. This wasn't bad considering it covered the majority of ground of the characters from the show. In fact, the only figures that didn't make it to plastic were; Big Dracula, Granny, Millicent, Ms. Dracula and Hannah the Barbarian - Certainly enough for a second series should popularity have garnered such a release.
In addition to the figures, four vehicles were produced. While all of them were made available in Europe under the Bandia banner, only two made their way to the US via DreamWorks. What's interesting to note is that depending on which area of Europe you look for the Coffin Car will depend on what it's called. It's been found in boxes denoted as; Coffin Car (obviously), Drac-Mobile and Voiture Cereuil which is apparently French for Cereuil Car - Which doesn't really shed any light for us.
Unlike the Coffin Car, the Drac-Moto appears to have only come out entitled as such. We have not been able to locate any other versions that contain a different name, or language other than English. That's not to say they don't exist. We just haven't seen them.
Because we are mentioning the various variants for the vehicles, it's worth noting that an Italian version of the Garlic Mobile can also be found. However, you're going to want to search for Spar Agilo - Which translated apparently means Spar Garlic. Much like the Cereuil, we have no clue what Spar means. We have not been able to find any variants to the title for The Dracster despite our searching.
Reader Da Cu writes to tell us, "Spara Aglio means (Shots Garlic). Because the car "shots" (or better Launch) pieces of Garlic."
However, in our search we did find the awesomeness that is...
...Dracula's Dragster from Polar Lights!
No, this isn't related to Little Dracula - As we're sure many of you deduced just in looking at it. Instead, it's a re-issue of the original 1964 released version of the same name from Aurora. It's just a simple model kit that requires mad painting skills, and of course, glue. Good times for model and Dracula fans.
We digress though. Back to Little Dracula.
The last piece released for the series was the cosplay Little Dracula Scepter & Amulet. This to date is the most difficult and expensive piece to track down in the line.
Little Dracula remains popular in European countries, and had a short lived revival in book form through 2001 when a handful of the prior titles were re-issued in print. However, nothing new seems to be brewing around the character currently. Perhaps much like the resurgence of 80's cartoons and toys, in a few years demand from children of the 90's will take its toll, and we'll see a resurgence in nostalgia from that decade.
That about wraps it up, folks. Enjoy your Halloween. Keep it safe, keep it fun, keep the candy coming and scare some little kids in the good spirit of all three.
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