Collectible of the Week: Universal City Studio’s Mini Monster Play Case (Remco; 1980)

In 1980, Remco released a whole line of toys based on the classic Universal Monsters.  The line included figures of Bela Lugosi’s Dracula, Karloff’s Frankenstein Monster, the Wolfman, the Phantom of the Opera, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and the Karloff Mummy. 

Best of all, these small action figures were given a perfect home with this unique “Mini Monster Play case,” a fold-up play-set that is a “monster mansion and portable storage case for all the mini movie monsters!”

This laminated play set with “glow in the dark features” came complete with a “flip-top mummy’s tomb,” a “carrying handle,” a “creature cage,” a “disappearing lab table with instrument panel,” and a “spooky laboratory set with doorway.” 

Unfortunately my old, battered Remco Play Case is missing Frankenstein’s lab table, and I don’t have any of the figures anymore, save for a very battered Count Dracula. 

Boy, do I wish I had kept track of those mini-monsters better back in 1980… 

By today’s standards, this probably isn’t the world’s greatest or more accurate toy.  The scale of the “painted” laboratory on the rear wall is way off when compared to the actual action figures.  But still, I have such a love for these Universal Monsters that I find the Mini-Monster Play Case from Remco a jewel in my home office collection. 
I should add, these Mini-Monsters from Remco remain so popular that customized new monsters are today being created and sold on E-Bay.  These “new” monsters include Jack the Ripper, The Invisible Man, Dr. Frankenstein, and Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde.
One of these days, when I have the cash to blow, I’m definitely going to buy a Remco Mummy and get him home in his tomb…

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