Where Are All The Universal Monsters Collectibles?
WHERE ARE ALL THE UNIVERSAL MONSTERS COLLECTIBLES!
So where are all the Universal Monsters Collectibles: It’s no mystery that our strongest collecting passion at RETRO100 lies with the Universal Monsters, even though that passion is closely followed by a love for all cool things pop culture. Yet in our journeys up and down the highways and byways of the American road…it’s the monsters that elude us more than anything else.
From the biggest cities to the smallest rural towns, from collector toy shows to flea markets, and from thrift stores to garage sales…finding nearly anything from the Universal Monsters genre is truly a “needle in the haystack” endeavor. And I’m talking about the run of the mill type of monster collectibles (if you can even call them that)…if you’re hoping to find the super exotic stuff from the 1950’s and 1960’s, do yourself a favor and take the easy route…go look for Noah’s Ark instead!
Of course I’m being a slight bit dramatic, there is still gold to be found in them there hills, but get yourself prepared to ask a lot of questions and dig for a long time to pull it out of the the ground.
SO WHERE ARE THEY?
As most of us already know, pop culture collecting is seeing explosive growth all across the land, driven in large part by Comic-Cons both big and small…popping up in every city in America (it seems). The pre and post inertia of these events sends wanting and impassioned collectors out into the market, with stout money burning holes in wallets and purses, slated specifically for collectibles. We’re also seeing retro pop culture shops coming to life in strip malls and shopping centers like never before, adults combing thrift stores, garage sales and flea markets with fire in their eyes, and online acquisitions for collectibles at all-time highs.
Yet in all of our travels, and copious hours of searching and hunting down monsters, we’ve come to a couple immutable truths about where all of the Universal Monsters are: they’re locked away in private collections and NOT for sale (most of the time).
Now it might seem like a big “duh” to say that, and you might also say that Star Wars collectors, Barbie Collectors, G.I. Joe collectors, Masters of The Universe collectors…and every other collector has their best stored away under lock and key also. You’d be right, the best of each of these respectable genres is in private collections and not for sale as well. However, I postulate this: visit a local retro shop or pop culture store, hit a flea market or swap meet, heck…even pound the pavement and frequent as many garage sales as you can find in your area…and I guarantee you that you will still find plenty of these items up for sale. And yet, you’ll be very hard pressed to find any MONSTERS for sale!
Could it be, that the collector market for Universal Monsters is so much smaller than these other genres? Maybe. And could it also be said that collector genres like Star Wars, G.I. Joe and others are so much bigger…because production for their action figures and merch was so much higher…that the opportunities to actually own these items is within reach of nearly everybody? Therefore, logic would dictate that owning Star Wars and the others are pretty easy when all is said and done…simply because you can find the stuff in every nook and cranny in the world. If this logic holds true, then surely coin and rock collectors have us all beat by a country mile. Don’t even get me started on dust collectors…our heads will explode forthwith!
No, I believe it’s something else. It’s something we’ve heard over and over from every retro/pop culture shop owner, and that’s the fact that when anything Universal Monsters comes into their stores, either for consignment or sale, the store owners themselves are buying it all immediately for their own collections…or if it does hit the sales floor…it doesn’t last the hour before it’s gone.
And it’s not just the store owners that tell us this, it’s every flea marketer, garage saler, swap meeter and thrifter out there…they all tell the same story. Monsters are rarely seen or rarely found…but when they are…they rarely last!
Ironically, a good portion of the some of the best Universal Monsters are up for sale on eBay, day in day out, and there are still some awesome deals to be had. But just like any collectible genre, there are those “cornerstone/key piece” items that surface only on rare occasion, and when they do, you’re going to pay a premium! I still say it’s better to have some of your money invested in the universal monsters and certain pop culture collectibles, than in the bank where it draws dismal returns…and you can’t enjoy it.
So to draw a few conclusions from what we do know for sure, is that the Universal Monsters collector is going to have a harder time finding and building their collection regardless of where they shop, and so they should be prepared to get creative in their angle of attack. We also know that monster collectors are extremely passionate about their stashes, and will rarely give up their hottest items for anything less than a triple premium (usually only in a true life pinch)…and since we have many of these items in our private collection…we understand completely. Furthermore, it’s been nearly two decades since there was a fairly robust production of Universal Monsters figures for collectors, and there are still numerous continuation series that have yet to be produced (odds are, they’ll never see the light of day). And lastly, as historic as the Universal Monsters are, being the true “first universe” from which all collectible universes, figures and toys today were sprung from, we have to accept that the production volume of monster collectibles was never going to be or never will be as big as the ubiquitous other genres. Monsters are in short supply, they’re hard to find, most people don’t want to sell their best stuff, and the odds are against the future production of more Universal Monsters merch for collectors.
GO OUT AND SEARCH ANYWAY! Your monster soul will thank you….