A year ago when I first looked at Pocket Shockers, I said I was going to try and get hold of the Manic Mansion playset that I remembered owning as a kid. Well, it took a fair amount of time, but after much patience and scouring eBay, I was finally in ownership of this absolute gem!
It isn’t in perfect condition and unfortunately is missing one accessory, but taking this haunted house playset out of the box me transported me right back to being a kid.
It doesn’t look terribly exciting at first, just like a crooked looking, plastic blue mansion with moss growing up the outside and a brown door that can be opened inwards.
The back of it is even less impressive, with even fewer details apart from a small hole near the top and another brown door-like thing. The interesting stuff is inside!
The inside is made up of three floors including a basement. The colour scheme is a little bit questionable for a haunted house (I’m talking about the yellow floors) but considering that most of the residents of this place were my dazzlingly fluorescent Monsters in My Pocket toys, I can’t really say much about that.
In the basement are three buttons which make different spooky noises when pressed. I was going to do a video showing it, but the dog hasn’t been himself after someone let off fireworks the other night, so I thought I would forgo the spooky noises so as not to stress him out. The three noises are, a cackling, a creaking door and a scream, all three of which would probably cause the dog great concern.
A variety of stickers adorn the walls to add to the spooky mansion ambience. I’m not the biggest fan of stickers in toys, but these don’t offend me too much, probably because the set would look really boring without something to break up the blue and yellow.
So yeah, it’s a pretty interesting playset, but it’s far more interesting with some inhabitants to show off some of the features. The set comes with a kind of mad scientist type with a penance for just wearing underwear on his bottom half.
So there are quite a few neat things in the house if you have other Pocket Shockers to use. The set should come with a plastic cauldron that you can tip up to pour slime down through holes in the floor. Unfortunately the cauldron has been lost to time, but you can still pour slime onto the top floor and watch the figures underneath getting an oozing.
There are also a few ‘shackles’ that you can attach figures to from the ceiling which is neat. I think the idea is you attach the creatures to the ceiling then cover them in slime, but I forgot you could do that until after I had cleared all the slime away, and it was crappy watery slime that got absolutely everywhere so I had no real desire to get it back out. There’s still traces of it kicking about even after I mopped it up.
In the hallway there are a few little gimmicks. There is a trapdoor that drops when you give the skull nearby a little twist, dropping whatever Shocker is stood on it into the basement.
In the hall there is also a bookcase that opens into the slime room which is neat. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bookcase that is also a secret entrance but as a kid I really thought they were everywhere, just because of toys like this and cartoons. Bit of a disappointment as I’d love to see one in real life.
The final little feature is a rotating fireplace, which leads outside. I guess a rotating fireplace is another ‘must’ for a spooky old house to have, and again something I’m disappointed I’ve never encountered outside of old playsets and Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade.
I think those are nearly all the sights to see in this nearly thirty year old ‘Manic Mansion’. The final feature is the attic, which is a magnetized platform so you can move the Shockers around with the button underneath the floor. It works far better than the little sets as you don’t have to lift up the platform up to move them.
Overall, it’s an awesome little set and I had so much fun playing with all the little features and dripping slime through the holes in the floor. Slime seems to be sadly going the way of holographic toys in this day and age. I know you can still buy pots of slime from toy shops, but slime doesn’t to be such a compulsory part of playsets these days. There was a time when it felt like unless you could cover a Ninja Turtle or a MOTU Beastman in some toxic ooze, there wasn’t really a point in buying a playset for that toyline. There are probably toys out there that still feature slime in some form but offhand I can’t think of any. They’ll be as mythical as rotating fireplaces one day.
I think that concludes this post, and sadly the end of this Halloween Countdown, as Halloween is now only an hour and twenty-five minutes away. There were a few things I had intended to cover this year that I didn’t get a chance to as they didn’t arrive in the post. If they do arrive in the next few days whilst I’m still feeling spooky, I will give them the highlight they deserve. If not, then I guess there’s always next year!
I might do a little post tomorrow evening if I can tear myself away from Halloween themed beer and Stranger Things. If not, then have a good one, give out lots of treats and eat, drink and be scary!