READER BEWARE, YOU’RE IN FOR A SCARE…
I don’t think I knew anyone at my school who wasn’t obsessed with Goosebumps at some point. Even kids who weren’t into reading still read R.L. Stine’s popular horror novel series. I remember going on holiday was always exciting, as there was a little bookshop in Porthmadog, and whilst I may not always have been allowed a new Action Man figure, I was always allowed a couple of new Goosebumps books.
One thing I never really had as a kid but would have loved, was Goosebumps toys. I knew they existed but I never encountered them. One of the most appealing toys was the Monster Bags, which were slime filled sacks you sliced open to reveal a monster that you’d construct. I may not have had the joy of slicing open a slime sack, but I did recently pick up all four of the figures which originally came in those slime days.
As evident, there are four figures in the set- The Scarecrow, The Horror, Slappy the Dummy and Mr Mortman. They all come with accessories, although they can’t all be held by the figures, which is a bit of a shame. Also, I don’t have all of the accessories which originally came with the figures. The figures themselves are about 5″ tall, so a similar scale to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figures, and also have that simple, chunky aesthetic that the TMNT line also has.
The Scarecrow isn’t my favourite figure in the lot, but it does look a little like the character on the front of the Goosebumps book. I don’t recall if this character was in the TV series or not, so it could be that it more closely resembles the Scarecrow from that. Overall, its a decent enough figure and comes equipped with a flaming torch (a pretty stupid thing for a being made of straw to be carrying to be honest), a corn cob and a book, which I think was a spellbook if I remember rightly. I probably am not, it’s been a long time since I read the Goosebumps book, although I did pick it up recently.
The Horror was quite an iconic Goosebumps character. He wasn’t quite the “face” of Goosebumps, that honour belonged to Curly, a purple mohawk sporting Skeleton that was on much of the available Goosebumps merchandise, despite the character never actually appearing in any of the books or TV show. But like Slappy the Dummy, The Horror is certainly one of the familiar characters I think of when I think “Goosebumps”. This horror figure comes equipped with a black ice-cream, a bat and a “Welcome to Horrorland” sign. The thing about all of these accessories is that they’re all stained green from the slime that they were all sat in many years ago. I could clean them if I really desired, but I like the idea they still have some residue slime clinging to them.
Slappy the Dummy
Arguably one of the most famous Goosebumps faces, Slappy comes equipped with spilled milk and a Teddy bear. I think originally he also came with broken eggs as well. Weird accessories, but if I remember rightly, he messes up the kitchen at night with eggs and milk, just because he’s a bit of a dick. I can’t remember why there’s a bear though. Slappy has a bit of a manic expression on his face, and his hands are doing a bit of a Zombie thing. He’s easily my favourite figure of the bunch, just like he’s many people’s favourite Goosebumps character.
As far as I’m aware, there was never any images of Mr Mortman on the novel “The Girl Who Cried Monster” so this version of Mr Mortman comes straight from the TV show. I recall owning that episode on VHS, and recall Mr Mortman looking creepier in his human form than as a monster. The sort of man who looked like he shouldn’t be allowed within a hundred feet of a kid, yet alone teaching them in a school. Mr Mortman comes equipped with some insects to chow down on, although he’s sadly missing one. Or maybe he’s just already eaten it.
So that’s the set of four figures. The cool thing about them is you can dismantle them…
…and reassemble them to make your own weird looking monster-
Ta-dah! It’s a silly little gimmick, and I probably would’ve got bored of it as a kid, but it’s mildly amusing for a minute.
So that’s it, those are the four Goosebumps action figures. There were a few other toys released, like some mini-figures in chocolate eggs (which I desperately want but can never afford) and some little statues which lit up and screamed, along with book-ends (which I had), and an electronic door knocker (which I also had). But I wish I’d owned these toys and had been able to free them from their gooey prisons back then, and get yelled at for spilling slime on the dog or the carpet. Regardless, I’m glad I own them now, although it was a long time coming.