As many know Horror Fans tend to be a feverish bunch of collectors always striving for the unique pieces whether they purchase them or design them on their own, and within this group, some focus on the mainstay heroes of the industry, Freddy, Jason, Michael Myers, Pinhead, Leatherface, among others, or just the subgenre i.e. zombies. I’m a huge collector maybe spending low 4-figures each year between Horror and Halloween and dotting it with a few macabre pieces too, in fact much of what I list here I purchased.
Herein, a look back at some the key pieces that grace websites and stores in 2017, that fans might have seen, had the opportunity to purchase and for the rest to drool like a famish zombie, now there’s no design to list, and honesty might miss a few things, it all can’t be listed.
Coming out from last year leads us off, those unfamiliar but a growing market of Halloween Train models, layouts to coincide with Department 56 and Lemax villages (more on them in a moment), the biggest items from this grouping Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street boxcars. It actually became more a theme dating back to at least 2008, but some note the Zombie Apocalypse train set from 2015 with everything needed to operate it at a cost of $440, as generating more interest in this area. This trend continues from Lionel Trains, noting the engines and tender (sold together) often the most expensive and sell-out the fastest, this year no exception with the Halloween Lionchief® Plus Mikado a suggested price of $430. In addition, a Disney Halloween Boxcar and highly popular Halloween Spookysounds Boxcar decorated with variations of Dracula, Mummy, Frankenstein, and the Wolfman (not a Universal Monsters rendition), both nearly sold-out. As stated earlier the collectors of Dept 56 and Lemax understand the costs of these villages and accessories, namely Dept 56 the higher price and sturdier quality, the buildings costing the most sometimes ranging from $90 to $150, and doubling the price once it becomes retired. But let’s us move along so much to learn…
Records aka LPs namely soundtracks featuring colorful records, and beautiful layouts have been spinning for a while attracting investors and collectors, this though as most figured out is a pricey adventure, having some fans purchase just their favorites. I though purchased quite a few of them, a unique version to display, because face it, in horror we love doing that, showing off our victory. 2017 delivered an incredible batch of records namely the Box of Souls: A Nightmare on Elm Street with 8-LPs but a cost of $250, dissuaded a few, equally the Suspiria: 40th Anniversary Box Set (Deluxe Edition) limited to 150 at a cost of $240 sold out now available at $336. However, the Real Gone Music label came out with 1000-limited editions of each Cujo, Predator, Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight, and Return of the Living Dead the Tarman version, in case you missed the limited edition one known as Brainsss.
Then Terror-Vision unleashed both Deadtime Stories and Brain Damage for the first time on any format. In case you missed it other releases Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, as well as Hellraiser, The Bride of Frankenstein, Hammer Studios (sold out in a few hours after release).
As more companies enter into the records (VINYL) the staples of the industry continue to push onward such as Waxwork Records, I recalled the first record purchase from them, My Bloody Valentine soundtrack to the 1981 horror film, (love that movie). I realized this year I was definitely late to the dance of this special collector items, missing out the Friday the 13 Parts 1, 2, 3, and The Thing (though recently acquired the Snow Edition from another source). This year they released Friday the 13th, Part IV: The Final Chapter, but they gave tributes to William Peter Blatty and George A. Romero. Fittingly, by the end of 2017 Waxwork issued The Exorcist, Creepshow 1 & 2, and Day of the Dead, noting for 2018 the honors to continue with Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead too.
Of course, an interesting option if able to afford it, the 2018 subscription at a cost of $250, pricey yes, but you get:
Night of the Living Dead (1968)
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Drag Me to Hell
Therefore, the next stop comes from the figurines and statues, now many of us, myself included collected them from places such as Spencer’s in the early 2000s, and they still hold a special place now more frequently dominated by Aliens, Freddy, and Jason. Mezco Toys leads the way with some choice items for the past year such as the scaled prop replica of The Conjuring’s Annabelle Doll, Hellraiser III’s limited edition 12-inch Bloody Pinhead and Hanging Plush Box (both sold out), and Deluxe Stylized Pinhead. However, the 2 choicest items Trick ‘r Treat Sam and Living Dead Dolls’ The Exorcist’s Reagan, both sold out a long time ago, but for Halloween fans One:12 Collective Michael Myers (1978 version) a pre-order will sell fast just as Frankenstein did in this new series.
In addition, Funko joined in with Elvira Mistress of the Dark Rock Candy Collectible Figure very reasonable price, likely sold out, however if you sought a higher investment or you an Elvira fanatic (totally cool) then from Entertainment Earth a very beautiful Elvira Vegas or Bust Maquette Statue, 16 ½- inch tall, Sculpted by Trevor Grove and Matt Black. In addition, if enjoy Vampirella then the 7 1/2″ Arthur Adams Black and Blood Variant Bust, Entertainment Earth has it at $124, with a limited edition of 299 pieces
For the mask lovers, especially those who attend the Mask Fest in Indianapolis and other events, I’ve been collecting these since Ben Cooper, Inc. extending it to other manufacturers including Trick or Treat Studios, with past purchases of Fulci Zombie and an Evil Dead prop just as examples. I know again a niche market, but that all goes to show the input of the genre, so much to cover, and this one, the prices vary greatly, but if you seriously collect and like to have many pieces to attach to one film then this might interest you even more to add to your impressive collections. This year proved their quality again with Creepshow’s Nate Mask and Fluffy the Crate Beast, Full Moon Creatures Castle Freak and Goosebumps – The Haunted Mask, in the 2018 I will be reviewing these new masks in careful detail.
As for the Halloween holiday collector, I can’t possibly forget about you all, it becomes our focus from July to November to purchase items from so many locations it all seems overwhelming and some us, including myself have a DIY aspect to finance too. This year Yankee Candle celebrated their 10-year anniversary with Boney Bunch – The Usual Suspects Limited Edition and then Target exclusive selling of Universal Monsters items under the banner of Monsterville Collection, (Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon and Dracula). Now, if you seek to have your Halloween properly mixed with your horror, then The Scary Closet is definitely a must but be forewarned the cost might hurt your bank account, as these life size scary replicas from the Poltergeist clown at $1,295 to the Annabelle $2,495.
Now, it comes to all important collecting of DVDs/Blu-Rays, face it splits the market, to some the market of films dying at a fast rate and others a must have, especially if you like displaying a wall of films, well I’m firmly the latter grouping. I ‘m fortune enough to get many films sent to via PR Firms and Distribution houses, along with the filmmakers themselves, and always thankful to them all, however sometimes one needs to breakdown and purchase some great ones. I always state buy the limited editions first and then collectors/special editions, this is not in any order.
From Blue Underground, came Death Line (1972) starring Donald Pleasence, Dario Argento’s The Stendhal Syndrome, and lastly Bob Clark’s Deathdream (1974) (aka: Dead of Night).
Shout Factory (Scream Factory) not wanting to miss out delivered the newest form of collectibles “steelbooks” with a trio of John Carpenter films: They Live (1988), Escape From New York (1981), and The Fog (1980). However, this company brought many exclusive collector’s edition which include free posters for films: Land of the Dead, Slither, Dawn of the Dead (2004), and Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984) which had an option to get a Santa wielding figurine (now sold out), and not to forget The Lawnmower Man and Species.
The growing popularity of Arrow Video, had many fans going crazy for their products, now if you live in the United States, you might have heard of the Limited Edition The Thing (1982) to 4,000 units on a Region 2 coding (ugh – unless you have a Region Free Blu-ray, I know someone who does).
Nevertheless, if you missed out plenty of great films came from them, Steelbook editions of Bride of Re-Animator and Society (1989). As well as limited editions of The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, George A. Romero Between Night and Dawn, House: Two Stories House, House II: The Second Story (which rose in value to over $100), Evil Ed and of course Re-Animator.
Severin Films released bundles of limited editions for the Necro Set, which included Beyond the Darkness, Buio Omega CD soundtrack from Goblin along with many other perks, the Prince of the Abyss Bundle for the film The Devil’s Rain and The Amicus Collection. They even did a special limited release available only on Black Friday of Jack the Ripper (1959) – just 1,500 copies, which sold out very quickly.
Lastly, and likely highly anticipated, from Synapse Films, their release of the Suspiria: Steelbook 3-Disc Blu-Ray/ CD Combo just in time for the 40th-anniversary of this classic 1977 movie, from director Dario Argento, a product limited to just 6,000 units. While a bit pricey, estimated cost ranging from $50 to $90, numerous of fans of Goblin and this flick definitely going to invest if they haven’t already through the numerous pre-order websites such as Amazon or even Diabolik DVD.;
Needless to say, many films came out this year, and likely I missed some but 4-underground movies big on the festival circuit got their releases (reviews found here): The Barn; The Night Watchmen; Night of Something Strange, and the long running Mortal Remains.
Therefore, this includes many of the great products to decorate and enjoy in your horror homes (if you’re lucky) on just that one room, I hope some of your purchases were on this list, or just as wild, and I love to hear about them on our Facebook wall The Horror Times. Maybe we’ll feature you and your collection in an issue in 2018, but until then listen to the horror, watch the gore, or just curl up and read Paperbacks from Hell by Grady Hendrix.