I used to go into Dollar Stores, and others of their ilk, every now and again, but it's not a habit that stuck with me for very long. At one time, it was unique to find a large package of soft cookies or strange candy for a dollar, but I don't eat that stuff anymore. Occasionally, you could find bizarre knock-off toys, or even semi-legitimate ones...or outright bootlegs...and that is where we pick up today.
It's hard to believe that already, a decade has passed, but during the Halloween season of 2006, Dollar Stores brought forth a cornucopia of monster-themed bootleg products. In fact, it was a whole "Creepy Classics" (sometimes) series, claiming to be the "property" of something called "X one X Archive," and distributed by "Greenbriar International." Their assortment included Godzilla, and also several Universal properties like the Mummy, Wolf Man, Dracula, and King Kong.
All of the items we will look at today were available for each of the monsters listed. This first item is a small, hard plastic carded figurine, about 2 to 2&1/2" tall. It brazenly uses artwork from the 1954 film, and even borrows the title "King of Monsters," although that wouldn't hold for too long. Also, the word "Toho" is nowhere to be found on the toy or its packaging.
At first glance, it looks kind of neat. But, prepare for disappointment:
Besides being dark green, and having yellow claws, it's not terrible, right? Look closer. The nostrils are pinched and in a weird position, and when you turn the figure over, it gets even worse:
Yep. No plates. No anything, except for fine print. He's Ken doll-smooth. They totally phoned it in. Looks fine in the package from a front view, but in reality, it's just a goofy dinosaur. Let's move on...
Another item in this line were a sort of finger puppet, and all of them were holding baseball bats. I guess the idea was that they should fit over small thumbs, and then you could have a battle. What's interesting to me is that now the "Creepy Classics" banner is appearing, and our title has been changed to "King of the Lizards," as if somebody figured out they were being a bit too loose with their title-stealing.
The back of the card is similar to the last item, with the change of title. Incidentally, there was one other item offered in this series that I didn't photograph, and that was posters of all the card artwork for each of the monsters. In Godzilla's case, his poster looked exactly like this "King of the Lizards" card, just much bigger. They came shrink-wrapped to a large sheet of cardboard.
King of the Lizards? I thought that was Jim Morrison!
Lastly, what good is a series of bootlegs without a deck of playing cards? Easy and cheap to produce, after all. And, let's make them oval-shaped, so they can be completely useless.