Thanks to my friend Rainer Engel (yes, the comic artist!), I recently got my fingers on a complete set of Sungold's Monster. I'm superexcited, since I've been after these dudes for quite a while now.
Monster is a Universal Monsters bootleg line, and was assumingly released in the early or mid 90s. There's no year shown on the cardback. But the design of the figures and the artwork look totally 90s to me, and at some points remind me of the Toxic Crusaders action figures by Playmates.
Six Monster figures have been released. There actually was a German release by Simba Toys, too. So I'm gonna use the names from Simba's cardback, since the Sungold ones didn't have any names on the card either. Say hello to...
Sharp Hand Joe
and King of Vampires
The execution of the figures seems poor. I can't tell too much about their actual quality though, since I don't dare to open the blisters. The artwork looks like the drawing of (a very talented) 7 year old. But you know what? I LOVE IT! These figures have the same charme like some B-movie adaptions of the original Universal Monsters films. Of course, you can't expect a high quality product. But what you get is a rare collectible, that's just lotta fun to look at!
I'm not an expert when it comes to Universal Monsters action figure releases. But my friend Rainer gave me the hint that parts of the original Monsters 6" figures by Marx from the 60s have been copied for the Monster sculpts. I did some research, and yes! When you take a closer look at the arms of Frankenstein, Werewolf, and Mummy on the pic below, you can see their arms have actually been bootlegged for the Sungold releases.
I also mentioned the Toxic Crusaders influence above. Well, when we take a look at our pal King of Vampires, what sure strikes us first is his resemblance to Dr. Killemoff, Toxies old arch-enemy. Frankie's vest and legs look almost like exact bootlegs of the Killemoff figure!
Then there's this artwork on the card, showing Killing Beast in front of a city skyline. Doesn't look Beast alot like the Toxic Avenger, with some sort of Tromaville association in the back? I'd say so, yes, what would totally underline the spirit in which Sungold's Monsters have been created. A rad exploitation mix of Universal Monsters bootlegging, and Toxic Avengers / Crusaders knock-offing! Yup, I think that's exactly what they are. Awesome sauce, isn't it?!