Thankfully, these two things are still able to be enjoyed today with slightly more modern modifications.
The classic Universal Monsters have been reincarnated in Mego-style, with series two release of Count Dracula and the Mummy called Imhotep for EMCE Toys Retro Cloth line. Eight inches with 14 points of articulation for all your monster needs!
The Mummy, premiered in the movies in 1932, played by Boris Karloff, and was an ancient Egyptian priest named Imhotep who was revived, and tried to bring back his Princess. He wasn’t successful. This movie franchise did not have direct sequels, but instead spawned remakes early on…starting with The Mummy’s Hand in 1940, The Mummy’s Tomb in 1942, The Mummy’s Ghost in 1944 and The Mummy’s Curse in 1944 (all with Lon Chaney Jr as the Mummy, Kharis). Kharis returns in Abbott & Costello Meet the Mummy in 1950, with Eddie Parker being the Mummy for this feature, which would be the last appearance of a classic, Universal Monster Mummy.
Dracula, premiered in the movies in 1931, with Bela Lugosi as the titular monster. A vampire lord of some power who plans on expanding his evil influence past his small castle onto the greater society, he is undone by the end of this movie. The Dracula idea continues with Dracula’s Daughter in 1936 (with no Dracula), Son of Dracula in 1943 with Lon Chaney Jr as Count Alucard (aka Dracula!), House of Frankenstein in 1944, House of Dracula in 1945 (in both Houses, John Carradine was Dracula), and Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein in 1948, only the second time Bela Lugosi played Dracula, and the last of Dracula before the Hammer Films of the 1950s and 1960s.
Frankenstein’s Monster came alive in the movies with 1931 in Frankenstein, with Boris Karloff as the Monster. Pieces of people animated by a scientist who wanted to show he had power over life and death, where the creature had more humanity than other people. Hugely successful, this inspired many a sequel, including Bride of Frankenstein from 1935, Son of Frankenstein in 1939 (both still with Boris Karloff as the Monster), the Ghost of Frankenstein in 1942 (with Lon Chaney Jr. as the Monster), Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman in 1943 (with Bela Lugosi as the Monster), House of Frankenstein in 1944, House of Dracula in 1945, and Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein in 1948, all with Glenn Strange as the Monster. Though not officially one of Universal’s monster movies, Young Frankenstein with Peter Boyle as the Monster, is a priceless gem written by comedic genius Mel Brooks in the Universal Monster style, including being in glorious black and white.
The Wolfman changed for the first time in 1941, with Lon Chaney Jr. as Larry Talbot, a man cursed to change into a wolf creature at the full moon. Lon Chaney Jr. was also the Wolfman in all his sequel appearances under the Universal banner, including Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman in 1943, House of Frankenstein in 1944, House of Dracula in 1945, and Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein in 1948. The Wolfman was also revived, as was Frankenstein, Dracula and the Mummy, as part of Hammer horror films (starting with The Curse of Frankenstein in 1957, The Horror of Dracula in 1958, the Mummy in 1959 and the Curse of the Werewolf in 1961, with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing being the notable actors in these productions, and took full advantage of color in the films, as well as later entries being…well, a little provocative and not for the children), and all four movie franchises enjoy some success today.
Let’s hope these retro-cloth figures continue, as it would be incredible to have versions of the Phantom of the Opera, the Invisible Man, the Bride of Frankenstein and even Dr. Jekyll’s alter-ego Mr. Hyde and the Creature from the Black Lagoon as well!