Monday, March 5, 2018

Vintage Barnabas Collins model kit gets a makeover

Much of the vintage merchandise created for DARK SHADOWS is amazingly naïve. In his defense, Dan Curtis essentially created the business model that George Lucas would later perfect. While movies and television shows had been attaching their brand to peripheral (if not entirely disposal) products for years, Curtis established a framework for private enterprises that allowed them milk an intellectual property for everything it was worth. It's almost shocking to me that HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS, a movie that provided the Dark Shadows brand with its first legitimate Hollywood support, wasn't accompanied by the same flood of crap that had been attached to the television series just a few years earlier. Where were the trading cards? The coloring books? The HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS board game? Talk about a missed opportunity.

There didn't seem to be much in the way of quality control for the DARK SHADOWS television brand, though. When I referred to the merch as "naïve" at the start of this post, I really meant "awful yet cute." The MPC model kit is a flagship of sorts for the Dark Shadows brand, and is more representative of the "monster kid" culture championed by MPC than anything seen on DARK SHADOWS. It's a neat kit, to be sure, but looks more like an undead Alfred E. Neuman than Jonathan Frid.

Dick Smith adds a few hundred years to Jonathan Frid, 1967.
Back in 2013, MPC re-released the kits with new head sculpts for both the original Barnabas Collins and Werewolf model kits, featuring much improved likenesses of both characters. Not to be outdone, Escape Hatch Hobbies now has available a head for the Barnabas Collins kit that resembles the iconic Dick Smith make-up for the "aged" version of the character. This appears to be an unlicensed product so I hope this post doesn't cause them any problems ... but their work is pretty damned good.

You can see profiles of the sculpt below, and find them for sale on Ebay by clicking HERE.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...