Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Barnabas Collins mask rises from the grave

Thanks to the loosey-goosey nature of DARK SHADOWS merchandise, there have been a few items over the years that have managed to survive changes in licensing agreements. The most obvious is the "Barnabas Vampire Van," a model kit produced by MPC that later got re-branded as the more generic "Vampire Van," free of all references to Barnabas Collins, Dark Shadows and other registered trademarks of Dan Curtis Productions. (It was even repurposed for a Hot Wheels-sized toy during the 1990s as part of a series that also included the ECTO 1 from GHOSTBUSTERS.)

In 1975, Don Post Studios skipped the line and released the generic "Old Vampire Mask." At this point, DARK SHADOWS had been cancelled, no new movies were planned and everybody involved (except for the fans) had moved on with their lives. Nobody seemed to much mind that the mask was clearly based on Dick Smith's work on HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS. Since then the mask has had a certain persistence of strength, appearing occasionally for sale from boutique companies. If this mask has still managed to elude you over the years, then fear not: This fall, Trick or Treat Studios will begin selling a shockingly inexpensive replica of the mask.

In fact, the "Don Post Old Vampire Youth Mask" is already available for pre-order from the company for $19.99. You can find it online HERE, and get a peak at the product above. As a treat, I've embeded a video below of Paul Williams performing "Hell of It" on THE HARDY BOYS & NANCY DREW MEET DRACULA in 1978. Keep your eyes open and you'll spot the "Old Vampire" Barnabas Collins mask in the audience.

Special thanks to Will McKinley for the tip! Follow him on Twitter @willmckinley.

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