Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Monsters In My Pocket

The late 80's toy market was rampant with little rubber guys, and if you weren't packing Muscles, you had Monsters In Your Pockets. Well, Monsters In My Pocket any way. Sorry to hold out on you, but that's just how copyright law works. This little line of neon monochrome monsters had some range- I had everything from a gryphon to Spring Heeled Jack at the time. Tons of real-world myths and urban legends in small collectible form, you say? Sounds familiar. Unfortunately, the ravages of time have taken their toll, and stolen away all but three of these squishy pocket beasts.

My favorite of the three, this dirty little Gremlin had a heavy hand in forming my idea of what goblin critters look like. Need proof? Just look at the banner. Stocky muscely frame, pointy ears, snubby snout nose and fangy grin? CHECK. It's also why any Gremlin I draw is always yellow. Always. He's really an all purpose goblinoid. Need a mincing minion for an evil queen? He's your guy. Hobbits getting into your garden? Give 'em a call. Recreating the cover of Ghoulies in a tiny toilet? He works for peanuts!

Catoblepus here is a fine example of how obscure this line can get. Even if you know what a Catoblepus is, you probably think it looks like a brass bull that spews poison gas. Blame Castlevania. It's officially described as a Water Buffalo with a boar's head and breathe that turns you to stone. Huh. No wings. No bowl cut. Who the hell knows what the sculptor was thinking, but then again, who cares? Would you back-sass Shemp the gargoyle here in a dark dungeon? He may not look the part, but I guarantee he'd still find a way to turn you to stone, and there are much more unwholesome ways than breathing on you.

Poor Mummy is looking a little plain Jane in this line up. He might not be some fany Norse troll or Lovecraftian abomination, but he gets the job done and he does it with pride. The job being, "dress in rags and shuffle a little. Maybe toss a curse or two around." He may be a stereotype, but he's a classic stereotype. Who doesn't love mummies? Can a zombie curse you to an eternity of dysentery? Maybe command vultures to rip at your innards, or the sand itself to drag you down? Yeah, I think we know who wins the shuffling undead MVP. 

 I really wish I could show you more, but like I said before these are the only survivors of a once proud collection. And these tiny rubber spooks are EXPENSIVE. There are alternatives, OMFG is a lovely little set of designer toys that mimics this style. Jakks has a line of zombies called SLUGS which is ok. Nothing can quite fill the gap that Monsters in My Pocket has left, though. The quirky little sculpts mixed with the deep monster lore made MIMP a truly unique set of squishy goober dudes.


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