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The Barnabas Collins Van Rides Again*

(*It’s just a little smaller, is all.)

I, like all DARK SHADOWS fans present and past, have often wondered why the show, or more factually some toy production company, didn’t capitalize on its wild success back during its original run on ABC television by releasing a series of toys. They sure missed a great opportunity to make some money. The kids who were rushing home from school in droves (and sometimes skipping school to stay home and watch) DARK SHADOWS would have cleared department store aisles of action figures, dolls, and playsets. They did get around to making toys based on the series, but not until decades later. (You can find these on eBay, although they tend to get rather pricey.) During the show’s run, the closest they came to an official toyline was a couple of model kits and an official board game. These latter are cool enough, yes, but where were the ACTION FIGURES?! Ah, well. I now own the DS werewolf doll and a Barnabas Collins bobblehead, so I’m good. Oh, and the Barnabas Collins hearse. I just bought that one—yep, on eBay.

The ORIGINAL hearse was one of those model kits. I remember as a small boy seeing an ad for one in the back pages of an issue of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND. (Yes, I barely arrived in life in time to buy a few of those vaunted magazines off the shelf.) You can find the models, too, for around fifty bucks, but my hearse only set me back five, with free shipping. The one I bought is the re-released Johnny Lightning—make that “Johnny Fright’ning”!—version, which is HOT WHEELS-sized and comes already put together. (See picture.) It’s made out of diecast metal and comes with a pog of the original model kit box art. I loves it.

WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!

TheCheezman • February 14, 2017


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