Monday, November 5, 2012

The Munsters (1964-1966) Merchandise

Good morning!

 Even though Halloween is behind us, I found a spooky treat while flipping through my HuluPlus new release streaming options. I'd read in I think People magazine that the classic sixties' ghoulish-goof-fest The Munsters was getting a tongue-in-cheek reboot this year; I did not know it had already aired! Starring Portia de Rossi and Jerry O'Connell in the lead roles, with a scene-chomping Eddie Izzard in his best-use-ever-in-a-non-standup-setting as Grandpa, I was disappointed to hear that NBC has decided not to greenlight further episodes of Mockingbird Lane, in spite of moderate to warm critical reception. Too bad. As I said, I enjoyed the heck out of the stylish re-imagining (Bryan Fuller, famous for creating Pushing Daisies, was behind the pilot) and the mixture of schlock-scary with sixties' panache. It made me think of how much I loved the original show in the first place!

Vintage Cast of the Original Munsters All in the Munster Coach
When I was a kid (in the early nineties', if you can believe it), The Munsters was airing in re-runs on Nick at Nite against The Addams Family, which is a pretty clever use of syndication, when the shows were pitted against each other in a ratings race from two different networks in their original air-time slots! Both ran from 1964-1966, and both, in spite of decent ratings, were cancelled due to unpopularity amongst network execs. I gotta tell you though, the 6-11 year old demographic has naught to do with either show's cancellation; this is the stuff little kids' dreams (or nightmares, I guess!) are made of! While the Addams Family had not one, but TWO successful movie adaptations in the same time frame as I was watching the original series on re-runs, poor Herman Munster will most likely remain un-resurrected (even though Jerry O'Connell was great!).

Well, at least he has his hot rod monster car to dull the pain. Do you know a) how expensive Munster memorabilia on Ebay is and b) how NEAT all of it is? If not, take a gander at some of these goodies I "unearthed":

Excellent Vintage 1965 The Munsters Lunch Box - No Thermos, C8.5 !! Kayro Vue
Lunchboxes are always cool tie-in merchandise to have, but this one is PARTICULARLY good. Look at Eddie hanging out in the rafters! See the ever-glamorous Yvonne de Carlo standing by her man as Herman juices himself up in "Old Sparky". The only thing missing is "Spot", Eddie's pet dragon.

Lot of Vintage The Munsters and Addams Family collectable puppets
These puppets are a complete set of both the Munsters and the Addams family, so you can have them competing for your limited childhood attention span even off the television time slots. I thought it was interesting that one of the fan sites I read while looking up these items mentioned how the Addams were more "urbane" and "sophisticated" as opposed to the more working class Munsters. Isn't that funny to have class distinctions even among supernatural/monster-influenced tv families!

Wow Milton Bradley Vintage 1964 The Munsters Card Game Made in U S A
I have never walked away from a tv-tie in board game that was not in my collection and less than $10. Unfortunately, the above set only falls into the former category. Wouldn't you love to have the original pastel drawing of this cover illustration? I often think about, after seeing original cover art on Antiques Roadshow, where all the original drawings for pieces of commercial art go. I bet there's such a Warhol-ish market for them that they hardly ever end up at estate sales and thrift stores (my territory).

Ditto on this jigsaw puzzle cover! CUTE!

vintage 1965 Whitman THE MUNSTERS JIGSAW PUZZLE Kayro-Vue Super Rare No Reserve
Vintage 1965 The Munsters Picnic Board Game by Kayro-Vue Productions Hasbro 2737
I am always pleasantly surprised when a tv show or movie has more than one board game. Even though the show only ran for two years, that's TWO board games for ya. I think I prefer the first one, but honestly, you can give me either.

Sawyer's Vintage View-Master Reel The Munsters The Most Beautiful Ghoul Booklet
VIEWMASTER REELS. HOW I MISS THESE. I know they still make them, but I love the weird, old ones. My grandmother stored a bunch of my uncles and my cousin Jamie's reels and they all discolored from the heat and fell out of the little cardboard wheels. I remember taking some of them from a Partridge Family wheel and Scotch taping them to my bedroom window was like having the tiniest dark room negative viewer of all!

vintage Whitman 1966 THE MUNSTERS PAPER DOLLS toystoystoys4
Last but not least, the thing-I-would-like-the-most out of all of these, Munsters paper dolls! Just for Grandpa and Lily's wardrobes alone. Do you see Marilyn's cowgirl outfit? Why not!

If you're interested in the history of this show, you should check out these articles from Life magazine. I was too busy collecting images of the swag on ebay to do a good job of clipping out info, but here's the real deal for you to peruse at your leisure:

Munsters Encyclopedia Britannica ad (?!), January 1966

Did you watch The Munsters growing up? Have any neat Herman and Lily memorabilia? What's the best "tv-tie-in" merchandise you either had when you were a kid or bought in fit of "second childhood"? Let's talk!

You can check out the Mockingbird Lane pilot on If you do (or you already did), tell me what you think!

See you tomorrow.


  1. Those lunch boxes are pretty wonderful! The Munsters was such a great show!

    1. Re: lunchbox: I know! I would love to unearth one at a sale sometime.

  2. I still have my Munsters View Master reels - I loved that show, might have to get a Munster DVD for Christmas!!!

    1. I was checking Hulu to see if they had it (they just added Lost in Space, yaaaaay!), but they only have "The Munsters Today". Yeccch. I might have to add a dvd to my Christmas list, too!

  3. Ok, I just watched Mockingbird Lane, and I'm really, really disappointed this series isn't going to go ahead! I loved The Munsters as a kid (from reruns like you), and I think this reboot would totally have done it justice. I mean, Eddie Izzard as Grandpa? Yes please! The whole cast was great actually, and the sets and special effects were awesome. So yeah, super disappointed.

    Great round-up of Munsters memorabilia! I don't even want to know the price that some of those are going for! :)

  4. oh gosh i will take one of each! we like the munsters over here at my house, but we LOOOOVE the addams family! Travis is on the second addams related tattoo! haha! this is kind of off topic but you should read the charles addams biography, he was a total kook!



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