Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Haunted Mansion Model Kit Series - 1974

In honor of today being the 48th anniversary of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion, I am posting another Haunted Mansion-related item from my childhood. This is the box for one of four models from a series that came out in 1974.

This one is called, "Play It Again, Sam." Incidentally, that line is a misquote from the film "Casablanca." Humphrey Bogart never said "again", he just said "Play it, Sam!" Ahhh, but I digress! I saved this box, but I'm not sure if I still have the model or not. I want to say that I did save it and that it is in my mom's garage. I guess I will say that.

Hey, what's up with that mummy coming out of the organ? A mummy is only seen in the graveyard section of the Haunted Mansion attraction!

This side panel explains, "Zap/Action!" There was a series of Pirates of the Caribbean models made by the same company, that also had "Zap/Action!"

I also had the "Escape From The Crypt" model, but I know for sure that I didn't save that one. The box may still exist, but I haven't seen it for years. Now I'm thinking if I had saved the box, it probably would have been kept together with this one.

I think it's odd that there weren't more of the ACTUAL scenes from the attraction that were recreated for this series. The vampire scene is especially annoying!

I really should have looked to see if I could find this model, but I know if it does still exist, that it will have a horrible paint job! As a kid, I wasn't very good with a paint brush. Wait, I'm still not!

Happy 48th anniversary to Disneyland's Haunted Mansion!


K. Martinez said...

I remember seeing these available when I was young and I wanted them so badly but didn't have the money to buy them. It was the "Escape From the Crypt" model that intrigued me the most. I always wondered about that Zap/Action! and if it moved to quickly for the eye to catch. The WDW haunted Mansion graphic on the side of the model box is nice too.

MPC stood for "Model Products Corporation" but was sometimes referred to as "Mostly Plastic Crap".

Thanks for this really cool post on the Haunted Mansion. It's hard to believe it's approaching half a century, but the building itself is already older than fifty years old.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, the Zap/Action worked with rubber bands, so the moving figures did "pop" up pretty quickly. "Mostly Plastic Crap"....ha, ha! Did MPC have a bad reputation among model builders? It appears that Disney wanted to make sure to include the exteriors of both park's Haunted Mansions on their tie-in merchandise. They did the same thing with the Haunted Mansion game that I posted last August.

Chuck said...

No wonder I felt a slight chill today. Happy birthday, HM!

TM!, I remember these as well as the PotC line. I also remember being absolutely terrified of them. Skeletons! Monsters! Aaaaaaagggghhhh!!!! I was the kid who ran screaming from the room when an ad for I Was a Teenage Werewolf came on the TV. Heck , I was also the kid who ran screaming from the room when "Ten Little Indians" played on my Walt Disney Presents the ABC's album.

Ken, "Mostly Plastic Crap" is a fairly accurate description. Although their airplane kits were decent (primarily because they were rebranded Airfix models), they also owned Lionel trains during this period. The less said about '70s Lionel the better.

Cool post, TM! Thanks again, and I hope you find the model that once lived in this box!

K. Martinez said...

TM!, Chuck summed it up pretty well. Sometimes on the O Gauge Railroad Forums MPC is referred to as "Mostly Plastic Crap" for the products released by Lionel under MPC ownership. Lionel trains were not at their best during the MPC era (1970-1986).

Major Pepperidge said...

My grandparents gave me one of the Pirates of the Caribbean “zap action” models, but I never had one of the Haunted Mansion examples. I love some of the details, such as the name of the organist: “Spidery Sam”. And I like that the mummy is saying, “Do you know what I’m going to do to you, old man?”. Presumably an unused model in the box would fetch a big price these days, though I don’t know if I’ve seen one anytime recently. Nice callout on the fact that both Disneyland and Florida’s mansions are pictured on the sides of the box!

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, I guess I wasn't too afraid of "monsters" as a kid because I was exposed to a lot of them. My brother used to watch all of the old black and white monster movies when they were shown on TV. He also read "Famous Monsters of Filmland" magazine, and had all of the Aurora "monster" models!

Ken, that's pretty sad about Lionel trains. I'm assuming the quality has improved since that time period?

Major, that's funny about what the mummy is saying to "Sam." I didn't even read those lines when I originally scanned the box or when I composed the post. I just noticed them yesterday after the post published. "No, but if you hum it, I'll try to play it!"....nobody uses that joke anymore! I remember hearing it in a lot of old television shows and movies when I was a kid.

K. Martinez said...

TM!, Nothing beats PostWar Era Lionel (1945-1969) product for quality, but it has improved a lot since the MPC era ended in 1986.

Also, it sounds like your brother and I loved the same stuff. I had all the Aurora "monster" models and read "Famous Monsters of Filmland" as well. I still love the old B&W monster movies to this day.

Chuck said...

I had kind of a love/hate (or maybe "love/fear") relationship with them. I loved looking at the poster photos of all of the movie monsters advertised in comic books and would quiz my friends about them incessantly, but when actually given the chance to watch one of the films they came from, with anything other than Harryhausen's creations I was running the other direction. I love watching them now.

I remember taking the Universal tour in '76, and one of the effects stages was purportedly dressed as a recreation of the set for Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein. I remember being totally freaked out at the creepy music they played while the guide disappeared in the back of the set and then reappeared in a sliding drawer in another part of the set.

I covered my ears and kept them covered even after the music stopped, afraid that it would start again. I can remember the guide giving her spiel, making eye contact with the audience, and stopping when she came to me, looking quizzically at a kid with his hands clapped over his ears while she was talking. My mom explained it was the music, she laughed and told me there wouldn't be any more scary music, and was extra-nice to me for the rest of the tour. I can still remember what she looked like.

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, I remember that set at Universal Studios! I have a postcard of it somewhere around here. I'll have to find it and post it. I remember the hostesses would stand up against a niche in the wall and it would spin around. As she disappeared, a suit of armor would appear. Then she reappeared in a coffin that was on the floor. They might have tweaked that set over the years. I think it was removed in 1977 when the Bionic Testing Center moved into that same building/soundstage.

Chuck said...

I was thinking it might have been a coffin she came out of, but I wasn't 100% sure. I remember a lot, but some details still elude me. Funny that I can vividly remember what the guide looked like but not that coffin.

Would love to see the postcard if you find it.

Connie Moreno said...

No way! Wow, I wish I could go back in time and get one, LOL!