In keeping with last week's "what inspires us here at Mad Lab?" angle, here is another biggy.
If you had one of these as a kid, you remember how awesome it was. If you didn't (or are about 20 years too young, or too old), here's one to look up on eBay: Mighty Men and Monster Maker.
Just look at the box. Can imagine finding anything so cool on toy shelves today?
There are MONSTER HANDS on the box. That means MONSTERS like to play with this toy. And any toy that monsters like to play with must, by logical extension, be cool. Also, any toy that proudly declares it will "give you the creeps" on the box has its head on straight (from a Mad Lab pov).
And then on the inside? We have this:
Allow us to break this down a bit: on the right, are the relief plates you can choose from. You have HEADS, then you have TORSOS, and then you have LOWER BODIES. Each plate has a image on both sides, and some of the plates (instead of images on the flipside) have textures- so you can create fur, scales, etc.
You arrange your creation from a selection of very cool (to this day) designs of mummies, ghouls, aliens, werewolves... and then some superhero type guys (that are all rather generic and boring, compared to the insane energy of the monsters, but oh well).
You assemble your creation on the left, lay a piece of paper over top, lower the frame to hold it all in place, then take the crayon (that comes housed in its very own official "holder") and rub the hell out of it. VOILA!! A monster creation fit for a Kreepy King. In seconds- nearly immediate satisfaction. The best kind.
Then you're free to add your own colours and textures. Go nuts.
This toy is personally responsible for the weirdness that Mad Lab is creating today, 30 odd (very odd) years later. No other toy from our youth encouraged such intense sci-fi/fantasy/horror character creation. Wonderful.
Get yours today! Or if you ever find yourself in the Mad Lab, if you ask real nice... we might let you play with ours.