Thursday, June 13, 2013

Entry#13: Playgore!

I remember those gore-soaked afternoons summer. It was a time of vampires, monsters, mad scientists, and Chef Boyardee ravioli! I will never forget the eldritch nightmares that were spawned on the kitchen table. Nor, will I forget the very messy cleanup that followed. 

How many of you had the Count Creepyhead and Friends Playset? If you said, “No,” then you were missing out. Call your parents, or therapist, and complain that you had a deprived childhood. This was, and still is, the ultimate Playdough set, bar none! Alright, so the Star Wars and D.C. Comics Super Friends playsets are nothing to sneeze at. But the Count Creepyhead and Friends set allowed you to do something those other sets didn’t. It allowed you to play with the very forces of life itself! The Count Creepyhead and Friends set was a monster factory in a box! 

The set-up was simple enough. You have a skull-faced Dracula doll dressed in a fetching cloak with scalloped sleeves (think Batman, but MORE gothic!) The doll had arms that when lowered would push a plunger into the hollow skull! Sounds sufficiently ghoulish enough, right? But here’s the cool part: the hollow skull had openings for the eyes, nose, mouth, and fractures at the back of the skull. It was from these orifices that play dough would stream out! The protrusions were long and snake-like! 

But wait, that’s not even the coolest part! The coolest part was this…the skull-face had interchangeable molds, each one depicted a different classic film monster! The set included Dracula, Lady Dracula, The Mummy, and The Wolfman. It was a who’s who of Universal Monsters (albeit in their public domain formats). Sadly, there was no Frankenstein’s monster to be found.  

The kids these days will never know the simple pleasures of filling a Dracula face mold with crimson Playdough. Or, the intensity of a Mummy made of ethereal green Playdough. Best of all, once you got tired of their visage, you could…dare I say it…EXPLODE THEIR FACES! Yes, you could make their faces explode, fall off, or melt! You simply remove the mold, and the plastic toupee/cover. You then gently push down on those arms, and presto; you have a series of vile snakes or viscera pouring forth from the facial orifices!  

The kit also came with three kinds of Playdough; bloody red, zombie green, cadaver purple, and bone white. Personally, I preferred to use the red. However, one could create significantly fun gore with a mix of red and purple. The kit also included a small purple axe. It was a medieval looking thing; long handled, blunt-edged, and with a spike on the end. This could be used to clean out the skull, or trim excess off the molds. It was a wondrously morbid time to be a kid. And one could have all sorts of fun with this Playdough set. I wish I still had it.

I have my memories at least. But I also have an Amazon account! To the online store I shall fly through the night, and reclaim Dracula’s exploding head!  

Text copyright Johnny Zombie 2013

The original commercial from Kenner!