With the emergence of television sets quickly becoming a new favorite pastime for American households during the 1950s, folks became exposed to a crop of popular horror hosts, who showcased old fright films for a new generation of thrill-seeking viewers. Late pre-adolescents and teenagers, especially, ate these up.
By 1958, hit monster novelty songs, like "The Purple Eater" and "Witch Doctor," added fuel to the monster-craze that was developing. It was also the year that gave birth to the world's very first monster magazine entitled, appropriately enough, FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND! The magazine was intended as a one-shot issue that was released during the month of February. When the publication quickly sold out, it proved that there was a strong public interest in horror merchandise. In fact, the publishers had to print a 2nd edition just to meet the American public's demand! Needless to say, that very first issue was subsequently followed by further numbered issues on a somewhat tri-monthly basis.
Soon, countless imitators were right behind Famous Monsters' heels and published their own monster magazine. By the 1960s and '70s, the monster-craze was at its peek and monster lovers everywhere had a nice selection of horror periodicals (i.e. Monster World, Monster Times, Gore Creatures, Creepy, Eerie, etc.) to choose from.
But that wasn't all! Not only did monster fans get to greedily scan over hundreds of photographs of ghoulish films or learn interesting facts about their favorite fright icons, they also had the opportunity to purchase some of the coolest monster merchandise ever produced. In every issue, these publications would run numerous mail-order ads featuring everything from monster masks, toys, novelty gags, record albums, plastic models, and even a live monkey for a pet!
These mail-order ads played an important role in the appeal of the horror publications being offered, especially by those who had no other means to acquire such fantastic products in their home town.
Today, such merchandise are highly sought after by collectors who wish to own a piece of horror fandom history. So sit back or, if you're like me, lean forward and drool over the following images of vintage monster ads and enjoy the nostalgic trip of MONSTER MANIA! Heheheh....