Sunday, December 18, 2022

Haunted Plastic

 Well, the item I was waiting for came in, so here is the post that was going to be for last week! 

I don't often actually buy something new for this blog, since I have way too much stuff as it is, but sometimes in the name of "completeness" it needs to be done, so here we go...

A couple of weeks ago I talked about the re-released Pirates of the Caribbean plastic model kits, and I mentioned that MPC (the company that originally made them) had released Haunted Mansion kits as well, and that those had been re-released too! I never owned a Haunted Mansion kit as a kid, but I like the looks of them, so I went online to add one to my collection. 

I had assumed that they were released by Lindberg, the same company that bought the molds for the Pirates kits, but I was mistaken. These kits were released by Polar Lights. Also, I was surprised to find that there are only four Haunted Mansion kits- and that's all there ever were. I'm not sure if they were not as popular as the Pirates kits or what- but that might explain why the originals are more rare. 

Unlike the Pirates kits, there are a couple of scenes that were actually in the Haunted Mansion- or at least kind of close to them.  Ok, only one really, and that's the one that I got. The original was called "Play It Again, Sam," and featured the organist and (sort of) the organ from the ballroom scene. Speaking of those original kits, here they are:

As you can see, Sam is the only one that borrows heavily from the Mansion. One writer tried to make the case that "Escape From the Crypt" was a nod to the conservatory coffin, but I don't buy it. The other two aren't really close to anything in the Disney Mansions. 

By the way, Polar Lights renamed the series "Haunted Manor" and they renamed the kits:

"Play It Again, Sam"= "Play It Again, Tom"

"Escape From the Crypt"= "Escape From the Dungeon"

"Grave Robber's Reward"= "The Grave Robber's Demise"

"The Vampire's Midnight Madness"= "Flight of the Vampire"

All in all, I think Lindberg did better in renaming their kits. I mean, you change "Sam" to "Tom" and then call it a day? Who the heck is "Tom?" Is there a joke here that I'm missing? 

Anyway, on to the kit. The first thing I noticed when I got it was that this box is about 1/3 bigger than the Lindberg kits. Here's a comparison shot...

I think the original box must have been big too, since these are the original molds and there are a lot of pieces in there. Let's open it, shall we?

The cover art is nice. It looks like the ghosts on the pipes are unpainted so they can glow, as are the skulls on the organ.

The side of the box has art a lot like the top...

The bottom of the box explains the "Zap Action" (renamed "Rubber Band Action" by that crack team of clever writers)

The inside sides of the box have this scene. These guys are great on graphics, if not with words. 

Taking the top off shows you this- a heavy cardboard form protecting the parts.

Remove it and you see these. That's the base to the left, which gives you an idea of the size. 

Here are more parts. You can see the organist, the mummy, and organ pipes. 

What do you do with all this stuff? Glad you asked!

Step 22 is the most interesting to me, since it tells you how to make everything work. 

The good news is that it's a really cool model! The bad news is that I already have a huge build pile. Will I ever get to all of them??? the after life...


Oh, keep looking for treasure! ;-)


  1. Stu, "huge build pile," "lack of time," blah, blah, blah. Not good excuses. I'm looking forward to seeing this completed!

    Thank you for purchasing and posting this. You sure have a lot of really cool stuff!


    1. What? These can be built????? Lol!
      Thanks! I'll see what I can do!

  2. Sweeet! And the packaging really is top-notch.
    When I was a kid, I had these recurring nightmares where I had to put together plastic model kits that were really gruesome, like people dying horribly in car accidents. Now I'm wondering if I saw something generically spooky like these and my dreams blew them out of proportion.

    1. Yeah, I think the packaging really sets these kits apart. I should have probably mentioned that they are also more expensive than the Lindberg kits, but not by a lot. I'm pretty sure the extra expense is in the package.
      Your nightmares might have also been inspired by the Aurora monster models. They had a torture chamber that was particularly gruesome. It's strange what was marketed to kids back then. Now, you'd never see anything like that! I guess it went well with the scary comic books and Monster Theater shows on TV. A different time indeed!

  3. Those models are too cool to let the molds just rot away. I hope there are some kids who still want to build things like this! For a brief moment my nephew enjoyed models, until he discovered expensive Lego sets (I'm giving him a Star Wars Lego set that cost almost $80, and that is a moderate example!). I admit that the Legos look kind of fun, but it's just not the same.

    1. My grandson got into the Legos big time, and some of the kits looks pretty cool (and complicated!) but when I think back on my own Lego experiences, I think the thrill of building stuff out of nothing was more fun. But yeah, the new stuff IS cool!

  4. It's nice to see that these and the POTC models can be purchased, once again,....not that I will be buying any of them, but I am happy they are available for others. I had two of the original H.M. models. I definitely wanted the organ player because, as you mentioned, it was the closest thing to an actual scene from the DL attraction. I still have the box for that one (I posted pics of it some years ago), and for the longest time, I still had the model. Unfortunately, I have not been able to locate the model for years now, so I am thinking it might have been tossed out....even though I can't imagine that I would have done that. My second model ("Escape From The Crypt") was lost years ago, box and all. I hope that someday, we will get to see your finished version of "Play It Again Sam." Uh, I mean, "Tom." And yeah, who the heck is Tom? Maybe he's someone who works at the Polar Lights company? Thanks for sharing your purchase with us, Stu!

    1. That's cool that you (probably) have the original kit! I hope you can find it!
      Yeah, I though "Tom" might be an inside joke...but who knows?


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