Saturday, December 20, 2014
Have a Merry Mummy Christmas!
This December has seen the release of two movies that evoke the imagery and symbolism of ancient Egypt: the Biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings and the found footage horror film The Pyramid. Such releases are a very rare occurrence for U.S. movie theaters during this time of year, but it puts horror fans like me in a mummy state of mind—and just in time for the holiday season! In honor of this embalmed state of yuletide bliss, here’s a look back at some memorable mummy merchandise that have been released over the years, merchandise that may still be available so that you can put some cursed undead mirth under your Christmas tree for your special someone. Read on ....
Most of the mummy action figures and model kits that I've seen during my lifetime have been designed after Boris Karloff's portrayal of the obsessive Imhotep from Universal's 1932 classic The Mummy. Diamond Select's selection of mummy figures do very good job at capturing Karloff’s likeness at a very reasonable price. In particular, the 7-inch mummy figure also comes with a scale-accurate sarcophagus accessory, so you have a place to put your mummy when he’s not busy stalking women who look like his dead ex-girlfriend.
Horror legend Christopher Lee also took a turn as a mummy in Hammer's 1959 film The Mummy. There aren't many action figures and models based on Lee's version of the mummy; however, the collectible toy company Distinctive Dummies recently released an 8-inch limited edition Mego-style Christopher Lee mummy figure. Only 50 of these figures were made, but the attention to detail present in the figures make any of them a great gift for any mummy aficionado.
Stephen Sommer's 1999 movie The Mummy and its first sequel, 2001's The Mummy Returns, brought plenty of mummy figures in varying states of decay to toy store shelves everywhere. However, if you're a stickler for screen-accurate detail, then your best bet is the Imhotep figure from SOTA's “Now Playing” line of horror movie action figures. That figure also came with a scarab beetle-infested display stand and a complementary pygmy mummy figure.
In the late '90s, McFarlane Toys produced a line called "McFarlane's Monsters", a series of figures that were based on--but not directly licensed to--classic movie monsters. This series produced three mummy figures: one stand-alone figure that wore an Anubis mask, and two that were included in a tomb-themed play set.
Not to be left out of any pop culture phenomenon, Lego has released many mummy-themed minifigs and play sets under different theme lines. Their most mummy-centric line was called "Pharaoh's Quest" that included a series of vehicles, play sets, and even a video game called Curse of the Pharaoh that was hosted on the official Lego website. The most ambitious (and expensive) set of this line was the Scorpion Pyramid, which included Anubis Guards, a Flying Mummy, and a giant scorpion.
On the other hand, if you are a parent who is looking to introduce your kids to mummies and mummification through a more instructive means, there are plenty of educational kits available online through sites such as the King Tut Store and James M. Deem’s Mummy Tombs. One such kit is Slinky's Our Amazing Mummies kit, which allows kids cast, wrap and paint their own mini-mummies. (Ancient Egyptian curses of living death not included.)