|Super Scary pamphlet showing all 24 monsters|
The Super Scaries seemed to come out of nowhere. Unlike Series 2, which I had known about as a kid but never actually was able to find in my area, the first time I became aware of Series 4 is when I saw it in Toys R Us. Being such a huge MIMP fan I had to have them, but I immediately noticed they looked different from previous series.
These monsters were a bit larger, had painted details and some of them glowed in the dark. Obviously Matchbox were trying new tricks in an attempt to keep MIMP marketable and make the line more exciting to kids. Unfortunately it didn't seem to work and the franchise sort of fizzled out after this, at least in the U.S. (in the U.K, where MIMP was always more popular, it continued for a few more offshoot series like Wrestlers, Aliens and Super Creepies).
Series 4 is made up of 24 monsters, numbers 97 through 120 of the line. They range from 50 to 100 points. The series was sold in 6-packs (where only a couple monsters were visible) and 12-packs (where all the monsters were visible). Each pack contained a pamphlet providing details on each monster, as with Series 1 and 2. The pamphlet starts off with the text:
Here they are - the wildest, scariest, most outrageous collection of real monsters ever assembled! And every single one of them is worth at least 50 points, with 6 rare glow-in-the-dark 100 pt. value monsters included, more than even the highest value monsters in either series 1 or 2. You know why? Because every one of these monsters is a big, bad, super scary dude. Put these guys in your pocket - and scare the pants off your friends!
For its general release, most of the monsters came in 2 different color schemes, with the base rubber colors being neon green, neon yellow, neon red and neon purple, plus glow yellow and glow green for the 100-point monsters. Each figure had different colored painted details depending on its base rubber color.
I always thought the Super Scary set contained some really cool sculpts, like the 100-pointers, Jenny Greenteeth and Creature From the Closet, to name a few, but I've found the random painted details to look kind of odd--even as a kid. Matchbox was trying to make them look cooler, but to me it sort of had the opposite effect.
It wasn't until much later, as an adult, that I discovered some Super Scaries were actually made in unpainted versions. Ten of them, to be exact: Thunderdell, Yama, Astaroth, Lamia, Creature From the Closet, Jenny Greenteeth, Drude, Alu, Fachen, and Wurdulac. As far as I know, these versions were only available as premiums in the U.K. Here's the whole mono gang:
And here's a comparison shot of some of the basic painted versions with their mono counterparts. Which ones do you prefer?
Overall, Series 4 was a fun addition to the MIMP line, but to me it doesn't match the greatness of Series 1-3. It's too bad all 24 figures weren't made in monochromatic colors, and in a size that matched the first few series. If that had been the case, I think they'd be considered much more essential among MIMP collectors.
What do you think? Are you a fan of the Super Scaries?