If you love old school practical effects including animatronics, prosthetics, stop-motion animation, and Full Moon films, you have to read this!
A few weeks ago I became aware of the LASERBLAST alien action figure a few weeks ago and I immediately bought one. It’s rare that anyone sells action figures based upon stop-motion puppets from classic sci-fi and horror films and the fact that David Allen built and animated the original alien creatures for the Laserblast film made this purchase a no-brainer.
I received the figure in the mail a week later and I LOVE IT. Granted, it’s approximately three inches tall but the detail is great and it actually looks like the alien from the film unlike many action figures you see where the sculpt bears little resemblance to the film character it’s supposed to portray.
I immediately made a video about it called “Full Moon Entertainment Laserblast Stop Motion Animation By David Allen Plus Alien Action Figure” on my YT channel.
As I gathered more info about David Allen films, Charles Band’s Full Moon empire, I realized the deep connection between Full Moon and David Allen I’d been missing for so many years…
David Allen and his company created and did the special visual effects for many of the Puppet Master films produced by Charles Band for Full Moon Features and those very “puppets” are available for sale as action figures in the Full Moon merch shop. I watched these films when they came out back in the day but I never paid much attention to the effects artists who did them. The late 80’s – early 90’s were a tumultuous time in my life and details were something I rarely paid attention to. I never thought about the David Allen – Puppet Master connection until recently.
I always loved the Puppet Master films, especially the first and third (Toulon’s Revenge) and some of the later movies. The actual stop-motion in the films is minimal, perhaps 20 to 30 seconds per movie, but that animation is fantastic. It is what great stop-motion should look like, and David Allen was one of the masters of the art.
Consider a few of the top stop-motion animators – Willis O’Brien, Ray Harryhausen, Phil Tippett, Jim Danforth, and David Allen. How many mass produced, reasonably priced figures have been made from their creations? I haven’t seen a lot. There are high-end puppet replicas (Full Moon has some amazing “life size” replicas, more on that later) but I’m referring to 10 to 30 dollar action figures everyone can afford. The pickings are slim, folks, so God bless Charles Band and the Full Moon crew for selling these figures that are affordable and do the original David Allen creations justice.
In the Puppet Master series, people have their favorite characters. For me, I always loved Pinhead and Tunneler. Pinhead must be one of the most ingenious fantasy film puppet creations ever devised. Using human arms and hands fit behind the puppet for live action worked beautifully, and of course, the animated shots are fantastic. The Tunneler is a more straight-forward design like the other puppets and his spinning drill head always made me smile when he burrowed into the leg of an unsuspecting victim.
So how great is it that I discovered they have a combo set of Pinhead and Tunneler for sale on the Full Moon store?! This is a seven inch high fold out box that displays the 4.5 inch characters on either side. They look fantastic and I cannot wait to get these figures and do a video about them.
They also have a combo box of Blade and Torch and a newer issue of a few of the characters including The Jester, Blade, and Torch.
And then there’s Six Shooter, another one of my favorites!
As they say in the description: “Each ‘original series’ replica is handmade, every stitch of fabric is tailored and scaled to be a recreation of the rod puppets used in the iconic film series, PUPPET MASTER. Each replica comes with a hand-signed Certificate of Authenticity and a metal display stand.”
“Made of wire frame and foam construction with artist-sculpted resin head, hands & boots. Clothing is cut from real cloth with tailored accessories. Six Shooter features detachable guns.”
So these are the real McCoy, friends, the “life size” Full Moon replicas of the beloved Puppet Master characters. I’ll be doing a separate video about these amazing puppets in the future but for the time being, check out my new video on the Laserblast action figure and look for an upcoming video on the Pinhead – Tunneler combo action figures on my “Horror Mike” YT Channel.