The origin story of the UGLYDOLL brand, a line of cute yet odd-looking creations that were quite literally born out of love, is about as romantic as the story from The Notebook. David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim are not just the co-creators of the line, but also a happily married couple, and the idea for the dolls was inspired by a drawing David whipped up in a letter he sent to his then-girlfriend, who at the time was living far away from him. To make a long story short, Sun-Min Kim ended up sewing together the very first proto-UGLYDOLL, bringing David’s drawing to life as a surprise gift. With that bit of handcrafted collaboration and inspiration, the UGLYDOLL brand was born in 2001.
Now, over a decade later, the brand is stronger and more successful than ever; that original DIY doll has spawned hundreds of adorable little friends, oodles of spin-off products such as vinyl toys, and even an upcoming animated feature film. Just a few months back, the brand announced one of its most significant achievements to date: a partnership with Universal Studios that promises to deliver a line of Uglydolls inspired by some of the studio’s most iconic movie monsters. And guess what? Just in time for the Halloween season, they have arrived!
The mash-up between the two brands can only be described as a natural fit, given the monstrous nature of the dolls and the fact that the creators are actually such big fans of the Universal Monsters that they named their first child after a character from Dracula. A match made in monster heaven, to say the least!
Each of the six dolls in the line depict the most popular UGLYDOLL characters as Universal Monsters, blending the two brands together in a way that’ll make you fall in love with your favorite monsters all over again. Here’s the full roster of mashed-up characters:
TOP: Ox as The Wolf Man, Ice-Bat as Dracula, Big Toe as The Creature from the Black Lagoon
BOTTOM: Tray as Bride of Frankenstein, Wedgehead as Frankenstein, Babo as The Mummy
These unique new dolls can now be found online and in stores, and are selling for around $20 apiece. Be sure to snatch ‘em up while ya can!
But why stop the fun right there? Let’s take a look at five other fun monster mash-up toys while we’re at it!
We announced back in April that Hot Wheels and Universal were working together on these monster-themed cars, all of which are now available on store shelves. Each of the six most iconic Universal Monsters have been given their very own cars, officially licensed vehicles that evoke the spirit of each of the characters... only in car form. Not an easy task, but Hot Wheels somehow managed to pull it off, with each car quite fittingly embodying each of the monsters. I always did peg The Wolf Man as a van kinda guy…
One of my favorite toy lines of all time resulted from the bizarre fusion of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Universal Monsters, a decision Playmates made in 1993 after they had pretty much run out of ideas for the mega popular Turtles line. The idea spawned two different series, and saw Donatello turning into Dracula, Michelangelo into both Frankenstein and The Invisible Man, Leonardo into The Wolf Man and The Creature, and Raphael into The Mummy and This Island Earth’s Metaluna Mutant. April O’Neil even underwent a makeover in the second series, becoming The Bride of Frankenstein. Certainly one of the more bizarre yet totally awesome mash-ups the toy world has ever seen!
Ghostbusters also got in on the monster mash-up fun in the '80s, with Kenner putting out a series of monster-inspired action figures in their line of toys based on the cartoon series The Real Ghostbusters. Though not officially licensed (thus why they’re simply labeled "Monsters"), the line was comprised of five popular Universal Monsters characters, as well as a generic zombie. The characters never actually appeared in the series, and the toys were presumably created to cash in on the undying popularity of Universal’s most iconic characters.
Back in 2010, toy company Funko released these mini Star Wars bobbleheads, which saw the most popular characters from the franchise running head-on into popular movie monsters. Though another product that wasn’t officially licensed by Universal, the inspiration is clear, with Darth Vader being mashed together with Frankenstein and Chewbacca being paired up with The Wolf Man, naturally. A second wave of these was also put out, which featured a Tusken Raider as The Mummy, among others.
Finally, we have one of the more creative monster mash-ups I’ve ever seen: a line of toys that blends the worlds of fictional monsters and… real-life Presidents? Two series of Presidential Monsters have thus far been put out, with another two on the way. We saw a president battling monsters in Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, but in this line the presidents actually are the monsters. Included in the first two series were characters like Baracula, Lincolnstein and Monster from the Watergate Lagoon, and the two upcoming series will expand the line with Yeti Roosevelt and General Eisenhowler, to name just a few. "Hail to the Chief?" More like "Hail to the Creeps!"
If you know of any other fun monster mash-up toys such as these, drop a comment below and let us know!