If you’re a film collectible aficionado, then you can appreciate when a company dedicates themselves to ensuring accuracy while developing their products. At American International Toy Fair in New York City this week, Mike Drake, the Director of Special Projects at Mezco Toyz, shared with us one of their most bizarre hunts to make their upcoming roto plush Mother from Psycho completely accurate to Alfred Hitchcock’s classic horror thriller.
Drake says problems started from the top. “We tried to find a reference at Universal for what mother’s dress looked like. We see mother’s hands for two frames in the film and we see her shoes in the scene where she’s being carried down the steps.”
Universal searched, and in the meantime Drake says they found Mother’s head at the Museum of Cinema in France. One problem: they had the head but not the dress. “The interesting thing,” Drake shares, “is that Mother’s head is really on a human skull with wax and tissue paper.”
Back in Los Angeles, Drake says, “Here’s where it gets really bizarre. We have Universal look in the archives for what the dress looks like and they said they don’t have anything even though they looked here and there. Usually there is some type of reference somewhere. Bob Burns, the famous [film memorabilia] collector thought he had a photo in his collection. As he looked, he suggested actor Daniel Roebuck – another horror film collector - might have something in his collection.”
Drake continues, “It turns out Daniel had a photo of Jerry Mathers working on the head with the body.” Wait, the actor who played the Beaver from the TV sitcom classic, Leave it to Beaver? Drake laughs and says, “Yes!”
“The guy who did the wig for the episode of Leave it to Beaver where Jerry Mathers gets a crew cut is the guy who did the makeup for Mother [on Psycho]. He had Jerry Mathers come and help him lay the hair on Mother. From that picture, we were able to recreate her dress.”
Mother in her resplendent cotton dress will be out in stores this year for $30.00.