When Monsters Sell Products: A Look Back at the Monster Fad


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It’s finally Halloween season, the time of year for pumpkins, costumes, and candy. It’s also the time of year when ghosts and monsters take over our television screens to fill us with fright. But ghosts and monsters aren’t only good for scares. As companies learned in the 1960s and 1970s, they could also be good for sales.


“Editrivia,” Oakland Tribune, Mar 20, 1958

“Dream Street,” Robert Sylvester, Daily News, May 11, 1958

“Make Monster Right at Home,” Robert Herguth, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Feb 5, 1963

“Monster Business is Becoming One,” Robert Williams, The Miami Herald, Jan 19, 1964

“Firm is Cheered by Horror Craze,” Newsday, Mar 30, 1964

“There’s No Ghoul,” Henry Lee, Daily News, Apr 12, 1964

“Frankenstein Founds a Vast New Industry,” Thomas Thompson, LIFE, Aug 21, 1964

“Advertising: Monster Market Creeping Up,” Philip Shabecoff, The New York Times, Aug 30, 1964

“Beware the Monsters!” Jerry Kirshenbaum, Minneapolis Sunday Tribune, Sep 6, 1964

“The Return of the Monsters,” Look, Sep 8, 1964

“The Monster Craze,” Richard German, The Cincinnati Enquirer, Sep 12, 1964

“Child Can Have His Very Own Frankenstein Doll,” James A.C. Thom, The Indianapolis Star, Sep 20, 1964

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“Why They Love Monsters,” Mary Anne Guitar, The New York Times, Oct 25, 1964,

“Odd Creatures Abound In Santa’s Collection,” John Bilbao, Arizona Daily Star, Nov 13, 1964

“‘Addams Family’ Has an Unusual Quality,” Joseph Finnigan, The Miami Herald, Dec 17, 1964

“‘Carol’ Pretentious, Boring,” Bettelou Peterson, Detroit Free Press, Dec 29, 1964

“Maker Admits His Monsters Won’t Rally,” Si Radiloff, Newsday, Mar 16, 1965

“Monsters and Horrors,” George A. Woods, The New York Times, Dec 5, 1965

“The Creepy-Boppers,” Newsweek, Dec 14, 1970

“Kids Identify with Monsters, Creating Industrial Ghoul Mine,” The Arizona Republic, Jan 10, 1971

“Putting a Scare Into Sales,” Forbes, Nov 1, 1974

“Creepy Chic,” Newsweek, Nov 4, 1974

“Interview,” Marilyn Lois Polak, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Jan 19, 1975

“Baby Slump Will Place Gradual Brake on the Demand for Consumer Products,” Les Rich, The Pittsburgh Press, Feb 5, 1975

“They’re Alive!’’ Todd Camp, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Oct 23, 1998


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