Saturday, 21 July 2012

Ceramic Monster Bank

The first issue of Monster Munchers Magazine promised super monster puzzles and offers on the back. One such offer was the Monster Bank Offer! The chance to own your very own Blue Monster Money bank! “All the monsters try hard to save their pennies. What could be nicer than saving up your pennies in a special Monster Bank? The Monsters are pleased to find that there is a bank modelled on their own Monstrous shape- plenty big enough to store all your pennies.
Made by Wade manufacturers of porcelain and earthenware he stands at just under 7” in height and 4” across. This idea by Monster Munch was undoubtedly inspired by the success of the Nat West Pigs (also produced by Wade) by Natwest Bank in 1983. In their promotion they encouraged youngsters to save their pennies with them by opening a new account with a minimum of £5 they would be awarded the baby pig (called Woody) then after a lot of saving up they would acquire the entire family consisting of five pigs. Sadly only one Monster was produced in this promotion however, and they have become just as collectable with Wade collectors as Monster Munchers such as myself. Back in the day all a Monster Muncher had to do was, “Get the signature of a parent or guardian and send an £8 cheque or postal order made payable to the Monster Munchers to the monsters at the address shown above” 

 © Arfon Jones 2012 All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

The ‘new’ Monster Munch Monsters (1995- 2008)

In an interesting letter from Monster Munch (circa 1995) a potential Monster Munch club member is notified that “the monsters are going to have to close the club”. Having returned the membership fee and included some ‘spokey-dokeys’ and ‘spoke clackers’ to make up for the inconvenience the letter assured the ‘Monster Muncher’ that there where “lots of exciting things happening on Monster Munch this year – watch out for the new TV ads, loads of offers and a wicked promotion!”. A clue as to what was going to happen could be found at the bottom left of the letter, which brings me to another aspect of the Monster Munch brand history that I haven’t covered yet… namely the classic monster’s ‘retirement’ in 1995. Walkers took over production of Monster Munch in the mid 90’s relaunching with new flavours and monsters only to relaunch again in 2008 by bringing back the original ‘classic’ monsters replacing the replacement monsters…  Even though I am pleased to see the classic Monsters back where they rightfully belong this does leave me wondering how to catalogue the ‘other’ monster products that Walkers produced during their 13 year tenure. So I shall devote this post to the ‘new’ Monster Munch Monsters.

 The ‘new’ Monster Munch Monsters: Orange Monster for Pickled Onion, Blue Monster for Spaghetti Sauce, Pink Monster for Beef Burger and Red Monster for Flamin' Hot. Featured on this limited edition print signed by Ken Lidster.

The ‘TV ads’ that the letter mentioned were stop motion adverts featuring the new monsters directed by Ken Lidster and produced by Glenn Holberton of Loose Moose. Featuring the voice of Enn Reitel.
A second advert was produced for their first promotional offer Grippa Clippas! Grippa Clippas gripped onto whatever you wanted and could be found in lucky packs. There were 3 to collect, pink, blue, and orange.

A regular promotional item for Walkers during the 1990’s were Tazos, circular game disks given away in promotional packets.  They ranged from Star Wars to Looney Tunes and in 1996 Monster Munch produced their own set of 30 Monster Munch Tazos along with 3 Tazo tubes to store them.

And those were the ‘new’ Monster Munch Monsters, perhaps best remembered for their limited edition flavours such as Cheesy, Vanilla Ice Cream or the ones that turned your tong blue.  Everyone was happy when Walkers announced that they were bringing the classic monsters back in and so the   ‘new’ Monster Munch Monsters simply faded away…

© Arfon Jones 2012. All images are copyrighted throughout the world.

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Monster Munch Munchers Merit Medal

You will recall the Monster Munch Munchers club pack I mentioned in a previous post. The club sent out newsletters to members containing stories, puzzles and the opportunity for parents to reward good behaviour by nominating their “Little Monster” for a ‘Monster Munch Merit Medal’.
Are you a Monster- hero or heroine? We are giving away 50 monster-medals to the “Monster Munchers” who have performed great deeds to help others. There are many ways you can do this. What is important is that you have been a true Monster Muncher and gone out of your way to help someone else. As we all know, good little Monsters are always on the lookout to help others, especially those who can’t help themselves. All you have to do is ask your parent or guardian to write to the address shown on the back page explaining your Monster-deeds. We will read them all and select the fifty greatest Monster-deeds performed by our members.

In one issue they printed such a letter regarding one Steven Campell from North Humberside whose mother had nominated him for a medal.  Not only did he receive a medal he also joined another four lucky ‘Monster Munchers’ that were selected to go to Wikstead Park for the tea party with monsters promising them an “action packed day on all the exciting rides, amusements and, of course, lots of fun with the Monsters
With the newsletter promising 50 medals its safe to say that these medals are rare, so allow me to share with you one of the prized items from my collection, a genuine Monster Munch Munchers Merit Medal from 1987! The medal is just over 4inches long and stored in its original presentation case 

Additional: Over the past few months I have been contacted by several people who stumble upon this page and share their own memories of this brand. Its been wonderful, if you were in the Monster Munch Munchers club (or better yet one of the lucky 5 winners!) leave a comment or message me direct.

© Arfon Jones 2012. All images are copyrighted throughout the world