Your Very Own Vampire Bat


He’s BIG! He’s FEARSOME! But best of all — he’s fun?

Who didn’t want a plastic vampire bat as a kid?

Nobody, that’s who. I never remember ever seeing Gre-Gory, The Big, Bad Vampire Bat  on the shelves of toy stores, and this was from Mattel!

gregory-fullI was a weird kid growing up. I loved horror movies and monsters, but I don’t see this fairly limited toy having much of an appeal. Tinker Toys, Lego and Erector Sets are understandable because they have an almost infinite appeal — you could build whatever you want! I get it! But a plastic bat with a transparent thorax who can be made to appear to ingest blood? How long is that thrill going to last? Show it off to mock horrified adults at your eighth birthday party, and onto a bedroom shelf it goes to collect dust for a few years until Mom makes one of her purges or you blow it up with fire crackers that a cousin scored during a trip down South.

There are always shows that take a whimsical look back at trends and crazes from decades past. Some smug narrator will verbally look down his nose at stock footage of moments of mass hysteria surrounding Hula Hoops or Pet Rocks which are easy and lazy, but nobody looks at and ponders the examples of spectacular failure such as Gre-Gory. Who thought this was going to sell? Who at Mattel in the late ’70s green-lighted this brown plastic turd?

I remember it being odd when I saw this ad. Mattel did spring for a full page, but it looks like they threw it at the comic publisher to get some staffers to throw it together.

I imagine it is now one of those Holy Grail-like toys madly sought after by collectors.

This ad appeared in The Mighty Thor No. 298 published by Marvel Comics in 1980.


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