So I came across a few pics of the mysterious "Haunted House" playset that was teased, but never revealed to the wider public. I apologize if any of this information is already well known. Ive been unable to find anything of it anywhere online, so wanted to share it with others. Ive been 'keeping my eyes peeled' for the last 25 years, so its pretty cool to finally see what the damn thing looks like. lol
For a quick comparison, here is what the original 'Super Scary' ad looked like on the back of the box.
And here is what I found in the 1992 Matchbox vendor catalogue. I would assume it was the same one that was on display at the 1992 Toy Fair, and likely the only prototype.
The obvious thing you will notice, is that it doesnt really look like what they had earlier advertised. I mean, it does have 3 steeples, and the windows are kindof similar. But the balconies are gone, and the windows on the left side are gone.
I would say overall its underwhelming actually, and thought it seemed kindof out of place for the figures. I mean why does it look so empty inside? Why do they have a garage? Why do they have a doghouse?...
Well, theres good reason for that. After doing some more digging, I discovered this playset is taken from an older Matchbox toyline called 'Oh Jenny!', from around 1987.
Oh Jenny_1.png 973.6K 10 downloads
That explains why it feels so different, and why there is a doghouse... Though, going by the Archie comic series, I guess the original dollhouse wouldve been appropriate. The monsters did live in one for awhile.
It looks like all they really added to the Haunted House (besides the new paint job) was a couple cardboard roof turrets, some spooky stickers scattered around, and the monster doorbell (which I assume had the same generic noises as the Super Scary Howlers). The fence looks like card or foam board someone drew on with a sharpie, so likely was meant to add a bit to the display at Toy Fair, but wouldnt be sold with the actual playset.
Its also worth noting that they were skimping out a bit by only including 9 accessories, since the 'Oh Jenny!' playset had far more. It mightve been to cut costs a little, or maybe the monster doorbell was more expensive to make since it involved electronics? They would also be saving money by reusing the old 1987 molds, so maybe the toyline was under-performing at this point anyway? I dunno.
Still, its kinda cool to at least see what it wouldve been like.
Edited by Wurdulac, 14 December 2017 - 01:17 AM.