Home » Full Moon’s Tiny Terrors are a Dream Come True for Nostalgic Fans [Gift Guide]

Full Moon’s Tiny Terrors are a Dream Come True for Nostalgic Fans [Gift Guide]

Full Moon Features, the infamous independent horror & sci-fi studio behind films like Puppet Master, Subspecies, Demonic Toys, Castle Freak and so many more, began selling handmade, life-size replicas of the Puppet Master characters in 2007 and ever since, that kind of limited quantity, albeit on limited resources, product has been the standard. Granted, they’ve branched out into every other kind of merchandising field imaginable, from clothing to lighters, you name it, but these are almost always designed as something to be exclusively sold on their website in limited quantities. It’s a model that fits the studio well in an era where the days of the video store are long since over, but it often knocks me for a loop when other fans are surprised to hear that any Full Moon collectibles or merchandise had ever had more exposure and wider availability. Younger Full Moon fans grew up in an era where the company’s collectibles were sold exclusively on their website, and have never known anything else.

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As a millennial, I grew up in an era when Full Moon’s merchandising was at its absolute peak. So much so that I wouldn’t hesitate to say that at that point in time, the toys had more reach than the movies themselves. I’ve told this story many times before, but Puppet Master was my biggest childhood obsession. I rented the movies obsessively and spent years tracking down the toys, and it all started at eight-years-old because I happened to see an article detailing Puppet Master: The Action Figure Series in a magazine. The more my obsession grew, so too did the success of the figures—and thus Full Moon Toys as a company—as well. It would make my month any time I happened to see one of those figures in Suncoast or Game Stop. By 2000, I was seeing them in Spencer’s and Hot Topic. I was glued to the website, I knew everything that was coming, the whole slate for the next year… and then Full Moon Toys disappeared.

Announced in 1999, one of the very next offerings Full Moon Toys was set to release in 2000 before its swan song, was a (literally) little toy line called Tiny Terrors. These were planned mini-figures of the Puppet Master characters likely meant to cater to the popularity of bobble-heads and Little Big Head toys that were taking off at the time. Roughly half of all video games seemed to have a “Big Head” mode during that era. Even though I was right on the cusp of being considered too old to play with toys, I was heavily looking forward to the Tiny Terrors and everything else Full Moon Toys had on its roster when they disappeared. 

That toy line was headed by Rick Phares, who did most of the work himself, not only sculpting the figures but also being the one to contact retailers and get the products into stores. When I think of what Full Moon was to me when I was obsessed with it as a kid, I think of his work. He’s basically the face of the golden age of Full Moon collectibles and now that he has returned to head up the Full Moon Horror line, it literally feels like everything is picking up exactly where it left off. The Tiny Terrors have finally been released after 23 years!

What’s truly amazing, seeing these figures in person, is that for the most part, they are exactly the same figures that were initially announced way back when, with the only major difference being that these are not just Puppet Master figures but have expanded to a wider roster of Full Moon characters, including newer franchises like Gingerdead Man and Evil Bong. Even some of these new figures seem like a clever callback to the past, though, particularly with the inclusion of Jack Attack and Baby Oopsie from Demonic Toys. A set of figures from that movie was canceled alongside the original Tiny Terrors and even though this Oopsie toy’s design reflects that seen in the Baby Oopsie spinoff movies, the toy is striking the exact same pose as the prototype for the original Oopsie figure that never saw the light of day. 

Related: Many Strings Attached: The Troubled History of Puppet Master

The truly clever thing is not only that this toy line was brought back with so many references to the past of both Full Moon and its collectibles in particular, it’s that they managed to do it in such a way that the timing feels perfect, even though these are technically hitting the shelves 23 years late. Blind boxes are huge now. Walking into Walmart or Target, Hot Topic or FYE, there are so many different kinds of blind box figures for so many different brands. People love the mystery, they love the chase, there’s an appeal to the lottery of a blind box toy that fans clearly respond to. These types of toys are usually smaller with little to no moving parts, and that’s how the Tiny Terrors were initially designed. They were perfect for this particular market. 

Finally holding the figures in my hand, I’m delighted to say that they’re actually bigger than I had expected them to be. That’s good, especially considering the fact that each individual figure has a $14.95 price tag, which can be steep when you don’t know for sure which one you’re getting. The ironically larger size makes that price feel a bit more justified (in addition to the obvious reality that a much smaller company is going to have to charge a little more for a product like this) because it really feels like a small statue. They’re also incredibly lightweight and so easy to display, which is a huge plus. The Puppet Master characters are recognizably using the same head sculpts as the original action figure line—boy does it fill me with joy just to type that—but when compared side-by-side to one of the original figures, the Tiny Terrors heads are actually a little bit bigger. 

Each case of 24 also includes two rare chase figures: a clear Blade from Puppet Master and a clear Eebee from Evil Bong. I had expected either a gold or red variant, as those were two Blade variants from the original toy series, but the transparent version is a real treat, because it feels like getting another Blade action figure variant after decades. 

That’s not to say everything is completely perfect, as there are noticeable little details like Blade’s knife and hook being on the wrong hands. And the price can really add up if you try to hunt each figure individually. But I’ll be honest, even though there are characters that I don’t care about as much as others, these are pretty close to perfect. Although, I have to admit that I can’t be objective about this. I had the Tiny Terrors on my Christmas list when I was eleven before I figured out they were canceled, much to my mother’s frustration. Seeing these now, it is genuinely like discovering that a pause button had been hit on a huge section of my childhood and after two decades, I’ve hit play like nothing had happened. It’s a feeling that moves beyond nostalgia to something kind of surreal. 

More than anything else, these toys are so promising for Full Moon and its future. This is a return to the kind of collectibles they used to make in the most literal way possible. These Tiny Terrors will be stocked in retailers like Spencer’s and Hot Topic, the same exact places I was finding Full Moon Toys before they disappeared for what I assumed would be forever, and a reach far beyond simply being sold on the Full Moon website. Full Moon Toys was at its peak when it disappeared only because its parent company, Full Moon Pictures, went under. It went under just as it had hit more retailers than ever, with a whole slate of upcoming releases that never saw the light of day. But now it feels like anything can happen. Puppet Master: The Action Figure Series was a huge indie toy company success, it got constant coverage in the toy magazines of the time and even won awards. The Baby Oopsie replica made me thrilled that that era of Full Moon could potentially return, but this is it. It’s here and I’m looking at it. And even if worst comes to worst and nothing else comes of the Full Moon Horror collectible line, I will be forever grateful for the feeling of actually opening new mass-produced Full Moon toys utilizing those original action figure sculpts and holding them in my hands after so many years. But I have a feeling that big things come in tiny packages, and that there are bound to be many cool surprises on the way.

The Tiny Terrors are available for purchase now at Full Moon Horror.

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Written by Nat Brehmer
In addition to contributing to Wicked Horror, Nathaniel Brehmer has also written for Horror Bid, HorrorDomain, Dread Central, Bloody Disgusting, We Got This Covered, and more. He has also had fiction published in Sanitarium Magazine, Hello Horror, Bloodbond and more. He currently lives in Florida with his wife and his black cat, Poe.
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