Many find themselves mysteriously drawn to the horror genre, despite the fear, dread, and uneasiness it instils. Horror is diverse – offering delights for grown-ups looking for a thrill, while also entertaining children with the comedically spooky characters found in cartoon animation. The 20th century saw the emergence of many different subgenres of horror across the world, many of which tapped on traditional folklore for inspiration.
This exhibition features toys that are based on some of the most recognisable ghosts, ghouls, and monsters in recent history, spanning three key collections. The Blockbuster Films collection brings to life fearsome characters from the silver screen, while the Paranormal Characters collection showcases horror-themed characters who relied heavily on elements of comedy. These onscreen ghosts and monsters did not just frighten audiences, but also sparked the imagination of toymakers, who produced the original horror-themed toys which are documented in our Spooky Toys collection.

Blockbuster Films Featuring Japanese Kaiju 
Shelf 2-3

Literally translating to “strange beast”, Kaiju is a distinctive genre of Japanese manga, film and television series featuring giant monsters that emerged in post-war Japan. The defining film of the kaiju genre is Godzilla, which was released in 1954 and created as an allegory for the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the Second World War. Being a metaphor for the destructive potential of nuclear weapons, Godzilla captured the strong anti-war sentiments in post-war Japan.

Apart from Godzilla, other notable kaijus include Mechagodzilla, Baragon, Giras, and King Ghidorah, among many others.

Monster with Baby
Shelf 3

Kaiju, which literally means strange beast, is a genre of Japanese movies, television series and manga comics that appeared in the 1950s. They were a reaction to the horror of the atomic bombs that were released in World War II. These monsters, which came to be known as kaiju, displayed great destructive power that mirror their nuclear counterparts. The king of monsters Godzilla was introduced in 1954 to Japanese audiences, and quickly became the premier kaiju.

Many iconic toys were also based on legendary characters in movies, television and manga comics, including Mechagodzilla, Baragon, Giras and King Ghidorah. 

In recent times, the MonsterVerse franchise has also released the fourth installment featuring King Kong and Godzilla, titled Godzilla vs Kong in 2021.

The first variation in The Kaiju collection features a friction vinyl toy of a kaiju in lime green, carrying its baby. 

The second variation is also a similar-looking kaiju with its baby in more elaborate colours.

Monster with Baby


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