Originally airing on September 15th of 1967, ‘Amok Time’ was the premiere episode of STAR TREK’s second season. In the episode, Spock returns to his home world and takes part in a strange Vulcan mating ritual, and it’s notable for being the only episode to feature scenes on the planet.
But we’re not here to talk about STAR TREK… because Amok Time is also the name of a really awesome toy company.
It was back in the summer of 1992 that Paul James Lazo founded Amok Time, a toy store with incredibly humble beginnings. Paul began selling collectibles out of his parents house and then eventually moved his stock into a warehouse, ultimately opening up a brick and mortar store and starting an online shop. Now over 20 years later, Paul’s company has become the largest collectibles store in all of New York.
A small business success story, if there ever was one.
Not content with merely selling collectibles that other companies were putting out – although that’s still Amok Time’s bread and butter, to this day – Paul created a toy line called Monstarz back in 2008 as a way of bringing action figures of his very own into the mix. He began acquiring licenses and turning some of his personal favorite horror icons into 7″ collectibles, and the line is still going strong today.
Who are some of Paul’s favorite icons, you ask? Let’s peruse the line and find out!
The two first exports of Amok Time’s Monstarz line were based on George A. Romero’s DAY OF THE DEAD, bringing the movie’s two most memorable zombies into our collections for the first time. First up was a 7″ figure of beloved gut-muncher Bub, which included a tape recorder, razor and handgun, and he was soon thereafter joined by “Dr. Tongue,” a minor character who appeared in the film’s opening sequence.
If there’s any zombie who’s more beloved than Bub, it’s definitely Tarman, who made a lasting impression with his brief role in RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD. Continuing the zombie theme, Tarman found himself in the Monstarz line not long after DAY OF THE DEAD’s undead icons, and the figure included a Trioxin canister base and half-eaten brain. He’s the rarest in the line, out of stock on Amok Time’s website.
Toy company SOTA was the first to put out a KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE action figure, as part of their Now Playing line, and though they planned a second toy based on the movie, it never came to fruition. But have no fear, because Amok Time picked up the license a few years back and released not one but two (slightly different) KILLER KLOWNS toys – green-haired clown Shorty and red-haired clown Tiny. Both included ray guns, pies and interchangeable hands.
Back in the late ’90s, Figures Toy Company put out a couple different Elvira toys, though they left much to be desired. Filling in a necessary gap, Amok Time added the Mistress of the Dark to the Monstarz line and finally gave her the action figure she deserved, and the standard “straight-faced” version was joined by a special “winking” variant. Like Tarman, both are out of stock and have become quite valuable.
The company took the line into a completely different direction when they snatched up the RE-ANIMATOR license, releasing this prop replica last year. You may recognize the gnarly “Finger Creature” from sequel BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR, and the 1:1 scale replica measures 6″ tall. It was limited to only 400 pieces worldwide, and at the time of writing this, you can still grab one over in their online shop for $99.99.
Speaking of RE-ANIMATOR — the franchise’s main character will soon be injecting his green serum into the line, as two different Herbert West figures are set for release in the fall of 2016. This sneak peek was shown off at the 2014 NY Comic-Con, and toys based on the first film and BRIDE are on the way. Figures of West are a long time coming, as SOTA promised one years ago but never delivered.
And finally, Amok Time’s latest Monstarz offering is a real treat for fans of 1986’s horror-comedy CRITTERS. This 5″ tall collectible vinyl figure was put out this year and features realistic hair and a display box, and it’s essentially the company’s answer to Funko’s mega-popular POP! Vinyl toy line. You can grab one for just $20, making this little guy the most affordable (and adorable) replica Crite on the market.
Other exclusive collectibles from Amok Time include 12″ figures based on films like MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH, BLACULA and NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, and they even put out a 12″ figure of genre icon Boris Karloff. We encourage you to pay a visit to Amok Time’s online shop and browse their entire collection.