Growing up and watching horror movies, did you yearn to own some of the rubbery creatures and slimy substances you saw on screen…but they were restricted to only existing in the movie? Even the smallest, most obscure critters that might have showed up for 5 minutes in a film sometimes had the most appeal and had my imagination taking flight right after feasting my eyes upon them. Especially being really young and watching the same movies over and over again, after repeated viewings it felt like you knew what the little vermin actually felt like, smelled like…it’s just too bad they were only in the movies. Hell, even some fake food looked mighty appetizing to me even though it looked mighty fake (i.e. Back to the Future’s “Hydrated Pizzas”).
A new Texas-based company by the name of Retroband sprung up this year and apparently ran into the same problem! Retroband is a one man operation that is here to “make toys you wish they had growing up”..JACKPOT.. From the packaging to the toy itself, everything he does is custom made. His first release was a line of Creeps from Night of the Creeps, which sold out quickly.
Not exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you think of wanted toys, but that’s what’s genius about it. Obscurity and simplicity are key. Even if Night of the Creeps had been a box office smash, they would have never made rubbery Creeps. TNUC snatched one up as soon as he got the tip that these little mutants of love were being made.
TNUC wanted to introduce himself to this warrior of the wind and ask him a few crucial questions..
T: Besides being a guy that makes ruthless toys, we know nothing about Retroband. How did this whole thing start?
Retroband: Ha! Hey thanks Uncle TNUC. It was an absolute joke at first amongst a close friend and I. He’s the actual cut-out card illustrator on the card backs. We both entered our 30’s and wondered why these toys never existed. Most likely because the movies were not made for children, lol. I decided to take the challenge and see where it would take me. I got an amazing response and sold out in less than 2 days!
T: Any early childhood toy and/or horror movie tales that inspired you to do what you do?
RB: Toy? Kenner of course. I never got into the GI Joes. I loved simplicity.
Creepshow was what really made fall in love with horror as a kid. Comic with horror did it. I later got into EC Comic/Tales from the Crypt. The rest is history. I still have my Creepshow and Tales from the Crypt comics to this day!
T: What are some future ideas for Retroband? Is there a dream-toy you’d love to create one day?
RB: I cant say too much on whats coming out but I am doing an action figure with accessories series. I think I’m making those dream toys, lol. But one of my all time favorite films is Lost Boys. I would like to do a Frog Brothers combo pack.
T: Something tells us your a big collector. What sort of gems adorn your home?
RB: Man I got some stuff. I collect vintage VHS, Marvel figures, Kenner figures, Garbage Pail Kids anything and zombie toys, comics and merch for days! I’m obsessed with EC Comics. Vintage Tales from the Crypt is what I’m after at the moment.
T: At Camp TNUC, we’re big supporters of the miniature creature-culture in movies like Ghoulies, Critters, Gremlins…even the little buggers’ from The Gate make me happy. Mattel came damn close with their line of rubbery puppets in 1986, the Boglins. Have you considered going this route for a toy someday?
RB: Ha I actually owned a Boglin as a kid. I tore out his eyes and used to wear them in class.
I was talking about that not too long ago. I love Critters. I wanted to actually make one but it seems 2 or 3 other artists already made them. Quite well actually. I’m definitely working on a critter, but its not on the list you listed 😉
T: I saw the Hydrated Pizza Hut replica packages from Back to the Future 2 pop up on eBay the other day. It got me thinking, are you strictly going the horror route? Or would you step into other genres?
RB: I hope 2015 has those pizzas. I’m already disappointed that hover boards and flying cars don’t exist! But although I’m obsessed with horror I definitely am taking a different route on genre. I thought about doing a bully series which consisted of Biff and a few others. I get bored rather quickly in what I do so you can expect a different genre in the future for sure.
For the longest time I thought that NO one would ever care about Night of The Creeps or any other B-Type film figures. I was totally blown away on how many followers and support I was receiving each day after I launched the Creeps! It feels great having others share the same passion as I do. I’m very grateful and if it ended tomorrow I’d be happy.
T: Lastly, here’s a guest question from our friend and bad-ass movie poster designer Marc Schoenbach of Sadist Art Designs…What do you think of the new NES Jason action figure?
RB: I got that shit on pre-order! I am not passing that up. The packaging is amazing and so are the color combos on the figure. I was super glad NECA showed some NES love. Much respect.
Thanks again Uncle TNUC for the opportunity and shout out for having Brooke McCarter as your profile! Him and Alex Winter are what made me want to become a Lost Boy. They made it look so damn good!
For more on Retroband and to see the step-by-step process in his lab, follow him on Instagram @retroband.