Monday, October 24, 2016

Fangs for the Memories

I recently picked up these "Horror Fangs" at an estate sale.  I believe I paid $1 for them.






I'm not sure when they date from, but my first thought was they were in awful fancy packaging compared to plastic teeth I remember:


These plastic fangs bought back so many memories from my childhood and lead me to research the company that created them, Imagineering (not to be confused with Disney's Imagineers).

Imagineering was founded in the 1960's by Larry Liff, a drama teacher at Central High School in Flagstaff, Arizona. Their first product was a monster make-up kit containing "Evil Teeth", the first pair of hinged fangs that have become so familiar. 

Image courtesy theimaginaryworld.com

By the early 1970's, the company was selling millions of kits and had expanded their lines with additional products.  The first to follow "Evil Teeth" was "Vampire Blood".  It could be bought alone or purchased in their "Vampire Kit".

Image courtesy theimaginaryworld.com


Image courtesy theimaginaryworld.com

I have personal memories of "Vampire Blood", having purchased some when I was about 10.  It was used for multiple Halloweens and I still have the tube.


Green Dragon's Blood was a variant of Vampire Blood

This was quickly followed by Scar Stuf, a product so fondly remembered, there are blogs named after it. I remember buying Scar Stuf, but I was never able to replicate the effects they promised.

Image courtesy theimaginaryworld.com

The original "Evil Teeth" were recast in red and released as "Werewolf Fangs".

Image courtesy theimaginaryworld.com

I never had these.  When I dressed as "the wolfman" (Lon Chaney, not Jack) for Halloween one year (a disastrous effort told here), I simply used a pair of plain white fangs, tearing the bottom row of teeth off (after all, anyone who saw Lon Chaney Jr.'s "Wolf Man" knew he only had bottom fangs.  Another memory I have of these teeth is the way saliva would pool on the inside rim.  I would have to remove them and tap them out before proceeding to the next house or I would spit all over the greeter at the door with my "Trick or Treat!"

Image courtesy theimaginaryworld.com

Some other kits and variant teeth from Imagineering:

Image courtesy theimaginaryworld.com

One of my favorite things about these packages and why they remain so fresh in my memory is the artwork.  It was done by Gordon Vigus (sp?).  He brought a simplistic, whimsical almost childlike quality to the backing cards.

Image courtesy theimaginaryworld.com

Image courtesy theimaginaryworld.com

Image courtesy theimaginaryworld.com

Image courtesy theimaginaryworld.com

Image courtesy theimaginaryworld.com

Image courtesy theimaginaryworld.com

This is an excellent documentary short on the company including an interview with Larry Liff.


Imagineering! from David Hansen-Sturm on Vimeo.

4 comments:

  1. I was always afraid I'd choke on those fangs.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I remember it was very difficult to talk wearing fangs - and the saliva issue made it rather unpleasant.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Tom. I host a radio show in New Orleans and I'd really like to chat with you as soon as possible about that Ernie the Whip Budweiser record. One of Ernie's protégés from the old days is likely going to be dropping by my show tomorrow night. Please email me as soon as you get this message. BigBeat1950@gmail.com Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I remember seeing fangs like this in a local joke shop at the mall. The plastic case makes them look much classier than you normally associate with plastic fangs.

    ReplyDelete

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