Monster Hunting


I’ve mentioned before that as a kid I played a game with my younger sisters wherein we pretended to hunt monsters in our basement. I was clicking around over at the awesome Dinosaur Dracula, and the retro kitsch inspired me to show you a couple of items from ourĀ  monster hunting arsenal–because if there’s one thing the Internet needs more of, it’s ’80s/’90s nostalgia.

Being the Castlevania fan that I was, I had to play the hero: my weapons of choice were a toy whip and a “crystal” decanter of “holy water.” I had a succession of cheap toy bullwhips which played the role of the Belmont’s improbable vampire-killer. The holy water vial, a recurring weapon throughout the Castlevania series, was a repurposed plastic decanter from a toy series called “Treasure Rocks.” This was one of many add-water-to-reveal-the-cheap-plastic-doodad-style toys of the ’80s and ’90s. One of my sisters had gotten it as a Christmas or birthday gift, and once the plastic jewels were revealed there wasn’t much use for the bottle anymore–except as a weapon of righteous fury against the basement undead. It was purple and dripped late-20th-century corporate sexism, but I’d fill it with water and lob it around the basement with righteous abandon. Here’s an original ad for the toy, which disturbs me because, among other things, it gives the date as 1993, which means I was significantly older at the time I was running around hunting monsters than I realized. Ah youth.

I bet the creators of that insipid ad never imagined their pretty princess sexist garbage would be used for melting the faces off of unsuspecting vampires. Just goes to show: I was an awesome kid.

Another weapon of monster destruction was this ridiculous beast, the “Eliminator TS-7.” The Eliminator was a hideous hunk of plastic that lit up and made generic machine gun and “pew pew” laser noises. Its gimmick was that various portions of the thing could be removed and reconfigured into slightly different versions of themselves. Basically it was a big gun with a removable sword thing which included a couple of different-length blades. Silly as it was, its lights and sounds made it a lot of fun in the darkened basement.

If that doesn’t scream early-’90s America, it’s only because there are no neon bike shorts, Pogs, Married… with Children cameos or Guns n’ Roses guitar solos. Regardless, machine guns and lazer swords were pretty good for anti-demon warfare.

I can’t be the only person who discovered the supernatural (and tried to shoot it with lasers) as a kid. Did anybody else play any games like this? On a related note, did you ever play any of the various “occult” children’s games that are still popular, like trying to summon Bloody Mary or using a Ouija board?