When the air turns crisp and the dark nights come sooner, one certainty is that Halloween is lurking in the distance. While tricks and treats spring to mind, there’s plenty of frightful fun to be had year-round. There are a wide array of spooky toys waiting for you in the far-off corners of your favorite toy stores. There are obvious choices like Monster High and Scooby-Doo, but I’m here to kick the dirt and unearth a full crypt of monstrous playthings that perhaps aren’t quite as prevalent.
Playmobil Haunted House Playbox (Playmobil USA)
As far as I’m concerned, Playmobil can do no wrong, and their little ultra-portable Playbox sets are a great example of packing maximum play value into a small package. This set features a vampire figure and Frankenstein’s monster packed into a secret laboratory complete with spooky accessories. It neatly closes and locks, and the built-in handle allows kids to take the frightful fun on the go.
Little People Trick-or-Treat Surprise (Fisher-Price)
Even though this play set has been out for a few years already, it’s a timeless favorite. From the iconic Little People line, kids ages 1 and up can go door-to-door with a trio of costumed figures in an adorable little playset loaded with Halloween surprises, like a pumpkin ghost and friendly bat!
LEGO Vampire and Bat (LEGO)
Seasonal builds are a tradition in our house, and LEGO keeps fueling that with new Halloween sets each and every year. Recommended for kids ages 7 and up, this vampire boasts large fangs, movable claws, and sports a smart vest, a bow tie, and a billowing black cape. Just like Dracula, the vampire comes complete with a pet bat with movable wings.
Mega Bloks Halloween Micro Minions (Mattel)
Tapping into the craze of both blind bags and micro collectibles, the popular Minions from the Despicable Me franchise have been given a Halloween treatment. These would actually make a really cool surprise giveaway in lieu of candy on Trick-or-Treat night.
Fright Factory Creature Creator (Tech 4 Kids)
Growing up in the ‘80s, there were always a fair share of gross-out toys, and by the early ‘90s there was a Tyco line called “Doctor Dreadful” that even had commercials featuring actor John Kassir (voice of “The Crypt Keeper”) decked-out as a full-blown mad scientist to help kids whip up creepy concoctions. When Tech 4 Kids unleashed their new Fright Factory Creature Creator this fall, I was immediately reminded of those old sets—but this one features the fright without the gross-out factor.
This set allows kids to make creepy 3D creations by filling stencils with “EwwGoo” gel, which hardens in minutes when placed on the Creature Creator and hand-cranked. The gel cures with light, so there’s no heat involved, but three AA batteries are required. Refill packs of EwwGoo Gel are available, as are new add-on theme packs, like “Gross Bugs,” “Creepy Creatures” and my personal favorite, “Beyond the Grave.”
WWE Zombies (Mattel)
With mainstream characters like The Undertaker and The Demon Kane among the ranks of WWE Superstars, supernatural elements have long been a part of sports entertainment served-up by the biggest professional wrestling organization in the world, but never like this. Eight Zombified WWE Superstars are now available as 6-inch action figures, including Triple H, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, The Undertaker, Paige, Dean Ambrose and John Cena. The battle for the WWE Championship just became eternal.
Teens & Tweens
Five Nights at Freddy’s Action Figures (Funko)
Despite being surrounded by tech at all times, somehow the mobile gaming phenomenon of Five Nights at Freddy’s escaped me. Of course, it was some of my daughters’ older friends (who probably still shouldn’t have been playing it) that put the franchise on my radar. The premise: a genuinely creepy scenario in which you have to work the night shift at a themed pizza joint where animatronic characters come to life with nefarious intentions. Of course, the game has become so popular that it’s spawned a full line of action figures, Pop! Vinyls, and even collectible minis and plush.
The Walking Dead (McFarlane Toys)
AMC’s undead franchise is entering its seventh season this fall, and it’s still one of the biggest shows on TV. For the older kids ages 13 and up, there’s a full line of highly collectible action figures from McFarlane Toys that just keeps expanding. Highly detailed and plenty creepy, these aren’t for those who don’t like the really over-the-top nasty stuff.
While spook-centric toys have seen waves of popularity dating back many decades, there are a variety of toys that cater to fright fans of all ages now. The products mentioned here are just a small sampling of what’s out there. The thing is, like any good ghoul, sometimes you might have to look a bit closer to see where they might be hiding!