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Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature

Feature Creature

An electrical Frankenstein toy holding a lantern in its right hand. Electric Frankie. Courtesy of Toy Scouts, Inc.
Electric Frankie. Courtesy of Toy Scouts, Inc.

It may be hard to appreciate, but the many Frankenstein toys, masks, comics, and other objects and images in existence all pay tribute, of sorts, to a cold-blooded killer. These products of merchandising genius hint at menace, a creature out of control — yet never too much menace, never too out of control. Each makes the Frankenstein monster into a more one-dimensional version of Mary Shelley's creature. Each, in its small way, helps complete his transformation into a cultural icon.

Four Frankenstein 'push toys' featuring a Frankenstein figure with its arms outstretched on top of a orange base. Frankenstein 'Push Toys.' Courtesy of Toy Scouts, Inc.
Frankenstein 'Push Toys.' Courtesy of Toy Scouts, Inc.