LINCOLN MONSTERS Have Risen From the Grave!

8-inch retro horror figures with a cinematic twist…

The new Lincoln Monsters Blood-A-Rama Shock Fest Two-Pack


The Lincoln Monsters have risen from the grave! Wait, you ask, what are the Lincoln monsters, and why have they returned?

Well, firstly, in the mid-1970s, Lincoln International released a series of 8-inch, cloth-costumed action figures copying popular trends from other toy manufacturers. Toy giant and master of the 8-inch format Mego had their line of unlicensed Mad Monsters, having passed on the Universal Monsters license which then went to their rival, rack toy giant Azrak-Hamway International, or AHI. Lincoln did their own take on the public domain versions of the monsters, with a wink and a nod to both toy lines, and other genre influences. The figures were extremely fragile, and distribution was at times spotty. There were also many variations of each figure released, so the original Lincoln Monster figures go for a hefty price on the after-market, in any condition.

Catalog page featuring the original Lincoln Monsters. Courtesy of

The Lincoln Monsters hold a special place in the hearts of monster fans and vintage action figure collectors, so a trio of like-minded devotees and toy industry vets felt the time was right to raise the dead. Brian Heiler (Odeon Toys) Jason Schiermeyer (White Elephant Toyz) and Frank Wojo (Absolutely Retro) combined forces to resurrect these creatures of the night in a new and exciting way that also plays homage to the grindhouse, drive-in schlock horror popular during Lincoln’s original heyday. The new Lincoln Monsters has a carefully crafted back story that makes it more than just a toy line. It’s also an extremely low budget film studio that never was, and the box art is meant to represent posters from these imaginary films, with the figures as tie-in merchandise.

“Lost” lobby card from the imaginary film, “The Power of Frankenstein,” created by Brian Heiler.

Having collaborated with Brian and Jason before, I was brought on board to provide packaging art and design for the new Lincoln Monsters line, beginning with The Evil of Count Dracula, and The Power of Frankenstein. But even I didn’t know all the details that went into stitching these creatures together. So, I sat down with Brian, Jason, and Frank, and drained their brains on the hows and whys of this new venture, and what terrors lie ahead for Lincoln Monsters.

Lincoln’s new Count Dracula has risen, with glow in the dark hands, and a taste for blood!

Chris Franklin: So, how did the Lincoln Monsters project start?

Brian Heiler: I think it started with Frank and Jason talking at Mego Meet this year. (Mego Meet was held in Columbus, OH, August of 2023.)

Chris: Wow, so things started moving really quickly after that then. Was the basic idea of the project established there, or did it evolve from something else?

Jason Schiermeyer: I think the seed was planted at Mego Meet. We all have a love for these monsters, so it was a natural good fit. I already had some tooling made for several heads, boots, hands and feet and we just started brainstorming. I’ve wanted to do this for 20 years though, honestly.

Frank Wojo: For me joining this endeavor was a “no-brainer.” Two great, stand-up guys who love the hobby as much as I do. What’s best about this trifecta of great minds is that we all have a lot of similar interests, but then we all have some different interests/influences too. We all do some great, varied things really well. I think that’s what makes this a fantastic union — is that we all play off each other and complement each other extremely well.

As far as coming up or coming back with Lincoln Monsters… we all took some time and brainstormed individually with name ideas. … Brian came back with his list and said something like “I know which one I like the best, I want to see what you guys pick out.” Jason and I both picked “Lincoln Monsters.” The built-in brand recognition and storied history of “Lincoln Monsters” made it a pretty easy choice. Once we had that done, the floodgates of ideas just opened.

With electrifying glow in the dark hands, the Frankenstein monster has escaped the lab!

Chris: Were Dracula and Frankenstein always your first choices? What prompted the idea of a “lost” ’70s drive-in/grindhouse studio?

Brian: I’ve always gravitated toward that sort of “ballyhoo” culture, like drive-in movies, carnival dark rides, cheap wax museums and knock-off toys; I love that energy. It feels related and connected somehow; it could be the subject matter, or perhaps they caused each other. The real Lincoln International was a shameless copyright thief at times, and well, if they had been a film house, they’d still be in court! It’s also just a super fun creative process.

Chris: So where were the original Lincoln monsters sold? Were they a response to similar figures from Mego and AHI?

Brian: Lincoln at that time was copying a lot of Mego and AHI’s output. They’d copied Action Jackson a couple of times too. Honestly a lot of their output was copying other people’s toys. They were sold in discount stores and even made the Wards and Spiegel catalog.

Vintage 1975 Spiegel catalog shows four of the monsters, and the very rare, exclusive “victim” offering.

Chris: When did you first encounter them?

Brian: I’d say it was 1976 and my parents took me to their Canadian distributor PK Douglass. When I saw the 8-inch Frankenstein I flipped!

Original ’70s boxed Lincoln “Frankensten.” Notice the misspelling!

Chris: So, Frankenstein was a no-brainer for the first set of figures?

Brian: Well, Jason had the head molded already but yeah, he had to be there. It’s also leading with the “Batman/Superman” combo of the monsters. No offense to the Wolfman.

Chris: Compared to the originals, you’ve clearly enhanced the design of the figures. What influenced this decision?

Brian: Well, as much as we love the originals, they were made with some absolutely cheap textiles that can get damaged very easily. We could have mimicked that, but the question was, “Should we?” The decision was to give them a better wardrobe and to keep one foot in the past. I can see through the capes in this (original) line.

The Power of Frankenstein and his box, with art and design by author Chris Franklin

Chris: So, the head sculpts are based on the originals. What appealed to you about keeping that vintage look?

Jason: The heads are copied straight from Lincoln. I sent original heads to China. Such a classic design, no need to change it.

Old school Frankie with his VERY bright green skin.

Chris: What is it about those sculpts that stand out to you, as opposed to contemporary offerings from Mego and AHI?

Jason: For me they are more recognizable for the characters they represent. You can tell a Mego Frankenstein is supposed to be a Frankenstein, but a Lincoln Frankenstein looks a little more like the classic Frankenstein. I think they took less liberties with the sculpt and not as much cheese.

There were many variations in the original Lincoln line, including different costume details.

Chris: With the paint apps and costume choices, were you trying to strike a balance between a classic and unique look?

Jason: Brian had posted a picture of one of his UK knockoffs with a green Dracula, I think it was, with a noose around his neck and I think blood on his face. That was my inspiration for Dracula. I never would have thought to make him green, but that figure looked so right. That’s how I remember the figure anyway. … Basically, other than the green skin and the blood, I think the paint schemes closely resemble the original Lincoln monsters.

The Evil of Count Dracula and his box, with art and design by author Chris Franklin

Chris: So, what’s next? More modern takes on vintage figures, or something entirely different, based on the lost film studio concept?

Brian: It’s going to be mix of ideas and concepts we’ve all brought to the table. Frank has one I cannot stop thinking about. We’ll get to every classic Lincoln character but not in a straight line and by the time we do, we’ll have a universe of Lincoln Monster concepts.

Which of these classic monsters will rise next?

Lincoln Monsters are up for pre-order at each of these webstores:


— The Joy of Stumbling Onto a Great Bronze Age MEGO Ad. Click here.

— 13 Groovy HEROES WORLD Catalog Pages — RANKED. Click here.

13th Dimension contributor Chris Franklin is a graphic designer, illustrator, writer, and podcaster, who co-hosts and produces several shows on the Fire and Water Podcast Network, including Super Mates, where he and his wife Cindy host their annual “House of Franklin-Stein” series covering classic horror films, and comics featuring superheroes fighting the same kind of monstrous menaces!

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. PLEASE let the next one be the “Happy Wolfman”!!! 🙂

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    • I have good news and bad news.

      You will get a Wolfman but it’s a new one. We’ll get there though, I promise.

      Post a Reply
  2. This article brought a big smile to my face. Years ago, I think I remember seeing a couple of these at my cousin’s house on one of my yearly visits. I didn’t care that they were knock-offs…. I didn’t even know what “knock-offs” were! Kids with imagination don’t care.
    Chris, I look for anything you write because I feel even though we don’t know each other, we are kindred spirits, even though I am older (59). We grew up in rural areas, we have many of the same interests, and you and Cindy always make your podcasts feel like you are right in front of me, having a conversation. I deeply appreciate both of you and am glad that you are married to someone who understands you and supports your imagination and talents. And, she’s a librarian among other things! You both are truly blessed.
    I’d better wrap this up, it got off-topic. Looking forward to other offerings by this company. Have a great day.

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks Bryan! I really appreciate that. It does me good to know our efforts are actually connecting with folks and giving them some amount of entertainment.

      Post a Reply

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