The Home for Odd, Ugly and Neglected Toys

Magic Monster by Heartland

Magic Monster by Heartland

Well, it’s hard to believe, but I actually have a bunch of new info about that mysterious windup, musical demon lumberjack I was so excited about (and desperate for) weeks ago.

Monster video

I’m not sure if you recall, but in that video, we saw a freaky, distorting, rubber face placed on an animatronic, musical lumberjack-type of character (I’m calling him a lumberjack because he’s wielding an axe and he’s wearing boots and overalls).

The thing was so bizarre, I could’ve sworn it was “homemade.” I kind of recognized the look of the rubbery-face and figured it was a finger puppet placed on some weird holiday toy or something.

That lead to my search and discovery of this generic set of rubber-faced finger puppets.

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Finger Puppets

Jackpot! Not only did I get some weird-looking little finger puppets, but it appears that the demon-looking character from the video is in the bunch.

Okay, now that I’ve acquired the rubber faces, all I needed is the strange lumberjack toy.

Well, thanks to the help of some of you readers and a little bit of detective work, I discovered that this toy is called “Magic Monster.” Once I’d acquired that information, it would only be a matter of time before the toy gods sent this Magic Monster my way.

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Magic Monster Magic Monster

Luckily for me, when the monster reared its ugly face, it came fully-functioning and complete with its original box. (Thanks toy gods!)

It’s not a lumberjack toy at all. It is, in fact, simply a nonsensical, axe-wielding monster that sways back-and-forth to the tune of “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Who’d have thunk it?

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Magic Monster

Not only that, but I also discovered the face on the original toy isn’t the one in the video, so I was correct in assuming the video was a “custom” job. I never expected this face to be on the toy.

Wow? That’s one ugly son of a bitch.

And just as I thought – the “head” of the toy actually has a few protruding pegs which stretch the removable, rubbery face stretch, bringing it to life.

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Magic Monster

Here’s a full figure view for ya. I kinda feel that they cheaped it with the head sculpt. I know there were probably some technical limitations, but the round helmet dome thing just isn’t cutting it.

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Magic Monster Magic Monster

And as you may have guessed, the animatronic head perfectly accommodates the “finger holes” of the various face puppets.

This is too perfect.

Do you know what this means? I can bring each face to life, giving the freaky axe maniac multiple personalities.

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Magic Monster

We’ve got the demon-looking guy.

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Magic Monster

The angry, mustached man, who actually looks like an axe murder (or angry lumberjack).

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Magic Monster

The crazy old man (or is that Michael Berryman)

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Magic Monster

And here we have the creepy child molester. (This guy’s probably scarier than the original monster.)

You think they look cool as stills? Wait ’til you see ’em in action.

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Magic Monster

I’ve gotta warn ya though. The music in these videos will get on your nerves. “When the Saints Go Marching In” plays loudly from a speaker in his feet. Not only that, but you have the obnoxious internal mechanism of the toy continuously grinding while the song is playing . It’s basically every parents’ nightmare.

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Monster video

Also notice the axe has a light in it and glows red. Scaaary.

I noticed my monster toy’s axe is facing forward and not sideways as featured on the box and even in that other video. Hm.

So, which one is your favorite? I think I like the mustached guy best. He just looks right in those clothes… plus his mouth full of teeth really makes his head movements more pronounced and lifelike. Now all I need is some more cool rubbery finger puppets. Any thoughts on where to find them?

After seeing this toy and these puppets. it begs the question: Which came first? Were the faces/puppets made for automated toys like Magic Monster, or was the toy made to accommodate the finger puppets that were already being produced?

The finger puppets don’t have much as far as markings go. All I can see is “® 986012 Made in China.”

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Magic Monster Magic Monster

Here’s all the info taken from the Magic Monster box:

  • Magic Monster
  • Face with a thousand changes
  • An axe that lights up
  • Moves from side to side
  • Even plays music (the saints go marching in)
  • 1/#21828C
  • ©1985 Justen
  • “transformable face”

(Check out that front panel. They’ve totally masked out the big dome head behind the monster’s face. Bull. The toy looks so much better with just the floating face. And did you notice the “©1985 Justen?” Weird, huh?)

Actually, there is one other question this toy makes me ask: What the hell?

Buy rare monster toys on eBay!

Buy rubber finger puppets on eBay!

53 Responses

  1. the pizza says:

    great halloween post. oh wait. WEIRDEST SHIT EVER. I like chester the molester bester.

  2. Ben says:


    I did have at least two or three of those rubber finger puppets back in the day, but just like a Creepy Bod or Head Popping Action Figure body, the demon lumberjack completes it so darn well. I am so frustrated that my own detective work fell short, but I’m glad it’s in your possession!

    I will never listen to “When the Saints Go Marching In” the same way again.

  3. Eric Dodds says:

    The bearded guy is definitely the winner. His smile is so well done – he reminds me of Bluto from the old Popeye cartoons when he smiles really wide ( Or maybe some scary, crusty old man at a fair who you know is trying to swindle you.

    I can also assure you that the screeching horridness of the noise that comes out of the toy is much worse in real life. Also, the weird proportions of the toy are crazy and make the axe seem really really small.

  4. The mustachioed gentlemen also made an appearance as “Not” man in some of Anthrax’s promotional materials.

  5. duane says:

    justin i have a witch and a frankenstiens monster head that would work, just need to dig out the extras.

  6. theo says:

    yooo! really glad you found out what it was in the end, brilliant toy,
    i remember the witch and frankenstein head that duane talks about too! i am shure i had a skull face one back in the day too?!
    hpours of fun, great update, keep em comin!
    I just updated my blog with a wikid electric dancing weirdo skeleton that you would love justin, would love you to go and check it when u have a minuit mate…


  7. @ theo – Thanks for sharing the link. Great toys on that blog. You’re making me jealous 😉

    @ duane – Cool. I’d love to see those. If you could dig out some extras, that’d be great!

    @ Old Man Foltz – Ha! I can’t believe Anthrax used that guy’s likeness. Hilarious.

    @ BubbaShelby – Yep. It really is.

    @ Eric Dodds – Yeah, his proportions are a bit weird. Also, glad you were able to experience the horrid grinding and obnoxiously loud music in person 😀

    @ Ben – Yeah. That’s a good point. Magic Monster finally puts the annoying rubber masks to good use.

    @ the pizza – Chester is a bit freaky. Glad the toy could earn the title “Weirdest Shit Ever.”

  8. Patrick M says:

    old man foltz beat me to my comment! definitely the anthrax Not man is the best!

  9. Ross SC says:

    i had a few of those finger puppets when i was a kid, im 33 now so im talking @least 26/27 years ago!
    had never seen them on the lumberjack, but i remember they felt kinda weird, like maybe they werent designed for fingers!

  10. Sabrina says:

    Shooo-wee! I had one of these lovelies back in the day. I can’t remember where I bought it but it was too bizarre to pass up. It went to college with me for the entertainment of many dorm dwellers. The absolute best is when the batteries start to fade and the tune gets just as maniacal as the twisting face.

  11. Phil says:

    Thanks for the further detail. I recall having one of the finger puppets — the one who looks like he needs eye surgery– at some point. No idea where I got it or where it went, though.

    I referenced your original post about this weird (and disturbing) toy for an intro-to-Halloween message at my page, A Dinosaur’s Daydreams.

  12. krakit says:

    Congratulations on finally getting this wonderfully weird toy

    the videos really give us the full taste of what this
    toy is all about. Thanks for sharing with us!

  13. Darrin says:

    HA! I owned the mustached puppet at one time! Never knew he could be used as an interchangeable face! LOL!

  14. zehn says:

    I’ts so weird i want one

  15. Brad says:

    Oh man! I loved those crazy finger puppets! I can still remember the super toxic plastic smell they would leave on your hands!

    I haven’t been here in a while. Lots of great new posts and I’m really digging the video.

  16. The funny thing is that while those puppets were clearly the inspiration for Magic Monster, his face only has three “finger holes”, rather than the four holes that regular ones do (perhaps because he was invented by a three-fingered cartoon character, though this is only conjecture). His face is also made of thinner, more flexible rubber than the regular ones (which are still available to this day). Also, the reason the axe faces forward on some is that the thin protruding peg on the axe that keeps it from rotating in its socket is easily (indeed, invariably) broken.

  17. Chris says:

    I wish I had known you were looking for info on this earlier! I posted that video on youtube a couple of years ago trying to find out what it was as I had lost the box years ago (not sure how it ended up on that French site). I asked BoingBoing what they thought and it took only about a day for one of their readers to identify it. It really is one of my favorite possessions. Everyone I’ve met who owns one feels the same way. Glad to see you were able to obtain one for yourself! Best Regards!

  18. Ben Dale says:

    I had one of these as a kid, but it had a Toxic Avenger sticker on it. My parents owned a video store and as a promotional item they got one of these with a Toxic Avenger sticker and base and I always thought it was neat. Later I had it in my room, and felt it looked nothing like the Toxic Avenger. I could be wrong but I thought it had a mop instead of an axe.

  19. derwin says:

    that’s pretty cool, i actually have one of those toys; the dude with the hat. i used to think that the three holes in the back were for your fingers to animate it. but now that i know they were supposed to go on top of a terrifying animatronic serial killer i’m glad i still have it.

  20. Amber says:

    Oh my word. I never thought I’d see this again! My grandparents, who were truckdrivers and did all of their Christmas shopping at various truckstops, bought this for me and my sister one year when we were really young. My parents intercepted it (along with a clown doll that emitted demonic laughter) and passed it along to an older cousin who liked to take things apart. We still talk about it to this day, though.

    Thanks for posting! I can’t wait to show Mom and Dad…

    • Awesome. I’m glad you stumbled upon this. I have no clue what I would’ve thought if I got this as a kid. I’m sure I would’ve like it… and I’m sure my parents wouldn’t have. Ha

  21. kittehzehn says:

    I have that exact peice of artwork! Well, kinda. It is very similar to the Magic Monster. It’s called Super monster. Its the exact same thing with a few changes. Instead he has green overalls, and the rest of his body is orange. It has the features but it also comes with a black cape with a hoodie on it. And he also has a bowtie on the strap that belongs to the cape. Classy!

  22. Billy Rich says:

    I have the Magic Monster! I bought it at an estate auction with a few other vintage toys. It came with the Old Man face, and is in amazing condition… STILL IN THE ORIGINaL BOX!!! I am interested in selling it, so if anyone is interested, send me an email, or give me a call at 919-594-8662.

    My name is Billy.

  23. L R (@LFRFL) says:

    @Scott_Ian Scott, Is it true that the NOT man was ripped off from "Magic Monster"? Please fess up.

  24. L R (@LFRFL) says:

    @WeirdoToys It was 1 of 4 faces produced before the "Anthrax NOT man" was introduced to the world. A blatant rip off.

  25. L R (@LFRFL) says:

    @Scott_Ian @AddThis NOT man seems to be a stolen likeness of the "Magic Monster" figure. Look for yourself

  26. kittehzehn says:

    i have all of those face but and i also have a skeloton face with a golden tooth, a frankenstein, a zombie, and a melting dude

  27. Deanna says:

    I have one of those! I’ve had it since I was 1 yr old, and I would LOVE to buy another one…does anyone know where I can buy one and how much they go for? PLEASE, I WOULD LOVE TO GET ONE!

  28. Toyman says:

    That toy is going to give me nightmares now!!!

  29. Bmorris says:

    I just came across one of these today at Goodwill and bought it for 99cents. I had no idea how old it was from or where it came from but i thought it was too weird i had to get it. The music and lighted axe work but sadly the face pegs don’t move 🙁 any idea how to fix it? is the motor bad? It was in the original box like pictured above but it doesn’t have a patent number on it or the 1985 Justen. It says “patent pending:” and all the text isn’t correct grammar. It says “the saint go marching in,” “an axe the light up,” and “more fram side to side.” haha

    • That’s hilarious. Sounds like you found some weird bootleg or foreign version.

      As far as repairs go, I’m clueless about that. But for 99¢, I think you got a good deal 😉

      • Bmorris says:

        Haha I didn’t know if it was actually a taiwan version or something. My fiance thought it was a waste of money, but I just thought it was really weird. Are these things rare or what because I have looked all over the internet and there is no trace of these on eBay or anywhere. This is really the only site I could find that has any clue that it exists. lol

      • Bmorris says:

        And is there any way I can post a picture on here? If so, I can post one or send one to you if you like.

        • Maybe try posting the pic to the Weirdo Toys Facebook page. I’d love to see it.

          Also, as far as “rarity” goes… I think it is rare, but rare doesn’t mean valuable in this instance. No one knows about it and no one wants it. Ha! But as long as people like you and me are finding it and loving it, that’s all that matters.

  30. Erica says:

    I have one that has never been out of the box and my uncle got it when it first came out. Does anyone know what these things might go for?

  31. jbhutto says:

    Erica, you might be able to get like $40+ for it. I wouldn’t run it as an auction though. I’d put a higher BIN then let people offer you though.

  32. I disagree with jbhutto’s comment below. I’ve seen the Magic Monster a few times on eBay over the past year and he typically sells for $10-$20 and sometimes doesn’t sell at all. I think it all comes down to who you’re selling to. I’m guessing readers of this site may be more interested than the general public 😉

    Thanks for dropping by.

  33. […] saw this on and this would have been in a prominent spot in the Treehouse. New members would have to leave […]

  34. Spillage66 says:

    Those face puppets are designed and made in Bridlington, Yorkshire, England, and are £1 a puppet, a nd are designed for fingers. The robot toy was created afterwards. I have the original puppet from 1975, and bought the rest on the internet and made Youtube videos of them about 8 years ago. 🙂

  35. trevor says:

    I want the magic monster I will pay 40.00 call me 419 980 2658

  36. James Smith says:

    These rubber faces are from the 80’s. I have the retard lookin one and the old hag lookin one. These rubber faces were sold at places like 7 Eleven. But this is the first time that I’ve seen the magic monster body with the axe. It’s a real ball scratcher to be sure.

  37. Drayton Sawyer says:

    I received a Magic Monster for Christmas in 1986. My parents sent it to me when I was in the military on active duty. Early one morning I placed it next to my roommate’s head while he was hung over and sleeping. Scared the piss out of him. I still have this toy in my attic.

  38. Lisa Hager says:

    I have the magic monster but he dosent seem to work anymore when I put batteries in him, any idea if he’s worth anything or anyone interested in purchasing?

  39. Wendy Howell says:

    what b move from the 70s or 80s had one of these as the bad guy?
    I really want to know and can’t remember

  40. david clancy says:

    i’m looking to buy the moustache guy (again) where can i get like 2-3 of these ??

  41. Bobbie Powell says:

    I realize this was posted years ago, but I just found one of these going through my brothers house after he passed away. He was a mask maker so I can see the reason why he had it. This is the only place I could find anything about the Magic Monster also. Mine is in the original box and has two faces with it. Its definitely a unique piece!

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