Please Note: Photos are missing from this page. I explain why in this post.
My favourite movie of all time is the original Clash of the Titans from 1981 with Harry Hamlin as Perseus, and Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion creatures. Despite the PG13 rating due to scenes with brief (and rather pointless) female nudity, in addition to some gore (which is hard to avoid when you're chopping off a Gorgon's head), Clash of the Titans generated a significant amount of merchandise aimed at kids. I for one was 7 or 8 years old when I first saw this movie and have been a fan ever since. In 2006 when I was 33 (some 25 years after first seeing this movie) I was still so inspired by Clash of the Titans that I created a puppet show based on the Greek Myth story about Perseus. The show is now retired, however pictures of my puppets and info about the play can be seen on my Artelle Puppets website: http://www.artellepuppets.ca/greekmythology.php
For several years now I've collected magazines, books, toys and other memorabilia based on the most awesome movie ever made... Clash of the Titans! My entire collection is shown below followed by a list of additional collectables that are available.
Update, March 2018: A "brief note" about the value of Clash of the Titans memorabilia
A trend that I have noticed in regards to Clash of the Titans collectables in recent years is that online sellers have been pricing items as though they have found the last surviving copy on earth! It doesn't matter what Clash of the Titans items you are looking for, it could be a puzzle, a book, a board game, a button or a poster, it really doesn't matter. Sellers are now pricing Clash of the Titans memorabilia through the roof as though there is some mad rush for the stuff! Therefore as an obsessed fan of this movie, I'd like to go on record and state that this outrageous pricing is completely ridiculous!!!! I'm one of the fanatics of the movie who actually collects this stuff yet I would never in a million years pay that kind of money for it!
The only reason prices are being inflated is because the Mattel action figures have maintained their popularity among collectors, but even those items have a limit as to what their true value is! Just because the action figures are popular doesn't mean that every other item that has to do with the film is worth crazy money. In addition, just because something is vintage doesn't mean it's worth hordes of cash, it just means it's old!
So let me confirm a few things upfront about Clash of the Titans collectables.... a puzzle or a board game is not worth anything near $200, or even $100 for that matter! A 3 inch button is not worth $30! A T-shirt transfer is not worth $40, especially if it's faded! The wrist watch is not worth $100!!! The tin lunchbox is not worth anything close to $100 and it never will be! And especially not if there is a speck of rust anywhere on it! Items that are easily damaged, such as the Ben Cooper kids costumes, are worth a fair amount but only if they are complete in original undamaged packaging and in excellent to mint condition! You can't just slap a crazy number on it! I'd say no more than $150 for a perfect, undamaged, boxed costume. Mind you, I'd never pay that much for a costume either, but there are Ben Cooper collectors out there that might.
As for the action figures, the Mattel Kraken is not worth $1000 in any condition! Sorry folks, it's a hunk of plastic and a mass produced toy at that! There are thousands of them! According to e-bay many of those are still in the box, so there isn't going to be a shortage of the Mattel Kraken any time soon. Plenty to go around! If the Kraken was actually worth $1000 Mattel would have reissued it by now to cash in on the demand... which does not exist. Same goes with the figures. There is no way they are worth $200 a piece! That's just stupid!!! I never use that word, but I'm using it now... STUPID! Sorry to say it, but someone would have to be an idiot to pay that much for a mass produced item that isn't even rare! There's thousands of those figures on cards, not hundreds, thousands! Just because you can't see all the thousands of them on e-bay all at the same time in one place doesn't mean they don't exist out there in the world. They do! These Mattel toys were sold all over the world, not just in the US and Canada!
So to sellers I'd say, if you want crazy money for an item... the piece would have to be perfectly mint in unused condition with all original packaging, and with no faded colours or shelf ware what so ever, plus there would also have to be a crazy, insane, hysterical demand for that specific item in that specific condition. As much as I love Clash of the Titans, and it pains me to say it, but there just isn't that kind of hype out there for the film. There just isn't! We're not talking about Star Wars! Crazy obsessed fans of the film like me who document every little detail about it are few and far between. So who are you selling this stuff too? Who is buying this stuff for that kind of money? Zeus? Hera? Apollo? Hermes? It must be Hermes!
Seriously, please tell me who the heck would pay $400 for a Clash of the Titans cereal box? Frankly, I don't think such a person exists! Besides, it's just cardboard! You can't even play with it! Mind you, it would be cool to own, and maybe to smell on occasion, but I'd rather own and smell $400! And that says a lot because I'm one of the freaks who actually wants this stuff! So with that being said, we shall continue on with the rest of this lovely blog page..... release the Kraken!!!!!
Action Figures, by Mattel, 1981
Mattel produced an impressive series of 3 3/4 inch Clash of the Titans action figures to coincide with the movie's run in theatres. Shown above are Pegasus, Perseus, Thallo, Calibos and Charon. A large action figure of the Kraken sea monster was also made. Oddly enough I still don't have the Kraken in my collection!
The figures of Perseus and Pegasus were sold individually and as a set boxed together. Pegasus is a non articulated, hollow, hard plastic figure with removable rubber wings. It's difficult to find loose figures of Calibos that still have the tail attached as it broke off easily. All four figures came with the same sword. Perseus and Thallo came with the same shield, which is actually Perseus' shield in the movie as Thallo's shield had a lion on it rather than an eagle. In any event, this has always been my favourite line of action figures.
As the movie did well in theatres, it's hard to believe that these toys didn't find the same success in toy stores and ended up as clearance stock. The original selling price for each figure in the United States was $2.95. Remarkably, Target stores eventually put them on clearance for 0.25 cents!!! Today, this toy series is quite popular with collectors of vintage action figures and therefor acquiring mint on card figures can be a significant investment! For example, the Kraken toy sells for a few hundred dollars even without the original box.
All card packaging featured the same artwork for each of the characters, and was used only for the the Mattel action figure line. Below is the back of the Canadian card showing the collection of figures. Unfortunately this card has some discolouration on the back. The back of the US cards have an additional logo of Perseus holding his shield which I think is really cool! But even better than that are the European card backs which are in full colour. The Kraken is not included on the back of the Euro card, so that specific toy may not have been sold in Europe. However, it could also be that the image of the Kraken simply didn't fit on the back of the card and was omitted. In any case, the Euro cards are the most rare of the three packaging variations.
Variations for Mattel Action Figures
1) Dark brown boots with light brown wrist bands (Shown above on both figures)
2) Light brown boots with dark brown wrist bands (Shown on Thallo, a Perseus figure with this variation is still unconfirmed)
3) All dark brown (Shown on Perseus, a Thallo figure with this variation is still unconfirmed)
4) All light brown (A possible combination that is still unconfirmed for both figures)
Kraken: There are two distinct variations of the Kraken figure. Some of them were spray painted with yellow paint on the chest area and some were not. There are two different ways that the yellow paint was applied, for a total of three variations:
1) no yellow spray paint
2) large area of yellow spray paint on chest and highlights on face
3) small area of yellow spray paint on chest only
If, like me, you wished when you were a kid that there were more characters included in Mattel's Clash of the Titans action figure series, take a look at these awesome custom figures and then weep for what could have been!!!
Pegasus and She-Ra, Princess of Power
In 1984 Mattel re-used the Clash of the Titans Pegasus figure for their She-Ra action figures line. Somehow Mattel managed to enlarge the mould for Pegasus quite significantly so that it would be in scale with the larger She-Ra and He-Man figures. The Clash of the Titans Pegasus is 5 inches tall from head to foot (without the wings) while the She-Ra Pegasus is at least an inch taller at 6 inches. In the She-Ra series Pegasus became Swift Wind with rooted doll hair for the mane and tail. The wings no longer attached to the horse and instead attached to the saddle, which is held on with a strap under the horse's tummy.
The same larger sized mould of Pegasus was also used to make each of She-Ra's friends a flying horse. For example, the male character named Bo road on his blue Pegasus horse named Arrow, hence "Bo and Arrow". Other winged horses in the collection include Storm, Sliver Storm, Crystal Sun Dancer, Crystal Moonbeam, Crystal Swift Wind, and Royal Swift Wind. I know very little about the She-Ra series, so some of these names might be wrong, and there may be others that I've missed. Today some of these She-Ra horses found mint in the box sell for about as much as a mint in the box Clash of the Titans Pegasus.
The other three puzzles in the series are: "The Kraken Emerges", "Perseus Rides to Victory", and "Perseus Battles Calibos". The first two of these reuse the Goozee artwork from the North American movie poster with some changes to the background scenery, while the art used for the "Calibos" and "Dioskilos" puzzles was used only for this puzzle series. Below is the side of the box showing all four puzzles.
1) A softcover with a gold foil title (shown above)
2) An identical softcover with a silver foil title
3) A softcover with the title at the lower half of the cover and a yellow slash bar across the top right corner
4) A hardcover edition with a paper dust jacket. It looks the same as the above book but doesn't have foil letters.
Smith Snacks comic strip ads
Here is an awesome blog page presenting all six of the Clash of the Titans comic strips that ran in British magazines as a promotion for Smith Snaks:
The same blog also shows two full page comic strips of Clash of the Titans that were part of the same promotion for Smith Snaks:
Peter Paul Cadbury & Mattel Sweepstakes newspaper ad
Here is another illustrated Clash of the Titans ad that ran in newspapers, but this one is not a comic strip. Unfortunately I'm not sure what part of the globe this ad is from:
The section that is the back cover has this awesome advertisement showing four Clash of the Titans T-Shirt images. These images were also available as iron on transfers in T-Shirt shops.
Here is the other side of the "magazine" showing the poster. This is one of the international poster images used in Spain. However the international version does not have English text.
Thanks to the awesomeness of e-bay I was able to find this original Italian Clash of the Titans poster from 1981. I love the Italian title "Scontro Di Titani"!
This poster is in rough shape because it's an original Clash of the Titans item from my childhood. It used to be my brothers but he gave it to me several years ago (my big brother is awesome!). I was always jealous that my parents ordered the poster for him and not me, but as my brother and I shared the same bedroom I got to see the poster anyway. There is a section along the right side of the poster for placing the stickers that came free inside boxes of Post Cereal (Alphabits and Sugar Crisp). I helped my brother to collect them all, but we never found Zeus or Medusa. We would have been missing Perseus too but my brother traded his cookies to a kid at school who had the Perseus sticker on his lunchbox!
Post Cereal also offered a kid-sized plastic belt buckle that a sticker could be placed onto. Like the poster, the belt buckle could only be acquired through the mail. I'm not sure how many kids would be so excited about having a belt buckle that they would mail away for one, or ten for that matter! Other than the artwork on the back of the cereal box, I've never actually seen one of those belt buckles. Found on their own without a sticker, there would be no way to associate the belt buckle to Clash of the Titans or Post Cereal, as they are just a plain square shape with no logos or text. Frankly, it's odd that the belt buckles were offered at all.
Now and then the original Post cereal boxes advertising these Clash of the Titans stickers and posters will show up on e-bay. So far I've seen an Alpha-bits box and a Sugar-Crisp box. I find they are a bit pricey for cereal boxes. Front and back views of the Sugar Crisps box can be seen at this link: http://www.battlegrip.com/tag/ebay/
As for the Post cereal version of the poster, I've never seen it on e-bay and suspect it is quite rare in any condition. The same Dan Goozee artwork was used on other Clash of the Titans movie posters, so it is not hard to find a different version of this poster in better condition.
Update: In Sept. 2012 I received an e-mail from Grant, a very enthusiastic fan of Clash of the Titans who said that he had had the Post Cereal poster when he was a kid. For a few years now, Grant has been looking for this poster and, apparently, mine is the first one he's seen! He asked for some additional pictures of the poster, so here they are...
I also found an excellent interview online in which Mr. Goozee discusses the many different projects he's worked on:
During the interview Mr. Goozee mentions some of the film posters he's done, including Clash of the Titans, and that most of the original paintings were done in acrylic, and are 40 X 60 inches!
Here is a 3 inch button by Factors Etc. shown next to the Mattel Perseus figure for size comparison. The copyright date says 1980 which makes me wonder if these buttons were distributed before the film was released in 1981. I've also seen buttons featuring Perseus, Calibos, Zeus and Bubo.
Here is a card showing the Hildebrant poster artwork that was used on the first VHS release of the movie. This card was produced in 1994 by Comic Images and is from a series of collector cards featuring "The Brothers Hildebrant" fantasy art paintings. I've shown the front and back above. Rather than his red cape and white toga, Perseus is shown wearing a blue cape and a matching blue Speedo! However, his sword and sandals are movie accurate.
It just keeps getting better! In 2008 Ray Harryhausen produced a third amazing huge Bible of stop-motion animation "A Century of Model Animation: From Melies to Aardman". Who better to write about the history of this art than Ray Harryhausen! In addition to more behind the scenes of his own work, he discusses everything else you can think of that is stop-motion, from the Pillsbury Doughboy to Star Wars!
Issue No 8 of Starlog, Sept 1977 (only a few years before Clash of the Titans was released) there is a detailed section about "model animation" and the bottom left cover says "Behind-the-scenes with Ray Harryhausen and other tabletop Gods".
Official Ray Harryhausen Website
Of course, the best place to learn more about Ray Harryhausen is his official website:
Clash of the Titans 2010
Here is Entertainment Weekly magazine from April 2010 with the remake on the cover along with an inset photo of Harry Hamlin as Perseus! The article includes a section titled "Where are they now?" which updates readers about what the original actors of Clash of the Titans have done in the last three decades. Perhaps the most notable is Maggie Smith who played Thetis. She appeared in the Harry Potter films as Professor McGonagall.
Wrath of the Titans 2012
Lastly we have the Tribute magazine from March 2012 with the sequel "Wrath of the Titans" on the cover. I thought this was a much better film that the remake. The characters are more interesting, Perseus is no longer a whiny rebellious jerk who hates his father, and Bubo gets another cameo but this time he his worshiped... as he rightfully should be! :)
Other Clash of the Titans collectables that I've seen
There are still many more collectible out there based on the original Clash of the Titans movie. Here are the ones that I know of:
Items from 1980 / 1981
Boardgame by Whitman / Westerm Publishing
Book The Novelization of the Movie came in four variations:
Softcover with title in gold foil lettering (shown above at top of this page)
Softcover with title in silver foil lettering
Softcover with title at lower half of cover and yellow "slash" bar at top right corner
Hardcover with paper dust jacket, title is not in foil letters
Bubo Shaped Radio This is an unofficial / bootleg Clash of the Titans item
Children's Costumes by Ben Cooper: Medusa, Calibos, Kraken, Perseus and Bubo, each sold separately in a window box
Inflatable Pegasus This is for small kids to sit on... kids who would be too young to watch this movie!!! This is a rare and very bizarre item!Lobby Cards Different sets were made for different countries, same as the posters, but I have yet to figure out how many sets were made, or how many photos were in each set. These are very different from the Press Photos that were also avaiable, as the Lobby Cards have a border with the title and/or artwort taken from one of the posters. There are at least 8 cards in a set, but sometimes more.
Lunchbox, Orange Plastic, paper sticker photo on front, comes with plastic Thermos
Lunchbox, Tin with plastic Thermos (this thermos has an illustration on it)
American Cinamatographer, June 1981, Kraken scene on cover
Chillers, Sept 1981, Calibos on cover
Cinefex, No 5, July 1981, Medusa's face on cover
Cinema Programm, "Kampf Der Titanen" (German) cover pics: Perseus fighting two headed dog, Calibos, Andromeda with Perseus
Famous Monsters No 169, Nov 1980, Ray Harryhausen mentioned on cover
Famous Monsters No 175, July 1981, Clash of the Titans, Superman, Raiders of the Lost Ark on cover
Famous Monsters No 182, April 1982, Stigian Witches on lower half of cover
Famous Monsters: Warren Presents The Official Exclusive Film Fantasy Yearbook March 1982
Fangoria, Vol 2, No 12, April 1981, small picture of Medusa on cover sidebar
Fantastic Films, Vol 4, No 1, Aug 1981, photo of Medusa's face at lower right corner of cover, with Superman II, Outland, Raiders of the Lost Ark
Film Review, July 1981, Clash of the Titans and Excalibur on cover
Photoplay Movies & Video, 1981, Clash listed on cover, photo of Burt Reynolds & Farrah Fawcett
Starburst, No 35, 1981, four movie photos on cover, one is of Perseus fighting Scorpions
Starlog, No 38, Close Encounters spaceship on cover, "Clash of the Titans" listed on cover but no picture
Starlog, No 45, 1981, p 70, short "next month" article about "Cash of the Titans", photo of Perseus and CalibosSuper Mag, Vol 5, No 11, Perseus and Pegasus logo on cover
English - Hildebrant art (Perseus in blue outfit)
English - Goozee art with photos of actors along right side in separate squares
French - "Le Choch de Titans" with new/original art
Turkey - "Son Emir", same art as French Poster
Croatia - "Borba Titana" with Goozee art
Japan - With new/original collage
Japan Program - Same collage as Japan poster on cover
Asia - With new/original collage, different from Japan poster
Spain - "Furia de Titanes", same artwork as poster in "Official Film Poster Magazine" shown above
Original Soundtrack, Cassette Tape, Perseus and Pegasus logo on cover
Original Soundtrack, Record Album, Perseus and Pegasus logo on cover
Original Soundtrack, Compact Disc, Perseus and Pegasus logo on cover, unconfirmed if this is an official release or a bootleg item
Press Photos / Press Kits There were at least two different photo sets available. One set is black and white and the other is in colour. I have yet to sort out how many photos are in each set. Press Kits came in a folder and have two or three photocopied pages of text. These press photos are not to be confused with the lobby cards mentioned above.
Promotional Flyer / Poster folds open to reveal Goozee art
T-shirt Transfers These were sold in T-shirt shops which had many binders filled with transfer images to choose from. As the transfers were often used right away to be put onto a t-shirt, finding the unused transfers can be tricky! I've seen designs for Perseus, Perseus with Pegasus (from Goozee movie poster), Bubo, and Calibos
Wristwatch with Perseus and Pegasus logo, beige strap
More recent items to be based on the original movie
Statue of Bubo by Gentle Giant, Limited Edition
Action Figures, Kraken, Calibos, Medusa, sold individually in boxes, may have been made by Gentle Giant, these might be bendy figures or statues rather than action figures, each sold in a large window box
Mini Busts Set, Kraken, Medusa and Calibos, may have been made by Gentle Giant
Kraken Bust May have been made by Geometric Designs, and is entirely different than the above mini kraken bust
Medusa Model Kit May have been made by Geometric Designs
Kraken Model Kit May have been made by Geometric Designs
Bubo the Owl Model Kit by Larson Designs, 2000
Comic books, Wrath of the Titans comic book series, based on original movie
Perseus 12" Doll, based on Wrath of the Titans Comic book, includes a Bubo figure
Charon 12" Doll, based on Wrath of the Titans Comic book
Bubo costume prop, shoulder accessory for Perseus costume based on the 2010 film remake
June 29, 1920 -Sept 12, 2013
His work will always be with us but it is his absence that makes the world poorer and duller and somewhat void of magic. For when a great wizard leaves this earth a little of his magic goes with him.
- Guillermo del Toro (Director/Writer/Producer)
[Quote from the official Ray Harryhausen website]
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Text and Photos © Mike Artelle