TOYS WE GREW UP ON: Gre-Gory, Big Bad Vampire Bat!

Gre-Gory, the Big Bad Vampire Bat, by Mattel, is a toy that though I never owned personally, is one I always remembered! Being a monster fan as a child meant I was always on the lookout for the next cool monster toy. I remember when I first saw the commercials for this toy, wanting it immediately. This toy came out in 1978 and to this day I am surprised that it never made it under the tree on Christmas morning!

Though this is essentially just a rubber bat, similar to the ones you could find in many stores at Halloween time, it does feature some things that set it above the rest. Like most bat toys of the time he was made of a combination of rubber and plastic and he featured a 15 inch wingspan! The coolest feature though was the clear chest cavity that allowed you to see the blood flowing through its body, when you pushed a button on the back!

The fangs of this creature are sculpted in such a way that if you put your finger in the mouth, it would actually hold on like it was biting you if you squeezed it!  The feet were sculpted with loops so that you could hang him upside down, to scare your unsuspecting mother or sister!

I have been questioning my memory since this came out 40 years ago. For some reason I could’ve sworn that on the television commercial, it showed a kid with two red marks on his finger after being “bitten”, suggesting that it has some kind of liquid that could be also released from the fangs. In actuality, I was remembering a board game called “I Vant To Bite Your Finger” put out by Ideal in 1979 (meaning it was in fact available at the same time Gre-Gory was).

Today this toy is highly sought after and can go for quite a bit of money. The problem though is that most being sold feature dried up “blood”, making the main attraction of this toy no longer operable. They do appear on eBay quite a bit, some still sealed in their original packaging. If you are buying it to keep it sealed then you should be all set as the box art in itself makes a great display piece!

~David Albaugh

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