Mikey's Muppet Memorabilia Museum

Mikey's Muppet Memorabilia Museum

Other Henson Worlds 1980-1989

The Dark Crystal (Movie) 1982

In 1982 the first non-Muppet Jim Henson movie, The Dark Crystal, was released in theatres. This is the novel based on the film published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston in 1982. It is written by A.C.H.Smith who would later do the same for the movie Labyrinth. There is a section at the centre of the book with 14 colour photos from the film.

It took me years to find a copy of this one. Thank goodness for the internet! "A Tale of the Dark Crystal" is the storybook version of the movie. It is published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston in 1982. The illustrations are amazing and  depict the characters perfectly. A super book for Dark Crystal fans!

Marvel comics published a popular two-part comic book series based on the movie. The comics were sold in April and May of 1983. This was the first time Marvel would do a comic based on one of Jim Henson's movies and it turned out to be the first in a series. Marvel would also do comic books based on The Muppets Take Manhattan in 1984 and Labyrinth in 1986. In addition Marvel also produced two long running comic book series based on the Muppet Babies animated TV show and Fraggle Rock. These two titles were offered through their Star Comics brand of children's comics.

Marvel also published the two Dark Crystal comics together in a "Marvel Super Special" magazine sized edition.

Here is a comparison showing the difference in the colouring for the magazine from the comic book. Each page was completely recoloured with more detail than the smaller comics.

To make up the extra pages needed for this format there are about 13 pages of movie photos and concept art at the back following the comic, and three movie photo pages at the front of the book. Below is the back cover with an awesome full page photo of Jen on the crystal!

In 2002, exactly twenty years after the release of The Dark Crystal in theatres, Sideshow Toys produced these two 12 inch dolls of the Gelflings, Jen and Kira. Each doll was packaged separately in a super awesome display box that has the original movie poster artwork on the front flap. Jen came with his flute and the crystal shard, while Kira came with her pet fluff ball Fizzgig. The detail in these dolls is amazing. Jen's costume, is especially impressive as it is embroidered with elaborate details. Below is the back view.

My only criticism of these dolls is that the faces don't look very much like the puppets in the movie. They are shaped quite differently being very round as compared with the actual characters. I do wonder what image sources the artist was using when these heads were sculpted. However, on their own the doll heads are very well done, but not as a likeness of the characters. None the less, I'm very happy to have these dolls which are so awesome they entice me to shout, "Camalayaas!" :)

On the topic of dolls, in 2007 Toy Vault produced a rather crudely made plush toy of Fizzgig. I don't yet have one in my collection but they are easily found online.

In November 2016 the Funko toy company produced a series of five Pop! figures based on The Dark Crystal. I've shown them above in their original boxes, and below out of the box. These figures are very well made and the detailing in the sculpting is quite impressive! The costumes were reproduced with very authentic detail to be just like the puppets in the movie. The Kira figure includes a separate figure of Fizzgig. Funko even produced a less common variant of Fizzgig with a closed mouth that was randomly packed. I have yet to find this variant figure for my collection, but have all of the others in the set. Funko also released a series of Labyrinth Pop! figures at the same time as this Dark Crystal set. They're shown below in the labyrinth section.

I've included a back view of the figures to show the detail of the costumes, especially for the Mystic, Ursol the Chanter. Click on the images to see a larger version.

Shortly after these figures were released Funko produced a series of smaller action figures. This second set of figures is similar to the Dark Crystal action figure prototypes created in 1983 but never produced. Unfortunately, they were released in limited quantities and were hard to find at retail. As a collector I found this quite frustrating! Additionally, the figures proved to be quite popular and today are a tad pricey to acquire. Alas, I'd love to own these, but don't expect to see them in my collection anytime soon! :( Well, I guess I can live with that considering I have the Pop figures and the two Sideshow Toys dolls. I can't hog all the cool stuff!

Labyrinth (Movie) 1986

This is the original soundtrack record album from Labyrinth, which is my second favourite Henson film after the very first Muppet Movie. I recall saving my pennies to buy this record brand new at the record store, so I left the original store wrapper on it and just sliced open the side to get the record out. It was released in 1986, same as the film. Even though this record is quite common, it's one of my prized items in the collection. I really like the artwork and photography included on the front and back covers and on the record sleeve. Below is the back cover.

There were 12 tracks included. Side 1: Opening Titles including Underground, Into the Labyrinth, Magic Dance, Sarah, Chilly Down, Hallucination Side 2: As the World Falls Down, The Goblin Battle, Within You, Thirteen O'Clock, Home at Last, Underground.

Below are the two sides of the paper record sleeve.

Below are some Labyrinth stickers that were available free inside Shreddies cereal boxes in 1986, only in Canada. They have all been removed from the original sticker sheet, but I recall that each sheet had two stickers...a main character and a goblin. I'm not sure which goblin goes with which character, and I don't know how many different sticker sheets were available to collect in all. I'm assuming there would have been a sticker sheet with Sarah, Hoggle and Sir Didymus (either together on separate sheets) but I've never seen stickers of those characters. However, I do remember that there was a Shreddies TV commercial advertising the Labyrinth stickers, and it showed one of the animated Shreddies characters carrying the Ludo sticker as he said "I'm Ludo!". There was also a contest on the cereal box to win Labyrinth merchandise, including a lunch box, a poster and a video game.


The Shreddies cereal boxes had different location scenes on the back to put the stickers on. The side of the box also had collectable cards to cut out. Below are the pieces that I cut out and saved from the box... I wish I had just saved the whole box! Card number 1 is Ludo, 4 is a goblin, 7 is Humongous (the giant robot guard). Based on the numbering for the collector cards there are three different boxes available as there were only three cards on each box.

I found the these two cereal box photos online (above and below). They show a complete Shreddies box with collector cards number 2, 5 and 8. I don't know if the back of the box shown below goes with this box or another one (I found them separately). The third box would have cards 3, 6 and 9 which I'm assuming would be images of Sarah, Jareth and Hoggle considering that they are the only main characters absent from the set.

 Here is the Novel of Labyrinth based on the movie. It was published in 1986 by Henry Holt and Company, and was written by A.C.H Smith who also wrote the novel version of The Dark Crystal.

Above is the hardcover version of the Labyrinth storybook based on the movie. It was published in 1986 by Henry Holt and Company. Below is the soft cover version which is identical. This book has awesome illustrations and captures the essence of the film very well.

Here are the Marvel comic books of the movie Labyrinth, published in 1986 as a three part series.
Just as they did with their comics of The Dark Crystal and The Muppets Take Manhattan, Marvel published all three of the Labyrinth comics together in a "Marvel Super Special" magazine sized edition.
Here is a comparison of the two versions of the comics showing how the pages were all coloured differently for the magazine sized edition. Hoggle's pants are brown instead of green, and there are other subtle differences (the grass, the yellow flash around the door, skin tones, etc.) Each page is different from the smaller version! There are also no advertisements in the larger edition, and photos from the movie are shown on the last page. Below is the back page of the comic with an awesome full page photo of Sarah and Jareth.
In November 2016 Funko produced a series of five Pop! figures based on Labyrinth. The set included two different versions of Jareth wearing outfits from the film: one with a brown jacket and grey pants, and one in a grey outfit with a white cape holding an orb. A variant of the orb figure was also released with glitter detailing (which I don't have). Sarah comes with a small figure of the worm which is an awesome bonus! Ludo is a six inch figure and was sold in a larger sized box, though the figure can actually fit into the standard sized box. The figure also has a ball joint at the neck so that the head can be tilted to the side the way Ludo does in the movie. He is my favourite figure in the series. Funko did an awesome job on these, I only wish that they had completed the set with a two pack figure set of Sir Didymus riding on Ambrosius. That would have been awesome!

With their Dark Crystal line of toys, Funko produced a second series of smaller figures but for some reason opted not to do so for Labyrinth which kinda sucks. It would have been awesome to see standard 3 inch action figures based on Labyrinth! Still, I'm glad they made the Pop! figures as they are very cool! This is the first time that action figures of Sarah and Ludo were made (and the worm too!). There have been a few different action figures of Jareth made over the years and one of them was a two pack set with a Hoggle figure.

Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
I admit that it's a little odd of me to include Little Shop of Horrors as part of this "Other Henson World's" page, as Jim Henson didn't have any direct involvement in this production. However I've always regarded this live action musical feature film as belonging in my Muppet collection. Firstly, it was directed by Muppet puppeteer Frank Oz, the performer behind most of the key Muppet characters, such as Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Sam the Eagle, Bert, Cookie Monster, and Grover. Additionally, the Audrey II plant puppets used in the film were created by Muppet puppet builder and Jim Henson Creature Shop alumni Lyle Conway. As such, to me it always seemed a natural fit to include Little Shop of Horrors collectables as part of my Muppet/Henson collection. I've always loved this movie! It's among one of my all time favourites!
The movie was very popular in when it played in theatres. As it was released by Geffen it was advertised and promoted quite extensively. Despite this, to my knowledge there were very few collectables based on the film. Of course there are the usual movie magazines, movie posters and lobby cards, and a VHS home video, but aside from this fans of the film were left wanting. I only discovered recently (in 2017) that Topps had produced a series of collector cards based on the movie in 1986, which I was surprized to see! These were likely available in stores while the movie was in theatres, so they're a great vintage collectable that ties directly into the film's history. Shown above is the wax paper wrapper for one pack of five cards. (The wrapper says five cards, but I actually got six cards in this pack! I'm not sure if this was an error or if the wrapper should have said six cards instead of five?)

The cards themselves are quite unique for a few reasons. Firstly, each one is a sticker! Usually these types of movie collector cards had a few stickers in the series that were special to find and collect, so having every card as a sticker is quite bizarre!
More importantly though is that some of the cards show scenes from the original ending of the film, which was replaced with a "happy ending" after test screenings of the film failed to satisfy audiences. The original ending was then presumed "lost" as the footage was never developed into a final print for theatrical distribution. However, according to Wikipedia the footage was later rediscovered and restored for a Directors Cut, then released on DVD in 2012.

One of the film's original deleted scenes was even included as a puzzle picture, with the backs of selected cards as the pieces to the puzzle. Audrey II is destroying New York in this picture!!!

The backs of non-puzzle cards have a red border with comic book like scenes with dialogue from the film.

Here is a music book based on the movie. This was available through stores that sold musical instruments and other music books. Although the film is from 1986, this book has a copyright date of 1987. The front cover is somewhat bland, with just the title logo and a brick wall. This music book, along with the CD shown below, is of interest to fans of both the movie and stage version of Little Shop of Horrors as it contains the song "Mean Green Mother From Outerspace" which was created just for the film.

The back cover of the book is much more interesting as it presents the official movie poster!

At the front of the book the are a few movie photo pages showing scenes from the film.

Here is the original release of the soundtrack on CD which I bought in the mid 1990's. The only copyright date on this CD is for 1986, however it would have been released much later on in the 90's, as in the 1980's we were still dealing with vinyl records or cassette tapes! Below is a view of the actual disc. The fold out insert presents the same images that were used in the music book, shown above.

The Storyteller (1988)

Although the TV series aired in 1988 this book was not published until 1991. As with the Dark Crystal and Labyrinth storybooks, the illustrations are perfect and have the same feel as the TV episodes. I highly recommend this book for Jim Henson fans! All nine stories from the TV series are included. Published by Alfred A. Knoff, 1991.
Text and photos © Mikey Artelle, 2011, 2017

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