Sunday, July 26, 2009

'HORROR MAKE-UP KIT' - Dekker Toys
















Dekker Toys 'Horror Make-up kit first came out during the 1970's and was created by world renown make-up artist Dick Smith who created the make-up for 'The Exorcist', 'Little Big Man', 'The Hunger' etc. This wondeful kit was perfect for those wanting to turn themselves into grisley creations for Halloween, amateur horror films or just for freaking out people with bloody gashes, cuts and scars. The kit came with Flex Flesh which is a powered substance you mixed with water and poured into any of the several moulds contained within, these were of cuts, gashes, swollen eye sockets and noses etc. The Flex Flesh when set was supposed to turn into a flexible latex wound etc. A lot of the time I tried it my flex flesh just went too hard to be able to use as a flexible wound to stick onto the skin, it was like trying to stick un-cooked pasta to yourself, not sure what went wrong with the mixture. If it did turn out ok you could then stick it on to yourself or any willing person, and then blend in the grease paint stick to give it a more realistic colour, and of course adding blood to the wound etc. I never got round to creating a full make-up with the kit, just the odd scars, cuts or gashes which if did right could look quite realistic. The Instruction manual illustrated a number of creations that could be tried out on yourself or on another person. As well as the moulds, blood, Flex Flesh and glue, the kit also had several different size spoons for measuring the flex flesh, some plastic teeth and I think some false hair too. I don't have everything that was in the kit as I think I may of got it secondhand. I did get the smaller later version of the kit which was called 'Scary Faces' [see pic above] new, but this kit is now un-complete.






I would love to hear of your experiances with the Horror Make-Up kit and especially to see any photos of your efforts.

30 comments:

Steve Spatucci said...

Ah, I loved this toy... but I never owned it. I wanted it so bad, and when I first started reading your post I'd convinced myself I did have it, but the details made me realize I only coveted a friend's set. Looking forward to hearing comments from some others (besides you) who owned it.

Chris said...

OMG, me and my brother had the Movie/TV Horror Make-Up kit back in the 70's. I would never have remembered if I hadn't seen the picture.
We never managed to do anything that looked as impressive as what was on the box. Curse you Mum and Dad for always being so busy!

Paul said...

Hi Steve
I am pretty sure that I got mine second hand, I don't think any of my mates or myself had it when it first came out. I wonder if its still possible to buy the Flex Flesh,if so then I'll have to get some and then have another go.

I'm also looking forward to any comments regarding others who used to have the Horror make-up kit or the later Scary Faces.

Paul said...

Hi Chris
I totally understand about the make-up experiments not looking as impressive as that featured on the box, maybe takes lots of practice and several bags of Flex Flesh.It was probally Dick Smith who did the make-up featured on the box photo. As well as my Flex Flesh going either too hard or too mushy, the colouring in with the greasepaint sticks was also not very effective, maybe it was just me.

Chris said...

The Flex Flesh always went hard when I tried it too Paul. It seemed as if it was resistant to the paint as well. I'd have to put loads on and hope it would take.

Paul said...

Hi Chris
Yes I know what you mean, not sure why it would turn out like this and it certainly was very awkward trying to get that greasepaint to take properly.

Jody B. said...

Thanks so much for this post! Although in the US, it was produced by "Pressman Toys." This looks exactly like the ones we had here! I remember the TV commercial scared me the first time I saw it. I finally got one for my birthday I think. It wasn't the "Horror" version, but it was the "Monster" version. It included appliances to make the Frankenstein Monster, Quasimodo and Mr. Hyde. I slathered so much spirit gum all over my face it broke out. I remember it was a very painful experience. I also liked the set of vampire teeth it came with. They were different and more realistic than most I'd seen in shops up to that point. Such great memories...wish I had one now so I could try these make-ups again!

Matt J. Bell said...

Wow! Thanks so much for this post!
I had this kit for Xmas back in the 70s and I absolutely loved it.
I remember that it came with a little hunk of braided crepe hair too.
I remember spending hours in the bathroom applying it and then running into the kitchen to scare my Mum, only to have all the scabs and pustules drop off at the crucial moment.
Great memories!
Keep up the good work :-)

Paul said...

Not sure if I ever used the black braided crepe hair. Yes you certainly could have some fun with this kit. I could imagine that having the scars etc falling off your face at the crucial moment could also havc a good effect too...I'm Melting!

Thanks for the kind comments. Please do visit again

DonkeySpank said...

Eeeep! Back in the 70s I remember being deperate for this kit but my parents told me on several occasions it was "too old" for me (I seem to recall it was ages 10+ and I guess I was probably 8 yrs old) but once my birthday rolled around just after Christmas there it was - what a surprise! I still remember how excited I was to receive it!

I spent hours experimenting with the FlexFlesh, trying varying amounts of powder to water, using different sized red plastis spoons, etc. I remember you had to put the mixture in the fridge to set, but it always came out like jelly which simply would NOT stick to the faces of either me or my best friend, no matter how much spirit gum we applied (and we applied a lot! LOL).

One time we did actually manage to get a few smaller scars and wounds to stick to our arms so we tried to add some colour using the make-up sticks but it was just impossible! The sticks were very similar to waxy crayons and the colour just wouldn't transfer to the flexflesh. All in all a disappointing experience but I still have massively fond memories of this toy - it seems I must've had a load of fun just experimenting with it.

I remember the most used item was the fake blood, luckily the market in my local town had a joke shop which allowed me to replenish supplies quite easily!

It's interesting to read everyone else's memories of the Horror Makeup set, for the last 30 years I've always though I was the only one who struggled with it! :)

Anonymous said...

My dad said he had this stuff when he was young and never had troubles with the paint and the flex flesh never turned out too hard or mushy. Also him and his brothers managed to make stuff like the picture from the manual that you showed. I really want to get some of this stuff and try it out. Sounds pretty cool.

Paul said...

Thank you so much for the interesting stories regarding the Horror make-up kit. Anyone got any of the others that came out during the same sort of time i.e.The Monster and Gorilla ones?

Doctor_Cyclops said...

This was my best christmas present I ever had! My dad did a cracking job at applying the various scars and things to my face, and I even won a Halloween competition wearing it.
Thanks for reminding me.

Webster Colcord said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Webster Colcord said...

King of the Gorillas Make-Up Kit for sale on Ebay

Paul said...

Thanks for the link, nice to see this.

Paul said...

Hi Doctor Cyclops, nice little story about your experiances with the kit, do you have photos of yourself wearing the Halloween contest make-up?

DH said...

I had this as a kid.
The Flex Flesh was actually gelatin and there was some glycerine in a small pot that people always forgot to add. It softened up the gelatin and made sure it didn't dry out.

If the ingredients weren't made so mysterious we could have made hundreds of duplicate prosthetics. I've still got one of the eye moulds laying around somewhere.

Paul said...

Hi DH
Now we know why the flex flesh went so hard, thanks for telling us about that. I must of got my horror make-up kit second hand because I don't remember seeing any glycerine. Yeah it would of been great to be able to make your own stuff up, especially all these years afterwards when it is probally difficult to buy any more packs of Flex-Flesh.

Anonymous said...

I had this aged 6 in 1983! Never was very good at actually applying it, but I did manage it on my cousin rather unsucessfully!

Paul said...

It does seem to be a common problem with the kit, was it the same for you with the flex flesh going either too hard or soft?

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Great website ! I have some Fangtastic News for your readers! I have this set and it is for sale on ebay.co.uk

Item number: 221201012833

It is unused and near complete, just missing the fake blood bottle. Everything New and Unused.

Remember when darkness falls, death walks the halls.....

Anonymous said...

I found this blog / article when searching google for information about this 70's horror make up kit - i have a 99% complete and unused kit - only thing missing is the plastic strip to stir the flexi flesh. all the bottles are still full and amazingly nothing has dried up.. and the flesh is still sealed! + instructions of course - i even resisted the temptation to mess around with the fake blood too.
The box looks like it came out the shop yesterday.
if anyone is still interested im selling a large part of my collection this incuded.
aandrew@hotmail.co.uk

Anonymous said...

i can confirm that there is indeed a bottle marked "anti drying agent" in the kit, this must have been the ingredient often left out that caused the flexi flesh to dry hard.
andrew

Jah Hozer said...

I had the horror version. US, PRessman version. I dont remember it getting hard, but I remember most of it not working right, like the nose. I did some impressive stuff, though. I was the Hunch back for Halloween one year, and did my eye so well that every single house asked me what happened to my eye and they gave my dad some serious sideways glances!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Blast from the Past. I had this kit, and I remember it being awesome. My favorite mold was the "bullet hole". I was in Cub Scouts, and I won a trophy for Spookiest Make-up using this kit. I don't remember any fake hair.

Unknown said...

Hi Paul -

I found your 2009 post and all of these great comments while looking for a pdf of the Instruction Manual. Would you consider photographing or scanning the remaining pages? My 5-y-o wants to be a zombie next year (Star Wars only this year) and I want to look at the appliance combinations suggested in the manual.

Thanks!

Paul said...

Hi

Hope that the scans of the complete manual are ok for you.

Frank Middleton said...

Is there anywhere that this kit can be still purchased? If so, where? From my experience,and memories the mix did better with hotter water..the hotter the better the mix did..

Unknown said...

Some of the molds have been repurposed by other costume companies as I have gotten another set of the trays (thinner plastic but still work) over the past decade.

Gelatin, a little glycerin, and very hot water!