BOB BURNS is not what he might appear to be. He's not an understudy to Hugh Beaumont. He's not a Tareyton smoker who'd rather fight than switch. To put it bluntly, he's a monster. That is, he's a monster lover. Don't let that soft smile, gentle gaze, and clean-cut appearance fool you - this man is a dabbler in dark delights. Bob loves all that is horrid, horrible, and, well, monstrous

To those familiar with the film industry, they know Bob as a modern-day crypt keeper. He is and has been the dutiful caretaker of Monsterdom's most famous and fetid artifacts of fear. Deep below his Hollywood home, Bob tends to a basement full of the scream-screen's mementos of classic horror and science fiction. From original masks of the She Creature and Saucer Men to the Martian War Machine and Mighty Kong himself, Bob's tending to it all - loving and laboring over the monstrosities that others might loathe. Again, this guy's a monster - our kind of monster.

But is this Bob a builder, too? You bet! Bob is a long-time collector and when we discovered his vintage collection of Monster Scenes, we ushered him into the Builders' Lair to tell us of his work.

Like most green-blooded "monster kids" of Hollywood's ghoulden days, Bob collected every monster "anything" he could get into his clutches. Naturally, he built and painted Aurora's original monster kits and, when Monster Scenes arrived in 1971, he snapped those up and began building his own custom settings. If the call was to "Mix 'em and match 'em," Bob answered enthusiastically. 


Dr. Deadly's Fright Factory la Bob Burns

See Bob's creation above, featuring a clever combination of Dr. Deadly, The Pain Parlor, and Gruesome Goodies, along with some other nightmarish notables. That's Aurora's 1/12th scale Bride of Frankenstein kit on the right while the menacing Mad Dog from Aurora's Customizing Kit #2 advances from the left. Bob even fashioned a convincing dungeon backdrop for the proceedings. And what about Frankenstein? Glad you asked. The Monster Scenes Frankenstein is there, too, but do you notice something different about the head? 

"I replaced the Frankenstein Monster's head on the Monster Scenes kit with Glenn Strange's head from the Marx figure...I always wanted to have a figure of Glenn on the table."

A long-time fan and personal friend of Glenn Strange, Bob saw fit to honor his actor friend. Sidling up, elbow to elbow, to Dr. Deadly, Bob set about to do some devious work of his own, skillfully replacing the original monster's head with that which resembles Glenn Strange's monster. The doctor is impressed!  

Further down the dungeon corridor, we find the Victim taking a breather (or frantically holding onto what might be her last gasp) under the Pendulum blade. It looks like a familiar setting in the realm of Monster Scenes yet, when you look again, you'll see the Wolfman is holding the Pendulum's rope! Surely it was the full moon that has turned this lab assistant into a writhing lycanthrope. By his pained grip, he controls the blade that could send the quivering girl from this world and into the next!

If the Pendulum blade doesn't finish this Victim, the waiting monsters will...

Meanwhile, the blood-thirsty Vampirella awaits a victim of her own to taunt in the Hanging Cage. And, the Creature awaits his revenge, temporarily detained by ankle irons. What a scene, indeed.

Back to the Pain Parlor, the Bride is attended to by a bony bridesmaid and - who's that on 
the right?  Hmmm, must be the Bride's mummy...


Of course, Bob's no stranger to mixing, matching, and even manufacturing his own monsters. Since his fascination with creeps and creatures was in full swing well before Aurora Plastics ever unveiled their first long-box Frankenstein kit, Bob relied on his own handiwork for making monsters. 

Below, see Bob's scratch-built Wolfman doll (a poseable "action figure" by today's terminology). Bob sculpted and painted the head, hands, and feet. Bob's wife, Kathy, attended to costuming duties, tailoring the 12" creature's wardrobe.

The Wolfman - a Bob Burns original 
circa 1956

And, once Aurora finally delivered the Frankenstein kit, Bob determined that Frankenstein could - and should - meet his Wolfman (see right). 

Bob taunts his tiny terror

Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman - in COLOR!

Truth be told, Bob's been toiling in his own builders' lair well ahead of most. As noted, Bob has made his home in Hollywood for some time now. Now what do you suppose a monster-lover would be doing in Hollywood during the fabled horror days of the 1950s?

CLICK HERE to learn the incredible truth about Bob!

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Photographs Bob Burns. All rights reserved. Used with permission.