Collector Highlight #1 Wade Elibon
1 ) When did you get into Fun World collecting and what was your first mask?
I had a few ghost masks growing up in the ‘90s. My first was an MK stamped ‘RDS’. I’ve been a mask collector for nearly twenty years, but didn’t get back into Fun World until 2016. I had just graduated from art school and was going through a weird post-modern phase of collecting “alternative” masks to slasher movie characters, exploring how they might exist in our world instead of film. I picked up two cotton shroud ‘Happy’ ghosts to be my “Billy” and “Stu” for Scream. I always loved the ‘Happy’, it was one of my childhood favorites. When I began looking more into these masks it opened a profoundly nostalgic avenue I didn’t know was available or collectible. In 2019, I happened upon the Fun Tyme and Scream Collectors groups on Facebook while scavenging for specific masks my brother and I grew up with trick or treating. It was exciting to reconnect with this once abstract memory of special ghost masks, and opened a new world of collecting for me.
The vintage mask hobby was always dominated by Don Post and Be Something Studio collectors, and masks of the 70s and 80s they grew up with. While there was certainly an emerging interest in Fun World as it intertwined with the growing Scream community, I think a lot of millennials who were raised on these masks, such as myself, helped proliferate the 90s as a valid vintage era of collectibility. It’s amazing what historical narrative one can illustrate studying and observing masks over time. With how many different ways the story can be understood, I wanted to create a comprehensive guide compiling the discourse. When I became co-admin of the It’s Fun Tyme group, this project soon became our website (www.itsfuntyme.com) thanks to the support of our members through a raffle. It’s a great resource for new and old collectors to learn more about vintage Fun World masks. Our pages detail collectible series of masks and their variants, and our Archive documents polaroids, camcorder footage, and vintage catalog excerpts from the 90s.
2 ) What are three of your favorite pieces from your Fun World collection currently?
It always changes, but at the moment my white shroud ‘Happy’ ghost, ‘Fanged Ghoul’ demon, and bleeding ‘Ancient Zombie’ mask come to mind. The bleeding ‘Ancient Zombie’ is neat, as a kid someone in my neighborhood had one on display around Halloween with an animatronic hand that would squeeze the pump. The demon series is unique, the purple airbrushing gives them a lot of character. The white shroud ‘Happy’ feels like a ghostly visage of my copy I had as a child.
3 ) What is a piece you dream of adding to your collection?
The elusive white shroud ‘Melty’ ghost! There’s only one authentic copy in the community at the moment. The white shroud masks stopped appearing in the catalog in 1995, the same year the ‘Melty’ and ‘Grinning Skull’ ghosts were introduced. This transitionary period makes those two exceptionally rare, and thus a personal grail of mine. Plus… it’s gorgeous!
4 ) Many collectors come to Fun Tyme from their childhood Halloween nostalgia. Do you have any early memories of Fun World masks to share?
Absolutely! I remember being 8 years old having to be pulled away from the seasonal aisle of CVS by my mother. My brother and I would tag along with her to do errands, but would get completely immersed in the Fun World masks. We already loved Scream and Ghost Face, but seeing all of the different character designs intrigued us. We’d sift through the pegs learning the different faces, looking for the best copies. Those purple Fearsome Faces tags… That vanilla smell… Perhaps nothing more potently nostalgic for me.
I was fascinated by the Bleeding Dripping mask series as well. They were so innovative and fresh when they came out. I remember surfing the internet for pictures and info on them in elementary school. I even wrote Fun World a letter pitching new designs with concepts and drawings of my own.
One of my favorite memories of Fun World masks is from Halloween of 1999. My brother and I finished trick or treating around our neighborhood. When we removed our masks on the walk home (poly shroud ‘Happy’ and ‘Melty’ ghosts) the cool crisp air of the mid-Autumn night radiated foggy condensation around our sweaty heads, and the vanilla smell was all around. I remember the sound of crunching leaves, as we stared at our masks in admiration through the morphing orange street lights.
5 ) Who is your favorite Fun World character?
The ‘Happy’ and ‘Melty’ ghosts will always be my favorite.
6 ) Do you have other hobbies or collections?
My main other collection is familiar and obscure slasher movie masks and replicas of the 70s and 80s. I collect all sorts of vintage masks. I dabble in accessories to display them with like vintage Halloween decorations and VHS cassettes.
7 ) What is a mask you are sad you let go?
I had a real Fantastic Faces tagged Gen 1 ‘Peanut-Eyed’ ghost that I traded with a collector. I’m pleased with that deal, but I do occasionally think about it since I no longer have any authentic tagged Fun World masks. There’s something compelling about a tagged mask that’s remained so for almost three decades.
8 ) Do you have anything you want to plug or shout out?
I want to shout out all of the Fun World collectors! These masks have a special place in my heart and I’m always warmed by the enthusiasm of those interested in the masks beyond Scream. It’s amazing to see how this community has expanded. It sort of started as the “junk group” to get all of the non-Ghost Face content out of the Scream Collectors groups, so to see it evolve with a strong base who care about these masks is so rad. It’s endearing to see the new and unique perspectives collectors present and photograph these masks.
If you haven’t already, check out our website www.itsfuntyme.com - especially the Archive!
Follow Wade Elibon on Instagram.