Collector Highlight #2 Russell Pompa
1 ) When did you get into Fun World collecting and what was your first mask?
It started when I was a kid really! Halloween was an obsession of mine from the very beginning and I absolutely loved scary masks. The first Fun World mask I can remember getting as a child was probably a Bleeding ‘Ghost Face’, but I can remember having several throughout my childhood (including a ‘Blue Witch’ and werewolf mask that I still have to this day). My interest in Fun World masks was reignited seeing other collectors purchasing their childhood favorites. This inspired me to do the same, but funnily enough, the first Fun World mask I ended up purchasing was one I never had as a child, the ‘Vampire’ skull. From there I sought to collect the entire original cotton shroud skull line-up (which I did thanks to Chris Katros) and a long term goal of collecting all of the early ghosts. Eventually my interest expanded into the many other character series they offered, especially the demons and phantoms!
2 ) What are three of your favorite pieces from your collection currently?
My current favorites are my green ‘Happy’ ghost cotton shroud, ’Ghoul’ demon cotton shroud, and ’Vampire’ skull cotton shroud.
3 ) What is a piece you dream of adding to your collection?
Definitely a green Gen 1 ‘Peanut-Eyed’ Ghost!
4 ) Many collectors come to Fun Tyme from their childhood Halloween nostalgia. Do you have any early memories of Fun World masks to share?
In retrospect, it's really interesting because I realize now that a lot of costumes and masks I had as a kid were made by Fun World. Like many kids of the 90’s, I naturally had the classic ‘Ghost Face’ costume that was produced after the release of Scream. It was easily one of my favorite costumes I had as a child, and I wore it around the house constantly throughout the year. I can remember for a good portion of my childhood that was truly the most popular costume among young boys my age. Every group of kids trick or treating had at least one ‘Ghost Face’ or one of the other ghost characters. I went to Catholic school as a kid, and even at our Halloween parades you would always see droves of kids in ghost masks and robes. I can remember being so excited for Halloween because all year we had to wear these school uniforms that I hated. When the opportunity to parade around the school (and church) in a robe and mask came, I was practically jumping for joy. Fun World masks were everywhere when I was younger, almost every kid I knew had one. It really makes you think about what masks are sitting in someones attic, forgotten to time.
5 ) Who is your favorite Fun World character?
Picking favorites is always tough, but I’ll have to go with the ‘Happy’ ghost! I originally wanted to start my Fun World collection with early ‘Peanut-Eyed’ ghost masks, but due to my budget I turned my attention to the other ghosts, and ‘Happy’ quickly became my favorite. It has an incredibly ghoulish feel and makes for fantastic pictures! The ‘Vampire’ skull is probably a close second. It was the design that really caught my attention when I began revisiting these masks.
6 ) Do you have other hobbies or collections?
I collect all sorts of masks. My first real introduction to the mask collecting hobby was the Michael Myers scene when I was around 12 years old. In addition to Myers and other movie slashers, I really like masks from Death Studios and Be Something Studio. I recently acquired a vintage ‘Female Fang Face’ that I’m still really excited about. Outside of the mask realm, I’m a pretty avid blu-ray collector with an affinity for 4K restorations of old Horror films.
7 ) What is a mask you are sad you let go?
I had a really uniquely shaped Gen 2 green ‘Happy’ ghost, whose color had faded from the typical fluorescent green to a more mint-green shade. Something about it was really spooky and more sinister than most copies I’ve come across. I recently sold it, but I definitely miss it already!
8 ) Do you have anything you want to plug or shout out?
Big shout outs to Wade and Jo, as well as William Edwards! Will’s recent cosplay photography is what really inspired me to start taking pictures like this again! Check out my band Crucial Rip and horror rap project Da Krypt Keepa!
-- Follow Russell Pompa on Instagram.