'Bloody Mouth' Skull
'Yellow Teeth' Skull
'RIP 2' Skull
'Open Mouth' Skull
Fun World's vinyl skull masks were a popular decade-spanning expansion first cataloged in 1995 as the #9205 - Glow-in-Dark Skull Mask with Shroud. Unlike previous skull masks offered, this group evolved from the ghost mask with shroud concept with reaper-like faces featuring the same black cotton shrouds. The earliest four character designs were the 'RIP', 'Bloody Mouth', 'Yellow Teeth', and 'Vampire' skulls. The assortment expanded in 1997 with the 'RIP 2' and 'Fanged' skulls and were the last to have cotton shrouds. Other polyester shrouded additions were made in the late 90s, including the 'Steve' skull which was featured on a wide variety of other products like the iconic Totally Skele-Bones costume, with more additions made in the 00s.
A mentionable skull item in the legacy of Fun World's skull masks is 'The Skull' from the #9553 - Living Faces kit product. The kit included a foam latex prosthetic face with applicator and make up to transform your face into a grim skeleton with full motion range and visibility. The design featured "RIP" on the forehead, a classic motif repeated throughout the next decade of their skull mask designs.
Living Faces "The Cyborg" variant of the Skull prosthetic kit.
Another version of the 'Living' skull design was offered in latex and was the first shrouded mask Fun World offered in the late 80s. Before the ghosts, the #9211 - Skull Mask with Shroud, or as we name it the 'Plastic' skull, was another proto-shrouded character mask. The shroud in this case was a simple sheet of cloth glued to the plastic face mask with strap. It was offered through the 90s and eventually changed from cotton to polyester.
Latex skull with shroud and #9211 'Plastic' Skull Mask with Shroud from the early 90s.
It wasn't until 1995 that the #9205 - Glow-in-Dark Skull Mask with Shroud assortment was created as an expansion of the #9206 line with the same vinyl face and cotton shroud design. The initial four characters included the 'RIP', 'Bloody Mouth', 'Yellow Teeth', and 'Vampire' skulls. Cotton shrouded masks came on Fantastic Faces header cards while masks made after 1997 feature polyester shrouds and came on Fearsome Faces header cards. They are all stamped "Easter Unlimited Inc" under the chin, and some factory variants like (MK) and (HN) have been found.
#9205 - Glow-in-Dark Skull Mask with Shroud assortment.
The 'Living' skull was featured on the #9837 - Wall & Door Plaque with Shroud decoration with activated light up red eyes and a spooky sound effect. The sculpt was adapted from the original prosthetic masters. Earlier plaques have cotton shrouds while later have polyester.
#9873 - Wall & Door Plaque with Shroud, 'Grey Skull'.
In 1997 the #9205 assortment expanded with the 'RIP 2' and 'Fanged' skull designs. 1997 was also the final year cotton shrouds were produced before transitioning to polyester across all lines, making these two characters particularly rare to find on cotton. The #9219 - Instant Disguise and #8919 - Glow in Dark Mask with Droop Collar now featured the 'RIP 2' design instead of the 'Living' skull.
'RIP 2' and 'Fanged' skull masks added to the #9205 assortment in 1997.
Though the 'Living' skull was used for the #9219 - Instant Disguise costume, it was replaced with the 'RIP 2' in 1997, which became a more common face found on a variety of items including the #8919 - Glow in Dark Mask with Droop Collar version with no cape.
#9219 - Instant Disguise 'RIP 2' Skull and #8919 - Glow in Dark Mask with Droop Collar. [Photo: John Louis]
In 1998, Fun World developed a new innovative Bleeding Dripping mask series, which we detail on another page. The 'Living' skull was briefly included in the line up and is featured in the original patent sketches. However, a new design debuted in 1998 along side it and became the primary face used across many skeleton related mask and costume pieces, called the 'Steve' skull. Bleeding 'Skull' masks were used in costume variants as well.
Bleeding 'Skull' masks including the 'Living' and 'Steve' skulls.
The 'Steve' skull was designed in 1998 and quickly became a standard face featured on a wide variety of Fun World items, making it iconic for the brand throughout the late 90s and 00s. The 'Steve' skull is most recognized by collectors from Totally Skele-Bones, a mask and jumpsuit appropriating the concept of the glow-in-dark shrouded masks as a full body costume. Totally Skele-Bones debuted in the late 90s and became a popular costume offered in colors and other varieties.
Totally Skele-Bones costume featuring the 'Steve' skull.
We believe the 'Steve' skull was added to the #9205 assortment in 1998, followed by the 'Grim' and 'Open Mouth' skulls in the 2000s. Designer Frank McGovern says he sculpted the 'Open Mouth' skull his first year at Fun World in 2001 with a closed mouth of teeth, but someone at the factory opened it wider before molding. Though the #9205 masks have mostly retired, you can still find the 'Grim' skull at Spirit Halloween.
#9205 - Glow-in-Dark Skull Mask with Shroud assortment from the 2000s with polyester shrouds.
The #8501 - Metallic Mask with Shroud assortment was released in 2002 and featured the 'Steve' skull design in purple, blue, red, and green. The colors feature a lot of variation in pigment and tone throughout their decade spanning production with more coppery reds, magenta purples, and teal blues. They can be found as (MK), (TD), and standard Easter Unlimited stamped factory variants.
#8501 - Metallic Mask with Shroud assortment of 'Steve' skulls.
The #8517 - Crypt Creature mask may have launched in 2003 and featured a variety of faces from products lines including the 'Steve' and 'Open Mouth' skulls among a collection of others characters.
#8517 - Crypt Creature masks featuring the 'Steve' and 'Open Mouth' skulls.