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The Missouri Monster

Legendary Monsters
by yo go re

For more than a decade, creator Richard T. Broadwater has been trying to make his Legendary Monsters toys a reality. Thanks to Kickstarter, they're finally coming to life!

July 11, 1972
Louisiana, Missouri

Eight-year-old Terry Harrison was playing in the backyard when a creature appeared, splatted [sic] with blood, carrying a dog under its arm. The creature was luckily driven away by the screams of his eight [sic] year old sister Doris, who had just stepped out into the yard.

"Momo" is typically described as a creature six to seven feet tall, its body covered entirely in black hair. Manlike in appearance and stance, the creature is often referred to as the "Eastern Bigfoot."

Louisiana, MO, is a small town about 90 miles northwest of St. Louis, just across the river from Illinois - the perfect sort of place for an 8-year-old boy, his 5-year-old brother and their 15-year-old sister to see something crazy and start a minor panic.

Momo the Missouri Monster is basically a shaggier version of Bigfoot - he has the same body type, and the same huge feet, but no face. Thick fur covers everything except his eyes, and rather than having a distinct, separate head, his long, flowing Gregg Allman hair spills down onto his shoulders, completely obscuring any neck he might have under there.

The sculpt of the figure is good - really good! Remember, this sculpt has been around since the year 2000, just waiting to finally get made, and this is easily on par with anything McFarlane was doing back then. It doesn't suck by modern standards, either. There's a lot of depth in the fur, with a great bit of difference between the highest and lowest points of the sculpt. There are hints of musculature beneath the hair, and his hands and feet are nearly bald by comparison. The figure is molded in dark brown, then hand-painted with grey to add detail to his fur, given bright red eyes, and some blood smeared on his chest.

The articulation isn't quite as impressive as the sculpt: while the sculpt could be from any major toy company, the articulation marks this as an indie release. Momo has hinged ankles, hinged knees, T-crotch, hinged elbows, and swivel/hinge shoulders. There's no waist, and no neck. You have to remember, these toys were designed before Marvel Legends; if they'd been released in 2001, as originally planned, this kind of articulation would have been right in the zone. The figure stands 5½" tall, so he looks really good looming over GI Joe or Star Wars figures. And he already moves like Mattel's Infinite Heroes, so surround him with the JLA and pretend he's the Shaggy Man - or paint him orange, and you'll finally have a Marvel Universe Sasquatch for Puck to pal around with.

Speaking of pals, when Legendary Monsters was first announced way back in the dusty annals of time, each monster was going to come with a "witness" figure and a display base (and the Kickstarter versions would have, too, if the first fundraiser had been successful). Momo would have come with a little boy in a red jacket and yellow pants - presumably meant to be Terry Harrison, the kid who was one of the first people to report seeing the monster. No word on what the base would have been; maybe a patch of backyard with a corner of a sandbox or something?

The packaging is very nice. It's a simple cardboard box, with the figure twist-tied into a tray inside - very collector-friendly! It's designed to look like a wooden crate, with a drawing of the monster on the front and right side, drawings of all four monsters in the line on the left side, and a panel on the back presenting the legend of the beast inside. It's a very nifty presentation. The set was also supposed to include a game card, but it didn't - that must be coming with a future shipment.

Because production of the Legendary Monsters is taking longer than expected, the Nevermore Toys folks opted to send out Momo as soon as he was ready, rather than waiting for all four to be completed - which ups the amount that they have to spend on shipping, lowers their net profit, and yet proves that they're really committed to getting these made and delivered to the customers. Momo the Missouri Monster may not be as good a figure as Hasbro could produce today, he's still a good toy. Even when you start counting from 2001, Momo was worth the wait.

-- 05/20/14

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