Ever since my research on and subsequent publication of my first book on the maddening case of the Mad Gasser of Mattoon, Illinois (very near where I grew up), this unsolved mystery -- be it a fascinating historical true crime, from my research, or a case of paranormality from the promalgation of other online writers -- has fascinated me to no end. I was thrilled when I found that the subject of my book was an actual toy from the 1990's. It was produced as part of a large series of mythical mosters and creatures (The Mad Gasser of Mattoon" was #110 in the series - left) entitled "Monster in my Pocket", made by the Matchbox Company. I had to have one and found it easily on eBay (in a lot containing some 40 others beasties). I was always disappointed though that the creature depicted -- though fittingly scary -- really didn't lend itself to the actual research on the case at all. In fact, the only characteristic that gave away its identity was the obvious gas mask. I was satisfied though with my prize...until recently.
"This mysterious maniac, the Mad Gasser, haunts the night, releasing a strong,
nauseating and paralyzing gas into the homes of his innocent ictims and they
sleep! He has never been identified or clearly seen. The only proof he exists is
a trail of blue vapor and poisonous fumes. DON'T INHALE!"
Someone did their research. However, there are three contentions I have:
- As for "He has never been identitfied", the company must not have read my book on the subject or preferred to keep it a mystery as -- I will admit -- it is scarier that way.
- The desciption repeatedly uses "he", but the toy and accomanying illustration -- in my opinion -- clearly depict a female Gasser. My research does support this.
- Frustratingly, this series of toys is not available in the United States. I had to order mine from Great Britain...but it was worth it.
KUDOS to the Morrison Entertainment Group for this fine addition to my collection!!