Pop-Up Frankiestein is a plastic toy manufactured in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s by the Wilkin Toy Company of Hong Kong. Atop his turreted castle, Dr Frankenstein’s ghastly creation looms over all before him. The players of the game, up to three, take their trusty dagger (red, blue or green) and take turns in stabbing them into one of the slots in the body of the castle itself. All but one of these will result in nothing happening and it will then be the next player’s turn – eventually, an unlucky player will cause Frankie to leap alarmingly from his perch – as with many toys of the 60’s and 70’s, this could potentially lead to injury or heart failure.
A proud possession as a child, this game was not without its concerns. Any number of the 17 (quite sharp) daggers would end up down the back of the settee or fly up the hoover at some point, putting at least one player at an advantage. My memory will not allow me to confirm whether the idea was to cause the walking cadaver to leap off the building in a suicide attempt, or at you in devilish glee. The effect was the same – quite extraordinary alarm and fear, not least because the monster was made of quite significantly heavy plastic (about 4 inches high), coupled with a visage that was utterly malevolent. Whatever the game was, the fun element was curiously well-hidden. It only remains to point out the deliberate mis-spelling of the name – slightly before Universal was combating any number of copyright infringements against its large shark, Wilkin took no chances and renamed the famous monster in a manner that surely no court in the land would have a problem with.