Silver Scream Gurgles...and Dies

Day of the Dead's Dr. TongueIt wasn't very long ago that news of a new toy company calling itself Silver Scream Toys (SST) hit the World Wide Web big time. Even Dread Central got in on the action right here. Interviews with the unknown toymaker Allen Duncun popped up almost overnight, in which he claimed SST would shine a spotlight on cult horror classics that, until now, have gotten no love. Series One of their first 7-inch action figure line was to include The Prowler, The Cryptkeeper, Revenge of the Ninja, and Dr. Tongue from Day of the Dead alongside a boxed set of Tom Atkins' character Detective Ray Cameron facing the undead Hatchet Killer from Night of the Creeps.

As expected, a lineup like this raised more than a few eyebrows, and fans wondered how this mystery company could pull it off. SST's claims that sculptor and former head of SOTA toys Jerry Macaluso was on board to oversee the project certainly gave the company a higher level of respectability. As an excited toy fan and long-time industry reporter, I immediately got in touch with Jerry to find out about his involvement. I was told that at that moment there wasn't any.

After some contact with Allen Duncun himself, I was reassured that Jerry was indeed being brought on board. As time passed (all within a week, mind you), fans began to wonder why information on Duncun or Silver Scream could not be found from a simple Google search beyond the reports of his company by the toy press. I decided to check in with Taurus Entertainment, which owns the license for Day of the Dead, thinking that if they have toys in the works, maybe the license was picked up by others as well. A 12" Bub on the horizon? Who wouldn't love that?!? My enthusiastic email was returned by Jim Dudelson, President of Taurus with the following remarks: "Thank you for the information. I have no idea who this company is. I have made no licensing deals on toys."

Since Day of the Dead was the focal point of Silver Scream's new line, I began to wonder what else I could find. Duncun had remarked on several forums that he would be at San Diego Comic-Con. A quick trip to the SDCC website showed no SST listing under exhibitors, and a phone call confirmed this. As of two months ago all space at the convention had been sold out. Even more peculiar, all emails coming from Duncun bore the name "Rodney Lindley." Finally, we thought it odd that all contact from Duncun began from a MySpace page that is not linked to any toy company and appears to be owned by a guitar-obsessed individual. Adding to the confusion is the fact that when you click "home" from this page, you appear to be booted from the MySpace system and are asked to log in again. If you click on this MySpace link, beware: New security measures put in place by Firefox warn you that the page is a fraud with the intent to steal your log-in information.

I then hopped back into email and asked Duncun about the information I had found. This was his reply:

"The Day of the Dead license does belong to us. Why he is not saying anything is odd to me as my lawyers our still in talks with him about Creepshow. As for SDCC, we faxed our forms back a week ago for a 10x10 booth and we're still waiting for our packet to arrive. I'm leaving for LA this weekend to meet with Jerry so if you have any questions, you will be able to reach me thru him."

I thought it odd that a company head would tell me to phone up another business contact to reach him in another state. Doesn't everyone have a cell phone? Emailing Jerry Macaluso to confirm, we were given this statement:

"I have spoken with Allen Duncun several times over the past few weeks, and while he has publicly stated I am working with him and Silver Scream Toys, at this time I am not, nor have ever been contracted by SST for anything."

I gave Duncun an opportunity to defend Silver Scream Toys but received no further emails. A contact phone number we uncovered was not picked up after several rings. At present, Dudelson of Taurus Entertainment is seeking out Duncun to ask him about his claims. So at this time it all remains a muddled mess. Until we hear from Mr. Duncun again, I fear this is the last of Silver Scream Toys...and my dreams of a Dr. Tongue figure.

- Nomad

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