Monster in My Pocket is a media franchise developed by Morrison Entertainment Group, headed by Joe Morrison and John Weems, two former senior executives at Mattel.
The focus is on monsters and legendary creatures from religion, mythology, literary fantasy, science fiction, cryptids and other anomalous phenomena. Monster in My Pocket produced trading cards, comic books, books, toys, a board game, an Nintendo Entertainment System video game by Konami and an animated TV special, along with music, clothing, kites, stickers and various other items. Today, it's now part of the much larger "...in my Pocket" franchise which, had expanded to include more than just monsters (e.g., Puppy in My Pocket, which had been adapted into an Italian-produced animated series).
The line proved controversial for various reasons. Many changes were implemented that took it away from its original mythmaking focus, though it recently re-emerged with the original idea intact in 2006 in the UK but with less then desired results.
This franchise provides examples of:
- Adaptational Villainy: Vampire and Swamp Beast were good monsters in the toyline, but were portrayed as evil monsters in the animated special "The Big Scream".
- Animated Adaptation: There was an animated special based on the toyline called "The Big Scream". In it the "good" monsters are in charge of imprisoning "evil" monsters in a mountain prison. Vampire tried to escape by casting a shrinking spell which accounts for everyone's current size. The goal of both groups is to find some way to break the spell, which they both do with temporary success.
- Armless Biped: A few of the monsters are armless and bipedal or have creepy features that really make one wonder what our ancestors were thinking.
- Artificial Human: The Monster and Golem count.
- Boss Rush: The final stage in the NES game forces you to fight the previous bosses again before fighting Warlock.
- Bowdlerise: Subverted as the title of Pocket Monsters is sometimes accused of being the product of bowdlerization due to the original Japanese title of Pokémon translating to Pocket Monsters. In reality, the localized title of the hot video game franchise was a portmanteau to dodge legal issues with this existing toy line.
- Blue-and-Orange Morality: As with the original myths, most creatures do not follow human rules or ideas.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Not exactly, but each monster had one of six colors from series 1 to 3 it could be, the final series had them multicolor.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Vampires, Bloody Bones, and even The Beast are not always seen as bad in this series.
- Double Jump: Standard implementation in the NES game. Generally required to gain the height necessary to hit the final boss.
- Gotta Catch Them All: They started as random collectible figures that came in packs of 6, 12, and the rare 24. In order to own a full set you had to buy them all and trade with friends..sometimes you traded with total strangers and sometimes you had multiple copies. For a very limited time in 1997 - 1998 there was a mail-in trader forum on the internet hosted by Yahoo.com where you could do a 1 for 1 with a 3$ money order trade but that was disbanded in 1998 when series 4, one focused on big bugs, came out.
- Hellhound: Cerberus.
- Incredible Shrinking Man: The whole premise behind the comics, animated series, video game, and even the 2nd relaunch of the toys in 2006.
- Lilliputians: The whole Monster Mountain area in the comic books and animated series.
- Macro Zone: In the NES game, both the Vampire and the Monster are stuck in a giant-sized world. The player goes across a kitchen, hallway, bedroom, city street, and a sewer system.
- Mouse World: In the UK Comics Werewolf & Witch share a house made of giant (normal to you and me) playing cards while Warlock uses a kitchen ladle (for him that's like a huge cauldron) to brew his potions.
- Olympus Mons: Some of the monsters are representatives of godly figures after all.
- Our Hydras Are Different: The Hydra is a seven-headed winged reptilian, not a ten-headed dragon.
- Our Monsters Are Different: As they are based on mythical and legendary figures, this speaks for itself.
- Sadly Mythtaken:
- The Hindu figures Kali, Ganesha and Hanuman were depicted as bad or evil monsters, probably leading to a recall in the UK.
- The Hydra is a seven-headed winged Reptilian, instead of a ten-headed dragon.
- Spring-Heeled Jack: Spring-Heeled Jack is part of the first series of Monsters and a prominent figure in the franchise. He appears in the comics as one of the evil monsters, and pretty high up too. Along with Medusa, he's the Number Two of Warlock. In the video game, he provides the first boss fight. In the unproduced cartoon series, he might have been a good monster if the remaining documentation is to be trusted.
- Stock Monster Symbolism: Vampires are aristocratic and Werewolves are brutes, etc etc.
- Truth in Television: The monsters ranged from cryptids and mythological figures (gods included!) to urban legends and modern mythos. In fact it caused an upset group of citizens from THREE different countries to demand censorship of the company America had Matoon, Illinois for the Mad Gasser, Brittan had Yorkshire, London for Jack the Ripper, India had practically the whole country for Genesh and at least one country to boycott them, Australia for the Bunyips.
- Victory Fakeout: Warlock pulls a spectacular one in the NES game, even providing the page's quotes.
- Your Vampires Suck: In "The Big Scream", Carrie Raven attempts to scare Vampire off by showing him garlic. Vampire responds by eating the garlic and remarking "Don't believe everything you read!"