My Floridian grandparents always had a thing for hitting up the area flea market circuit and sending me boxes full of elderly-approved trinkets. Each shipment contained a motley crew of socks, pencils and porcelain figures. While the tiny clowns were indeed terrifying, nothing spooked me more than an antique doll dressed in a peach lace gown; it looked just like me, down to the brown ringlet curls. I couldn’t sleep a wink with that thing staring down at me each night, so my parents had to banish it to the basement. I wonder what my gram would’ve said if she knew.
Why not give your own kids nightmares this Halloween by gifting them a locally made toy that’s sure to put my old doll to shame? DeConte Figures & Collectibles, a toy company based in the Burrillville village of Oakland, is mass-producing horror action figures. Owner Neal DeConte says, “[We make] characters you won’t see coming from the mainstream toy or action figure companies out there right now.” The company was conceived in October of last year and launched with a replica of Leslie Vernon from the horror movie Behind the Mask. That seven-inch action figure is available for purchase now.
“We’re launching our own ‘Cinematic Heroes’ line, which will feature 10-inch collectible statues of character actors, directors, producers and special effects artists as themselves,” DeConte says. The first Cinematic Heroes figure is Kane Hodder, the actor who played Jason in four of the Friday the 13th movies. “There are plenty of other things in the works, some are pretty big,” he says. “Not too bad for a guy who’s self-taught.”