He’s the Bat You’ll Love to Hate: Remembering Mattel’s Gre-gory (1980)



It was great to be a kid growing in the 1970s and 1980s, in part because of great and weird Halloween toys like this one, “Gre-gory, Big Bad Vampire Bat” from Mattel.

This toy bat was made of reddish-brown, soft vinyl, and intended for kids aged seven and up. And Gre-gory could be all yours for under $12.00 dollars.




As the ads claimed, children would “go bats” for Gre-gory as they enjoyed “hours of frightening fun” playing with their new friend.  Gre-gory’s red eyes would never close, either, which only added to the nightmare fodder.  Maybe you could perch him over your bed at night?

What else could Gre-gory do?

Well at eight inches tall, he could literally bite the hand that fed him.  “Put your finger in his mouth and see what happens when you squeeze him!” the Gre-gory advertisements urged.  If that wasn’t wicked enough, kids were also implored to “see if your friend dare stick their fingers” in his mouth.




Gre-gory also had a see-through belly so you could watch “the red fluid” — blood? — “flow.”

Gre-gory couldn’t do much else, though if you wiggled his wings and shook him, it apparently looked like he was in flight. Not very high-tech, in today’s world, I guess.

I never had a Gre-gory Vampire Bat, but I remember seeing him in toy stores of the day, and wishing for one.

He’s big. He’s fearsome. But best of all – he’s fun,” the ads promised.

Gre-gory ould have made a great friend for Halloween, no doubt…

Would you like to support Flashbak?

Please consider making a donation to our site. We don't want to rely on ads to bring you the best of visual culture. You can also support us by signing up to our Mailing List. And you can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For great art and culture delivered to your door, visit our shop.