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  How would you like to live in a house covered with monsters?  That's what Pete Roberts aka BigCat  surrounds himself with everyday.  A regular bad dream for some, but a fantasy for the rest of us mask fiends.  Pete is a connoisseur of  masks.   He's also a gosh darn nice guy.  We were too scared to visit his house, so we flew him in for a lunch date and hit him up with  plenty of questions.

Don't forget to leave Bigcat a little feedback at the end of the interview after all those fabulous pictures


LMC: What got you started mask collecting?

BC:  It was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...In 1977 Star Wars was released and I was in the 5th grade. While I had always been into monsters, the release of that movie pushed me over the edge and I knew I just had to have all four Don Post deluxe masks (Darth Vader, Stormtropper, Chewie and C3PO). It was down hill from there and I still have those first four masks.  

LMC: What is the drive to collect latex masks and not some other medium?

BC:  To me, there is nothing like having your favorite monsters in lifesize form. While the toys and kits are beautiful, owning a mask is like owning the real thing, an actual movie prop

LMC: Are you as much into horror movies as well?

BC: I am very into horror movies but nothing consumes me like the hobby of collecting masks.


LMC: Do you have any favorite horror icons?

BC: My favorite characters are the monsters themselves: Creature from the Black Lagoon, Darth Vader and the Predator at the top of the list.

LMC: Do you seek out your favorite characters from those movies in mask form?                        

BC: Yes, it's great to see a movie and decide that you must own the monster. It can also work in reverse for me. I have acquired a movie mask and then got hooked on the film as a result!

LMC: Do you go for older or newer movies or indifferent?

BC: I grew up watching the old stuff and while all the new technology (CGI, etc.) is impressive, I still like to see a guy in a rubber suit or make-up running around.


LMC: Do you collect original works?

BC: Yes, a large portion of my collection is generic vintage Don Post, Distortions and Death Studios. There is so much good stuff out there that I have to be really discriminating when I add a piece to my collection. I ran out of room a long time ago and I'm constantly selling off stuff to make room for new stuff.

LMC: What type of masks do you go for above all other types?

BC: For many years I was really into collecting all the Don Post and Distortions masks from when I was a kid. I had every Don Post character made from the mid 70's thorough early 80's (many in multiples!). Eventually I decided I didn't need FIVE Coridian Alien masks so I have sold many doubles and fringe pieces. In addition I have always collected movie masks. 

LMC: What are some of your rarest masks?

BC: I purchased an original "Land" version Creature from the Black Lagoon mask in 1980 when I was fourteen years old. It was made at Universal Studios in the 60's from the original first generation mold. It even has a Universal Studios copyright stamp on the inside. The mask was really old even back then and needed to be restored. It is   much larger than all the Creature masks around today. The piece was restored and repainted by Bill Malone while he was working at Don Post. It is still in great shape considering the age. It's the only Creature mask of it's kind that I've been able to locate. Of course I have many rare Vintage Don Post masks (original 60's foam master calendar masks of the 1st Mummy, Phantom, Moleman, Wolfman and Hunchback along with all the 70's Star Trek masks including the 75 Kirk). I still have just about every Don Post and Distortions character from the late 70's early 80's. I also have some masks made for me by Steve Wang. I commissioned Steve to make a Predator I, Predator II and a mask version from It, The Terror From Beyond Space. Those are one or two of a kind. I have most of the Halloween Society masks. I also have been lucky enough to catch some of the great new pieces being done today (Bub Zombie, Romaire Loomis, Jason, Shape and Transformation, DW/KH Myers, etc.). I have over 300 masks. 


LMC: What rare series do you own?

BC: I think it would be tough to assemble a collection of Don Post 70's masks like I have. It took me 15 years of searching, doing trades, etc. Some of those masks I've only seen once or twice in a lifetime of collecting. Also I think the Halloween Society pieces are very rare. Many of the editions were limited to 10 or 15 copies. They are a beautiful series and a fine testament to the collectors in the 80's who created them: Dante Renta, Ron Magid and David Lady.

LMC: What is the oldest mask you own?

BC: It has to be the Universal "Land" Creature. The five Don Post calendar mask foam masters from the early 60's are a close second.

LMC: What is your favorite in your collection?

BC: I could never pick one favorite but I would narrow it down to these three: Original Universal "Land" Creature, Don Post Phantom of the Opera 60's foam master, Steve Wang Predator 1. 

LMC: Where did your nickname come from?

BC: Ah, it's a long story. Let's just say it was given to me by a co-worker. 

LMC: Any artists that really knock your socks off?

BC: Steve Wang is the ultimate. I am very fortunate that he agreed to do some work for me. Steve and I actually have a lot in common in that we grew up staring at the same masks in the 70's. We share a mutual admiration for that era. Anything he does is incredible. I think Lee Romaire is the best new artist to bless the mask collecting community with his talents. Everything that guy does is simply awesome. The same could be said for Russ Lukich. I also have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for Rob and Cathy Tharp. These guys have been doing this for a long time. Lord knows my collection would never be the same if it weren't for those guys. Wait, did I mention Henry Alvarez? I could go on....   





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