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Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Saturday, January 31, 2009

FREE DOWNLOADS: Picture of collectable monster toys, courtesy John "Brojo" Wooldridge.

"Cryptozoology Is Serious Business" by Oll Lewis

The CFZ, as most of you know is a very serious organisation populated by very serious people. However, nobody can remain serious all the time, and there is a fun side to cryptozoology too.

For example there have been loads of cryptozoology related toys released over the years that can help you to indoctrinate your children, nephews or nieces into the fold. Among the many monster toys available are "Monster in my pocket", best-known as a toy-line released by Matchbox in 1990. It consists of small, soft plastic figures representing monsters, and later other tangentially-related characters.the collection contains, as well as traditional horror staples like the wolf-man ghosts and vampires, a number of cryptids like the Loch Ness monster.

Monster in my pocket were very popular when I was a kid so I was greeted by a wave of nostalgia when CFZ member John Woodridge from Montana in the USA emailed us his photographs of cryptozoological toys he’s collected. Among them are also several Japanese monster toys, among them some particularly cool looking ones of mothman that were very reminiscent of pokemon in their appearance.

Pokemon are perhaps my personal favourite cryptozoological toy as I got hooked on the Nintendo game when I was younger, and still enjoy the odd pokemon battle on my Nintendo DS. Many pokemon were based on cryptids and monsters from Japanese folklore called yokai. More information can be read about yokai in Richard Freeman’s encyclopaedia on the subject, being released soon by CFZ Press.

But I digress… take a look at John Wooldridge’s rather smart looking photos:

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