Welcome to KISS Kastle!

In July-August 2020 I designed and built KISS Kastle as a gift to my children Elliot and Silas (5 years old) and Louisa (7 years old). In two years we have become big KISS fans and dressed as the band in Halloween 2019. We love the Mego KISS dolls so the kids gave me ideas for a playset. I tried fitting as many fun things as possible in the castle. Since I am relatively new to woodworking, I learned as lot and had fun. After the tour, I’ll show you how I built it. Keep scrolling down.

Follow the Starchild inside
Inside, the Starchild is greeted by the Demon in the Grand Entrance Hall, complete with stone walls, wood floor, torches, and legacy portraits of each KISS character: The Catman, The Demon, The Starchild, The Spaceman, The Ankh Warrior and The Fox.

Starchild unlocks and opens the jail door to speak to a prisoner
The jail can also be locked with a bolt and key attached to a chain.
Watch out! The Green Goblin is loose!
Shut the doors quick before they escape!
View of the entire first floor
The Spaceman and Catman appear for a band meeting at their Rock n Roll Over rotating table
A friend has arrived for a drink in the kitchen
Starchild activates the elevator
And… voila!
The elevator is on a rail and operated by a handle and a pulley attached to the roof. The string hooks into eyes on the side of the castle, which allows the elevator to lock into each floor.
Starchild arrives at the second floor – first stop: the Demon’s bedroom. The Demon comes up the ladder.
Starchild pulls a book and the Demon’s bookshelf reveals a rotating door – and a hidden passage!
He finds himself in The Spaceman Ace Frehley’s room
Ace and Starchild head over to visit the Catman Peter Criss next
Starchild’s room is at the end of the hall and features a heart-shaped bed, books and a balcony, plus a secret passage in the ceiling
Views of the entire second floor
Space Ace takes the elevator to the third floor, arriving in the recording studio
The recording studio features a mixing desk, computer and monitor, an analog system of tape reels and effect gizmos, Marshall amplifiers, and high-end mounted studio monitor speakers. You wanted the best, you got the best!
The whole band is ready to record a new album now
Peter Criss’s drums are set-up in the next room
The band’s trophy hall features their many awards and gold records, plus a stage door modeled on Paul’s famous “cracked mirror” guitar
The Temple is where KISS can recharge their talismans – the source of their power – from the Black Diamond, summon the wise elders on their planet Kissteria, and teleport via the transporter platform.
Peter heads up to the roof and is soon joined by the band
The roof has a couple surprises too
Time for a show! A stage is added to the front of the castle, plus a drum riser, stairs, and music equipment
“I want to rock and roll all night and party every day!”
The God of Thunder takes a bass solo.
“I was made for loving you, baby!”

How I Built It

I built KISS Kastle in the garage of my home in New Jersey during the summer of 2020. Days were 80-95 degrees hot. In all, about 150-200 hours went into it. Sometimes the kids helped me, especially with the painting, but mostly I built it alone at night or during downtime. I need to give a special thanks to my lovely wife Rachael for supporting me in this project. She granted me most weekends to cut and paint away. When we dressed as KISS for Halloween, she dressed as our fabulous and beautiful manager – which indeed she is!

The concept of KISS Kastle is original, but I pulled from various KISS creations for visual inspiration – their album artwork, comics and the movies Scooby-Doo and KISS: Rock and Roll Mystery, and KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park.

First I sketched conceptual drawings, measured and drafted carefully on the wood, and then cut all the pieces out of two 4′ x 8′ plywood sheets. Standard plywood is cheap and durable but it was a challenge sometimes to make small, precise cuts and keep it from splintering. If I were to build this again I would use solid pine, but it’s a small matter – I’m pleased with this outcome.

The main structure of the castle is five pieces that form a box, with four pieces that interlock inside to form the floors and walls. In a way it is like building a bookshelf, but with much more detail.
The castle is lightly coated in drywall, which needed to be sanded and primed before painting. I sculpted the drywall a bit too, to give the castle a texture of ancient stone in places. The ROCK of ages.
Elliot and Louisa paint with excellent attention to detail. We always had good music going too to inspire us – Thin Lizzy, The Kinks, Taj Mahal, and, of course, the hottest band in rock and roll…
A couple places were wood-stained, and several rooms and pieces were spray painted with metallic silver. Everything else was painted with acrylic. I bought KISS graphic designs online, then sized and printed them on vinyl stickers to decorate the castle.
Thank you, KISS for the joy and inspiration! KISS Army Rocks!
May you rock and roll all night and party every day.

Visit the KISS official website for all things band-related, and KISS Army. Visit the Mego site for more information about their action figures.

The KISS Kastle kreator is Jason Benjamin – for more information see the other pages on this website.

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