Posts Tagged ‘frankenstein’
The Light That Never Warms…
What’s that wheezing under your bed? Peering, gape mouthed, from that crack in your closet door? Tap, tap, tapping in your crawl space? It’s likely Mezco Toyz’ Living Dead Dolls Series 31 figures. This group of five represent the theme of all the things that thrive in the dark. Night lights won’t help as these nocturnal kiddies dart from shadow to shadow.
They Are Legion…
Series 31 features, Umbral, Kreek, The Dark, Bea Neath, Thump, who join the legion of LDD’s brought forth from the twisted creative minds at Mezco over the last 18 years. Collectors can expect this individually coffin boxed group of 8 inch tongue tied and tongue eyed spirits to emerge from their pitch black sanctum later this spring.
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Oh boy, we were already really excited about Mezco Toyz‘ One:12 Mister Spock, but this morning’s communiqué from the land of Mez ups the ante. The company has just announced the addition of George Takei‘s character Mr. Sulu, helmsman of the Starship USS Enterprise, to their line of original 1960’s Star Trek figures. Mr. Hikaru Sulu ultimately captain his own Starfleet ship, the USS Excelsior, in the Trek franchise and Mr. Takei has gone on to distinguish himself with a currently running Broadway play, Allegiance, that assays his time in a United States internment camp during the second world war.
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Ray Bradbury’s The Halloween Tree remains my favorite autumn tome since I first purchased the Ballantine paperback edition back in 1972 and read it in one sitting. It is a wonderful rumination on the origins of the witching season wrapped in a quintessential Bradbury “boy’s tale” (or what we now call young adult fiction). Originally conceived as a screen treatment for an un-produced Chuck Jones cartoon, each of its characters learns the history and significance of their respective costume as they travel through the Samhain night on a quest to save a friend.
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These photos were taken a couple of years ago when I was first experimenting with a set of Polaroid close-up adaptors. Thought I’d share them for Halloween 2014.
I found this “paint-it-yourself” kit of approximately 2 inch plaster figures called “The Ghoulish Gang” in a crafts shop (possibly Michaels) ages ago. In those days better eyesight, a steadier hand, and a higher quality set of art brushes than the one the kit supplied, allowed for such an endeavor.
The “gang” returns from my basement storage area every fall season to add a little mirth to the household. I particularly enjoy these sculpts for their attention to detail (like the raven sitting on the witch’s shoulder) and their humorous spin on some classic monsters. The tree hugging Frankenstein and howling with his pals Wolfman are my favorites along with the unique “jack-in-the-jack-o-lantern” ghost popping out of a pumpkin. I’d be even happier had the set included a lagoonish “gillman.”
Diamond Select Toys is taking the opportunity to expand the monster line with a unique design of their own. DST’s Van Helsing, is an armed-to-the-teeth vision of the vampire hunter with a wizened and battle scarred countenance. With his axe, rifle, pistol and bandolero of wooden spikes he’s clearly a determined and formidable foe for the feral creatures of the night.
With many of us still cringing from the loopy Hugh Jackman misstep of 2004 Van Helsing was a risky choice. Fortunately DST presents him as an effective cross between the grandfatherly character portrayed by Edward Van Sloan in 1931 and Anthony Hopkins’ frenzied doctor of Francis Ford Coppola’s Dracula (1992.)
The Van Helsing “Select” version is the most ornate of the three new Wave 5 boxed packages. The base provides a cemetery scene with dual tombstones and vicious vampire bride Mina Harker pouching from her grave.
I’ve been stalking Diamond Select Toy’s fifth wave of Universal Monsters figures since they first appeared as early prototypes in DST’s Toy Fair Booth back in 2013.
These two newest 7 inch scale action figures present Boris Karloff as The Monster from Son of Frankenstein, and a new version of The Creature From the Black Lagoon. The Jean St. Jean sculpts are created with “super articulation,” giving the models many more poseable points of movement than their previous incarnations.
DST has announced these items in blister-carded Toys “R” Us Exclusive configurations (already on the shelves) as well as “Select” boxes, available shortly in comic book shops, or for pre-order. The “Select” versions add extraordinarily detailed bases and props.
The Monster is portrayed with a slightly more gaunt look than Karloff lensed in the original 1939 film. He is clothed in his signature “Son of” wooly vest, a look that will forever remind me of Sonny Bono’s preferred garb in the 1960’s. In addition to more articulation The Creature update trumps its Wave 1 predecessor with, to my eye, a sculpt more accurate to its film appearance and a glossier aquatic paint finish.
“Armed” and Dangerous…
The “Select” Son of Frankenstein comes with an awesome Kenneth Strickfaden inspired piece of electrical laboratory gear that will remind old school collector’s like myself of the similar rig that was part of Aurora’s classic Bride of Frankenstein tableau. No Son of Frankenstein collectible would be complete without the wooden arm of Lionel Atwill’s Inspector Krogh for the monster to swing around. For me it’s a must have, and I’m glad to report it comes in both packaging configurations, so you won’t be torn (hee, hee.)
While I’m happy to learn that Diamond Select will continue to offer Universal Monster figures in another wave next year, I also applaud the initiative to bring some of their own creative juice to the monster mix.
The Aurora Plastic Model Company did this quite effectively in late 1960’s. Their Forgotten Prisoner of Castle Mare, The Witch, and The Guillotine models were equally cherished by collectors. In fact they are the only intact original Aurora models I still have. The others succumbed to an ill advised tangle with a barrage of firecrackers one fateful Independence day.