UNIVERSAL MONSTERS (JADA TOYS)
While the Universal Monsters are not absent from this site by any metric, there’s certainly a tendency for them to pretty much only be reviewed at Halloween time. I do like my thematic reviewing, I guess. On top of that, a lot of the Universal stuff is older releases, which don’t tend to need very timely reviews. Last year marked the 90th anniversary of the brand, though, and in honor of that, the license actually got a fair bit of toy coverage before the year was up. Perhaps the most surprising came from Jada Toys, a company typically associated with smaller die-cast items, who are making their way into the 6-inch figure game, starting with a batch of four of the monsters. I’ll be taking a look at their stab at Frankenstein’s Monster today!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Frankenstein’s Monster (who is billed only as “Frankenstein” on the package; in Jada’s defense on that one, they seem to be naming the figures after movies, not after individual figures, so I don’t think it’s quite the same as the usual mis-titling of the character) is part of the first four figure assortment of Jada’s Universal Monsters line. He’s clearly meant to be based on Karloff in the role, and appears to be more specifically patterned on his appearance in Bride of Frankenstein, which does sort of go against the based on a specific movie branding of the package, but also means he’s got what’s arguably the more memorable appearance, and goes with the Bride figure from the same assortment. The figure stands 6 3/4 inches tall and he has 29 points of articulation. The articulation scheme on this figure is pretty much on par with the various Hasbro 6-inch lines. There is a good range of motion on most of the joints, and the tolerancing seems to be pretty decently handled. I didn’t have any really issues with things being too tight or too loose, and he’s pretty stable on his feet. They even seem to be somewhat mimicking Hasbro’s pinless joints, at least for the knees; the elbows still have visible pins. In general, the styling here is definitely going by the Hasbro playbook, and that continues to the sculpt. It’s an all-new affair, and it’s honestly really good. There’s a respectable likeness on the face, so it’s pretty clear which version of the character it is. Some of the features there are a little soft, but not terribly so. The body sculpt is pretty solid itself. The articulation is a little less worked in around the elbows and ankles, but otherwise the aesthetics are pretty well-preserved, and the level of texture detailing is quite impressive. They had a lot of visual space to work with, and they’ve managed to fill it well. The paint work isn’t bad. The face is certainly the best work, with printing for the eyes, which gives him the proper (un)lifelike quality. The body is more basic, but the application is clean, and the palette fits with how the character should look. The Monster is packed with an alternate head with his teeth exposed (presumably from when he’s learning to speak in the second film), two sets of hands in relaxed and open gesture poses, and two sets of manacles with chains of differing lengths. It’s a nice selection of extras, and gives him enough options to make things interesting.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical about these when they were announced, mostly due to Jada’s usual products not seeming to line up with this quality of line. We all saw how the earlu Funko Legacy lines turned out. That said, I was still cautiously curious. After seeing them in hand, I was impressed enough to give them a try. I don’t regret grabbing this guy in the slightest. He’s surprisingly well-done for a first outing in this style, and is honestly the best you could hope for on a 6-inch scale Monster. I wholeheartedly recommend trying out the line if you’re looking for good Universal Monsters toys.
Thanks to my sponsors over at All Time Toys for setting me up with this figure to review. If you’re looking for cool toys both old and new, please check out their website.