#1470: Frankenstein’s Monster

FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER

UNIVERSAL MONSTERS REACTION FIGURES (FUNKO)

Oooooooooooo!  Spoooooky!  Scaaaaaaarry!  Is that good?  Have I conveyed enough of the Halloween spirit?  No?  Well, fair enough.  How about I review something a little bit Halloween-y, then, shall I?  Now, I know I usually review some slightly spooky Minimates around this time of year, but this year I’ve decided to be a little different.  I’m still sticking with the general Universal Monsters theme I like oh so much, but this time I’m setting my sights on one of Funko’s ReAction Figures, specifically Frankenstein’s Monster!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

Frankenstein’s Monster was one of the four figures in the first series of Universal Monsters ReAction Figures, which hit in late 2014, just in time for the Halloween season.  Good ol’ Frankie  looks to be most closely based on his appearance from the first Frankenstein film, albeit a colorized version of what we see on the screen.  The figure stands just shy of 4 inches tall (he was amongst the tallest of the set) and he has 5 points of articulation.  Lack of articulation is generally pretty restrictive for most characters, but for Frankenstein’s Monster, it’s actually not bad, since it’s enough to get all of his usual poses done.  The sculpt is actually pretty decent.  I found the Universal Monsters to be when Funko really started to come into their own with the ReAction style.  It helps that this sort of property more generally lends itself to this style of figure, resulting in figures that are a bit more genuine looking than, say, Firefly ReAction Figures.  Frankie still has some of the tell-tale signs of an early ReAction Figure, notably the slightly flatter torso, but it’s far less noticeable on him, since he’s supposed to be stiff and squared off to begin with.  The detail work could possibly stand to be a little sharper, especially on the head, but there’s still a lot of solid work, and he certainly doesn’t look unfinished or anything.  In terms of paint, this guy’s a little on the dull side, but that’s to be expected.  He is based on a black and white film, after all.  He follows Sideshow’s model for the basic color scheme, with a green jacket a greenish-grey skin.  The different color to the jacket helps to add a little bit more diversity to the palette, which is definitely for the best.  The Monster included no accessories, which is a little sad, but also excusable.  There’s not a ton you can give him, really.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When the ReAction stuff first started hitting, I fully intended to get a bunch of it.  And then I bought a handful of it, and thought better of investing too much of my time in the line.  Not that I hated any of the figures I bought, but the line was certainly flawed.  So, I mostly missed the Monsters line.  I bought this guy from Ollie’s just earlier this year, because, in addition to their usual lowered prices, they were also offering an additional 50% off all toys, meaning Frankie was $1.50.  That was enough to make me dig through the rack to find a figure still actually attached to his blister card and buy him.  He’s a good figure.  Not a great figure, but a good one.  He shows what the line should have focused on, in contrast to the plethora of modern properties it ultimately did focus on.

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#0375: Frankenstein Minimates

FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER, HENRY FRANKENSTEIN, ELIZABETH, & THE BRIDE

UNIVERSAL MONSTERS MINIMATES

It’s Halloween! Ooooooooooo!  Scary!  ….Okay, it’s out of my system.  Just like last year, I thought I’d do something festive for the holiday. And wouldn’t you know it, it’s Minimates! This actually marks one year since my very first Minimate review on this site, so that’s pretty cool! Last year, I took my first look at Diamond’s Universal Monsters Minimates with the Dracula boxed set; this year I’ll be taking a look at the line’s Frankenstein set. Incidentally, while most of the Universal Monsters Minimates were based on one movie, this one’s actually based on two, since it features characters from both Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein.

THE FIGURES THEMSELVES

These four were released as a set in the second series of Universal Monsters Minimates, along with the Dracula set. This is the specialty exclusive boxed set, which included Elizabeth. The other three were also available in two-packs at Toys R Us, where the Bride was packed with an exclusive angry villager.

FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER

Not quite the titular character, but generally the character most people think of when they hear the name. The Monster’s really the selling point of the set. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and he features 14 points of articulation. He’s based on the Monster’s appearance in the first film, which is a good way to go. The Monster is built on the standard Minimate body, with a non-standard head and feet, as well as sculpted add-ons for the jacket and neck. All of these pieces were new to this figure, though the neck piece and feet have seen subsequent re-use, most notably on The Munsters’ Herman. The jacket sculpt is a little soft, but not bad. The head is really well done, with superb detail work on the hair and ears. The paint on the Monster is really just limited to the areas where skin is showing, which is the hands, lower arms, neck and head. The skin tone is pretty evenly applied, and there aren’t any really issues with slop. The hairline could be a bit better, but it’s not horrible. The face is somewhat generic. It’s certainly The Monster, but it’s not a definite Karloff Monster. Still, the detail work is well applied, and he’s certainly a serviceable version of the character. The Monster included no accessories.

HENRY FRANKENSTEIN

This IS the titular character, but he tends to be somewhat forgotten. It’s of note that this is Henry Frankenstein, rather than the usual Victor Frankenstein. For whatever reason, they felt the need to change his name and shunt the “Victor” name on another character. The good doctor is 2 ½ inches in height and features 14 points of articulation, though the leg articulation is a bit hampered by the bottom of his coat. The doctor is based on his laboratory appearance, complete with the proper lab coat of the time. He’s built using the standard Minimate body, with a hair piece and piece representing the bottom of his coat. The coat is new, while the hair is a re-use from the CA:TTA “Reborn” Cap (to be fair, the piece was first shown on Henry, but there was a bit of a delay between Henry’s prototype being shown and his actual release.) Both of these pieces are pretty good, and they do a decent job translating the source material. Henry’s paint is pretty decent. Everything is cleanly applied, and the detail lines all seem pretty sharp. The face seems a little off to be honest. It has a decent enough resemblance to Colin Clive, who played Henry in the film, but it seems a bit enlarged, and the eyes seem a bit oddly spaced. Henry includes no accessories.

ELIZABETH

The set’s exclusive figure is Elizabeth, the fiancé of Dr. Henry Frankenstein.  That’s kinda it. She’s not the most exciting character, but she’s sort of important, so here she is. She’s 2 ½ inches tall and she features 14 points of articulation, though most of the leg articulation has been restricted by her dress. Elizabeth is based on the usual Minimate body, with add-ons for her hair and the lower half of her dress. Both of these pieces are new to this figure, and they’re both very nicely done. The hair in particular is very nicely detailed and accurate to the source material. Paint is really where this figure excels. While she may look bland at first glance, her paint is incredibly detailed, especially on the upper part of her dress, which features some really great texture work. Like the others in the set, Elizabeth includes no accessories.

THE BRIDE

The Bride is probably the set’s second most memorable character, which is cool. The figure is about 2 ½ inches tall and features 14 points of articulation, though the legs and waist articulation are mostly rendered motionless by her dress. She’s based on the Bride’s look following her “unveiling,” which is easily her most essential look. Like all the others in the set, the Bride is built on the standard Minimate body, with additions for her hair and dress. These are both brand new to this figure, and overall they’re pretty good. The hair is pretty much spot on to the look from the film, and it’s well textured. The dress (well, sheet…) is okay, but not perfect. It’s a little bit bulky, which doesn’t quite suit the Bride’s svelte build. That being said, it’s well sculpted and it looks pretty decent overall. The paint on the Bride is respectable. The likeness of actress Elsa Lanchester is pretty much spot on, and the wraps on her arms look really great too. I wish they continued all the way around, but I suppose that’s just a limitation of the paint apps. In a predictable move, the Bride has no accessories. An extra wrapped head would have been nice, but it’s okay.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

The Frankenstein set is actually one of my earliest Luke’s Toy Store purchases. I had gotten away from Minimates for a little while, and I had had a rough couple of weeks. I had been meaning to give Luke’s a try, so I ordered myself a care package of sorts. This was probably one of my favorites of the selection I got, and I think it’s a great set overall. While I felt some of the Dracula Minimates were a little lackluster, I don’t feel the Frankenstein set has any real short comings.

#0339: Frankenstein’s Monster

FRANKENSTIEN’S MONSTER

UNIVERSAL MONSTERS (SIDESHOW)

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Frankenstein is an important story. The original book is generally considered to be the very first Science Fiction story, and the 1931 film adaptation of the book helped kick off the Universal Monsters series, and made a star out of Boris Karloff. The first film is great, but it is surpassed by its sequel, Bride of Frankenstein, in the eyes of many. Bride featured better writing, better character work, better special effects, and a killer soundtrack to boot!

In the early 2000s, Sideshow Toys was just getting into the 12 inch scene. One of their earliest licenses they launched in that scale was Universal monsters, with Frankenstein among them. They did pretty much every version of the monster from the movies. Today, I’ll be looking at their version of the Monster as he’s seen in Bride of Frankenstein.

THE FIGURE ITSELF

FrankensteinWilsonThe Monster was released in 2002 as a part of the Universal Monsters line by Sideshow Toys. He was the second version of the Karloff Monster, but he was actually the fifth version of the Monster in the line, after the versions from the original film, Ghost of Frankenstein, Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman, and House of Frankenstein. The figure stands about 12 ½ inches tall and features 29 points of articulation. As noted in the intro, this figure is meant to represent the Monster from The Bride of Frankenstein. In Bride, the Monster has been left a little worse for wear by the events at the end of the first film, so the figure reflects that. Like most Sideshow figures of the time, the Monster is built on the Sideshow Buck, which was their original 12 inch body. It’s slightly dated and stiff now, but it was the standard in the day, and what’s more, the stiffness is actually perfect for a character like the Monster. In addition to the Buck, the Monster features unique pieces for his head, hands/forearms, and his feet. The hands and feet replace the usual Buck pieces, and elongate the figure’s body a bit to give him his more gargantuan size. The head represents the Monster’s more scarred look from the movie, and it does it very well. The likeness to Boris Karloff is astounding, which is really great. The rest of the figure’s appearance is handled via cloth pieces. They aren’t as impressively tailored as something like Hot Toys, but they aren’t bad. The green of the jacket seems a touch too bright, but otherwise the coloring seems pretty good. The clothes also feature some padding built in to help aid the figure in looking a bit larger. It works pretty well, so that’s good. The paint on the Monster is very well done. While it lacks some of the more lifelike touches that future Sideshow figures have, it’s very clean and features some really great detail work. The monster includes a cobblestone textured display stand, a skull, and a stack of bones. All of these are pretty great, especially the skull!

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THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

When I was growing up, the Frankenstein movies were some of my favorite horror movies. I had a small selection of Sideshow figures, and among them was Fritz, the Doctor’s ill-fated assistant from the first movie. I always wanted a Monster to go along with him, but I never got one. A few weeks ago, my parents and my brother took a trip to visit a friend, and on the way back they visited a comicbook store with a decent selection of Sideshow’s Universal Monsters. My family, being the horrible, supportive influences they are, called me to ask if there were any I was looking for. I inquired about the Monster and was told I could choose between the one from Son of and Bride of. I went for the more conventional Bride design. I’ve actually always preferred the look from Bride, so I’m really happy with this figure. All in all, he’s a great version of Karloff’s interpretation of the character, and I’m really glad to finally have Frankenstein’s Monster to go with Fritz.

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