PRINCESS ANCK-ES-EN-AMON & FRANK WHEMPLE
UNIVERSAL MONSTERS MINIMATES
Okay, so Halloween’s passed now, but I didn’t want to review just half of the Minimates based on The Mummy (since all the other Universal Monsters Minimates reviews cover four ‘mates at a time, anyway). With that in mind, today’s review is the second half of what I looked at yesterday. With the “creature” covered, today I’ll be looking at the Mummy’s object of affection Princess Anck-es-en-Amon and heroic archeologist adventurer Frank Whemple!
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Like yesterday’s set, Princess Anck-es-en-Amon and Frank Whemple were released in the third series of Universal Monsters Minimates. The pair was exclusive to Toys R Us, but that wasn’t the initial plan. The original intent was for Imhotep, the Sarcophagus, and Princess Anck-es-en-Amon to be released via specialty channels in a four pack that would also include an exclusive Helen Grosvenor ‘mate. That would have left Frank as the lone TRU-exclusive ‘mate. Of course, the end result would mean that to get a full set you’d need to buy an extra Anck-es-en-Amon, but that was something of a recurring issue with this particular line. For reasons DST never specified, a production problem caused the specialty Mummy set to be cancelled, leaving the entire Mummy line-up exclusive to TRU, with Helen going un-released.
Here’s an interesting thing about this figure: it actually pulls double duty (which is fitting, since, had the boxed set been released, you would have needed to Anck-es-en-Amons to get a full set). One of the cruxes of the film’s story is how closely our hero Helen Grosvenor resembles Imhotep’s long-dead love Princess Anck-es-en-Amon. During the film’s climax, he goes so far as to dress the kidnapped Helen as the Princess. Since the two were both played by Zita Johan, this figure effectively can be both of them. That’s actually pretty cool, and means that even with the proper Helen ‘mate unreleased, the collection isn’t missing an important character. Anck-es-en-Amon is built on the standard ‘mate body, so she’s just shy of 2 1/2 inches tall and has 14 points of articulation (though the hair and skirt restrict her movement a fair bit). The figure has two add-on pieces for her hair/headdress and her skirt. Both pieces are unique to this figure, and they do a pretty nice job of capturing the costume pieces from the movie. The paintwork on the Princess is pretty solid. While it’s not quite as astounding as what we saw on Imhotep, it’s still quite nice. The face has a pretty good likeness of Johan in the part, and her top has a nice bit of detail and texture work. Perhaps the coolest thing about this figure is the skirt, which has actually been molded in slightly transparent plastic, so as to make it appear shear, as her skirt in the film was. It the sort of detail that could have easily been overlooked, but really takes the figure from decent to pretty darn cool.
Frank is really meant to be the lead hero in The Mummy, but for reasons beyond his control, he tends to be largely forgotten, since there’s not really much that’s unique about the guy. It can’t be at all a coincidence that he got packed with the most visually interesting ‘mate in all of Series 3, since he certainly wasn’t going to move this set by himself. Frank was built from the same standard parts as the Princess. He too gets two add-on parts, for his hair and his jacket/tie. The hair first appeared on the Captain America Through the Ages Armored Cap, but Frank’s prototype actually sported it a few years prior (all of the Universal Monsters Minimates were shown at once and then released two movies at a time each October for three years). The hair looks somewhat like Frank’s from the movie, but it’s not quite spot-on. The tux piece is a pretty cool one, and it does’t bulk him up too much like some jackets do on ‘mates. The paint on Frank is iffy at best. There’s a lot of slop on the edge of his shirt, which is quite annoying, and the detail lines on his face seem kind of dull. The face also doesn’t look much like actor David Manners, but that’s probably due to his face not being a shape that easily translates to a simple cylinder. This figure may not be the most exciting but, on the plus side, since David Manners was also John Harker in Dracula, and wore an outfit very similar to this, he can easily fit in with the Dracula set DST put out as well. Bonus feature!
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Like yesterday’s set, I picked these guys up new from TRU, before having seen The Mummy. While the Imhotep set is cool regardless of the movie, I think an appreciation of the movie is key to really enjoying Frank. That being said Anck-es-en-Amon is a very, very well done ‘mate, and perhaps one of DST’s most attractive female Minimates. Had the boxed set materialized, I think this two pack might have been an easy skip, but without that extra way to get the princess, this is kind of a must have set, if just to go with Imhotep.