#1158: Mummy Boy

MUMMY BOY

NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS MINIMATES

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Merry day before the day before Christmas everyone!  As a Nightmare Before Christmas review, I had originally intended for this review to *actually* go up on Christmas Eve.  But, I’ve got a more important review for tomorrow, so this one got shifted just a day earlier on the schedule. So, I guess that’s good for those of you that like NBX?  This, like literally every NBX item in my collection, is a Minimate.  Now, I already looked at most of the main characters last year, so this time around I’m looking at one of film’s many distinctive background characters, the Mummy Boy!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

mummyboy2The Mummy Boy was released in the second series of blind-bagged Nightmare Before Christmas Minimates.  He’s one of the Hot Topic-exclusive ‘mates from this particular set.  The figure stands about 2 1/4 inches tall and has 12 points of articulation.  He uses the smaller “kid” body that was recently added to the line.  Since the Mummy Boy was pretty small in the movie, it seems like a sensible choice.  Of course, in the movie he also had a more spherical head, but at some point, you have to draw the line, lest you lose the Minimate aesthetic.  The vast majority of the “character” of this guy is covered via paintwork.  The paint is actually pretty solid on this guy.  I really like the way they’ve conveyed the texturing on the bandages, and I particularly like the fact that the style on the bandages is ever so slightly different from those on Imhotep.  It makes for some nice diversity.  Mummy Boy’s only accessory is the standard clear display stand.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

I picked up Mummy Boy what feels like forever ago, on a trip to the mall with Super Awesome Girlfriend and some of her friends.  Super Awesome Girlfriend is a pretty big fan of NBX, so I was helping her find a few of the other characters in this series.  I found one bag that I was pretty sure had the Mummy Boy inside and liked him enough that I decided to get him for myself.  This guy’s fairly standard fare for a Minimate, but I can definitely appreciate him for his simplicity.

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#1106: Princess Anck-es-en-Amon & Frank Whemple

PRINCESS ANCK-ES-EN-AMON & FRANK WHEMPLE

UNIVERSAL MONSTERS MINIMATES

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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

princessfrank2Like 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. 

PRINCESS ANCK-ES-EN-AMON

princessfrank3Here’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 WHEMPLE

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.

#1105: Imhotep & Sarcophagus

IMHOTEP & SARCOPHAGUS

UNIVERSAL MONSTERS MINIMATES

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It’s Halloween!  Oooh, aaah, scary and what-not.  To keep with the spirit of things (funny, riiiight?  I’ll show myself out…), I figured I’d take a look at something of the horror variety.  The last three Halloweens, I’ve looked at Minimates, and I’ll be darned if I’m gonna break the tradition now.  Today’s entry, like my first two Halloween reviews, comes from DST’s Universal Monsters Minimates line.  While years 1 and 2 covered some big guns with Frankenstein and Dracula, this one goes slightly more minor, being based on 1932’s The Mummy (which is one of my personal favorites of the Universal Monsters films).  Let’s look at the film’s titular creature, Imhotep, and the thing he comes sealed in!

THE FIGURE ITSELF

mummy2So, right off the bat, let’s address something: this was technically sold as a two pack, but there’s really only one figure included.  He just gets an extra large accessory, which takes the place of the second figure.  Imhotep was released in the third (and sadly final) series of Universal Monsters Minimates.  He and the Sarcophagus were exclusive to Toys R Us (though they weren’t initially meant to be.  I’ll touch on that tomorrow).  Imhotep is seen here in the wrappings he was buried in.  He only spends about five minutes of the film’s run-time this way, but it’s what’s on the poster and just about all of the merchandise, and it’s hands down the more memorable look for the character, so DST’s choice of garb is hardly in question.  The figure is about 2 1/4 inches tall and he has the standard 14 points of articulation for a Minimate.  Apart from a slightly unique right hand featuring a ring, Imhotep is a vanilla ‘mate.  No sculpted add-ons here.  This means there’s extra pressure on the paint to deliver, but fortunately this figure passes with flying colors.  The level pf painted detail on this figure is nothing short of amazing, and he’s easily got the best paint work I’ve ever seen on a Minimate (and I’ve seen a lot of Minimates).  Application-wise, the sheen is surprisingly flat for a mass market item, which does a lot to bring out the painted details.  The bandages on the body are very well crafted, match up with the wrapping seen on screen, and even sport some awesome texture to boot.  The head takes the cake, though, rendering not only Imhotep’s decaying visage perfectly, but really nailing the Boris Karloff likeness as well.  The Sarcophagus is the only extra here (and even then, it replaces a figure), but was an all-new piece.  It’s done in two parts, so that you can remove the lid and place Imhotep inside.  The lid gets the bulk of the sculpted and painted work, and it does an admirable job of translating what we see on the screen into Minimate form.  Perhaps the only downside to this extra is that Imhotep can’t properly cross his arms to mimic the pose on the lid.

THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION

At the time that this set of ‘mates came out, I actually hadn’t seen The Mummy, but being a good Minimate fan, I picked this pack up first, and was then driven to see the movie, at which point I realized that both the movie and this set were actually pretty awesome.  This ‘mate remains to this day one of my very favorite Minimates, and he’s the definite standout of the Universal Monsters line.

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