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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of KISS The Demon Monster Two Pack
8 inch and 12 inch action figures

Figures Toy Company
Date Published: 2016-01-01
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

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KISS The Demon Monster action figures by Figures Toy Comany

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Introduction

If you collect retro style 8" action figures - those figures designed to mimic the Mego style of the late 70's - you're quite familiar with Figures Toy Company. They've done a ton of figures based on the DC properties, but they've also ventured out into some other licenses that were popular back then...and still are today.  One such is KISS, the legendary rock band, who had their own Mego figures, and now have their own retro figures.

They've done figures in both an 8" and 12" scale, based on various outfit designs. They've also done a few two packs of the characters in BOTH the 8" and 12" size wearing the same outfit, and one of these sets is the subject of tonight's review.

This set is of Gene, "The Demon", wearing the outfit from the recent "Monster" album and shows. It was an Excelsior Toys exclusive, with a limited edition of just 100, and originally cost around $60.

Since the two figures are quite similar, I'll be pointing out which is which in the photos. The photos directly above and below are of of the 12" figure.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
KISS The Demon Monster action figures by Figures Toy Comany

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Packaging - ***
The large clam shell holds both figures cleanly, and it and the attractive cardboard insert are collector friendly.  The two figures stand side by side on a plastic tray, but are twisted to this tray instead of having the tray formed to their shape, better to hold them in place.  That's my only major strike here, but they also use the zip tie closure in the hanger hole. I'm less annoyed by this now that I know you can buy more, but it still creates a less than ideal situation for collectors that want to open their figures.

The edition size and number are clearly identified on the front of the package.

KISS The Demon Monster action figures by Figures Toy Comany

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Sculpting - ***
This is Simmons in this outfit, from just a few years ago. It's hard to tell if it's really Gene under all that make up (on the action figure) - that's one of the advantages the group has had, allowing them to continue performing into their old age.  With all that make up and all that body armor, it's easy to cover up their advancing age.

They did get the tongue about right, although scale wise it seems a bit large. The length and shape of the face are good as well, and considering the price point, the overall look is well within reason.

They went with rooted hair for both scales, and it works relatively well. They've tied off his top knot of hair with a clear rubber band, and there's lots and lots of hair - no shortage here.  I didn't use any product before shooting these photos, so you can get a feel for what he looks like right out of the box, but with some hair wax or gel, you should be able to get a very good looking style.

The work on the armor is decent enough, but lacks the detail you'd see in something from a higher end manufacturer. Again, it's important to keep in mind that one of these figures is costing you $20, and the other is only $40. It would be unreasonable to expect Hot Toys quality at 20% of the price, and what you're getting here is an improvement on the old Mego designs.

Likewise, the armor looks good considering the price. The plastic they've used is a little soft, making the details softer as well. There are lots of details though, including the straps and rivets, and varying textures from bone to hammered metal. The sheer amount of sculpted detail in the costume, particularly the boots, is what gave this category the extra boost.

Another nice touch is that the hands are sculpted to properly hold the guitar, the obvious way you'll be displaying him.

My one nit with the heads is really with the 8" figure. The head is smaller than on the 12" figure of course, but not small enough.  In proportion to the body, it's clearly too big, and it's the easiest way to tell the two figures apart in photos.

And while I'm calling these an 8" and 12" figure, they are actually larger than that, thanks to the Frankenstein boots. Between the boots and the big hair, you can add about 3/4" to both figures.

The figure below is the 12" figure.

KISS The Demon Monster action figures by Figures Toy Comany

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Paint - 8" version ***; 12" version **1/2
The paint quality is pretty much on par with what you'd expect at this price point. The most critical work on the face is quite clean, although the upper lip is a bit thick and obvious. The detail work on the armor is not as clean, although it doesn't have to be.  The silver and black looks reasonable, and the bone color stands out nicely.

Well, it stands out nicely on the 8" version. For some reason that escapes me, they painted the horns on his shoulders - and only his shoulders - silver on the 12" figure.  I suspect this was a mistake, since it is not mirrored on the smaller figure.

The photo below is of the 8" figure.

KISS The Demon Monster action figures by Figures Toy Comany

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Articulation - **
As with most of the retro figures, this is the one category that annoys me.  I really wish they'd gone after a more modern body underneath, although there are some improvements.

The neck is a simple cut joint, and the shoulders and hips are very, very loose.  In fact, getting him to stand or raise his arms and maintain any sort of pose was quite difficult and frustrating. The other joints - elbows, wrists, knees - were much better, and the knees go so far as to include a ratchet design, so they 'click' into place. But that doesn't do a lot of good when the hips are this wobbly and loose.

The armor doesn't interfere with the articulation, so swapping out to a new body could produce some very interesting results. Adapting the neck post might be the biggest hurdle, but should be doable.

The figure in the next photo is the 12" version.

KISS The Demon Monster action figures by Figures Toy Comany

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Accessories - ***
The figure only comes with one, but it's a nice one - his bass guitar.  The work is quality all around, and both versions use actual (nylon) strings. The straps are rubber, and easy to put in place around his body.

There's no display stand of course, but you'll want to pick one up for both of these.

The figure pictured below is the 8" scale version.

KISS The Demon Monster action figures by Figures Toy Comany

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Outfit - ***1/2
I've already covered the armor in the Sculpting and Paint section, and discussed the quality of the sculpt detailing, particularly with the boots.  It's this detailing and texturing that boosted the score there and does so again here.

Along with the armor, there's some other materials, including the underlying black body suit, black gloves, and bat wings along each arm. These are made from very good material, especially at this price point, and include specific features like the holes in the suit at the outside thigh, or the silver rivets in the bat wings.

In the next photo is the 12" figure.

KISS The Demon Monster action figures by Figures Toy Comany

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Fun Factor - **1/2
These would be a lot more fun with tighter joints, particularly at the hips. The Demon is a rock and roll god, and deserves poses to go with that status. Getting them without a support stand is going to be tricky - maintaining them even trickier.

Value - ***
While these are clearly designed as nostalgic retro toys - toys - they are priced very well. At $60 for the pair, you're getting a solid value, and these can take their place on the shelf of any member of the KISS Army without breaking their wallet. Add in the extremely limited nature, and you improve even further.

Below is pictured the 8" version.

KISS The Demon Monster action figures by Figures Toy Comany

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.

Overall - ***
Collectors accustomed to the sort of quality we see with $200 - $300 figures are going to find these too toy-like for their tastes. These are nostalgic, harkening back to the days of Mego, and those fans will find them just about perfect. They can fit on the shelf with your Mego versions and provide updated band attire.

Which is really the beauty of these. This isn't merely a remake of the old style, but new costume designs based on their more modern albums and tours.  That gives fans a chance to add to their Mego collection in a unique and interesting way.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***
Paint - 8" version ***; 12" version **1/2
Articulation - **
Accessories - ***
Outfit - ***1/2
Fun Factor - **1/2
Value - ***
Overall - ***

KISS The Demon Monster action figures by Figures Toy Comany

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- doesn't have this pair, but they do have the Demon two pack in the Dressed to Kill outfits for $60.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I just recently covered some of the Batman figures from this company, including variants of Batman and Riddler, and the Bruce Wayne, Alfred, and the Joker (with Joker belt!). Other figures in a similar scale and style include the Phantom, Captain Action and Dr. Evil, and a couple of the Venture Brothers figures. If you'd like to see something a bit more modern, check out the (slightly smaller) One:12 Collective Batman or Judge Dredd from Mezco.

And you should check out the Figures Toy Company website, where you can order products and get all sorts of great information on the series.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

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This product was provided for the review by the manufacturer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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