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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Annabelle - Scaled Prop Replica Doll

Mezco Toyz
Date Published: 2016-07-29
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3 out of 4

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Annabelle scaled prop replica doll by Mezco

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Introduction

Demonically possessed dolls and toys have been a staple of horror for decades.  The first of its kind was Robert the Doll, who was blamed for all sorts of mischief starting in 1904, and is on display today in a museum in Florida. But it wasn't until 1963 that the world got its first on screen evil doll - Talky Tina, in the classic Twilight Zone episode "Living Doll". This was a concept just too good to ignore, and in 1975, Tina got a friend in the Zuni Warrior Fetish Doll. This little bastard came to life and terrorized poor Karen Black in the final story in the made for TV movie Trilogy of Terror. Richard Matheson (writer for Trilogy) wasn't the only fiction creator to realize the potential of demonic dolls - the Warrens, famed 'paranormal investigators' came up with their own version in the 70's, called Annabelle. Their creation was a large Raggedy Ann doll, who they said was possessed by the spirit of Annabelle Higgins.

With the renewed interest in all things paranormal, the Warrens were featured in a number of recent films, including the Conjuring (a movie I liked better the first time, when it was called Amityville Horror). Annabelle turns up in that film as a very minor side story, and was then featured in a film of her own, aptly titled Annabelle.

Mezco Toyz is producing a scaled prop replica of the creepy doll, a design much different than the actual Raggedy Ann original. Obviously, the owners of the Raggedy Ann doll were not going to give approval to turn their beloved character into a nightmare of terror, so the movie makers went with a more sinister, crazy Baby Jane Bette Davis looking doll. This replica is scaled, meaning it's not full size, but rather about 1/2 the size of the actual prop.

She's shipping now, and you can expect to pay around $80, depending on the retailer. And before we get started on the review, let's not forget to mention the greatest possessed doll ever - Chucky. Hey, he came after the others, but he's still the king!

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Annabelle scaled prop replica doll by Mezco

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Packaging - ***
The large window box has a distinctly Victorian feel, with a simple yet effective design.  The plastic window gives you a great view of the doll, and there's a minimal number of twisties holding her in place.  Not completely collector friendly, but pretty damn close.

Annabelle scaled prop replica doll by Mezco

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Sculpting - ***
This is a scaled replica, meaning not quite as large as the real deal. Here you can see the doll being held by the priest in the film for comparison. The prop looks to be about 36" tall, although it can vary by scene, while this replica comes in at 18", or 1/2 scale.

Like most possessed dolls, Annabelle changed her look during the movie.  I used several screen captures in my comparison, including this large close up, this longer shot, and this relaxed shot, particularly for the hands.

The likeness is solid, especially at this price point.  The scarring on the cheek and chin looks good, and the sculpted damage to the left eye is very accurate. The shrunken, shriveled look is obtained through the wrinkles in the upper and lower areas of the cheeks, and the scale of the nose, eyes, and overall face shape all seem accurate. The lower lip is a bit too large, but some of that is a visual effect created by the paint work.

The rooted hair is thick and properly styled, but the bangs on mine seem a bit longer on the right side of the face than the left. It make take some futzing to get it just right, and the brave could always cut a bit off if the look isn't quite what they want.  The pony tails can hang in back or over the shoulders, but the hair color seems a bit too blonde. It did vary during the film however, due to lighting, and was almost this blonde at times.

The soft cloth body works great and is accurate to the actual doll, as are both the feet and hand sculpts. She stands about 18" tall, although with the cloth doll body she isn't going to do a lot of standing. This is a true doll, not an action figure, which is accurate to the prop itself.

Annabelle scaled prop replica doll by Mezco

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Paint - ***
There's not a ton of paint operations, which allows Mezco to keep this doll at a reasonable price point.  It does take away slightly from the look, however.

The best work here is the creepy doll eyes, which have quite a bit of variation and realism in the color and design. The rosy cheeks look great, and the skin tone is even and consistent where appropriate, with some darkening in the cracks and crevasses. The darker wash is also applied to the hands. You can see some cost savings in the damaged areas though, where there is a bit less detail and realism.

The hardest aspect of this likeness to get perfect is the weird lips and mouth.  Thanks to the odd application of lipstick on the doll in the film, along with the 'monster' lighting and shadowing that she was generally placed in, she appears to have a darker color under her lower lip, making it look like two lips at times. Getting that to look right in normal light is tricky, and I'm not sure the final result works as well as it could have.

Annabelle scaled prop replica doll by Mezco

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Articulation - *
Any score here is a positive thing - while it's only one star, it will actually improve the overall, rather than hurt it. That's because as a doll, the expectation is no articulation at all, and Annabelle does have a neck joint. You can turn the head side to side to add a little personality - and creep factor - on the shelf.

Annabelle scaled prop replica doll by Mezco

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Accessories - Bupkis
Purely informational only. I wasn't expecting anything in the way of accessories, so I'm not particularly surprised that none were provided.

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Outfit - ***1/2
Annabelle is wearing a soft, nylon or polyester cloth dress, which fits neatly and looks great. The red ribbons in her hair match the red sash and bow around her waist, and the red piping along the chest looks great.  The materials and stitching are very high quality, and the screen accuracy is high.

Annabelle scaled prop replica doll by Mezco

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Fun Factor - **
Not really a collectible designed for a lot of 'fun', but you could always give it to your kids, and then sneak into their room each night, moving it slightly closer to their bed each time.  That would be loads of fun, although the cost of long term therapy might not be worth it.

Annabelle scaled prop replica doll by Mezco

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Value - ***
At $80, this is a reasonably priced scaled prop replica. You can spend several hundred dollars getting a full scale custom, but for those on a more realistic budget, this doll will be a perfect fit.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.

Overall - ***
Annabelle has taken her place of honor with the other classic evil dolls in cinematic history, and it's only right that we get collectible versions to terrorize our children. Prop replica dolls can be surprisingly expensive to produce, a big factor in why it's been so long since we saw a full size Chucky on the market. The scaled versions are a nice alternative, and this Annabelle from Mezco is a solid release at just $80. She looks great on the shelf with Tina, Chuck, and Zuni, adding a modern yet very recognizable feminine face, and will be a hit at your next Halloween party.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***
Paint - ***
Articulation - *
Accessories - Bupkis
Outfit - ***1/2
Fun Factor - **
Value - ***
Overall - ***

Annabelle scaled prop replica doll by Mezco

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has her for $80.

- Entertainment Earth has some in non-mint boxes (the figure is fine of course) for just $60.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Other recreations of demonic dolls include the talking battle damaged Chucky, the non-talking battle damaged Chucky, and the non-damaged but talking Chucky. The first on screen version was reproduced by DST - Talky Tina, a classic. And perhaps creepiest of all, the Zuni Warrior Fetish Doll from the 1970's Trilogy of Terror.

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

Discussion:
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Annabelle scaled prop replica doll by Mezco

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

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