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Review of Creature from the Black Lagoon action figure
Living Dead Doll Universal Monsters

Mezco Toyz
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Creature from the Black Lagoon Living Dead Doll by Mezco

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Introduction

We all have our 'bests' lists. Some of those lists are pretty consistent across humanity - top ten all time favorite movies, for example. The contents are different, but everyone has that list.

Then there are the lists that are specific to our own little idiosyncrasies. Yours might be Top 3 Episodes of Pretty, Pretty Pegasus, or Top 5 Favorite Talking Ducks (sadly, no one has Howard on their list). For me, it's Top 3 Greatest "Dude in a Rubber Costume" Monsters, a category that had a lot more potential candidates in the 50's, 60's and 70's.  With the advent of CGI and slasher flicks, there were far fewer monsters of this style, but my number 2 and number 3 spots are actually from the more modern era: Alien and Predator respectfully.

The number 1 spot remains with one of the greatest monster designs of all time: The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Please notice I didn't say "movie". The film itself is nothing special, working off the same basic formula as most 50's horror. I have no problem with them re-making this particular classic, because I believe the basic premise can be turned into a truly scarey movie in the right hands.  But if they touch the creature design, there will be Hell to pay.

Because I'm such a fan of the design, I tend to collect every incarnation and interpretation that comes out.  The latest in this long history is the Living Dead Dolls figure from Mezco Toyz. As part of last summer's SDCC, they showed off a number of new additions to their long running LDD series, including this guy as part of the Universal Monsters. He's unique to the line in a number of ways. First and perhaps most obvious, the body is completely sculpted, with no cloth goods, making it the first all new body designed for just one character.  This all plastic design means he's water proof too - perfect for bath time fun!  And he's also the most articulated LDD they've ever done, thanks to ball joints at the wrists and ankles. More on that in a minute.

This figure is available for around $27 at most retailers, and is currently shipping.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Creature from the Black Lagoon Living Dead Doll by Mezco

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Packaging - ***1/2
He comes in a nice window box, designed to look like the bottom of a swamp. The inner tray maintains this look as well, and while there's a few twisties to dispose of, the overall package is fairly collector friendly. It works well for the MIBer too, because the way they have the flowing plants and bubbles around the window makes him appear to be underwater, right on the shelf. This style of box is slightly out of the norm for LDD figures though, and won't fit in quite as well if you display the usual coffins.

Creature from the Black Lagoon Living Dead Doll by Mezco

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Sculpting - ***1/2
This is an interpretation of the original design, a combination of the on screen style and the overall style of the Living Dead Dolls. As such, fans of the classic look might find it too 'cute'.

But that's pretty much the point.  The LDD series has always featured gruesome characters with just enough cute to make you uncomfortable. It's a style that's kept the line alive for almost 15 years, no easy feat in today's volatile collectors market.

While the figure retains all the elements that make him recognizable, they alter some things to better fit the LDD style. The larger, rounder head for example, or the wide, large eyes. The clawed hands are still deadly, but you'll want to hug him nonetheless.

This amalgamation works for me, and I enjoy adding unusual interpretations like this to my Creature shelf. But if you're looking for a purely classic look, this isn't it.

He comes in at 10" tall, and stands great on his own.

Creature from the Black Lagoon Living Dead Doll by Mezco

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Paint - ***1/2
Clean but simple paint ops all around.  The eyes are sharp and straight, the skin tone is a consistent green from body part to body part, and the additional yellowish highlights look good.

There's still a minor issue here and there - I'd like to see slightly better edges around the lips and gills, for example - but they are far and few between. This isn't a particularly complex paint job, but they've kept it clean.

Creature from the Black Lagoon Living Dead Doll by Mezco

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Articulation - ***
He's not super articulated, but he's more articulated than a standard LDD.

It starts with a very good ball jointed neck, and continues with ball jointed shoulders, wrists, and ankles.  To finish things off you have V cut hips.

The ball joints at the neck, wrists and ankles really do add a ton of additional poseability.  The arms don't really need any additional cut joints, but the legs could have used something more. I know that they were going for as clean of an aesthetic as they could and didn't want to break up the hips or knees any further, but getting any variety in the stance is difficult due to the limitations of the shallow V hips. You can turn the legs to get one foot in front of the other - see the last photo - but that creates a weird look as well.

Creature from the Black Lagoon Living Dead Doll by Mezco

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Accessories - Bupkis
It's not like he used anything in the movie, so it's probably not a surprise that there's no Accessories.  I love getting extras though, so it's always a disappointment for me, expected or not.

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Fun Factor - ***
Here's the ultimate bath toy for the monster freak in your life! Better yet, weight him down and add him to the aquarium...or just pose him with your other LDD figures. There's plenty of options with a character like this, and there is enough articulation to change things up every so often.

Value - ***1/2
It's getting harder and harder to find any collectible action figure under $30.  If you're sticking with a 6" scale, they've averaged out around $20, with some edging up higher. Anything in a larger scale is going to cost you - I just paid $25 for the new NECA video game based Gremlin, which is a 7" scale.

Mezco has kept their LDD line affordable, making the fans happy.  At just $27, you're getting a well articulated, licensed 10" figure, in a very specific style and design.

Creature from the Black Lagoon Living Dead Doll by Mezco

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing!

Overall - ***1/2
This is not going to be everyone's cup of tea, and many fans of the classic depiction won't find this one appealing. That's to be expected.

However, if you're like me and enjoy seeing the original design married with other styles, then this guy is well worth a look.  The quality is there to back it up, and the Living Dead Doll cuteness gives him something unique on the shelf.

Of course, LDD fans will really like this guy, especially those that have already picked up their earlier Universal Monster Dracula, Frankenstein, and Bride of Frankenstein. The LDD figures are a great example of a series that looks good with a single figure, but fantastic with a complete line up standing shoulder to shoulder. They've given this monster design that LDD touch, allowing it to fit in with the rest.  That's going to be a critical factor for the long term LDD collectors and fans.

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

Creature from the Black Lagoon Living Dead Doll by Mezco

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has him for $27.

- also has him for $27.

- Entertainment Earth is also at $27.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
This is not the first Mezco Creature - they recently released this cool 8" interpretation.

Other versions include the excellent DST release, as well as their first DST version, the Sideshow 8" version, the black and white bank, the goofy Monster Pals version,  the Sideshow PF (one of the nicest collectibles produced),  Sideshow has done a great 12" version, and one from the later film, The Creature Walks Among Us,  the most recent smaller figure was from Toy Island,  and this mini-bust might not be an official Creature, but it's mighty close.

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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Creature from the Black Lagoon Living Dead 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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