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Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Frankenstein's Monster - Universal Monsters
One:12 Collective Action Figure

Mezco Toyz
Date Published: 2016-11-09
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Frankenstein's Monster One:12 Collective action figure by Mezco

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Introduction

We all have those licenses that are special to us. Maybe it's Star Wars, maybe it's the MCU, maybe it's just a particular character like Batman or Spider-Man.  More often than not, this particular brand of love dates back to our childhood, and those impressionable early years.  For me, the Universal Monsters will always be such a license.

I grew up watching the old black and white movies with Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolfman, and my favorite, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, on rainy Saturday afternoons courtesy of the great Sir Graves Ghastly. These films and their monsters shaped much of my tastes toward horror for the rest of my life, and they remain an key part of my nostalgia.

Lots of companies have produced action figures based on them over the years, and there's no sign that will change any time soon. A big reason is the simple yet classic designs, which speak to viewers even today.

Mezco has started doing the license under their superb One:12 Collective series, and the first release is Frankenstein. Actually, it's Frankenstein's Monster, although that's always a mouthful.  I'll be calling him the Monster from here on out.  By the way, my favorite saying that relates to this is "Knowledge is knowing Frankenstein is not the monster - Wisdom is knowing he is".

This guy has started shipping, and will run you around $70. There's a colorized PX exclusive release that's also shipping soon, and that one will cost you an extra ten bucks, depending on the retailer.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Frankenstein's Monster One:12 Collective action figure by Mezco

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Packaging - ***1/2
The box is a bit more basic than some of their other releases, but it does have a number of cool movie stills on the back and inside flap.  They don't use the three dimensional effect with the clear plastic outer cover to the fullest extent, however, and I think they missed an opportunity.

Inside it's all very collector friendly however, with no trouble taking the figure and accessories out without any sort of damage.

Frankenstein's Monster One:12 Collective action figure by Mezco

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Sculpting - ****
The figure comes with two head sculpts, based on the original Boris Karloff Monster. The head he comes wearing is the classic look, while the second is a bit more, shall we say, expressive.

Both sculpts are excellent, but the standard appearance will really wow you. Remember, this is a 1/12 scale figure, making most of the releases around 6 1/2" tall, depending on the character. Because Frankie is a big boy, they've upped the size a bit, and he tops out at right about 7".

The amount of detail on both heads is really impressive. There's a subtle skin texture, and cleanly defined hair. Wrinkles are clear without being too deeply cut, and the half lidded eyes look amazing. The snarling portrait shows off the teeth and gums, and both are clearly Karloff under the makeup.

My one nit is around the scar on the forehead, which I think is a little too high and close to the hair line.  I would have preferred it a little closer to the brow ridge, but this is a VERY minor nit on my part.

The figure comes with a second set of hands, and all four are done with the same level of extreme detail as the portraits.  Skin texture matches the face and neck, and the scars look great.

Frankenstein's Monster One:12 Collective action figure by Mezco

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Paint - ****
Again - these are just 1/12 scale, and yet the quality here reminds me of what we see with the better sixth scale figures on the market.

This release is supposedly black and white, with the PX exclusive being colored to look like the actual makeup.  However, while the very black suit is obvious, the skin tone has some green tinge to it...at least to little old color blind me.  It looks fantastic either way, and the subtle variations in the skin tone are tremendously realistic.

I also love the darkened finger nails, and the creepy eyes.  This is one of those situations where they started with an amazing sculpt and made it better with a fantastic paint job. Considering how tiny this guy is, I'm quite impressed.

Frankenstein's Monster One:12 Collective action figure by Mezco

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Articulation - ***
Generally, the One:12 Collective figures are quite well articulated.  However, this guy has a couple restrictions due to the character design.

The ball jointed neck works great, and swapping heads is quite easy.  The rotating hinge shoulders and elbows allow for plenty of monster arm poses, but the wrists are not jointed. That's to create that smooth line along the exposed forearm, and while it means fewer hand poses, I'm all for this particular aesthetic decision.

The torso and waist allow for some twisting and turning, and the ball hips and hinge knees work great. However the ankles, like the wrists, are locked in thanks to the tall, stiff boots.  Let's be honest, the Monster is a pretty stiff guy, and the legs are generally going to be in short, narrow stances.  While it's less articulated than the average One:12 figure, the changes are acceptable considering the character.

Frankenstein's Monster One:12 Collective action figure by Mezco

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Accessories - ***
As I mentioned earlier, the figure has a second portrait of a snarling monster. It's just as high quality as the original, and gives you some very good display options.

The extra set of hands operate the same way. The swap just below the elbows, and popping off one set and popping on the other is quite easy.  The regular hands are in standard Frankenstein Monster pose, while the second set are in a more threatening grip.

To go with these hands is a set of shackles. These can be placed on his wrists (or ankles), and have a real chain running between them.

Finally, he has the basic display stand with a cool 'electric' logo. It comes with a simple, clear waist grabber support.  There's also the small accessories bag that comes with every One:12 figure, perfect for storing the extras when not in use.

Frankenstein's Monster One:12 Collective action figure by Mezco

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Outfit - ***
This is one of those situations where from the waist up you get one score, from the waist down you get another.

I'm loving the shirt and coat, both perfectly tailored to this small scale.  The super thin cut of the jacket and collar make me confident that they can pull off characters like the Joker in future releases.

The pants are a slightly different kettle of fish.  I recall them being long, reaching the feet, certainly past the ankles. This 1931 movie still shows what I mean. Yet the pants here are quite short, and while you can adjust them, bringing them down too far brings the crotch down too far as well.  I played around with them a bit - you'll see them at higher and lower points in different photos - but never found a spot that I really liked.

The tailoring is also off.  They are wide at the thigh, thin at the calf, creating a cone appearance that just doesn't work for me. Had they nailed the paints, this would have been a four star category - I like the shirt and jacket that much.

Frankenstein's Monster One:12 Collective action figure by Mezco

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Fun Factor - ***1/2
Good articulation with two heads and two sets of hands means plenty of posing and re-posing potential. Of course, we need some more Universal Monsters to go with him, but if there's any one character that can stand on his own, it's Frankenstein's Monster.

Frankenstein's Monster One:12 Collective action figure by Mezco

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Value - **1/2
At $70, this guy is about the average One:12 Collective price, and while I'd like another extra or two (a daisy would be great), the additional head sculpt makes it an average value for me.

Frankenstein's Monster One:12 Collective action figure by Mezco

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Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing. Heads and hands swapped easily, and all the joints seemed tight and firm.

Overall - ***1/2
Those damn pants. You can blame it on the pants. They just don't quite work for me, although the rest of the outfit - particularly the thin material and how the jacket was kept in scale - is great.

Both portraits are outstanding, as is the paint job.  If we can get a Lugosi Dracula and Chaney Wolfman this good, I'd die happy.  While I understand that Mezco is going to put most of their efforts at this point into the DC and Marvel line ups, I certainly hope they don't forget about the rest of the potentially amazing characters under this license.

BTW, at 7" tall, this guy should go great with any of the accessories that were part of the DST releases, like the lab equipment. All the better to create a cool display!

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

Frankenstein's Monster One:12 Collective action figure by Mezco

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- has this guy for $70.

- has him for $70, and the PX exclusive for $80.

- Entertainment Earth also has this one for $70, and the previews exclusive for $80.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
This is the first Universal Monster One:12 Collective figure, but they've done a fair share of others under different licenses.  There's Star Trek, where they have Kirk, the Mirror, Mirror and Cage variants of Spock, Sulu, the Toy Fair exclusive Spock, and the regular release Spock as well. Other One:12 Collective figures released so far include Dredd and his Lawmaster, the NYCC exclusive Judge Dredd, the DKR Batman and Mutant two pack, the Batman exclusives, and the initial DKR Batman. They just got things rolling with their Batman V Superman series as well, releasing the Armored Batman.

If you're a big fan of Frankenstein's Monster, check out the Diamond Select Toys Son of Frankenstein, as well as their Moleman, Hunchback, Dr. Jekyl/Mr. Hyde, and previous DST Universal Monsters including Frankenstein, his Bride, Dracula, the Creature, Wolfman and the Mummy.

If you like your Monsters bigger, check out the 1:1 scale bust, or the sixth scale Teenage Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, regular Frankenstein Monster, three different Sideshow Monsters, or the Young Frankenstein set.

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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Frankenstein's Monster One:12 Collective action figure by Mezco

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This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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