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The Wolfman
Mezco Toyz

Wolfman action figure by Mezco Toyz


I grew up watching the classic Universal horror movies (and lots of Hammer, Corman and other great monster flicks from the 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's) on Saturday afternoons. In the Detroit area, it was Sir Graves Ghastly that introduced us young impressionable types to these classics.

I'm not one of those snobs however, who believes that as much as I love these movies, that they were perfect. If you're going to be honest, you'll admit that there's room for improvement in many of them.

But whether the Wolfman is one of those that can be improved upon is yet to be determined. It was the best work that Lon Chaney Jr. ever did, and the effects still hold up reasonably well even 70 years later. The great Bela Lugosi was on his game as well, and the tragic story it created the concept of the 'wolf man' as we know it on film today.

So remaking it in a way that fans of the old film will appreciate and that new viewers will also enjoy is quite a challenge. Benicio Del Toro is an excellent choice for Larry Talbot, and with supporting roles filled by Anthony Hopkins and Hugo Weaving, the potential is there. We'll get to find out on February 12th when the film gets a wide release.

Mezco picked up the movie license, and is doing a variety of figures. The first out is the 7" Wolfman, which is available at some Blockbusters right now (oddly enough) as well as at ToysRUs.com.  He runs about $15.
Wolfman action figure
Wolfman action figure
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Wolfman action figure
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Wolfman action figure
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Wolfman action figure
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Wolfman action figure

Packaging - ***
The package is fairly basic, much more basic than the usual work from Mezco. I suspect that the licensor forced their hand here a bit, limiting them.

The graphics are attractive though, and the back of the package shows of the 12 inch figure and the replica medallion as well.

Sculpting - ***1/2
We haven't seen the film yet, and in fact, we've seen very little of the werewolf in trailers or stills. That makes it tough at this point to determine how accurate this portrait is to the source material, but I'm going to give Mezco the benefit of the doubt for now.

The detailing is excellent, especially on the face and hair on the head. The strands are thin and finely sculpted, with lots of wrinkles and texture to the leathery appearing skin. Even the small teeth have good definition, and the menacing snarl is a perfect expression.

I'm not real keen on the hair cut, which reminds me of the Geico Cavemen. It's like he's hairy, sure, but he's still well groomed.

The work on the body hair isn't quite as detailed, especially on the chest. Some of the hair that's poking out of the pant legs doesn't look as realistic either, following the sharp cut line on the plastic clothing too neatly. But these are fairly minor nits, only bringing down the overall score in this category slightly.

The sculpted pose works perfectly for the character, and the large paw-like feet can hold him upright in many poses. He's scaled to fit in with other 7" lines, and I'll be interested to see how he looks with the old Sideshow products once I can finally get them back out of storage. Going from memory, it looks like it's going to be a pretty decent match.

Paint - ***1/2
The majority of the paint work is solid, with clean lines and very little slop.

The teeth could be a little cleaner, but other small details look great, like the eyes and long black nails. They've also done a nice job with washes and dry brushing on the fur, bringing out some of the sculpted detail.

Articulation - ***1/2
I was very surprised by the amount and quality of articulation here, since most of it is very well hidden.

The ball jointed neck works great, with a very wide range of movement and plenty of tilt and turn potential. This one joint really allows you to add a ton of personality and menace to otherwise bland poses.

There's also ball jointed shoulders (peg/post style) that allow the arms good mobility. There are cut joints at the elbows, knees, wrists and thighs, which allow for a greater number of poses than you might assume. There's also a ball joint at the waist, which is somewhat restricted by the shirt.

Accessories - **
The one area that's a little disappointing is the Accessory category. There's only one, the Talbot cane with the silver wolf's head handle. It's scaled well, and the sculpted wolf's head looks great, but it's not a particularly useful item for Larry in this form. A couple bloody body parts (he must rip a few people apart in the film) would have been more appreciated.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
If I were a ten year old kid, I'd love this guy. The articulation allows for plenty of poses, he stands great on his own even with the funky feet, and he's big enough to tower over most other figures.

Value - **1/2
At $15, you're getting a pretty average deal. Most figures in this size at mass market (and you can get this guy as some 'mass' retailers) are running right around this price.

Things to Watch Out For -
Silver bullets are always an issue, but otherwise he should be good to go.

Overall - ***1/2
I'm very torn about this movie. On the one hand, I'm very aware of how unlikely it is that they'll be able to give us a great remake. On the other, I really hope they succeed, taking all that was great about the original and improving on the flaws.

Either way, Mezco's figures look great. I'll be adding these to my Universal monsters display, whether the movie bombs or not. I'm going to be snagging the 12" version as well (with cloth shirt and vest), as well as the medallion prop replica. 

Now I need to go down to the HT and watch my copy of the original again...

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - **
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Things From Another World has this version for $18.

- Entertainment Earth has the 7 inch for $15, and the 12 inch at $33.

- Urban Collector has the 12 inch version for $34.

- Big Bad Toy Store has the 7 inch at $16, and the 12 inch at $38.

- the UK collectors can pick up either at Forbidden Planet - the 7 inch for 14 GBP and the 12 inch for 37 GBP.

- you can also pick him up through ToysRUs.com where he's $15.

- or you can hunt ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I haven't covered any other items for the new film (but will), but I have covered some goodies based on the old film:

- Sideshow did a cool 12" Wolfman, Larry Talbot, and Bela Lugosi Gypsy.

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Wolfman action figure


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

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