Packaging - ***1/2
I like this packaging quite a bit. The box is very sturdy, and has a
unique look to it compared to other recent Universal Monsters product. The
red looks good, and they've done an excellent job of placing both the figure and
the accessories in actual poses. Notice how the rat is on top of the arch,
and Dracula is holding his candle outstretched.
Of course, it also says 'authentic Bela Lugosi likeness' on the front, which
is definitely debatable.
Sculpting - **1/2
So let's discuss that likeness. Perhaps this is Bela in his later
years, because it's certainly not the one that did the original film. Here
he has a huge Leno jaw, complete with large butt, I mean cleft. The
exposed fang look isn't completely inaccurate, but is not the hypnotic
expression I would have preferred. On top of that, the head is oversized
for the body. While it looks passable with the extra bulk of the cape in
place, remove the cape and he looks like a balloon head.
The body sculpt is slightly better, although it's soft. The details
around the vest, amulet and buttons is weak, but the hand sculpts look good, and
he can hold the candle nicely in his left hand.
The sculpt on the general accessories is okay, but again, nothing to write
home about. Rather than use a 'dragon' style candle holder, this one is as
basic as you can possibly get. The bat and rat are also fairly generic,
but the coffin and stone arch piece are nicely detailed.
One more disappointment in the sculpting is the choice of scale. Had
these figures been slightly larger, it's possible that the spiffy diorama could
have been used with other versions of Dracula. Unfortunately, this scale
means the accessories are too small.
Paint - *1/2
The fastest way to kill even the best head sculpt is with a lousy paint
application. Here it's no so much about quality as it is about color.
But first the suit. Here the work is acceptable, but not
extraordinary. The amulet and red cloth are a tad sloppy, with some bleed
and inaccuracies between the red, gold and white of the shirt. There's not
a ton of detail, but what is here is adequately painted.
One paint op that really bugged me though was on the candle. The flame
is wax colored - where's the yellow or orange? Fortunately the rat has
little beady red eyes. That doesn't completely make up for it, but it
Ah, but what about the face and hands? The Prince of Darkness has
always had somewhat of a pasty complexion. No sun for centuries does that
to a guy. But when did he turn yellow? He looks more like George
Hamilton in Love at First Bite than Bela Lugosi.
There are some quality issues here as well - the hair line is a little
sloppy, and the eyes could have been improved - but these issues aren't the big
problem. The color is just to eye poppingly bad to notice much else.
Articulation - ***
Bela has neck, shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and one bicep cut joint on
the left arm. It's better than I had expected, and it certainly works fine
for this character.
The added cut joint on his bicep allows you to put him in the classic pose
with his cape over that arm, held up to his face. It comes up a little
short, since the articulation doesn't allow the arm to be positioned perfectly,
but you can get it in the general position.
The figure stands just fine on his own, and you won't have any trouble
keeping him up on the shelf.
Accessories - ***1/2
There are six in total - the diorama with coffin and removable lid, a bag of
stones to dump into the coffin (perhaps from Transylvania!), candlestick with
candle, a rat, his cape, and a bat.
The rat and bat work fine, and there's an elastic string on the bat to allow
him to hang from the arch. The rat stands up nicely on his own, and can
sit just about anywhere you're little heart desires.
The base is terrific. The detail work on the coffin and archway is
excellent, and the paint ops give a realism to it's appearance. Throw in
the bag of rocks, and Drac has himself a comfy little bed. The lid fits on
perfectly and comes off easily, and he fits inside (without the cape) just
right. It's also fairly source accurate, but not perfect in every
detail. Still, it looks great with or without him, and you might find some
use for it with other undead figures.
The cape is made from a decent quality material, but not anything unusual for
this price point. It's hemmed, with an elastic band for the neck. I
have one major issue with it though, but for some this will be minor. The
interior of the cape is red, the wrong color. This is a common mistake,
but the correct color is gray.
The candlestick is the only disappointment in this category. As I
already mentioned, the sculpt is very basic and not source accurate, and the
flame isn't painted properly. It does fit well in his left hand though.
Value - *1/2
If the sculpt had been better and the paint ops dead on (pun intended), I
wouldn't have complained very loudly about the $15 price point. The
diorama is cool, and this could have been such a great figure on the shelf.
But with those weaknesses, this figure really is only worth $10 tops.
Overall - **
The diorama base is the only saving grace here. It looks great, and I
really do think that adding in the bag of rocks (cheap as it might have cost)
was a pretty creative idea. Still, that can't overcome the fact that the
figure itself looks like something from the mid 80's.
Had Jakk's put this figure out 15 years ago, it would have been truly
impressive. But now with the kind of work being done by Sideshow,
Mcfarlane, Mezco and others, it simply can't compete. Perhaps Jakk's was
stepping outside their comfort zone, since they've been relying on the Real Scan
process for some many years now.
Where to Buy -
I picked this up at Toys R Us, so that's where I'd suggest trying first.
On the other hand, if you want a better looking if a bit larger version of the Lugosi
Dracula, you can pick up Sideshow's for just $30 at their site. And if
you are a big Lugosi fan, head over to Sideshow and check out there Lugosi
as Frankenstein for just $20, their Lugosi
as Muder Legendre for $40, or their Lugosi
as the Gypsy, also for just $20!
SCROLL DOWN FOR A COMPARISON SHOT WITH THE 8" SIDESHOW AND FLATT