Last month, we were treated to a nicely done figure of Fritz, the hunchback sidekick in the first Frankenstein film.  The actor who portrayed him, Dwight Frye, also portrayed another unfortunate sidekick - Renfield, in the original Dracula.

Sideshow has produced this second Dwight Frye character, giving your Dracula someone to boss around. He is another limited edition, and the suggested retail is $40, although you should be able to find an on-line retailer selling it for less.

Packaging - ****
I really would like to complain about the packaging, but I can't.  Great graphics, nice design, and collector friendly.  Renfield does come with both the twisty ties on his feet (painted to match his shoes) and the plastic band around his legs, so that's a little more bondage than I personally like, but overall Sideshow is hitting on all cylinders when it comes to packaging.

I'm hoping they can keep it up though, since the Monty Python boxes were a slight slip backwards.

Sculpting - ***
I'm being a little rougher on the sculpt here than usual, but it may be simply due to the source material.  It's definitely Frye, but the look doesn't quite capture the same level of psychotic intensity that he did in the film.  That's probably a lot to ask of a static medium, but it still isn't my favorite Sideshow work.  The sculpt looked far more disturbed to me in the original prototype photos.

Paint - ***1/2
No major complaints here.  The paint ops are good, although there's a little less detail here than some figures require.  I think that the paint work could have been exploited to show the insanity though, perhaps helping the sculpt in that direction.  As it is, he comes off as someone simply a little too happy to see you.

Articulation - ****
I had no problems with the body being tight and holding poses.  He stands great on his own, and can hold his lantern out straight without his arm drooping.

With the jacket on, the slightly odd hip shape doesn't appear, so that's not as much of an issue here as with the Gypsy.

Accessories - **1/2
There are three accessories here, but one is a re-use.

The lantern is nice, with a great sculpt, but we already got this one with London After Midnight.

The only major unique accessory is Renfield's briefcase. They did a very nice job putting it together, but be careful.  The straps are very thin, and can easily rip or come loose from the bag itself.  It looks like you could open it up if you wanted to, but I'd suggest leaving it as is.

The final accessory is new, but is simply a print of the deed for the property, as signed by both Count Dracula and Renfield.  It looks nice in the box, but it's very thin, and easy to damage.  I'm not sure how you'll display it out of the box.

Outfit - ***1/2
This costume suffers from not being as intricate or detailed as other characters, but it's still nicely done.

The pants and coat are a heavy material, with good stitching.  The pants are cuffed, as was the fashion at the time.  The sirt is a full shirt - no cheesy sleeveless deal this time.  And his pants are held up by cloth suspenders that look very nice.  Also, the very small buttons on the front of his shirt are a great detail.

The shoes are a re-used sculpt I believe, but the look good, and of course he has the necessary socks.

Value - **1/2
The value isn't quite as good on this figure as some, particularly if you end up paying the full $40 retail.  Try finding it for $25, as that's about the right price for this character.

Overall - ***
This isn't a bad figure, just not an exciting figure.  The briefcase is a nice enough accessory, but isn't particularly exciting, the outfit is well done but not particularly eye catching, and the character doesn't have much pizzazz.

Unless you're a huge Universal fan, or a huge fan of the film, I'm betting you'll pass on this particular guy in a suit.

Where to Buy
I don't know if any bricks and mortar stores will be carrying these, but there are plenty of on-line options:

- Sideshow themselves of course.  Retail is $40 plus shipping.

TNC Universe usually has a good price, although you'll have to call since they don't have the price on this one listed yet on the web site.

- Entertainment Earth has him listed at $35 plus shipping, but it still says 'coming soon'. (MROTW affiliate)

- Amok Time has him listed for $35 plus shipping too, and it appears he is in stock.

- War Toys have other Sideshow stuff very cheap, like Larry Talbot for $20, or many others at $25.  They don't have this one listed yet, but it might be worth a call.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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