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Sideshow Pamela Voorhees

Fans of the Friday the 13th movies know that it wasn't Jason Voorhees that was killing teenagers in the original film, but his deranged mommy dearest, Pamela Voorhees. Jason had drowned in Crystal Lake, and Pam blamed the camp counselors, who, like all movie camp counselors, were more interested in getting wasted and bumping uglies (usually in that order) than watching the kids.

Pammy took out her anger on a crop of nubile youngsters, including Kevin Bacon, long before he officially became the center of the Universe. After the first film Jason took over as the big bad, but fans all remember his mom fondly.

Sideshow has added a Pamela Voorhees figure to their sixth scale Jason line up. This figure is retired at the Sideshow site already, and there were two versions once again. The regular version, which has oddly never been updated as to the edition size (likely to be less than 4000), and the exclusive version that was limited to 666. Each cost $40 originally, but I have some cheaper options for you at the end of the review.

I'll be looking at the exclusive version tonight, which includes the extra severed head. This is Pam's head freshly severed, not the mummified version that Jason had enshrined in his hut, and which we got with the Part 2 exclusive version of Jason.






Packaging - ***
The modern horror packages all follow the same basic style, with a large head shot of the actual toy on the front. This time, Pam is a little too well lit, making it more obvious that she's the actual figure, but that's not such a bad thing. There's not much text, and the remainder of the graphics aren't quite as creative as some of the other recent work, but the box is still predominately collector friendly.

There are a whole bunch of those nylon strings holding in the accessories though, and they drive me more nuts than twisties.

Sculpting - **1/2
I went back and forth on this particular category, sometimes going with three stars, sometimes with **1/2. Suffice to say that it's a very close call for me.

The sculpt has more definition than the recent POTA stuff, but still lacks some critical details that existed in the prototype.  The wrinkled brow between the eyes is less noticeable, which softens the upper face, making the lower face look out of place.  Rather than looking like an evil grimace, the expression looks like a woman trying to smile an hour after her botox appointment.

That's also due to the expression though, and she's got a grimacing, I'm going to gut you with a machete because you're a irresponsible teenager look. At least that's what they're going for, but how well they captured it might be dependent on whether you've actually seen someone looking like that in reality. If you have, you're probably dead.

I haven't, but I will admit that people in extreme situations often get the goofiest, silliest looking expressions on their faces. And to be honest, Betsy Palmer (who played Pam) isn't exactly Meryl Streep. After comparing between actual photos, and particularly the photo on the front of the box, I ended up going with the lower score though, and felt that the sculpt wasn't what it could have been.

I'm not sure what happened between the prototype and the final product, but the sculpt clearly suffered.  The teeth aren't as sharp and defined, the hair has less detail, and even the eyes are off.  It's too bad too, because the prototype came much closer to capturing the look of Mrs. Voorhees.

The hand sculpts work great with all the weapons, and she has well scaled hands for the female Sideshow body.

Paint - **
If you need any proof that matte finishes look better on face paint than gloss, simply compare the final product here with the prototype photo.

For some reason, the production piece has a glossy finish that matches the eyes, hair and mouth.  There's no difference in any of them.  The prototype had a nice matte finish on the face, with gloss in the mouth and eyes, and looks much more realistic.

On top of that, the skin tone on the face is very dark, and it looks like she's been hitting the tanning salon.  The wash on the hair didn't work as well as expected, and the paint work on the eyebrows and eyes is disappointing as well.

The more I looked at this figure, the more the paint ops bugged me.  The longer I stared, the more issues I found, and finally I just gave it up.

Articulation - ***1/2
Do you like the standard Sideshow female body? Then you'll like this one. She has all that articulation, and none of the floppy joints. Pam had no trouble posing in all kinds of nifty ways with her grab bag of weapons, and she stands great on her own.

She also has the advantage of that big bulky sweater, which adds some poof to her otherwise thin body. One of the complaints with the female Sideshow body is how thin it is, but here the outfit helps offset some of that.

Accessories - ***1/2 (exclusive), *** (non-exclusive)
At first glance, it appears that Pam is one of the better outfitted recent Sideshow figures, especially in the Modern Horror line.

She comes with a Kabar knife and sheath, nifty bow with actual string, arrow, axe and machete. The exclusive version also comes with her decapitated head, as seen at the end of the film. Since it was the machete that did the decapitating, it's a very appropriate accessory.

But if you look close, you'll notice that the machete and axe we've seen before, with Jason. And that Kabar knife looks awfully familiar too, and I think it came out with the Thunderball Bond. So in the end, it's really only the arrow and bow that are new. Still, the overall accessory count is pretty sweet for a Sideshow figure, even if there is a lot of re-use.

The exclusive gets that extra boost from the very heavy, very solid, and nicely sculpted extra head. I like this shocked expression better than the regular face, and the stump has all the gory detail you expect. Oddly, the neck also has a hole in it, so that you could place her head on a pike or pole if you felt so inclined, but I can't find any accessory with her or Jason that would work.

Here's the weird part - both the sculpt and the paint ops are better on the severed head than the actual head.  The hair color is actually slightly different, and the gloss finish and dark skin color aren't on the severed head.  They should have had the same person painting the living head that did the dead version.

Outfit - ***
The outfit is pretty basic - black boots, black pants, black shirt, belt and fuzzy sweater. The sweater looks a tad dorky, but if you ask me, all sweaters look dorky on all people, so it's actually quite realistic. It also matches up with the source material extremely well.

The boot sculpt is well done, and one of the nicer features of the outfit. The belt was a tad on the flimsy side, and you should take care when you're moving it around to adjust the sheath.

Fun Factor - **
At least she's not a child molesting serial killer like Freddy. Still, she won't be winning any Betty Crocker bake offs any time soon, and she's not the kind of woman you want on the school board. Unless they have been doing a lousy job lately.

This is definitely a toy for adult fans of the film, not just because of the subject matter, but because it's a middle aged woman in a sweater. Without the context, a kid is simply going to wonder what they're supposed to do with Barbie's mom.

Value - *** (exclusive), **1/2 (non-exclusive)
The exclusive version is a better value than the regular version of course, because they were still selling the exclusives for the same price at this time. How can you beat getting a cool severed head for the same cash? Of course, that doesn't avoid the issue that Sideshow sixth scale figures tend to be on the expensive side to begin with.

Overall - **1/2 (exclusive), ** (non-exclusive)
While it's cool that we actually got a figure of the wacko Mrs. Voorhees, she's not exactly the most visually spectacular character to ever grace the big screen. Making her interesting was a tough job, and it's really only the core fans of the franchise that will care about this figure.

The exclusive gets extra points for the spifftastic severed head of course, and let's be honest - you can never have too many severed heads around the house. Now all we need is a Kevin Bacon figure in the Jason line, or perhaps a Johnny Depp figure in the Freddy line, to make the circle complete.

Things to Watch Out For - 
There's the usual warning when dealing with the nylon strings - if you cut them, be careful you don't damage the accessories, particularly the bow string.

SCORE RECAP:
Packaging - ***
Sculpt - **1/2 
Paint - **
Articulation - ****
Outfit - ***
Accessories - ***1/2 (exclusive), *** (non-exclusive)
Fun Factor - **
Value - *** (exclusive), **1/2 (non-exclusive)
Overall - **1/2 (exclusive), ** (non-exclusive)

Where to Buy - 
Since this is the exclusive, I obviously picked mine up directly from Sideshow. Your best bet is ebay now. For the regular version however, there are some other options:

- Alter Ego Comics has Pam available for $32.

- Southern Island has Jason's mommy for $35.

- Killer Toys has her on pre-order for $40.


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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