Bram Stoker's Dracula

There's never been any shortage of Dracula figures.  From the Flatt World Bela to the Exclusive Premiere, to the Sideshow 12" and 18", and just about everything in between, we've seen lots of faces of Dracula.  Different actors, different forms, different companies.  Now Mcfarlane has released a new boxed set in the Movie Maniacs line that is the first from the 1992 film Bram Stoker's Dracula.

This film was from Francis Ford Coppola, and is theoretically the closest adaptation to the original novel.  Starring Gary Oldman as Dracula, the film might be most notable to geeks as the introduction of Monica Belucci to American audiences as one of Dracula's Brides.

This boxed set gives us Dracula in two of his forms from the film - as bat creature and as wolf creature.  The pair will retail for around $25, and should be showing up any day.

Packaging -  ***1/2
Like most deluxe sets, this pair comes to you in a box.  The size is not too large, yet it shows off both figures fairly well.  It sports the Movie Maniacs logo on the back, and the colors are reminiscent of the film.

If you hate twisties though, be prepared.  Bring your wire snips to this party.

Sculpting - ***1/2
Sculpt is rarely an issue for a Mcfarlane line.  Interest, now that's another issue.

The MM line has been dead for awhile, and it appears that they had picked up this license specifically for it before they made the decision to pretty much end the series.  I suspect they had contractual obligations though, and putting out this boxed set was the best way to meet them.

The Bat version of Dracula looks excellent, with a very detailed body sculpt and facial expression.  The hunched pose is right from the film, and while the sculpt and articulation aren't really intended to do much together, he looks great in this one stance.  I suspect most people that buy the set will be buying it for this character.

The second version is the wolf, which isn't as iconic.  It's a nice sculpt though, with lots of hair detail and a marvelous face sculpt.  The snarling appearance looks terrific, and if may entice buyers who have little interest in the film, but who are looking for another unique werewolf for the shelf.

Neither character stands on his own, but display bases have been included.

Paint - ***
The paint work on both figures is fairly under whelming, especially considering that they're from McToys.

One issue for both is the very limited color palette, and the lack of small detail paint work that we've become accustomed to.

The bat version has a heavy black wash, darkening the deep crevasses of the sculpt.  It's a bit much though, and tends to hide more detail than it highlights, especially in the face.  He also is sporting a bit of a glossy appearance, that cheapens the statue look.

The wolf has a matte finish, but few colors as well.  He does have a few more nice small details though, especially in the mouth, fangs and claws.  However, the fur and face use single colors in broad strokes, making them appear far less detailed than the usual Mcfarlane monster. The paint ops aren't awful, just not an example of McToys at the top of their game.

Articulation - Bat **; Wolf **1/2
As you might expect from the designs, there's not a ton of articulation here.

The bat has a cut neck, cut elbows, and cut hips.  The only real purpose of this handful of joints is to get the one and only pose just right. The most useful of his joints is the neck, which can be used to give him a little more personality.

The wolf is a bit more articulated, with cut neck, shoulders, biceps, wrists, waist and right thigh. The arm articulation allows for a fair number of poses, making him the more posable of the two.

Accessories - ***
Both figures come with a diorama like base.  The bat stands perched on a shipping crate containing the Count's bric-a-brac.  This crate is possibly the single coolest feature of the entire set, and it has a fantastic sculpt and paint job.

The wolf has a patio section, including a potted plant and mossy stone.  Both figures attach tightly to their bases, and require them to stand up.

Value - **
The pair lists at around $25, which is fairly average considering most single figures run around $12.  Still, Mcfarlane figures can be had as cheap as $10 at some retailers, and this boxed pair could have been much closer to $20.  I have some examples where you can snag it for $23, and anything around that gets another 1/2 star.

Fun Factor - **
Neither of these figures will be particularly 'fun' for kids, even those into monsters.  The wolf has more play value than the bat, since the articulation is slightly better, but I doubt they'll be passing up the Power Rangers to play with these.

Things to watch out for - 
Not a thing.  This set is extremely well built, and I had no trouble with loose joints or possible breakage.

Overall -  ***
Hardcore Dracula fans will want to pick up this set to add to the display, and any werewolf fans should take the time to check out the wolf.  He would make a nice addition to a shelf full of other 6 - 7" versions.

However, most folks will find this set a tad ho-hum.  While the sculpts are nice, the paint doesn't do much to show it off, and it seems that they phoned it in on this one.  The addition of an actual Oldman Dracula in the set would have made a huge difference of course, and one wonders if there were likeness licensing issues.

Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt - ***1/2
Paint - ***
Articulation - Bat **; Wolf **1/2
Accessories - ***
Fun Factor - **
Value - **
Overall -  ***

Where to Buy -
There's plenty of online options:

- CornerStoreComics has the set for $23.

- AmazingToyz has it listed at $23 as well.

- Killer Toys has the set at $23.

Related Links:
There have been many Dracula figures.  Here's some of the best - and worst:

- Sideshow has done a marvelous Premium Format version of Lugosi, along with a 12" version.

- And JAKKS did an awful version.

- One of the very best recent versions is the Christopher Lee 12" figure.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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