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The Mystic Seer - Twilight Zone Prop Replica
Bif Bang Pow

Mystic Seer Twilight Zone prop replica by BifBangPow


I love action figures, toys, busts, statues...just about every sort of pop culture collectible you can think of. But I think my greatest love is for 1:1 scale prop replicas, particularly from my favorite sci-fi and horror licenses.

When BifBangPow first picked up the Twilight Zone license a few years ago, I was hopeful that we'd see some cool props, but my hopes were initially dashed. There were some bobble heads (some cool, some not quite as much), but nothing that really knocked my socks off.

Then last year they released the Talky Tina full scale prop replica, and I was elated. In fact, I picked it as my favorite replica of 2011, and it did well in the Poppies industry awards. Could they top it?

Their next release is truly iconic - the Mystic Seer from the episode "Nick of Time". The episode was penned by Richard Matheson, one of my favorite writers, who did such greats as the Trilogy of Terror, I Am Legend, Duel and many, many others.

In this episode, William Shatner (in one of his two appearances on the show) plays Don, who's car breaks down in a small rural town. He and his newlywed wife decide to hang at the local diner until the car is repaired, and on the table is a 'mystic seer' napkin holder. You place a penny in the Seer, ask it a question, and out pops your answer. While the answers are notably vague, it seems as though the novelty napkin dispenser is really foretelling the future, and Don is almost enslaved by his fear and uncertainty. His wife manages to break the spell and get them out of town, but not before we see another couple not so lucky.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Mystic Seer Twilight Zone prop replica by BifBangPow
Mystic Seer Twilight Zone prop replica by BifBangPow
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Mystic Seer Twilight Zone prop replica by BifBangPow
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Mystic Seer Twilight Zone prop replica by BifBangPow
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Mystic Seer Twilight Zone prop replica by BifBangPow
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Mystic Seer Twilight Zone prop replica by BifBangPow
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Mystic Seer Twilight Zone prop replica by BifBangPow -----------------------------------------------------------------------
Mystic Seer Twilight Zone prop replica by BifBangPow
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The prop in this episode was based on the Swami Fortune Teller Napkin Holder made by the F.E. Erickson Company. The rumor is that the show's Seer is the guts of the Swami with a new cover - it certainly looks that way to me.


This replica is a pretty limited edition, with only 600 of the regular produced, and only 50 of a special black and white edition, signed by William Shatner, also released.


The regular edition is $250, while the super duper signed version was $500 originally. Those long sold out of course, so prices are now dictated by the market, but you can still pick up this color version at retail.

Packaging - ***1/2
The box is pretty straight forward. It has shots from the show, but no window. The Seer is packed extremely well inside, bundled in two different sets of dense foam trays. There's also a small instruction sheet that clearly outlines the operation, and a nice Certificate of Authenticity.

Sculpting - ****
From what I can tell from screen caps, they've pretty much nailed the look of this prop. The devil's head has some great detail work on the teeth and grin, and the expression has just that right touch of playful evil. The left eye is a little jewel, glittering in the light.

While the head and horns are resin, the body is all metal. The unit is nice and heavy, and feels extremely high quality. The construction is good, with a decent fit between parts.

This thing is big too - about 13 1/2" tall. It's the full size deal, and takes up a nice hunk of space on your counter top. Rubber feet on the bottom will protect any surface.

The front includes the screen accurate labels, which aren't just cheap stickers but appear to be some sort of tampo or paint. The stars are sculpted and attached to the front, covered with actual sparkles.

The menu holder arms on the back are attached tightly, and you can fit three or four normal diner menus in there. I have one in the photo, and yes, it's from Merlotte's. Now I just need to pick up a few more!

Paint - ****
The red box has very good, consistent coverage, and it is not likely to scratch or wear off with normal use. All the wording is sharp and clean, and as I said, they aren't just cheap stickers. The addition of the glitter on the stars is well applied, and the overall quality is top notch.

There's a couple slight edge issues on the head - one eyebrow isn't quite perfect, and one horn has a little slop at the very base. These are very minor issues though, and most folks won't be as picky as I am.

In the photo the face looks more overall white than it is in person - they've done a nice job using a slightly different shade for the face, fangs, and teeth.

Features - ****
Most prop replicas are happy to look like the real thing - this time we get the real working Seer!

On either side are spring loaded napkin holders, designed to work with the classic 5x7 napkins that you still find in most true diners. They should hold the napkins tightly (I have to hit CostCo and see if they have some) because the springs are very strong, and dispense them neatly.

On the back, between the menu hanger arms, is a small door. Pop this off and you can access the cards. These fit inside a spring loaded tray, and then are rolled out when the handle is pulled down. The instructions say you can load up to 24, but I found that around 20 was better. With a full load, the cards tend to come out more than one at a time, but with about 20 in the slot, they feed perfectly.

The mechanism itself is pretty slick - insert a penny (and only a USD penny!) in the slot and pull down on the handle. The card pops out the front, slick as spit on a door knob! The pennies drop into a locked compartment in the bottom, where the included set of keys will gain you access.

The features work great, and with the majority of the replica made of metal, should last a long time with normal use.

Fun Factor - ****
I dare your friends not to try this thing out - and not be freaked out by any coincidental right answers! The mechanism works great, and you can even use it to hold those old style diner napkins - what more could you want?

Value - ***1/2
How can a $250 replica get such a good value score? Because it's not only a huge, metal, working napkin dispenser, it's also a working fortune telling machine! I did not expect that they'd get all the functionality of the original into this replica, and when they did, they blew me away.

Things to Watch Out For -
While the majority of the unit is metal, some of the interior mechanism is plastic, and of course the devil's head is resin. Handle it with some care, and while using the fortune telling feature, try not crank on it. I don't expect it to break under normal use, but at this price point you don't want to be forcing it either.

Overall - ****
It's only February, and the best prop of the year is already out. The Mystic Seer is going to be the one to beat for the next ten months, and it's going to be a mighty tough goal.

Big fans of the show are going to love this guy, especially with the low production run, fully working features, and relatively decent price. It's also the sort of replica that fits in well with movie rooms, home theaters, and basement bars, because it fits the general decor. That makes it a step up from the usual sword or gun, and the fact that it actually works is a huge plus.

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

Where to Buy -
The place to pick this up is Entertainment Earth, where it can be had for $250, or you can search ebay.

Related Links -
Other Twilight Zone full scale props include Talky Tina, and if this big version of the Seer is a bit much for you, you can always go for the bobble head. If you're looking for other Twilight Zone related goodies, check out this great custom Rod Serling head sculpt, some of the great action figures by Sideshow, including the Kanamit, the Invader, and the Gremlin from Shatner's other TZ episode. There's also some great stuff from Outer Limits, including the Zanti Misfits, Ikar and Ikar's Soldier, Gwyllm, the Ebonite Interogator, Andro and the Helosian.

Discussion:
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Mystic Seer Twilight Zone prop replica by BifBangPow


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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