And finally, they are different in price. At an average of about $225
each, amassing a collection of these may just put you in the poor house.
They've just announced a ton of new figures in this scale as well.
They've already released the Vampyre (reviewed here),
who was their first and cheapest at $150. Today's review covers the second
Classic Monster, Frankenstein,
who marked the rise to $225. In the Classic Monster line they've also
announced a Bela
Lugosi Dracula for release in the spring, and a London
After Midnight for release in the summer.
If Modern Monsters are more your thing, they've announced a Freddy
Krueger with real metal blades. If Star Trek is more your thing, they
have a Kirk
coming out at a slightly lower price point of $200 each. It's clear they
plan to expand this format to all their lines, as they've also announced a Hellboy,
Connery Bond, and Van
Helsing for the movie properties, and a Napolean
Bonaparte for the historical line. Whew!
Packaging - ****
He arrives at your door in a very tall box, with a slip cover over the outside.
This cover has the art and text on it, and can slip off over the top and
bottom. You have to slip it off to open it, and having this a separate
piece is a great idea. If you decide to toss the box, you could always
easily retain this outside cover, and even use the art as a backdrop.
There's also a ton of very well written text discussing the monster and the
film. This is something that's been missing from some of the more recent
Sideshow boxes in the sixth scale arena, and it's very welcome here.
The box itself is black and nondescript. However, the foam holds
everything very safely, and it serves its ultimate goal well - getting Frankie
to you in undamaged.
Sculpting - ****
I'm a big fan of the old Universal Monsters, and I have lots and lots of
Frankensteins. But none come close to the work on this one.
The head sculpt is simply amazing in its realism. They've captured the
Karloff monster beautifully, with a terrific attention to detail and style.
The hands are sculpted with that same attention to detail, and the scars look
truly horrifying. They hands are done in his classic reaching pose, and
can be used with any number of arm poses. There's not quite as much detail
in these hands as in the Nosfertu claws, but I think that's due to the nature of
the source material.
The final piece of the sculpting puzzle is the boots. Movie accurate,
they give Frank a little more height than the usual 18" figure, and he
actually stands about 22" tall. This puts him about 2" taller
than the Vampyre, and gives him a towering appearance over any other 18"
If I had one complaint about the sculpt, it would be the hair. A little
more detail here would have been nice, making the difference between this figure
and the sixth scale version even bigger. But it's not a major issue, and
certainly the texturing of the face and hands makes up for it.
Paint - ****
The sickly green skin is even, clean and consistent over both the face and
the hands. The detail work on the eyes is straight and accurate, and the
various areas that are darkened - the eyes and fingernails - look perfect in
contrast with the skin.
The small areas painted silver look like the metal they are supposed to be,
and that realism carries over to the paint work on the base.
Articulation - **1/2
They advertise these as 'poseable', and they are due to the wire armature inside
the soft body. But I wouldn't go nuts if I were you - the last thing you
want is to snap one of those wires after you just dropped two bills.
Most of the posing is in the arms, and you should be able to get just about
any pose there you want. The legs can also be posed, but with the base
fitting into the fit in a very specific way, there's not much point. The
upper body can also be bent a bit forward and back, but there's where my biggest
complaint comes in. See that nifty pose on the front of the box?
With the head and neck sculpted in a straight forward pose, and the body very
tough to get to hold any slight bends, there's no way you'll ever get even close
to that pose. At least I couldn't come up with a good way, and I wasn't
going to push my luck.
Accessories - **1/2
Unfortunately, there's only one accessory, the base. The base looks
fantastic, is nice and heavy, and has three metal rods that fit up into the feet
and legs of Frank to hold him very safely in place.
But considering how many additional cool accessories were possible, their
lack is disappointing. Certainly we could have had some chains and manacles
at the very least.
Outfit - ***
Another slight disappointment for me is in the tailoring of the
clothing. While the quality is once again exceptional, it doesn't fit the
soft body quite as well as it did with the Vampyre. The pants fit well,
and have some very realistic and accurate bunching up along the legs.
Likewise, the shirt if fine. All my issues really revolve around the
The fit on the jacket is oh so close, but not quite there. I think this
is not due to the cut of the jacket or the design, but where the jacket is
buttoned on the front. This isn't a snap, but rather sewn, making it tough
for you to correct the placement. It seems a little too high on the body
on my figure, causing the shoulders to raise up a bit, and the collar to stick
out on one side.
Frank does have his humped, oversized back, and the proportions on the body
are much better than you'd expect from soft material.
Value - **1/2
Unless you're the Trump, it's unlikely you'll be buying every quarter scale
figure Sideshow produces. I have Dracula coming, and I'm awfully tempted
by Freddy, but finding a way to justify that kind of expense is extremely
hard. If it's a license you really love though, the price won't seem that
far out of line with the quality of the piece. These runs are very limited
as well - usually 1000 or fewer - which drives the cost up as well.
Overall - ***1/2
I only gave Nosferatu three stars, but I
think my love for this particular movie monster has caused me to be slightly
more generous. I couldn't justify giving him four stars - not at this
price point, not with the issues I had with the outfit and not without any
additional accessories - but this figure is truly impressive at the center of
any Universal Monsters collection.
Where to Buy -
I haven't seen too many retailers pick these up, but there's a few.
On-line options include:
- Sideshow themselves of course. They have a page
dedicated to the 18" figures.
- Alter Ego Comics doesn't have
Frank listed yet, but they have a great price on other Sideshow quarter scale
figures like Dracula at just $180!
- Aisle Sniper has him for $215.
- and new sponsor Southern Island
has him in stock at $190.