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The Horror of Party Beach and The Hideous Sun Demon
Amok Time

Hideous Sun Demon sixth scale action figure by Amok Time


Back in ancient times, before CGI could whip up any sort of monstrous creature your wicked imagination could conjure, movie makers were limited by what a make up artist could do. Sometimes, they could do wonders - Creature from the Black Lagoon, Alien, Frankenstein and Predator all jump immediately to mind - but for every Robbie the Robot there were a hundred Robot Monsters.

I love these goofy, corny, ridiculous creatures. One thing they all had in common - good and bad - was they started with the assumption of a guy wearing a suit, which obviously created a number of restrictions right out of the gate. Starting from that basic premise, they then slapped on whatever fur, goop, electronics and slime they could lay their hands on, getting fairly inventive - and often silly - along the way.

Amok Time has been working to bring us some of those old monster movie bad guys to sixth scale. These are always a very limited edition, and the two I'm looking at tonight - The Horror of Party Beach and The Hideous Sun Demon - are no exception. Both were produced at just 500 pieces each, and run $70 direct from Amok.

Generally it's not necessary for me to spend much time on character background - if you don't know who He-man is, then you probably aren't reading a review for his latest action figure. But with these rather obscure characters, it's worth taking a few minutes on their origination.

The Horror of Party Beach was released in 1964 with the tag line "Weird Atomic Beasts That Live Off Human Blood!" The fifties and sixties were all about atomic beasts, from giant ants to man eating grasshoppers, so it's no surprise that toxic nuclear waste was the culprit here. We've always known pollution would kill us - now we think it will create nasty greenhouse gases, back then it was nasty green monsters. Tomato, tomatoe.
Horror of Party Beach sixth scale action figure by Amok Time
Horror of Party Beach sixth scale action figure by Amok Time
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Hideous Sun Demon sixth scale action figure by Amok Time
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Horror of Party Beach sixth scale action figure by Amok Time
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Hideous Sun Demon sixth scale action figure by Amok Time
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Horror of Party Beach sixth scale action figure by Amok Time
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Hideous Sun Demon sixth scale action figure by Amok Time
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Hideous Sun Demon and Horror of Party Beach sixth scale action figure by Amok Time
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Horror of Party Beach sixth scale action figure by Amok Time

I always thought the monster creation concept was pretty cool with this flick - the toxic waste is dumped in the ocean, lands on the skeleton of a poor, lost sailor, who then mutates into this half human, half fish beast with a craving for fine young ladies. These monsters could be destroyed by sodium - yea, they lived in the ocean. I know, you don't want to think about it too deeply.

The second monster I'm looking at tonight is the Hideous Sun Demon from the film of the same name. This flick was released in 1959, and once again it's a radiation accident that causes Dr. Gilbert Mckenna to turn into a horrific lizard-like creature every time he goes out into the sunlight. This was a very low budget flick, right down to the cheesy lizard costume. 

Amok Time has partnered up with a couple different groups no these - Executive Replicas on Party Beach, and B.F.F.F. International on the Sun Demon.

You gotta love 50's horror flicks for their wacky monsters, and I hope that we see this line continue from Amok. I gotta have Ro-man!

Packaging - ***1/2
The boxes are very attractive, utilizing the old movie posters and stills to give them a 50's feel. They're sturdy as well, and collector friendly - sort of. You can remove everything and put it back without damage, but there's too many twisties. They need to employ a plastic cover on the interior tray rather than 5 or 6 or more twist ties.

Sculpting - Sun Demon ***1/2; Party Beach **1/2
The basic quality of both head sculpts is extremely good - lots of fine detail, and as much 'realism' as you can get with what amounts to goofy costumes.

However, the Horror of Party Beach monster only has a passing resemblance to the movie version as far as I can remember and make out from the few stills out there. The eyes and top fin, as well as the fin that runs around the back of the head look good, approximating his film brethren pretty well. But the mouth, from the shape to the contents, appears to be far more from the imagination of the sculptor than the film.

I don't remember any teeth, and from this distant still and this way too close for comfort close up you can see that he had something more akin to fleshy feelers or tongues in his mouth. You can also see that the shape of the mouth and nose is all wrong, and as silly as it might have been even in 1954, the on screen creature does appear more menacing. Oddly enough, while the photo of the prototype figure on the package has the same teeth, it also has a much better mouth, including the slightly pointed upper lip. Somewhere in the manufacturing process, even this detail was lost.

The hands and feet look great though, with deadly claws and ugly paws. Since the creature shredded his victims with his claws, the inclusion of the talons on the webbed fingers was pretty important. 

The Sun Demon has a much better sculpt. Again, the basic detailing and quality of the work is excellent, and the cool scaly texturing of the skin on the head, chest and lower arms is fantastic.

He's also much more screen accurate. Again, I'm going both from foggy memory and online stills, like this one and this one.

The scales aren't quite perfect, as they should protrude a bit more from his body and sides of his head. But this one is accurate enough - and detailed enough - to get higher marks from me.

He also has far more sculpting to judge, with the scales extending up his forearms and cover his chest. The effect on the chest is accomplished with a separate piece that fits on over the neck.

Paint - ***
Both have reasonably good paint ops, with clean eyes, yellow teeth, and a nice use of a wash on both to bring out the finer details of the sculpt. This looks even better on the Sun Demon, because of the sharply cut scales.

There's still a little slop here and there, like the horns on the Sun Demon, and some choices that don't thrill me, like the heavy use of the lighter green on the nose of the Party Beach monster. But the overall quality is up to snuff considering the source material and the cost.

Articulation - **1/2
These both come on what really amounts to discount sixth scale bodies. There's no lack of joints, including specialized shoulders and hips to allow for a pretty decent range of movement. Their biggest problem is that they don't hang naturally. Anyone that's ever worked with one of the old Sideshow Buck bodies and then worked with a Hot Toys TrueType knows what I'm talking about.

The bodies were also plagued with a few basic problems. The ankles on the Party Beach monster are very loose, making it tough for him to stay standing without the included display stand, and in fact one of them fell apart. It wasn't a break (the two halves of the ankle came apart) and was easy to repair with super glue, but shouldn't be necessary.

The Sun Demon had less of these issues (he stands great on his own), but I was disappointed by the lack of movement in the neck. I expected it with the Party Beach beast, since his long tube-like neck doesn't look like the kind of thing that would lend itself to great articulation, but it was the sculpted torso piece that negated the use of the ball jointed neck post on the Sun Demon. A little more tilting and these figures could be far more expressive.

Accessories - Sun Demon ***; Party Beach *
Sadly, the poor Party Beach monster gets zippo in the accessories department. It's been years since I last saw the movie, so I'm not sure what would have been appropriate, but I'm thinking a big tub of 'sodium' would have at least been amusing.

He does get one star though for the included display stand, an handy item to keep him standing long term. The loose ankles make it almost a necessity, sadly.

The Sun Demon has his extra set of forearms and hands, chest piece, and head. These are all identical in sculpt to the set he comes wearing, but are cast in translucent red plastic. This allows the light to shine through and give him an eerie glow.

The sculpt isn't as well defined on with the clear plastic, as you'd expect. It is a neat effect though, and with the right lighting in your display could look terrific on the shelf. You can also mix and match - leave the solid head and chest, but use the translucent hands/forearms for example.

Swapping these parts is VERY difficult, and you'll need a liberal application of hot water.

Outfit - Sun Demon **; Party Beach ***1/2
The Party Beach monster has a seaweed-like body, and they've done a terrific job replicating it as best they could with material. The leafy suit is made from a tough nylon type material, so it's not going to fray or fall apart easily. The seams are well done, and I was impressed with the overall quality. It's a goofy suit of course, but it comes about as close to the movie version as it could.

The clothes on the Sun Demon are about as basic ans you can get, and aren't much beyond the usual Ken quality. There's a decent pair of shoes, black socks, brown slacks and white shirt. The slacks have oversized belt loops, but otherwise fits pretty well.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
Do you know a 10 year old that loves B movies? Or maybe just goofy monsters? Then they'd have a great time with these. Other than the one ankle issue, the bodies were sturdy enough to handle play, and the costumes could do time in the toy box too.

Value - **
These aren't cheap, running $70 a pop. If you're accustomed to paying $120 - $150 for a Hot Toys figure, then $70 might seem cheap - til you get these in your hands. These have gone up a bit in price over the last year or so too, since Teenage Werewolf (a very similar figure in quality) was $60.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing with Party Beach, but you do want to use some very hot water with the head and hand swap on the Sun Demon. The plastic is VERY hard, and the body can be broken. The best way to swap body parts is to start with the arms, and when they are off, remove the shirt. That way you won't get it soaked while you are work in the head. Once the head is off - which will take the most boiling water, and maybe even a thin screwdriver under the lip of the neck to pry it up - you can remove the chest piece. Put the new chest piece on, put the new head on (once again using hot water), put the shirt back on, and finally, the new arms.

Overall - Sun Demon ***; Party Beach **1/2
As a fan of campy, goofy monsters from old horror and sci-fi films, I'm thrilled that someone is producing characters like these in sixth scale. But being a fan, I also expect them to look like their on screen counterparts.

With such a low production run, and such a small company doing the work, I understand that the quality of the clothing or number of accessories might be low. But I can't abide by missing the look of the original monster, particularly with the Horror of Party Beach.

Of the pair, the Sun Demon is the easy winner, and if you were happy with the earlier Teenage Wolfman and Frankenstein, then this guy will fit right on with them on the shelf. The Horror of Party Beach is a fun beast, no doubt about it, and his leaf suit is his saving grace. But I do wish they'd worried a bit more about screen accuracy.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - Sun Demon ***1/2; Party Beach **1/2
Paint - ***
Articulation - **1/2
Accessories - Sun Demon ***; Party Beach *
Outfit - Sun Demon **; Party Beach ***1/2
Fun Factor - ***1/2
Value - **
Overall - Sun Demon ***; Party Beach **1/2

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- you can pick these up for $70 each direct from Amok Time.

Related Links -
I've covered quite a few previous Amok Time and Executive Replicas releases in this vein 

- the last was the disappointing trio of Maureen Robinson, Blood of Dracula vamp, and Barbra from NOTLD.

- just prior to that was the far superior Boris Karloff, and Amok has talked about doing other famous horror actors like Vincent Price.

- before that, there was I was a Teenage Werewolf, I was a Teenage Frankenstein, Gort and Klaatu, Invasion of the Saucer Men, Rondo Hatton and the NOTLD Zombie, all sixth scale horror figures. There's also Bub and Dr. Tongue, six inch zombie action figures they've released.


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Hideous Sun Demon sixth scale action figure by Amok Time


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

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