The Creature Walks Among Us

The 12" series of Universal Monsters from Sideshow Toys is a very popular line, particularly amongst us old fogies that fondly remember the B films of the fifties.

The Creature from the Black Lagoon is considered by many one of the finest monster flicks from the period, particularly for the excellent costume and creature design.  Unfortunately, making a sixth scale version is more than a little daunting, since in theory he'd have to be made with all new parts.

Sideshow has been wrestling with that problem for some time, and it does look like we'll finally get a real Creature from them later this year.  But until that time, we'll have to settle for his poorer cousin, the monster from The Creature Walks Among Us.

For those of you that don't remember, this was the third film about the Creature, after of course Creature From The Black Lagoon, and then Revenge of the Creature.  In this one he's captured, and ends up in a serious fire.  He's burned badly, losing the use of his gills (and altering his facial appearance quite a bit), but it's discovered by some half-nit scientists that he has underdeveloped lungs.  A couple surgeries, a little experimentation, and he goes from fish boy to land animal.  He's given clothes of course, just like any decent, self respecting land animal, but no one bothers to tell him he can't live in the water any more, and at the end he flees to he ocean, never knowing it's his certain death. 

Of the three films, this movie is universally regarded not just as the worst, but as the film that ruined the Creature, quite literally.  Still, he's an interesting design, if one a tad charbroiled.

Packaging - ****
Sideshow does their usual stupendous job.  Using great graphics, and a completely collector friendly design, they manage to give you packaging that looks almost as good as the figure does.

Sculpting - ***1/2
The sculpt matches the source material extremely well.  It might not be the creature you were hoping for, but you have to give them credit for capturing the look of the monster in this film.

The body is simply all green, but is the usual Sideshow body with padding.  The hands are an all new, webbed sculpt, and manage to look good and be able to hold the accessories.  The feet are also an all new sculpt, but they aren't really feet - they are boots that fit over the standard feet.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint application on the head, hands and feet is universally good.  The eyes were extremely well done, and I was very impressed with the use of a wash to bring out the highlights in the sculpting.  The only negative was the work on some of the claws and nails - it could have been a little neater.  Still, overall the paint ops are solid.

Articulation - ***
The Creature uses the standard Sideshow body, and has all the excellent articulation you've come to expect - ball jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders, cut biceps, double jointed elbows, cut forearms, super posable wrists, chest, waist, ball jointed hips, cut thighs, double jointed knees, and ankles.  Whew...I think that's it.

The only reason this score isn't higher is the loose ankles.  I had a very hard time getting him to maintain a standing position, even with those big feet, because the ankle joints were very loose.

Outfit - ***1/2
The outfit is very basic, but matches his duds in the film to a T.  Or in this case, a sack.

The outer shirt and pants are designed to look like burlap, and the quality of the stitching and material is excellent.  They also went to a ton of trouble with the suit underneath.  There are stretchy green pants and a shirt under the burlap shirt and pants.  The bright green is intended to match the body color, and inside these green clothes are the black body pads.  He's nice and puffed out, just like in the film.  I have no idea why he gained so much weight in the film - maybe it was due to all those fatty foods people liked to eat back then.

The quality of the material, stitching and tailoring is great on every piece.  My only grip is that the outfit is a little tough to remove, particularly the burlap shirt.  It wouldn't be impossible, but they skipped any sort of seam up the back for appearance sake.

Accessories - ***
There are two accessories - a big gas can, and a tar pot.  I think that's what they called them - these used to be used in road construction as I recall.  Remember I mentioned that awful fire?  Well, here are the culprits.

The accessories make sense, and I'm very happy with the scale.  Unlike other companies that seem intent on making sixth scale accessories too small, these seem right on target.  The sculpting and paint ops on them are also excellent - I just wish there were more.

There is no stand this time.  Too bad, since I really could use it with this guy.

Value - **
Sideshow's suggested retail is $40, just like the rest of the line.  I'm grading the value based on that, and considering what you're getting from other companies in that price range in my score.  However, you should be able to find someone with these for around $30 (I have a couple suggestions below), and that adds another star.

Overall - ***
Okay, the film is hated by all Creature lovers.  But you have to admit that Sideshow did a terrific job here, and while I have several other versions of the normal Creature already in my collection, this is the one (and I'm betting only) time you'll be seeing this version. 

Where to Buy - 
I haven't seen them at bricks and mortar stores, but on-line:

- Sideshow has him of course, for the usual $40.  He's a limited edition of 5000, similar to the others in the series.

- Aisle Sniper one of our sponsors, has him for $32.99.  Remember, when you shop with my sponsors, you help support the site!

If you are thinking about picking up the 'real' Creature, I would consider pre-ordering him.  He's going to be limited, just like all the figures, but I suspect he's going to be EXTREMELY popular.

IMPORTANT NOTE!  I also wanted to point out that Sideshow has a bunch of the older Universal Monsters on sale right now for just $20 each.  That's a great price for these, particularly figures like Murder Legendre or Masque of the Red Death.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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