Dr. Jeykll/Mr. Hyde

The Universal Monsters help make Sideshow Toys the force they are in the sixth scale world.  Funny how it was the 8" versions that gave them that chance!

The latest to ship in this series is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, although technically he's all Mr. Hyde.  While Mr. Hyde might be the less attractive version of Dr. Jekyll, he got all the animal magnetism. (and yes, as about a hundred of my faithful readers pointed out, he's not technically a 'Universal' monster, since it was a Paramount film, but hey, that's where he'll be hanging out in MY collection).

For those of you who skipped English Literature 101, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was originally a story by Robert Louise Stevenson, about the inner monster in all men.  Pray you keep yours under control.

It also hits on the evils of science, and messing around with crap you really shouldn't, a lesson I don't think we've learned quite yet.  This version of the character is based on the Universal film of course, and the actor Fredric March actually won an Oscar for his portrayal.  Imagine that - they actually gave out Oscars to horror movies at one time.

Sideshow has two more 12" figures announced in this series, and both are sure to be hits - Ardeth Bey, and the Hunchback of Notre Dame.  Mr. Hyde here has already sold out directly through them, and I suspect these other two will follow very soon.

Packaging - ***1/2
The usual beautiful graphics are in full evidence, and the packaging is very collector friendly, perhaps the best in the sixth scale world.  The only thing that brings this down slightly is less text, particularly when compared to lines like the Twilight Zone or Buffy/Angel.

Sculpting - ***
The sculpt is solid, but not outstanding, mostly due to a couple minor but nagging issues.

These were the days of creating monsters with makeup, long before complicated prosthetic devices were developed to alter the face.  While Hyde was certainly gruesome, this sculpted version over does one area, and under does another.

The area that's overdone is under the eyes.  While he had heavily made up bags, the sculpt drags them out much further, accentuating them.  It's not necessarily a terrible thing, and gives the face a more excessive appearance than he had in the film, but purists will take issue.

The other problem revolves around the hair, always a tough call.  Because the hair is sculpted, it's much neater and tidier than Hyde's hair.  Wild hair was a sign of craziness back then, and Dr. Jekyll knew a little dab would do ya.  Mr. Hyde didn't seem to share that knowledge, and his unkempt appearance went a long way to telling you he wasn't quite civilized.  With sculpted hair, we loose that aspect of his appearance completely.

Finally, the beard isn't quite as well done as the prototype photos.  It's still not bad, but if you compare it to the early shots you will notice some difference in detail and style.

The best work on the head sculpt is in the nose and teeth, where they've captured not just the detail, but the right expression.  The eyes work nicely with the rest of the face to build on that slightly crazed, yet fun kind of guy look.

The hand sculpts are great, with a little fur on both.  The right hand sculpt works perfectly with the head of the cane, and the left hand can hold the flask easily.

Paint - ***1/2
Overall, the paint application is excellent.  There's clean lines between colors, no bleed, and almost zero slop.

The beard sculpt and paint are both slightly off from the prototype, but it's not a major issue in this category.  There's some color in the white of the left eye, but it looks intentional, giving him a reddish appearance.  The paint ops around the teeth and gums is particularly good, and once again they've gone with a gloss finish to make them appear wet.

Articulation - ****
I've heard that some recent figures - most notably Hellboy - have had loose joint problems again, but fortunately that wasn't the case with Hyde.

He has all the articulation you expect from Sideshow, including the ball jointed neck.  I had no trouble posing him in psycho monster mode, or just plain monster about town.

Accessories - ***
Hyde comes with two main accessories - his stylish walking stick, and a laboratory flask.

The flask is well proportioned, but some liquid inside would have been very cool.  It fits easily in his left hand.

The cane is one of the better recent Sideshow accessories.  It's properly scaled, and the stylish top with a clear ball fits perfectly in his right hand.

He also has the standard Sideshow display stand, with the name of the film on the base.

As is often the case, only two accessories (and a stand) seems light, particularly at this price point.

Outfit - ***1/2
There have been times when Sideshow has had issues with baggy clothes, or poor tailoring.  Those times are fairly rare though, and Hyde shows just how good the tailoring can be.

This outfit fits perfectly from head to foot.  The shoes look great, the tux pants ride around his waist (not his chest), and the shirt, vest and jacket fit like a glove.

There's also plenty of small touches, like the buttons on the sleeves.  They are done so that the sleeves snap together as though they had cuff links, rather than buttons.

He also comes with an excellent cape, that has a beautiful, well stitched lining.  There's a string to tie around his neck, and the cape hangs nicely off his shoulders.

The bow tie is perhaps my favorite aspect of the overall outfit though, because they managed to get it right.  That's not a small feat, as I don't think any other sixth scale company has made a bow tie that actually looked right.  Rather than do one in cloth that ends up oversized, they used a hard plastic, and got the scale much closer to reality.  They also used a elastic band to hold it around his neck, so that it's easily removable with the rest of the outfit.

The only real issue here is the lack of his top hat, and rather important piece of this particular outfit.  Had it been included, he would have had four stars for the overall clothing.

Fun Factor - ***
Thirty years ago, I would have thought this guy was a perfect addition to kick some G.I. Joe, Best of the West, or Captain Action butt.  Monsters are always cool, and there's nothing as fun as sixth scale.

Poor Hyde's only drawback is that he's not a monster most kids will recognize.

Value - **1/2
Sideshow sold these for $45 - at that price, he drops another half star.  But you can find them at on-line retailers for no more than $35, and at that price he makes it back to **1/2.

Overall - ***1/2
I'm being a little generous on my overall - it's that personal preferences thing slipping in once again.  As I've said many times, my overall score isn't merely an average of the rest - that would be pretty stupid.  No, it includes that non-quantifiable cool factor that's different for everyone.

For me, the old monsters are high on the list of all time great characters, and I welcome any chance to add another sixth scale version to my collection.  Mr Hyde isn't for everyone, but most Universal Monster fans should be happy.  The few issues with the head sculpt - and the high price point - are really the only two areas that could bring this figure down for the average collector.

Where to Buy - 
I got mine through Sideshow, but they are since sold out. Other options include:

- Aisle Sniper has him available for $35.

- Time and Space Toys doesn't have Hyde listed, but they do have quite a few of the older, sold out figures available, including some of the 8" series.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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