Last week I reviewed the newest released from Sideshow in their Universal Monsters line, The Werewolf of London.  This week, I'm reviewing the other recent release, The Moleman.  These two figures have just started shipping in the last two weeks.

The 8" Universal Monsters line put Sideshow on the map, and the 12" line has been a solid seller.  These two were produced in a very limited run - only 1500 each - and are likely to be very tough to come by if you wait too long.  Word from Sideshow is that their stock of Werewolf of London is already below 40 figures.

A few on-line shops have these in as well, and I have a couple suggestions at the end.  Suggested retail is $40 each, but some retailers will have a lower price.

No idea who the Moleman is?  Based on a 1956 film titled 'The Mole People', he is from a race of slaves.  Scientists investigating the interior of the Earth find a race of albinos living beneath the surface.  They (the albinos) use the 'mole people' as their slaves.  While the creature makes for a cool figure, the film is better as an MST3K show than a horror movie.

Packaging - ***1/2
Sideshow uses the usual excellent original graphics for the cover art, and gives us the cast list on the fifth panel.  The box is completely collector friendly, looks terrific, and earns the distinction (along with their other packages) of being worthy of keeping just for the art.

Sculpting - ***1/2
Sideshow is well known for producing some of the finest sixth scale licensed product sculpts.  Even one of their weaker jobs is heads above the competition.

The Moleman head and hand sculpts are very well done.  There's tons of detail, and they've captured the look from the film pretty well.  My nit to pick this time is on the shape of the head - it's a little more pinheaded than the artwork, or the 8" version.  It seems slightly thinner and taller, although it's not a tremendous amount or extremely obvious.

Paint - ***
The paint ops on the hands and face are solid, but there is some area for improvement.

The greenish skin color is nice and consistent, with a wash to pull out all the detail.  The eyes are straight and clean, and the claws have cool highlights.

The work that's here is good, but there could be more here.  There's very little detail around the mouth, and very little use of multiple colors.  The 8" version had several colors, and they worked extremely well.  In a such a larger scale, the lack of these colors is even more obvious.

Also, the green of the eyes is much darker here than in the artwork or the 8" version.  I prefer the lighter green, although it's been years since I watched the film - and can't bring myself to see it again just for the review - so I'm not sure which is more accurate to the movie.

Articulation - ***1/2
The Sideshow body has all the articulation you could ever want, plus some great wrists joints that are unique to this body.

He has neck, ball jointed shoulders, cut biceps, double jointed elbows and knees, chest, waist, the special Sideshow wrists, ankles, ball jointed hips, cut thighs...I think I got them all.  The body is also a solid brown color, similar to the Werewolf figure.

While there's plenty of articulation, I had some trouble keeping him standing on his own.  Since he doesn't have a stand included, that's a pretty important problem.  Part of this is due to his boots (I'll get to those in the Outfit section), and part of that is due to loose hips.

Accessories - ***
If you've seen the movie, you'll know what Moleman has for accessories - they were pretty integral in the film.  He has his canvas sack, and a bunch - a six pack really - of various sized mushrooms.  That's a decent number of accessories for the price point, and the various sculpts on the 'shrooms are all well done.

Outfit - ***
The outfit is fairly simple, but with enough detail from the movie to make it interesting.

There's a tunic, with padded shoulders and back to represent the 'humps' these poor creatures had.  The soft padding doesn't work quite as well as the sculpted 8" version, but it makes sense in this scale.  The tunic is tattered at the cuffs and hem.

There's also the tattered trousers, and a pair of laced up boots.  The boots are entirely cloth, which always cause some issues.  It's never easy to get a figure to stand in cloth boots, but they are quite accurate to the film.

Value - **1/2
Forty bucks is a lot of money for any figure, but the low run on these, combined with a decent number of accessories and solid sculpting make it a little easier to take.

Overall - ***
The Moleman character is not my favorite in general, so that throws a strike against any figure of him.  Still, it's a unique design, and Sideshow has done a nice job putting together a decent version.  I wouldn't say this one is a must have, but if you're a fan of Universal Monsters, you may want to have him to complete the set.  He looks great on the shelf with the rest of the series, but if I could only buy one of the two new releases, it would be the Werewolf of London.  If I could buy both, well, I'd buy both!

Where to Buy - 
I doubt we'll see these in any main stream stores, because the run on them is so small.  On-line:

- they are at Sideshow of course  The Wolfman's run is also only 1500.

- Time and Space Toys has them in stock and ready to go at $38 each.  They also carry a lot of the earlier 12" and 8" Universal Monsters from Sideshow.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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