Herman Munster

Herman Munster statue by Tweeterhead

Tweeterhead is doing some very cool sixth scale statues, employing the sculpting skills of Trevor Grove. He's burning up the 1/6th market right now (you'll see his work coming out with a number of companies and licenses), and Tweeter is wisely using a sculptor known to the figure market to do their collectibles, providing some potential cross over between figures and statues.

They are also going after some unusual licenses. For many years, pop culture collectors have bemoaned the lack of television related collectibles. Very few have ever gotten the royal treatment that film licenses do (perhaps the Simpsons is one very yellow exception), unless they had the films to back them up, like a Star Trek, a Muppets or a TMNT.

Even when it seems like collectibles for a particular license is a no brainer, it takes a whole lot more convincing to get product on the shelf. Some will blame past failures, like Lost or Heroes, but if past failure were the driving force behind picking up a license, no movie line would ever get made.

In fact, there are some very good reasons for picking up television shows. They are often seen by far, far more people, and they are seen regularly. They generate continued interest over a much longer period. They often have a very specific theme. And perhaps most important - they have a very loyal fan base.

All that is my way of saying that I think Tweeterhead's plans are smart ones, especially as they are going after licenses that are likely to be low cost and yet have very loyal, loving fans.

They've started by focusing on tv shows of the past, particularly those with nerdy affiliations. I've already reviewed their Elvira statue, and tonight I'm checking out the first of their Munsters, the patriarch of the family, Herman.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Herman Munster statue by Tweeterhead
Herman Munster statue by Tweeterhead
Herman Munster statue by Tweeterhead
Herman Munster statue by Tweeterhead
Herman Munster statue by Tweeterhead

Herman is a limited edition, but they haven't made it particularly clear how limited. The one I'm reviewing tonight is in color - sort of. Think tin type, with lots of browns and greens. They've also done a black and white version, available through Tweeterhead for $225. They B&W version is limited to just 313 pieces.

Up soon is a Lily, as well as a beautiful Julie Newmar as Catwoman from the 1966 Batman series.

Packaging - **1/2
The box works well, cradling Herman in its foam coffin. The statue is one piece, with no need to attach him to the base.

While the graphics and text are decent, the lack of any Certificate of Authenticity is a bummer. You have no real record of the edition size or numbering - there's nothing on the box or bottom of the statue. Limited doesn't mean a whole lot when it's just a marketing word. This could just as easily be called the "new and improved artisan collectible".

Sculpting - ***1/2
This is a big statue, and Herman was a big character.  The wonderful Fred Gwynne was a tall man for the time, coming in at 6' 5", and with the large, heavy suit and huge Frankenstein boots, he is quite a bit taller. The official character height (from his driver's license) was 7' 6", and I bet with the boots and the extended head he was pretty close.

Six feet is used as average male height for determining scale. A 12" figure is 1/6th of that, hence sixth scale. In sixth scale, a character that stands 7' 6" should be a whopping 15" tall, which is just about where Herman stands.

He has the appropriate bulk as well, and the scale between body, limbs and head are all very, very good. Small detail work looks fantastic as well, including the textures and patterns on the clothing, the small bolts in his neck, and even his rough hairline.

My one complaint is pretty minor. It seems to me that the head is a little too thin and elongated, especially above the eyes. The forehead is a little narrow to my eye, almost slipping from realistic to caricature...but not quite.

The likeness itself is otherwise dead on, and I really love the sly look - a trademark for him - as well as the laughing expression.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint work is better this time around than with Elvira, making me feel much better about the upcoming Catwoman. The green skin tone is nice and consistent, with the face and hands matching properly. Edges are generally clean (on super close inspection, you can note a few issues around the hairline), and I love the life in the eyes.

A couple spots could use a bit more work, like the teeth and the aforementioned hairline. But these are issues that will require very close inspection or macro photography to notice, and overall the paint is solid work.

Value - **
These are NOT cheap statues - don't expect to pick them up at the local comic shop for a hundred bucks. Retail on them is $225, and that's what you'll be paying for the lower edition special versions. You may be able to find this guy cheaper if you do some shopping around, but the black and white Herman will cost you.

Comparing this to something like the Cover Girls or the Bombshells gives you an idea of the value.  Those statues run around 8 - 9", almost half the size, and while they are 'limited' editions, they aren't really. Whenever an edition size gets up into the thousands - 5200 is the common number for the Bombshells right now - you've left the land of limited and rushed right into regular run size.

Herman is also done in cold cast porcelain, intended to give him a bit more of a classic statue 'feel'.  I don't believe there's additional expense over polyresin statues - they are both resin based after all - but it does add some intrinsic value.

Still, $200 plus is a lot of cash. Thankfully, Herman is a big, big boy. In the photo with Batman, who is a full 12" tall, you can see that he towers over him. This size certainly does make it feel like you're getting more of your money's worth.

Even with smaller characters, Tweeterhead is ensuring you're getting some bang for your buck. For example, Ms. Newmar, who is clearly much smaller than Herman in sixth scale, has a much larger and elaborate base.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing!

Overall - ***1/2 (3.5 out of 4)
While I liked Elvira, it's really Herman that has me much more impressed. This is due in part to the quality, which has improved in terms of paint work, but it's also due to the subject matter. I grew up on the Munsters, along with the Addams Family, and seeing the license treated with respect is always a big plus.

I hope they'll continue to fine tune the paint ops however. They need to get them nailed down tight, considering the price point.  We all know that even the best of sculpts can be made better - or allowed to shine - with the right paint work. It's getting close here, but there's still a little room to improve.

Score Recap:
Packaging - **1/2
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint - ***1/2
Value - **
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Entertainment Earth has him for $225 with free shipping, or you can snag a deal for one that's in a in a non-mint box for just $169. They also have the black and white version at $225.

Related Links -
I just checked out another release by Tweeterhead, Elvira. You should also check out their upcoming Julie Nemar Catwoman!

If you like the Munsters in general, check out my reviews of the DST figures, including Grampa in his racing gear and Uncle Gilbert (along with Spot), and  Hot Rod Herman and Lily. I've also covered the initial series, including Herman, Lily, Grampa, Eddie and Marilyn.

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Herman Munster statue by Tweeterhead

This product was provided for the review by the retailer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

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