Freddy Krueger - Nightmare on Elm Street 4
"The Dream Master"

Freddy Krueger Dream Master action figure by Mezco Toyz

The back half of the 70's and early half of the 80's were a fantastic time for horror films. It was the real birth of the slasher film, with films like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Halloween, Friday the 13th, and Nightmare on Elm Street setting the standard. I watched these films on opening weekend at a theater near me, and loved every minute of it. Sadly, the franchises largely turned into weak cookie cutter parodies of themselves, and others have since trampled in with thousands of poorly written psycho killer killers, and even the beloved originals have been remade with far less heart and impact.

One exception has really been Nightmare on Elm Street. The original is a true classic, and Wes Craven masterfully wove the real horror of a physical killer with a mystical, magical element, creating one of the great screen monsters in Freddy Krueger. While not all the follow up films were great, most were above average, and the original actually avoided remake Hell. Well, until next year, when they release the remade NMOES. *sigh* I have no hope for the film at this point, being the first full length foray for Sam Bayer, a music video director, and being written (from all accounts) to focus more on Freddy as pedo, rather than slasher. Without Englund as Freddy, I'd give up all hope, but I do have to say that their choice of Jackie Earle Haley (recently seen as Rorscach in Watchmen) was interesting.

Mezco continues their run with Freddy with the release of the latest Cinema of Fear series. This time we get Freddy in his doctor costume from NMOES 4 "The Dream Master". As an added bonus, the wave also includes a figure of one of his main victims, Debbie, in a bit of a transformative predicament.

These figures have just started to hit, and you can expect to pay around $15 - $20, depending on the retailer. I'm checking out just Freddy tonight!
Freddy Krueger Dream Master action figure by Mezco Toyz
Freddy Krueger Dream Master action figure by Mezco Toyz
Freddy Krueger Dream Master action figure by Mezco Toyz
Freddy Krueger Dream Master action figure by Mezco Toyz
Freddy Krueger Dream Master action figure by Mezco Toyz

Packaging - ***1/2
These have reverted to the cardback/bubble style of packaging, and they have a touch of the same look and feel as the packaging for the recent 3 3/4" COF figures. I like the colors and graphics, as well as the nifty film strip photos along the edge. There's more twisties than I like, but the twisty tie cartel is simply too strong to be defeated.

Sculpt - ***1/2

Mezco might be best known for their 'stylized' figures, done up in a somewhat unique caricature style. But that doesn't mean they can't do realistic as well, and they prove it once again here.

Freddy's face sculpts have some fantastic small detail work, with the exposed muscle and sinew beneath the burnt, grotesque skin showing through in a very believable way. The doctor mask hides just enough, as it did in the film, but you still know it's Freddy. The unmasked head has a determined scowl, hiding his sunny disposition. The skin texture detail travels down the neck, and is also on the exposed hands.

The left hand is sculpted to hold the bone saw, and the right hand is wearing his traditional claw glove. The blades are posed in a very menacing manner that will work with a ton of poses. The hands can also work with the pizza, if that's the look you're going for.

The body looks good, but I do think that there's something a little off about how the gown hangs on the arms and body. Even when the upper and lower body are lined up, the wrinkles don't quite match, and while it's a small detail, it's a noticeable one.

He's just a hair under 7", and fits in great with the rest of the COF figures, as well as other figures in this scale. He has some issues standing on his own, due to the lack of leg articulation, but you can get him in the sweet spot with a little effort.

Paint - ***1/2
Much like the sculpt, the paint on the heads is great, but some of the work on the body is just a smidge off.

The paint work on the faces, particularly the unmasked version, help showcase the terrific sculpt detail. The colors add realism to the burns and scars, and there's no slop on the faces. I do think the eyes are a bit dead, which might sound appropriate, but Freddy is a lively guy for a dream.

The paint work on the gown shows a few small spots here and there, and a bit too much inconsistency. Some of this is the dry brushing technique, which is a good thing - it adds some depth the the detailing. But other areas of inconsistency look like small spots of dirt and dust that were introduced while the paint was still wet. There are some other minor issues as well, like the mis-colored peg in the left hand, that hold him back from a perfect score.

Articulation - ***
Here was the biggest surprise for me, as generally speaking, COF figures aren't the most articulated. Now, let's not get nuts here - this guy is miles away from the words 'super articulated', but he does have more joints than the norm for this style figure.

Freddy has a ball jointed neck, in the traditional ball/socket style. In fact, when you pop of the head to do the swap (yes, he comes with two heads), you'll notice that there's two ball joints, one in the head and one in the torso. The sculpt doesn't impinge the articulation either, allowing for some sweet tilt and twist action.

The shoulders are what has become commonly called 'NECA' shoulders, as they were the first to make them popular. The post and disc combo allows the arm forward, backward, inward and outward movement, but isn't as obvious or unattractive as the usual round shoulder joint.

One of the big surprises is the pin elbow, along with pin and post wrists. The hands can turn on the posts that are inserted into the forearms, while the hand moves on a pin joint inward and outward. That's quite a bit more arm articulation than we normally get on a 7" horror figure, but he could still use some form of cut joint that would allow the arm to turn laterally.

Unfortunately, there's not much else beyond that. There's a cut waist, but no let articulation at all. You can keep him standing if you get the center of gravity just right, but he really needs ankle or perhaps cut leg joints to allow you to better position the feet.

Accessories - ***1/2
Freddy comes with three extras - a second head, covered with the doctor's mask, a bone saw, and a pizza.

Yes, I said a pizza. This is straight out of the movie, in which Freddy traps the souls of the friends of our heroine in, well, a pizza. Hey, Freddy's always had a sense of humor. The sculpt on the pizza is excellent, right down to the little screaming faces in the toppings.

There's also the aforementioned extra head, as well as the nifty little bone saw, complete with bloody edge. That's a nice set of accessories, especially these days.

Fun Factor - ***
Do you have a son or daughter that reminds you of Dexter? Then they'll have hours of fun with Freddy!  But if you give this toy to your 6 year old, don't blame me when they kill you in your sleep.

Value - **1/2
Pick this guy up for $15 (and several of my suggestions below have him for about that price) and that's about the right price for a specialty market movie figure. But if you end up paying closer to $20, you can take another half star off here.

Things To Watch Out For
Nada. The joints are tight and well made, and the accessories could withstand a small explosion.

Overall - ***1/2
Freddy fans should be happy with this figure, who's an interesting variant on the old standby. The bright blue really adds some pizazz to the generally dark monster display, but it's not so obscure as to be unrecognizable by even casual Freddy viewers.

Coming from Mezco, we expect great sculpts and paint. But I was pleasantly surprised to see more articulation than usual, and some really nice accessories.Now I have to hunt up the Debbie victim to add to the shelf!

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ***1/2
Paint -  ***1/2
Articulation  - ***
Accessories - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ***
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
Online options include:

- Urban Collector has the set for $42.

- CornerStoreComcs has the set for $42, or the single for $15.

- Entertainment Earth has the set of three for $45.

- YouBuyNow has the single figure for $19, and the set for $54.

- for the UK collectors, Forbidden Planet has it for 14 GBP.

- or you can hit ebay.

Related Links -
I've covered quite a few Freddy figures:

- Mezco did Freddy in series 2 of COF as well.

- also in the 7" scale, there's the Robert Englund version as well, and the Freddy vs Jason version.

- There's the 12" Robert Englund version, as well as the New Nightmare version, and the Freddy vs Jason version.  Oh, and don't forget the very first Sideshow version as well.

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Freddy Krueger Dream Master action figure by Mezco Toyz

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

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