Young Frankenstein

Sideshow Toy has released their latest limited edition set of figures, this time for the fan favorite comedy Young Frankenstein.  Possibly the best work Mel Brooks has ever done (yes, even better than the Broadway version of The Producers), this movie was a surprise license for an action figure line.

Three figures were produced in the set - Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder), the Monster (Peter Boyle) and Igor (Marty Feldman).  The figures have been produced in black and white, just as the movie was filmed.  The set is limited to 7500 pieces, and sells for $90 plus shipping through the Sideshow Toy site.

Packaging - **1/2
The graphics and text on these packages is wonderful.  They aren't particularly sturdy, so it will be tough for MIB collectors to find a good one, but the overall attractiveness of the box can't be beat.

What can be beat is the fact that they aren't collector friendly.  Actually, they are extremely collector unfriendly.  There's absolutely no way to get the figure or the accessories out without ripping this baby to shreds.  Even the top and bottom of the boxes are glued, rather than taped.  Since Sideshow is no longer selling through major retailers, there is less theft excuse for this type of Fort Knox packaging.

If Sideshow plans on selling to the collector market through small retailers, they need to redesign this packaging.  You can't fully appreciate the figures in the packages, and yet it would be nice to be able to put them back as you please.  It's been done before - for the price Sideshow should pursue it.

Sculpting - ***1/2
Mat Falls once again provides fantastic work.  Of the three, Gene Wilder's Frederick is perhaps the weakest, but even then it's extremely close.  I think the gray scale paint work also makes it difficult to capture the exact look that people expect.

I believe all three have new hand sculpts as well.  They aren't the same as the original Monster at least, and they look slightly different than the Gentlemen as well.

The Igor figure is slightly special.  The knobby protrusions of his elbows, knees and calves have been glued onto the structure of the usual Sideshow body.

Articulation - ***1/2
These are the same bodies you've seen on all other 12" Sideshow men.  The articulation is very good, although I did find that Frederick had weak joints.  It's not a consistent problem, since both Igor and Frankie were fine.

Accessories - ****
Each character comes with a ton of cool accessories, which is getting to be a Sideshow hallmark.

Frederick has a stethoscope, large book from his father entitled "How I Did It", scalpel, mask, and goggles.  There is also a small stand.

Igor has a walking stick, horn, and brain with extremely cool container.  He also has a small stand.  The pictures at the web site show a sticker on the base of the container for the brain - you'd assume it says Abnormal.  If there is supposed to be one, I didn't get it.

Finally, the Monster himself comes with shackles, daisies, bowl, broken cup, and extra forearm/hand that has his thumb lit on fire.  He also has the small stand.

There is some reuse here - the scalpel that Freddie has is from the Gentlemen, the brain that Igor has is from the original Frankenstein, and the Monsters daisies and shackles are also from the original.  But considering that everything else is new, you're getting a decent deal. 

Uniform - ***1/2
While none of the uniforms are tremendously complicated, they are all well done.  Frederick has socks and shoes (reused from the Gentlemen), pants, a turtleneck style shirt, and lab coat.  Everything fits extremely well, and the stitching and quality are quite good.

Igor has the most complex outfit, with the body suit (with sewn in hump), cowl and hood, new boot sculpts, cool belt with bag, and extra cloak.  The belt and bag have great detail, but the bag is one solid piece, so that it can't be opened.  There is one major problem here - the hump is far too small.  It's almost unnoticeable, and while I don't mind that you can't shift it from side to side, it should have been at least twice as thick.

The Monster has a basic costume, but it is very true to the movie.  The shirt is padded in front, and the coat and pants are much heavier material as in the movie.

Value - ***
These cost $90 for the set (plus shipping) from Sideshow.  You may be able to get them from some on-line retailers for under $80 if you shop around.  That's a fairly good deal, especially considering the low number manufactured.  But most folks would still like to keep their 12" figures under $25 a piece.

Overall - ***1/2
Sideshow is well on it's way to my favorite overall company.  I'm not thrilled with the limited nature of the figures, but considering the obscurity of most of these lines, you shouldn't have much trouble picking them up.

Where to Buy:
I'm unsure if stores like Media Play and Suncoast will pick these up.  They did carry the Buffy figures, but this set is more unusual, and may not have had much appeal to the bricks and mortar stores.  On-line, you should have plenty of options.

- Sideshow Toy is carrying them, along with all their other lines.  They are selling a set for $90 plus shipping, and are shipping them now.
- Entertainment Earth has them by the case for $140 plus shipping (that's six figures rather than 3).  They also sell the set of three for $75 plus shipping.  (MROTW Affiliate)
- Things from Another World has them for $25 each plus shipping, and you can buy them individually here.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford

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