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Presidential Monsters
Creature from the Watergate Lagoon

Presidential Monsters action figures by Heroes in Action


One of my favorite aspects of SDCC is having the opportunity to wander the floor and find new and interesting product. You can see some of this stuff at Toy Fair too - but it's not real product yet. At SDCC, the cool new goodies are there for sale.

One of the nice surprises this year was the Mego-like line from Heroes in Action called Presidential Monsters. If you're a fan of the retro 8" scale clothed figures, you're going to love these.

There are seven in the set, including Reagan as the Mummy, Lincoln as Frankenstein, Obama as Dracula, Kennedy as the Phantom of the Opera, Clinton as the Wolfman, Bush as a Zombie, and the one I'm reviewing tonight - Nixon as the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

While I loved them all, the Creature is one of my favorite monsters of all time. I thought the look of the character worked great as well, although I have to admit to being tempted to buy by the full set of seven.

There are also a couple variations - there are human eyes and monster eyes on a couple of them. The completists will be hunting them all down for about $25 each.
Presidential Monsters action figures by Heroes in Action
Presidential Monsters action figures by Heroes in Action
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Presidential Monsters action figures by Heroes in Action
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Presidential Monsters action figures by Heroes in Action
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Presidential Monsters action figures by Heroes in Action
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Packaging - ****
If you're going to do this sort of unique line aimed at collectors, you need to make sure the packaging adds to the overall appeal. They've done that almost perfectly.

First, they've done them with a very retro feel to the overall layout. The basic design of the cards and bubbles will remind you of your old Megos.

Second, they went with some terrific - and I mean terrific - card art. The character is done up old school movie poster style on the front and back, and it adds a tremendous appeal to the card. In fact, it broke my heart to open him up, always an indication of an excellent package design.

My one gripe is that by opening it, I destroyed the card. Something like this really needed a more collector friendly design, or at least a design that would allow for the cardback to remain undamaged.

Sculpting - ***1/2
If you thought you were going to get soft, poorly detailed Mego sculpts, you'll be happy to know that's not the case. There is a ton of sculpt detail on the head, hands and feet, where the cross between Nixon and the Creature is excellent.

If you were wondering why they picked the Creature to mix with Nixon, I'd assume it's because of the jowly similarity. The back of the head and hair is done up with the Gill Man's famous gills, and the nicely defined bags under the eyes, widow's peak hairline, and Nixon nose all work in the context of this particular monster.

The feet and hands have plenty of detail as well, including webbing and scales, and I love the sculpted "V for Victory" finger pose.

Paint - ***
While solid work, the paint isn't quite at the same level as the sculpt.

There's a nice blending of the green and black on the hair, as well as an appropriate greenish hue to the skin. Small details are done well, and I like the 'monster' eyes. There's another version that had normal eyes as well, but I like the less human appearance that the slitted yellow amphibian eyes have.

Articulation - ***1/2
The underlying body doesn't appear to have any bands, thank God. Instead, the ball jointed shoulders and hips are more modern, and can take and hold just about any position. I was pleasantly surprised by how tight the arms could rest against the body, and how far they came across the chest.

There's still just a cut neck, but with the ball shoulders and hips, pin elbows and knees, pin and post ball wrists and ankles, and an ab crunch waist, he's far better articulated than most of the current 8" crop.

The waist is a bit weak though, and was the only joint that didn't want to maintain a pose particularly well. The rest were tight and solid, and the quality of the body is quite high.

Accessories - Bupkis
I'm not sure what would have made sense to include (a roll of tape?), but I don't believe any of the seven figures come with an accessory.

Outfit - ***1/2
The outer suit is weathered and worn, more than just the obvious tears. They've added dirt as well, and have tiny tears along with the big rips at the ends of the legs and arms. the tailoring is great too - much better than we usually see in this scale.

Underneath is a body suit printed with scales and lines to emulate the Creature's body. This fits the retro style quite well, and works for me.

Fun Factor - ***
While I'm not sure any modern kids would find a Nixon Creature all that amusing, the folks at Heroes in Action have retained everything that made Megos great toys, and improved on them with the better underlying body.

Value - ***
At $25, you're getting a much, much better figure than either the Retro Action Heroes from Mattel or the various 8" figures coming out of Bif Bang Pow right now. I'd say that makes him a solid value, and one that is making it hard for me to pass up on the others.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.

Overall - ***1/2
This idea seemed odd on paper, but after seeing the execution, I have to say I think they're terrific. While maintaining a retro feel with the scaly body suit and figure size, they improve on the old Megos with better sculpting, paint and articulation. They've also matched up the Presidents with classic monsters extremely well, creating a fusion that actually works.

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Big Bad Toy Store has them singly for $25, or they have sets of two, three or four figures that can save you some money.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I don't have any other Nixon figures, but I have plenty of Creatures:

- one of the weaker attempts was this super deformed Creature.

- the Sideshow PF was one of the nicest collectibles produced.

- Sideshow has done a great 12" version, and one from the later film, The Creature Walks Among Us.

- the most recent smaller figure was from Toy Island.

- and this mini-bust might not be an official Creature, but it's mighty close.

Discussion:
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Presidential Monsters action figures by Heroes in Action


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

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