London After Midnight

The 12" figures from Sideshow Toys just keep shipping!  Right on the tail of the Phantom, they are now shipping the London After Midnight Vampire, another fantastic make up job for Lon Chaney Sr.  Again, this figure is a limited edition, set at 5,000.  It's been sold out at the Sideshow site for some time, but you should be able to find it at one of several on-line dealers for around $25.

Packaging - **1/2
After the great packaging on the Phantom, and getting oh so close to having one that looked good and was collector friendly, we've taken a huge step backward.

No box flap this time - this package is another window box similar to Nosferatu.  And this type of box is glued shut on the ends, so it's the worst possible style for anyone that might like to reuse it later.  I'm hoping we move quite a bit forward with the next release!

Sculpting - ****
This figure was done by another Sideshow regular, Mat Falls.  Beautiful work as always, and both the head and hand sculpts show the attention to detail and quality that Sideshow is pursuing.

This time they went with rooted hair, rather than sculpted hair, and it was an extremely wise decision.  With straight hair that's supposed to be wild, the rooted hair works perfectly.  Also, the hat isn't removable (more on that later) so it controls the hair.

Accessories - ***
This figure has the least amount of accessories of any release so far from Sideshow.  The one accessory that is here - the lantern - is simply fantastic.  The smoky plastic/glass, style and detail make it a fantastic accessory, but unfortunately it's the only one.

Well, there's also the usual stand, but this one doesn't even fit his heel properly.  It appears to be intended for a Frankenstein Monster boot, and is useless with this figure.

Paint - ****
The paint application on the face and lantern is terrific.  Sideshow has perfected the combination of a great head sculpt and great paint ops.

Articulation - ***1/2
The standard Sideshow body is employed once again, and is one of the most articulated bodies on the market.  But some of the figures, like Phantom, have an inferior neck joint.  Fortunately this time they've used the ball jointed neck, and Chaney's head can swivel forward, back and side to side.

The only other negative on this body is the looseness of some of the joints.  On this figure I had trouble with the ankles again, although it wasn't as bad as with the Phantom.

Uniform - ***
The only place that I feel Sideshow can really improve - if you ignore how close they are to perfect packaging - is in the outfits.

The hat here is permanently attached, as I mentioned earlier.  I don't have a problem with that - as a matter of fact, I think it was an excellent decision.  The hat fits perfectly, is never funny looking, and controls the hair.  On top of it, the style and fuzziness look great.

The shoes are a great sculpt, and fit well.  The pants look good, the jacket fits well and the small buttons look great.  Even though the inner shirt/vest combo is a little on the cheap side, I'm not complaining because it's not something you'll be showing very often.

The overcoat is also fairly nice, but here I do have two issues.  First, they've done some additional stitching in the box to hold the coat and 'webs' under the arms in certain poses.  There are two stitches holding the over coat closed, and that doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.  If you want to have the coat closed, then put in a couple small snaps.  They put them in the coat, and they can't be that much more expensive then doing the stitches themselves.

The second area that disappointed me was the webs themselves.  You can see that the gray material is not hemmed, and it's likely to fray over time.  Come on Sideshow - that's something Hasbro would do. 

Value - ***
As always, just how good a value these figures are depends on where you buy.  I picked mine up directly from Sideshow for $30, so it's not quite as good of a value, but if you shop around on-line you should be able to find one for $25, and that's a pretty good deal.

Overall - ***1/2
While this figure does have some minor issues, I still highly recommend picking it up if you're a major horror movie buff.  It's a fantastic sculpt, and looks absolutely great on the shelf with the rest of the line.  I'm hoping that Sideshow will address some of these simpler issues, and that by the time I get my hands on the western figures, every release is a four star.

Where to Buy
Here's some on-line options:

- The Toy Cellar has them for $24.99 not including shipping, and it appears that they still have them available.

- Sgt. Rock's has them for $30 including shipping, which is a pretty good deal.  I've dealt with Rocky before, and always been satisfied.

- Entertainment Earth also claims to have them in, at $24.99 plus shipping. (MROTW Affiliate) 

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford

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