Trick R Treat Sam

Sideshow Collectibles Trick R Treat Sam action figure

It's been more than a year now since I first saw the trailer for the film Trick 'R Treat. This is one of those horror anthologies, with four stories all loosely related and themed with Halloween, of course.  The trailers looked good, and one character in particular stood out - Sam.

The film was supposed to be released for Halloween 2007.  That didn't happen. Instead, the movie lost it's distributor (Warner Brothers) and has since languished.  It is STILL without any solid release date.  While there was some rumors that WB might pick it back up for release this Halloween, those turned out to be just that - rumors.  There's no word at this point if it will ever get release.

What we do know about the film (and the character Sam) comes from the book Trick R Treat: Tales of Mayhem, Mystery and Mischief (available at Amazon).  He's sort of a Halloween mascot who enforces the 'rules' of the holiday.  And he enforces them with great fervor and enjoyment.  This is a pumpkin that enjoys his job.

Sideshow Collectibles Trick R Treat Sam action figure

Sideshow Collectibles Trick R Treat Sam action figure
Sideshow Collectibles Trick R Treat Sam action figure
Sideshow Collectibles Trick R Treat Sam action figure
Sideshow Collectibles Trick R Treat Sam action figure
Sideshow Collectibles Trick R Treat Sam action figure
Sideshow Collectibles Trick R Treat Sam action figure

Packaging - **1/2
This package is a bit of a departure for Sideshow.  In fact, compared to their work on Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, it's like night and day.  It's a large window box, something you'd be more likely to see from Mezco or NECA.  It's an attractive package to be sure, and it shows off the figure fairly well, but even packed inside TWO...count them TWO...heavy cardboard boxes, mine still arrived severely dented.  This kind of package just isn't as sturdy and not as likely to survive the kind of handling it will get in the mail.

My other major issue is the number of twisties.  That's not uncommon for this type of package, but there were enough that I lost count.  Collector friendly?  Not this time around.

There is some good text on the back though, giving you about as much info as you'll get on the character.

Sculpting - ***1/2
It turns out that under that creepy Halloween mask isn't a sweet little tyke, but rather one nasty looking creature.

Now, some of us have large heads.  Hey, I was born that way, cut it out!  But Sam could be our poster child.  You've heard the term 'melon head', but I bet this is the first time you've actually seen one.

Yes, his large noggin' is designed like a pumpkin, or more specifically, a jack-o-lantern.  But unlike a character such as the Headless Horsemen who had an actual jack-o-lantern, Sam has a fleshy, raw, realistic quality to his pumpkin head, making it look more like an actual head that is simply so deformed as to appear to be a member of the squash family.

It's a truly gruesome and unique design, and I can only assume that the Sideshow sculptors captured the look accurately. There's a ton of fine detail, and the fleshy folds around the eyes and nose cavity give it that extra bite of reality.  There's also a cool combination of skin-like wrinkles and melon-like wrinkles, very different in design and execution.  The skin-like wrinkles tend to run across the face, and are very fine.  They also flow with the features, much like the ones I see in the mirror everyday.  The more pumpkin-like wrinkles come down from the dome, and are much broader and wider. This combination creates a visually unique and arresting character.

If I were grading this only on the head, it would have been four stars.  Of course, part of that might be because I have no real reference material to compare it to - this is what Sam looks like for me - but I really do love the work they've done. However, the score gets pulled down a bit by the hands.

The left hand is sculpted in an open gesture pose, while the right is sculpted in a very distinct way to hold the sucker. There's a hole in the palm of the hand, and the hard plastic handle of the sucker should run through the fingers and into the hole, giving it a very sturdy home. Unfortunately, it does not.  It fits in the hole alright, but does not thread through the fingers properly.  Because the hands are made from a very hard vinyl, there's no give to be gotten, and if you try to force it you'll just bend the lollipop handle.

This is annoying for a couple reasons. First, it obviously looks less attractive sticking out of his hand at an odd angle. And second, the sucker is quite heavy, and not having it in the correct position makes it harder for Sam to pose with it. When I went back and looked at my photo of Sam at SDCC, I realized they had this same issue.

There's a second disappointment with the hands.  In the early prototype photos (and in the photos of the figure on the box), the hands were originally wrapped in actual burlap.  In the production figure, they went with sculpted burlap on the hands.  While it looks decent, it certainly doesn't look as good as the real deal.

BTW, Sam is a vinyl figure.  The body parts are all hollow and lightweight, and have that distinctive vinyl look.  He stands about 15 inches tall.

Paint - ***1/2
Another almost four star category is the paint work.  For a great sculpt to come there, there has to be great paint, and Sideshow pulled this one off nicely.

There's a shine to the face that's usually not appropriate, but in this case works perfectly.  The slight shine gives the head more of a pumpkin skin look than a human skin look, adding to the contrast of vegetable and animal.

The paint work on this production figure is actually BETTER than what I saw at SDCC in the glass case.  This looks much more pumpkin orange, with just the right hint of shadow and detail.

I also love the eyes, which are almost alien in appearance with the bright patterned iris' against the black eye.

The hands hold him back from a perfect score again, however.  I'm not particularly impressed with the painted burlap, and the skin tone of the fingers looks more too much like vinyl and not enough like real skin.

Articulation - ***
Most vinyl figures are not highly articulated, so it was surprising to see the number of joints that Sam has.

He has a ball jointed neck that works pretty good, but not outstanding.  He can tilt side to side a bit, and the movement can add some evil personality to standard poses.

He has ball shoulders, cut elbows, cut wrists, cut hips, cut waist, and cut ankles.  He can stand great, and can also sit if you don't mind the pose with his legs spread wide to either side.

Accessories - **1/2
If there's one category where he falls a bit short, it's in this department.

He comes with a very nice, and apparently very deadly, Halloween lollipop. But while it looks good on its own, there's the whole issue with not fitting in his hand properly that I mentioned in the sculpt section.

His other main accessory is a rather small bag for candy.  It looks fine, but without any sort of handle or loop, he can't hold it particularly well.  You can tie it on with the bag closure, but it's not ideal.  It's filled with material to simulate candy inside.

He also has a display stand, although you really don't need it.  It's a very well built stand, nothing like the usual plastic Sideshow variety.  The base is quite wide (7 inches in diameter), and made of metal!  It has a rubber label on top with the logo and character name.  The arm has a screw which attachs it to the base from below, making it a very sturdy design.  However, the loop doesn't fit particularly well around this short character, and dear Sam actually stands quite well all on his own.

Outfit - ***1/2
The outfit is made up of two main pieces - the burlap mask, and the soft PJ's.

The PJ's are outstanding.  The soft material has just the right dirty, worn look, and even the little footies are padded with the no slip rubber soles that never quite match up with the bottom of a kid's foot.  There's even a butt pocket in back, although you can't open it to actually see his butt.  Probably a good thing, considering how ugly his face is. The PJ's fit great, but can't be removed easily.

The burlap mask isn't quite as good of a fit.  The problem isn't so much the bag as the odd pumpkin shape of the head. In all the promo shots I've seen from the film, Sam has an almost perfectly round head when the bag is on.  They weren't going to be able to match that look with the properly sculpted head underneath and an actual burlap bag on top.

The bag is also a bit less weathered and dirty than I was expecting.  It's much cleaner in appearance than the PJ's, although in the right lighting it can still look quite creepy.

You'll need to adjust it quite a bit out of the box to get the look you want.  The sewn on smile should be up on the face higher that it is in the box, but you can get it to look about right with some futzing.

Fun Factor - ***
When I was 10, 11, 12 years old, I loved creepy, gruesome monsters.  For kids like that, this is actually a terrific figure.  The quality is top notch, and the price not too insane.  They can display it on their shelf, and occasionally it might just come down to eat Barbie's brains.

Value - **1/2
If you compare him to other similar 14 - 15" vinyl figures, you'll see a similar price point at $50 - $60.  I find it amusing that Medicom charges more than this for itty bitty vinyl figures that could almost fit in Sam's butt pocket, and people think it's a great deal.

Things To Watch Out For
If you're having the same issues getting the lollipop in his hand (and you will), don't force it!  While the stick will bend a bit, this will cause stress fractures in the plastic and it will break.

Overall - ***1/2
Sideshow doesn't do much work in the 'hot new property' sort of licensing.  They tend to stick with well established license, properties that have been around for a respectable amount of time.  Therefore, it must be all the more painful that when they do dip their toes in that particular pool, a shark happens to be right there to bite off their foot.  Such is the situation with Sam.

They tried to capitalize on what looked like a new film with a bright future, got the product signed up early, and bam - now are stuck holding a bunch of vinyl figures of a character nobody knows.

The saving grace here is that the design of this character is really strong, and they've executed well on it. Even if the movie never makes it out, he is a terrific Halloween decoration, and the fact that the film may never get released gives you an interesting story to tell your inquisitive guests.

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

Where to Buy -
Sideshow's website has him, as well as these sponsors:

- CornerStoreComics has him listed at $54.

- Dark Shadow Collectibles has him listed at $54.

- Alter Ego Comics has him at $54 as well.

-  You can also use the sponsor MyAuctionLinks to search ebay.

- for the British readers, Forbidden Planet has him for 38 GBP.

Related Links -
As mentioned at the start, there's the book Trick R Treat: Tales of Mayhem, Mystery and Mischief that's available, but other than that, there's not much out there on this film!

Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

Reader Ratings!
Here's your chance to weigh in!  Select your rating for this figure(s) to the right.  Yea, it's a five star system and not a four star system like mine, but it's the best I've been able to come up with so far.  You can only rate once from any particular IP.  For comparison, my Overall Score adjusted to a five star system would be: 4.375

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Sideshow Collectibles Trick R Treat Sam action figure

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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