Underworld Raze

Underworld is a new flick, hitting theaters on September 19th.  It's a Goth version of Romeo and Juliet, but instead of Juliet just being rich (which she is), she's also a vampire.  Street wise Romeo also happens to be a werewolf, and that adds to the trouble these two kids face just trying to hook up.  They just aren't from opposite sides of the track, they're from opposing supernatural gene pools.

Mezco picked up the license for action figures, and they've just hit stores in the last week.  There are five in total - Selene (our vampire Juliet, played by Kate Beckinsale), Michael (our hairy Romeo), Raze (reviewed here), Viktor (another vampire), and Lucian (another werewolf).  I've only found them at Media Play so far, where they run $13 each.  The are all very articulated, and come with special display bases.  They are about a 6" scale.

Packaging - **
The packaging has terrific graphics, although you've pretty much seen the shot of Beckinsale on the roof top a million times already.  It's not the graphics or text that's the problem here, but rather the massive size.  While some of it is necessary because of the display bases, I don't think the package had to be this big.  With a little more creativity, they could have fit it all on a bubble a third smaller, and the card back itself could have been smaller as well.  All the extra die cut edges just add to the bulk, and this is packaging that takes up far too much space.

Sculpting - ***1/2
I picked up only Raze so far, and the sculpt is extremely good in this scale.  There's a ton of gory detail, and the face is expressive and scary.

The design of the werewolves is a little different, being more dog like than wolf like, and being more of a hairless dog at that.  You can't fault Mezco though for the design in the film, and I'm assuming they've stayed faithful here to the character.

Paint - **1/2
The paint ops on the figure itself are better than this score, with good detail work, although there's not a lot of it.  The figure is predominately dark colors, with a nice wash to highlight the sculpting.  It's not perfect, and a lot of the facial detail is lost in the dark colors of the head, but if I was just going based on the figure this score would be higher.

The paint ops on the base are a bit disappointing though.  I'm clueless as to what the two large, light colored circles on the brick section are supposed to be, but they couldn't be any more obvious.  And the red paint, obviously meant to be blood, simply looks like bright red paint, slapped on by hand with a brush by someone in a hurry to get home to a bottle of saki. 

Articulation - ***1/2
The entire line appears to have better than average articulation, particularly Selene and Raze.

Raze has neck, ball jointed shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist, ball jointed hips, knees, calves and ankles.  The joints are all tight, he can hold plenty of various poses, and he stands just fine on his own.  The joints don't hurt the overall sculpt, and add to the playability.

Accessories - ***
Each figure comes with a diorama style base.  Raze has a chunk of brick wall (a corner to be exact), rough floor, and two loose pieces - a barrel and a crate. 

The sculpting on the accessories is extremely good, with tons of detail.  Mezco does diorama work extremely well.  I've already mentioned the weak paint ops though, and that's the biggest reason these take a slight hit.

Value - **
It's pretty easy to see that $13 is too much for these.  Ten bucks would be great, and I'm betting that the new Winston stuff will be very similar to this scale and style, and will be in the ten buck range.  I'm hoping it's just the overpriced Media Play that's jacking these up, but we won't be sure until we see them at some other retailers.

Overall - ***
Raze is a good looking figure, with a pretty nifty diorama.  The scale works alright for me, although I'm sure lots of folks will complain that these don't mess with the 7" scale of something like the Movie Maniacs.  Mezco has to work on the blood paint application, but overall these aren't bad.

Now, I did give them a bit of a break.  I picked the one out that I thought was the best of the bunch.  Viktor was fairly cool looking in the package as well, but Michael and Lucian didn't do much for me.  And poor Kate Beckinsale should avoid seeing her figure - the likeness isn't bad, but the expression isn't tough, or cool, or even sexy.  She looks like she was just slightly surprised, not shocked, as if the waiter brought her onion rings instead of French fries.

Where to Buy - 
I picked this one up at Media Play, and they had the entire series on the pegs.


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour