While we haven't gotten as many releases in this series as we once did, it's not
all over either. Still to be released this year are the Invisible
Man and the Hunchback
of Notre Dame, and don't forget the exceptional quarter
scale Phantom of the Opera announced at SDCC!
Packaging - ***1/2
Unlike the recent X-Files packaging, which deviated from the collector friendly
concept, Mr. Bey goes right back to the standard style. With only one
twisty all the way through the cardboard insert, he would be very easy to pop
back in the box later if you so desired.
He's too cool to end up with that fate though. I'll be honest - some of my
Sideshow stuff does end up back in the box. And I first thought that would
be poor Ardeth's fate as well. But once I had him out, I just couldn't do
The packaging has solid graphics, but lacks any real text about the movie or the
character. Too bad, considering that one extra detail would have made this
very attractive box perfect.
Sculpting - ***1/2
The sculpt is beautiful work for the most part, although I have a couple
It certainly looks just like Karloff, and even more importantly, just like
Ardeth Bey. Again, Sideshow was gutsy enough to use actual photos and
posters from the film on the box so you can easily compare.
The head, hands and feet are all new sculpts, done with that craggy, heavily
wrinkled appearance of the Mummy. Packing a bottle of Jergens in the sarcophagus
would have gone a long way.
While I really like the look of the face and feet, the hands seem a tad
fake. Maybe it's more a fault of the paint ops, with the nails, fingers
and palms all exactly the same color, but the aging on the hands simply doesn't
work as well as it does on the head and feet.
I also love the foot sculpt, although I wish we'd actually gotten sandals,
rather than having them sculpted on. The detail is great though, and the
wide sandal bottoms allow for him to stand easily.
The fez is part of his overall head sculpt, and it was a smart
decision. It fits nice and tightly, and he simply wouldn't look right
without it. However, I wish they had used a real tassel rather than
sculpting it, and the sculpt itself is rather weak. It falls along one
side of the head, into the hair, and gets lost in the hair sculpt.
All these complaints are fairly minor though, and he looks exceptional on the
Paint - ***
The paint is pretty much reserved for the sculpted head, hands and feet.
The paint ops are fairly good, and have decent quality and application.
A wash was used to extenuate the wrinkles and age, and while it works in some
areas, in others it's over done. The ears end up with excess wash again,
and we've seen this on other Sideshow figures.
Also over done is the bags under Bey's eyes, which end up making him look
more like a raccoon, or maybe Lurch, than I remember him from the film.
Articulation - ***1/2
This is the same Sideshow body we've seen many times, and in terms of points of
articulation, can't get any better.
They have all the expected joints, including ball jointed hips and shoulders,
cut joints on the biceps, thighs, ankles and wrists, and double jointed knees
and elbows. They also have the special ankle and wrists that allow for
movement in just about any direction.
My figure was also nice and tight, unlike some of the other recent
Sideshow figures I've picked up.
Accessories - **1/2
Ardeth Bey is a tad light on the accessories, but what he has is very well done,
and makes good sense.
There's a large scroll, which has all those nifty hieroglyphics that looked
so cool when I was a kid. It rolls up easily, and there is a black ribbon
that can be used to tie it closed. I also seem to remember him putting the
black ribbon around his neck in the film, but don't hold me to that. This
scroll is identical to the one we had gotten earlier with the Mummy
figure from Sideshow, making it a re-use.
There's also the ceremonial stone knife, brought from the grave.
It fits fairly well in his right hand, and the sculpt looks terrific.
Outfit - ***1/2
This outfit only has three pieces, but looks absolutely perfect.
There's his turtle neck, made from a very bright white material.
There's no cheaping out this time either, with full length sleeves under the
The robe fits perfectly, and the tailoring overall is very impressive.
The final piece is his belt, with gold cat on the front. There's snaps
used all around for easy removal, and for better appearance.
There's lots of detailed stitching, especially on the belt, and there are no
edges or seams that will fray or come apart. I'm not sure if the burlap
type cloth was the best choice - it seems like the robe was a softer, silkier
material - but that may just be my memory faulting me again. I'll have to
crack this film out soon and rewatch it!
Fun Factor - **1/2
If kids like the old horror movies, they'll have fun with Bey. There's
nothing small for them to break, and the outfit is much sturdier than
others. Then again, I can't imagine any kids actually playing with a
figure based on a movie over 70 years old.
Value - **1/2
Mr. B runs $40 on the Sideshow site, but they were sold out long before the
figure started shipping. Considering the nits I had with the outfit (a
real tassel, or real sandals would have really added to the figure), and the
light number of accessories, $40 is a tad high. I have some other options
for you though at the end of the review which can improve the value.
Overall - ***1/2
I've picked up all the Sideshow Universal Monsters, both 8" and
12". This is one of the nicest looking they've produced, even if he
is slightly less complex. The accessories are light, and I wish the couple
nits I had weren't there, but in general, you'll be extremely happy to add this
one to your collection.
And he's a billion times better than the Mummy
himself that Sideshow gave us awhile back. Thank goodness that we got this
version to right the earlier wrong.