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Metaluna Mutant - This Island Earth
Diamond Select Toys

Metaluna Mutant This Island Earth action figure by DST


When people think Universal Monsters, they immediately conjure up images of Frankenstein's Monster, Dracula, or the Wolfman. A little more thought, and they'll remember The Mummy and the Creature from the Black Lagoon. But that's not the entire entourage - Universal created many of the great original creatures of cinema.

Diamond Select Toys has their third wave of figures hitting stores, and are touching on some of those less remembered bad guys. This set includes the Phantom of the Opera, The Invisible Man, and tonight's review - The Metaluna Mutant.

The Mutant, as well as the Phantom, comes in two varieties. There's the Toys R Us exclusive, which I'm checking out, as well as the online retailer deluxe version. The deluxe version comes with a larger diorama style accessory, much like the earlier series. I haven't seen any listing for a deluxe version of the Invisible Man, so I'm thinking there's only the Toys R Us version, but if you have heard other news, please let me know.

This guy is running $17 at the local store, and the deluxe version is around $18 - $20. My online order hasn't shipped yet, but I did find this guy at my local store.

For those unaware of who this guy is, check out the 1955 sci-fi film This Island Earth. While he had a fairly small part, he was certainly eye catching on screen, and is a classic example of a great "man in a rubber suit" monster that was so popular in the 50's and 60's.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Metaluna Mutant This Island Earth action figure by DST
Homer Simpson Syroco style statue from Dark Horse Comics
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Homer Simpson Syroco style statue from Dark Horse Comics
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Homer Simpson Syroco style statue from Dark Horse Comics
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Homer Simpson Syroco style statue from Dark Horse Comics
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Homer Simpson Syroco style statue from Dark Horse Comics
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Packaging - ***
The card and bubble look good, with the same basic style as the earlier regular releases. There's some basic info on the back, as well as photos of the rest of the wave.

I might have even gone another half star if not for the extremely annoying twist ties. There are four or five, and these things were frustrating to remove without a pair of wire clippers.

Sculpting - ****
Like Creature from the Black Lagoon, this is a terrific 'man in a rubber suit' costume design. The over sized head and arms, pincher-like hands and feet, and gill-like mouth are all excellent sci-fi elements that create a mutant-like feel.

The detailing is very well done, with nice work on the veins and textures. He's a large figure, standing about 8 1/4" tall, so he'll fit in well with most 7" scale lines.

The sculpt does restrict a lot of the articulation, but that's not the sculptors fault, but a result of the design. I doubt that the actor wearing the suit was doing cartwheels between takes.

Paint - ***
I'm not loving the paint quite as much as the sculpt, although it's not awful.

The work on the bulbous head and funky face is a little sloppy, and there's a wash around the lips that's not really working for me. The veining is very good though, and I love the small silver detail work on the emblem on his uniform.

The backpack doohickey has been painted in the same washed skin color, and I'm not sure if that's correct. I believe it's not, but it's tough to tell from the photos I've seen.

Articulation - **1/2
Although the articulation is restricted due to the design, he's probably able to move his arms more than the poor actor in the original suit.

The head might have a ball joint hidden up under the neck, but it's so restricted that it simply turns slightly to the left and the right.

Likewise, those shoulders might be ball jointed, but they barely raise to the sides as well as the front and back. That's because of the thick shoulder pieces, but that's screen accurate.

The elbows are definitely pin and disc ball joints, as are the forearms. There's no wrist articulation, but the second arm joint is low enough to make them unnecessary. Both of these arm joints are also a bit restricted by the sculpt, but they do allow the arms to stick out straight in a menacing pose.

The hips are a T with hinges, although the hinge only worked properly on the left leg on mine. The right leg is too tightly joined, so the leg can't swing outward at all.

There's also cut thighs, pin knees and cut ankles. The leg articulation allows for some good stances, and hold up the top heavy figure without the stand.

Accessories - **
This version only has one accessory - a small, sculpted display base. It's designed to look like the debris strewn surface of Metaluna, where the Zagons are bombing the bejesus out of them.

The stand can help keep him upright, but it's not necessary to use.

The deluxe version also comes with the very cool Interlociter, straight from the film. If I were you, I'd pick that one up instead for the extra couple bucks.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
As a kid, I loved monsters like this, and it saddens me that kids today don't have a lot of good creatures to play with. Even with no idea about the source material, kids will think this is a cool looking monster - that's a sign of great design.

Value - **
Sadly, this guy is going to cost around $16 at Toys R Us. That's not really all that extreme right now, since most 6 - 8" figures are costing about the same, but DST also has a deluxe version of this guy that includes the Interlociter, the device that the American scientist builds at the beginning that allows him to communicate with Exeter, the non-mutant Metalunan.

That's a really cool accessory, and it's well worth the extra $2 - $4 that the deluxe version costs. So this guy ends up losing a half star off average, and the deluxe version would end up with a half star over average.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing!

Overall - ***
If this were the deluxe version, I'm betting he'd snag another half star here.

But this is the regular edition, which lacks much in the way of accessories. The slightly off paint job also pulls him down slightly.

Still, it's been a long time since Sideshow did their 8" version, and it's really nice for Universal Monster fans to get another chance - at a reasonable price - to add this guy to their collection. I highly recommend picking him up, I'd just go for the deluxe version instead of this one.

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

Where to Buy -
This basic version is available at Toys R Us, and will cost you about $17. Online retailers have the deluxe version:

- Urban Collector has him for $18, but remember - that's the deluxe version with the extra diorama accessories.

- Big Bad Toy Store also has the deluxe for $18.

- Entertainment Earth has him for $20.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
This isn't our first Metaluna Mutant action figure - Sideshow did a 12" version AND an 8" version back in the day. And way back, Sideshow did a Little Big Heads version as well.

Diamond Select has done other monsters in this style and scale, including the Munsters, the Mummy, Creature, and Wolfman, and Frankenstein, his bride, and Dracula.

Discussion:
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Homer Simpson Syroco style statue from Dark Horse Comics


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

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