MM5 Lord of Darkness

It's already been five years that we've been treated to the Movie Maniacs series from McFarlane Toys.  I feel they are one of the very best overall series produced by the company, and an excellent idea in general.

There are tons of movies out there with only one character that folks want - not enough to do an entire series on it's own, but still a popular character that folks would like to have.

Movie Maniacs solved this problem.  Todd gives us those one off movie figures that we'd never get otherwise, and he does it with fantastic sculpting and detail.

This years line consists of Tooth Fairy, Sarah Conner (from Terminator), T-800 (also from Terminator), the Lord of Darkness (from Legend, reviewed here), Jason X, and Djinn (from Wishmaster).

There are also two variants of the Tooth Fairy to look for - mouth open wide with nasty teeth, and closed - and three variants of Conner - pony tail and hat, just pony tail, and long hair.

Packaging - ***1/2
The clamshell packaging has really grown on me.  It shows off the figure nicely for the MOC'er, it stands up to shelf wear far better than a regular cardback, and you still get all the great graphics on the insert.  They also pack up great for folks who don't have a place to display them yet.

Sculpting - ****
The term 'wow factor' is getting popular with companies.  They are looking for that competitive advantage that will 'wow' their customers.  Personally I hate the term - it's right up there with 'human capital' and 'paradigm' on my list of all time goofy buzz words.

But there isn't any better definition of the amazing detail and perfection to this sculpt - wow.  They've caught the source material perfectly, and more and more these figures rival the very best in resin sculptures.  Every wrinkle, every muscle, every fold in the cloak is done with precision and style - this is a work of art.

One of my worries when I saw the small clamshell - it's the same size as the other recent lines - was that the scale would be off with previous Movie Maniacs figures.  Fortunately, that's not the case, and there's a picture at the bottom of the review showing The Big Red Bad with Mike Myers.  Not that Mike Myers, but the one from Halloween.

Paint - ****
The paint ops are excellent, with a nice, consistent deep red over his body, and a variety of browns, grays and other muted colors for his accoutrements.  The details are very well done, like the eyes, teeth, and highlights on the cape.

I'm particularly happy with the variety of colors, and the perfect shade of red.  The Lord of Darkness looks fantastic on the shelf, and stands out great among the usual dark colors of the other figures.

Articulation - ***
McFarlane has done a consistently better job with their articulation over the last few lines, and this series of Movie Maniacs continues that trend.

Past Maniacs have been lucky to have 5 or 6 points, but the Lord of Darkness is much better.  There's neck, ball jointed shoulders (normal ball joints), wrists, ball jointed hips, and two ankle joints, so that the hooves can turn left and right, as well as move forward and back.

While cut elbows would have been nice - it's tough to get the arms to do too much with the bent elbows and huge horns - the lower body articulation works great.

UPDATE!  On a tip from a reader, I checked out the horns a little more carefully - sure enough, they are both articulated!  You can turn them to suit your tastes.

Accessories - ***
There are three accessories - the huge sword, unicorn horn and Movie Maniac poster/backdrop.

The sword is large, and fits nicely in the right hand.  It has a removable cap on the hilt like the weapons that came with the Viking Age figures, or the bats that come with the Baseball series.

There's also the unicorn horn, which makes up so much of the film plot.  It looks pretty much like you'd expect it to, and fits in the left hand.

The final accessory is the backdrop with the Legend poster showing the Lord of Darkness.  It's gotten cheaper in style and quality than previous Movie Maniacs lines, and the tape they used to hold the paper poster in the bubble tore the back of it when I removed it.  It was the only disappointment with this figure.

Value - ***
This score depends on where you pick them up of course, because there's a wide variation among stores.  If you pay $13, at a store like Software Etc or Hot Topic, drop a star off this score.  If you pay around $10, the likely going rate at most places, he's a solid three star value.  And if you're lucky enough to pick them up at a Meijers, where they will be $9, you're getting even a better value.

Overall - ***1/2
This is very close to a four star figure - only the slightly cheesy version of the MM stand and the slightly lower articulation.  But the sculpting and paint work makes this the nicest figure in this series of Movie Maniacs, and one of the nicest produced to date.

I'll be picking up Djinn as well, and perhaps Tooth Fairy - watch here for the future reviews!

Where to Buy - 
In my neck of the woods, only Software Etc. has them in the store so far.  I expect them to show up at Meijers any day now though.  On-line:

- Action Figure Express has a great deal by the case at $90 plus shipping.  That's only $7.50 each plus shipping!  Just search for 'movie maniacs'.  (MROTW Affiliate).

- Entertainment Earth has a case of 12 for $115, which is just $9.58 (plus shipping).  Only problem is findind someone to take the extras off your hands!  (MROTW Affiliate).


Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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