Captain Toy/Michael's Review of the Week

Review of Blood of Dracula, Maureen Robinson, Barbra (NOTLD)
Sixth Scale Action Figures

Amok Time
Date Published: 2009-09-28
Written By: Michael Crawford
Overall Average Rating: 2 out of 4

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Lost in Space Maureen Robinson 1/6th action figure

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With the kind of prices and figures we're getting from the likes of Hot Toys, Enterbay, Go Hero, Medicom and Sideshow these days, you'd think the sub $100 sixth scale action figure was dead. Amoktime and Executive Replicas don't think so. They're working to produced figures based on some of the more obscure licenses in horror and sci-fi from the days of the glorious B-movie, and they are doing it in the $70 range.

They've been quite for several months, but have just released a number of new figures (I just checked out the Boris Karloff recently), and they are mostly ladies, a rare treat. They have Barbra from the Night of the Living Dead, Maureen Robinson from the classic Lost in Space, and the poor unfortunate woman in Blood of Dracula, turned into a vampire through...hypnosis. Hey, it was 1957.

Just in case you don't know these three lovely ladies, here's a quick re-cap. Barbra is the young blonde who was visiting the cometary with her brother in the original Night of the Living Dead. The see an odd man coming toward them across the grounds, and her brother jokes with her "They're coming to get you, Barbra...". Sure enough, he was right.

If you don't know who Maureen Robinson is, then shame on you. Played by the veteran actress June Lockhart, she was the first and finest 'space mom' from the classic television series Lost In Space.

Finally, there's the vampire chick from the classic 1957 movie Blood of Dracula. Pretty much a female version of I Was a Teenage Werewolf and I Was A Teenage Frankenstein, the plot is wholly forgettable. The trailer claims you'll have nightmares for the rest of your life - I wouldn't bet on it. However, the sorta vampire, sorta werewolf monster is a classic.

Maureen Robinson 1/6th action figure

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Packaging - Maureen **1/2; Barbra, BoD ***
The packaging for Barbra and the vamp has graphics from both the film and of the actual figure, allowing you to pretty easily compare. They are also both done in the now standard fifth panel style, and are completely collector friendly. You won't have to damage anything getting them out, and putting them back is very easy. 

Maureen's box is a little different. There's actually a reason for this, but it's still an inferior box. The cardboard used is quite thin, and she's held in place inside with a bunch of twisties. You can still get her out and put her back, but it will take more effort, and the box and insert aren't going to hold up to a lot of shelf (or storage) wear.

The reason they did this is because they released some other characters in this series several years ago, including Dr. Smith, and I'm sure they wanted the style of box to match.

NOTLD Barbra, Blood of Dracula, Maureen Robinson 1/6th figure

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Sculpting - Maureen ***1/2; Barbra ***; BoD **1/2
Call me crazy, but I think all three of these ladies have excellent head sculpts hiding under less than stellar paint work. The trick is seeing past that paint, to the potential underneath.

Maybe it's just because I haven't seen the show in years, but I really see Maureen Robinson in this portrait. From the lips to the shape of the eyes and face, the cut of the hair and especially the nose, I think they captured her extremely well. Yes, there's some paint issues that can make it difficult to appreciate just how good the sculpt is, but we'll get to those in a minute.

Barbra is also quite good, although I'm deducting a little for the thicker, tootsie roll appearance of the hair, especially near the ends. She has a very slack appearance to her expression, which is very appropriate for her appearance on the couch, while she was still in shock from her brother's death and the zombie attack. She's also quite pretty, a rarity in female sixth scale figures.

The Blood of Dracula vampire figure takes a hit here for a couple reasons, one not obvious from photos.

The basic sculpt is still fairly accurate to the source material, although the nose and teeth look a little off to me. Remember, this was a crazy chick vampire who had more than a little werewolf in the mix, and that wide eyed, Russian mail order bride eyebrow, over-bite look is indeed how she appeared. As I mentioned, the nose looks a little off, the head is a smidge too large for this petite body, and I wish the hair had a bit more detail (more like Maureen's), but with a repaint I think the head would score extremely well.

Beyond the smaller aesthetic issues, there's one large issue that is not apparent in photos. Someone didn't check the final fit of this head sculpt on this body, because the stiff long hair won't allow the head to stay attached. Move the head slightly, especially toward the back or sides, and it pops right off the short neck connector. That's a huge fail that could have been easily avoided with either slightly re sculpted hair, a thinner neck (so the head could sit lower on the connector), or a longer interior connector.

Maureen and Barb stand about 11 1/2" tall, and the vamp, with her poofy hair, comes in about a quarter inch taller. They'll fit in fine with most male sixth scale figures, including those already produced in these series.

Blood of Dracula 1/6th action figure

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Paint - Barbra ***;  BoD **1/2; Maureen **
They should make a movie about the Beast of Bad Paint, who rises up and tears out the beating hearts of small toy companies every where.

Not all the news in this category is terrible though. Barbra turned out pretty well, with straight eye, flossy lips, and clean eyebrows and hairline. I like how they did the light wash on the hair to bring out the detail, and while she looks a bit zombified herself, that's appropriate to her appearance through most of the film, where she's in total shock.

She does sport the annoying lip line, where they allowed the paint to pool. That's becoming a pet peeve of mine.

The vamp has fairly clean cut lines, but her skin is a bit gloppy, as though dirt or crud got into the paint at some point. She also have a couple rub marks, one on her eyebrow and one on her forehead, that hurt her overall appearance. And while most of the cut lines are clean, she does suffer from some paint bleed into the whites of her eyes.

Maureen is the big disappointment here, and really screams out for a repaint. She suffers from a lazy eye, but it gets worse - the eye in question (the right) also has a larger iris and pupil, giving it a terrible googly eye appearance.

I do like how they did the wash on her hair, as it brings out the detailing quite nicely, but the hair line is pretty poor, with skin color riding up into her locks.

Her head sculpt is nice enough that I think a repaint would certainly be worth it, particularly if you're a huge LiS fan.

NOTLD Barbra 1/6th action figure

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Articulation - BoD **1/2;  Maureen, Barbra *1/2
All three figures come on the exact same bbi/Cy-girl style body, complete with nipples. I'm not mentioning that just to get the extra traffic that 'nipples' tends to bring, although one can't argue with results.

I'm mentioning it because it's actually an issue for the BoD vamp. Her thin sweater tends to rub, giving her two small 'dots' on her clothes that are tremendously obvious in person. And believe me, it's always distracting. I know we're supposed to look you in the eyes, but when you flip on the high beams, they tend to blind us.

However, I'm not deducting anything for that, just mentioning it as you may want to shift the sweater around a bit to avoid permanent marks.

The BoD figure has the one big flaw here I already mentioned - her head won't stay on. I complained in the Sculpting section, because it could have been avoided by changing the sculpt slightly, but I'm also mentioning it here because a longer neck connector, or narrower neck, could have also fixed the issue.

Her other issues are smaller, but still there. The ankles on this body work well in boots, like Maureen's, but not in heels. They tend to be too loose, and God are they ugly.

There was a little looseness in some of her other joints, but nothing major. This body can take some very good poses, given the right outfit and a head that doesn't fall off.

Both Maureen and Barb had a much more serious issue - breaking wrists. Barb's right wrist was broken right in the package, and when I opened the box and looked at Maureen, her right hand fell off. I'm not joking.

I've heard a ton of complaints that this is happening across all the female figures using this body right now from Amok and ER.  I didn't have the issue with the BoD vamp (and I moved her hands around quite a bit to be sure), but the other two clearly have a severe problem. Breaking wrist pegs isn't unheard of  - God knows I've broken my share of Hot Toys wrists - but it generally requires some amount of force. Here, the hands are practically falling right off.

The official word from the company was posted on a couple sites - "...In our latest release; the 12" Maureen Robinson figure, there has been a few issues with the manufacturing of the product. Please, whether you purchase the figure fro us or any other retailer, be exceptionally careful with the hands as they have a tendency to break. I am checking all the hands before they ship from us but without knowing, you the customer, can attempt to reposition the wrist and break it. My recommendation is before you attempt to position the hand, carefully pull the hand and wrist pin out from body and carefully move the hand up and down. DO NOT try and turn the hand as it will break from the wrist joint. I apologize for this issue and we are attempting to get more wrist in stock to replace broken ones but it will be several weeks before we receive them in stock. Thank you." Unfortunately, even touching the hands in the least bit will cause them to break, so the instructions aren't particularly helpful. Also, this isn't a problem confined to Maureen, as lots of Barbra's have the same issue. Word is they are trying to get replacements, but these are bbi/Cy-girl hands, so you may be able to get your own replacements pretty easily. It goes without saying (although I'll say it) that at $70, you shouldn't need replacements.

Lest you think I'm being harder here on a broken wrist than in the past, I point you to my recent review of the Hot Toys Predator Billy figure, who also ended up with a broken wrist peg. He got just ** stars in this category, and that was coming down from a better overall body in the TrueType.

Blood of Dracula 1/6th action figure

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Accessories - Maureen, Barbra **; BoD *
Amoktime hasn't been exactly overloading these lower end horror figures with extras, and these three ladies don't do much to break the streak.

Maureen Robinson gets both her blaster and the funky holster. The blaster looks great, even if it is slightly over sized, and probably fits well in her right hand. Sadly, that's the hand she's missing, so I couldn't do much to test it out.

The holster is truly bizarre. I don't know what form of hallucinogenic drug the production designer was doing when he came up with this thing, but then Lost in Space was pretty well known for some weird designs. It's a large plastic tube, with a candy cane style stripe around the outside. The blaster fits well, and the tube has a clip to attach to the belt, but it's sure to draw some sniggers from those too young to remember the show.

Maureen was also supposed to have a display stand, and it's even mentioned on the box. Sadly, it's not present, and again they've posted official info - "...the figure DOES NOT come with a stand. The reason for this is the stands that were originally made had a severe warp in it that I felt was not acceptable but we could not get the new one done in time to ship with the figure so when the next figure(s) are produced, all those that ordered a Maureen Robinson will be sent one. We are also getting in replacement hands for her as well in the next few weeks..."

I don't know how they plan on doing this, since most people probably got her through another retailer. The stands may not be particularly good, but for those that use them regularly, it's a downer.

The other two figures do have their display stands, and the logo on both is about as basic and cheap as you can get. They work, but they aren't something you'll want to show off.

That stand is it for the BoD vampire, hence the pathetic score. Barbra does a little better, because she also comes with a very well done knife. She clutched said weapon in her hands in the film for awhile, although a baseball bat would have been more effective against zombies. Great decision making wasn't her strong suit anyway, helping to result in her fate as late night barbecue.

Lost in Space Maureen Robinson 1/6th action figure

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NOTLD Barbra 1/6th action figure

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Outfit - Maureen ***; BoD; Barbra **
None of the outfits are particularly complicated, and all three show a nice attention to detail, with one glaring exception.

Maureen's is the nicest of the three, and pretty appropriate for the cost and character. She wears a pink sweater complete with little buttons underneath the tunic, with well tailored pants and a good boot sculpt. The ove rsized belt is consistent with the show, and works well with the goofy holster.

It does come out of the package a bit wrinkly, so a shot with the iron is probably in order. It's also a bit more lavender in color than I remember (I thought the outfit was very blue, much like the dress you see on Barbra), but that could either be my color blind eyes playing tricks, or my old man memory betraying me.

Unfortunately for the BoD vamp, her tailor is a meth addict. The sweater fits well, showing off her bosomy attributes, and the scarf looks great, but the skirt rides much too high on the body. In fact, if it did ride lower on the hips, it would look terrific - unbutton it in back and adjust it and you'll see what I mean. You won't be able to button it in the lower position though, as the skirt needs to be wider in the hips and tighter in the waist to get the right look.

Then there's her shoes. I don't know what you expect when you pay $70 for a figure, but I certainly don't expect cheap, rubbery, nondescript shoes that Barbie wouldn't be caught dead in. It's not that the style is simple, but that these look like dollar store rip off Barbie quality.

Sadly these clodhoppers are on Barbra as well. They look even worse, done up in canary yellow.

Barb has a very straight, armless dress on, which matches both the film and the style of the day. The yellow tie around her neck looks good, and the quality of the stitching and materials is fine.

But a key aspect of her costume is her coat, and it appears to have been tailored by the same blind epileptic that worked on the vamp's skirt.

The shoulders on the underlying body aren't very wide, but that hasn't been taken into account here. The coat is tailored with a huge collar, wide enough ti fit around the outside of her hair, although that's not how anyone would wear it. I worked long and hard at trying to get the collar under the hair and around the neck in a reasonable way, and I was completely unsuccessful. The collar is so long, end to end, that the coat wants to fall off her shoulders, and if you pop her head off to tuck it up under the hair, the ends still run too far out. It also means that like the BoD vamp, the head pops off every time you move it.

I'd recommend going with the coat hanging half off her shoulders and back, much like it is in the first full photo of her in this review. At least that way you can capture the disheveled appearance she had after the attack. I'd prefer a coat that actually fits, but you work with what you have.

NOTLD Barbra, Blood of Dracula, Maureen Robinson 1/6th figure

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Fun Factor - *1/2
I suppose it's altogether possible that some little girl out there might want one of these, but with wrists breaking and heads a poppin', I don't think they'd get a whole lot of fun out of them.

NOTLD Barbra, Blood of Dracula, Maureen Robinson 1/6th figure

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Value - *1/2
Don't kid yourself - $70 is still a lot of money on the sixth scale market. Sideshow sells figures like Captain Antilles or Ki-Adi-Mundi from their Star Wars license (an expense license to get) for $70, and fully armored Stormtroopers for $90.

There are only two features here that elevate these figures about the $20 - $30 mass market figure from someone like Hasbro: the head sculpts and the license. The head sculpts, with a better paint job, would be certainly better than the usual, and let's fact it, if you want a Blood of Dracula vampire, this is the only game in town. You have to keep something in mind though - just like 2am at a bar on Friday night, the person a few seats down didn't get better looking, you're just getting desperate.

Lost in Space Maureen Robinson 1/6th action figure

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Things to Watch Out For -
I'd warn you to be careful with the hands, but I don't think any warning will help. The two hands that broke were barely held in place - the only way to not break them is to not touch them in anyway, and even that might not work. They're going to need to get an awful lot of new hands in stock for replacements.

NOTLD Barbra 1/6th action figure

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Overall - Maureen **1/2; Barbra, BoD **;
Take away the obvious huge issue of the breaking wrists (and it's huge because it's so consistent and wide sweeping - if it were a one off situation, it might be more forgivable) and lazy eye paint job, and Maureen Robinson is not a bad figure. The head sculpt is better than the paint allows for, and the outfit and accessories are decent. At $70, she's too expensive, but I'm assuming the production run on these was pretty low.

The other two are far below her quality, sadly. The head sculpts are the one saving grace here, keeping them from dipping even lower. BoD suffers from a head that won't stay attached, an poorly tailored costume, weak paint, and no accessories, all for a big price tag.

Barbra has the same breakage issues as Maureen (and one has to wonder if the gripping right hands are more prone to it than the relaxed pose right and left hands), and adds in a poorly tailored outfit, one accessory, and some truly God awful bargain bin shoes. There's no way you'll feel good about dropping $70 on her, and you shouldn't.

Amok and ER don't have to give us HT or Go Hero quality at $70, but they have to do better than Hasbro quality. The head sculpts are where they need to be - now they need to whip the rest into shape, and do everything they can to avoid any further fiascoes like the breaking wrists.

Score Recap (out of ****):
Packaging - Maureen **1/2; Barbra, BoD ***
Sculpting - Maureen ***1/2; Barbra ***; BoD **1/2
Paint - Barbra ***;  BoD **1/2; Maureen **
Articulation - BoD **1/2;  Maureen, Barbra *1/2
Accessories - Maureen, Barbra **; BoD *
Outfit - Maureen ***; BoD; Barbra **
Fun Factor - *1/2
Value - *1/2
Overall - Maureen **1/2; Barbra, BoD **;

Lost in Space Maureen Robinson, NOTLD Barbra, Blood of Dracula 1/6th figures

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- you can pick these up directly from Amoktime at their Amazon store.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I've covered quite a few of the Amoktime and Executive Replicas releases:

- the most recent was Boris Karloff.

- before that, there was I was a Teenage Werewolf, I was a Teenage Frankenstein, Gort and Klaatu, Invasion of the Saucer Men, Rondo Hatton and the NOTLD Zombie, all sixth scale horror figures. There's also Bub and Dr. Tongue, six inch zombie action figures they've released.

You should also hit the Search Reviews page, in case any other applicable reviews were done after this one was published.

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

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NOTLD Barbra 1/6th action figure

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

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