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Review of Dr. Jeykll & Mr. Hyde - Universal Monsters action figure

Diamond Select Toys
Date Published:
Written By:
Overall Average Rating: 3.5 out of 4

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Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde action figure by DST

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Introduction

Just last week I checked out one of the latest Universal Monster releases from Diamond Select Toys, the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Tonight, I'm following up with a look at another figure in this release, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Turns out that there are Toys R Us versions of the Hunchback and this Dr. Jekyll. Word is the TRU version only has the hairy Hyde head - no Dr. Jekyll.

This version will run you around $20 or so, depending on the retailer, and is available now.

Click on the image below for a Life Size version
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde action figure by DST

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Packaging - ***
These specialty retailer versions come in the bookshelf style packages, which DST has used for years now.

The graphics look great, although original film stills would be cooler than the drawn artwork. It's not collector friendly of course, but if you're a MOCer, you'll appreciate being able to store it side by side on the shelf with the others.

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde action figure by DST

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Sculpting - ***1/2
The figure includes two head sculpts - the doctor without any change, and the full on Hyde, all hair and nostrils.

This photo shows Karloff's progression from doctor to monster, a perfect way to check out the quality of the work here.

I'm a little confused by the Jekyll head - it's not what we saw in the original DST marketing materials. Part of that is the paint - the original had more of the gray hair. But while it's tough to tell for sure, it looks like there's some minor changes to the head sculpt as well. I can still see Karloff in there, but it's not as strong as most of the work from Jean St. Jean. It makes me wonder if there were Karloff family licensing issues.

The monster version is much stronger, although it's still not perfect. The head is a little too thin, lacking the round appearance of the screen version. But the flared nostrils look good, and I love the way the hair captures the tousled and unkempt look, yet keeps it human.

There's nice work on the details of the costume as well, and the hands include the ring. The hand sculpts work well with lots of poses and the accessories, always a bit plus.

This series is an 8" scale, and this guy comes in right at that height.

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde action figure by DST

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Paint - ***1/2
The paint work here is a big improvement over some of the releases, where too much wash and too much slop obfuscated much of the detail.

There's still some wash, but it's done with a lighter hand. Nothing about the figure itself, including the hair or face, looks dirty or sloppy.

The details are reasonable, especially the mustache and eyes on the dear doctor. The skin tone is a little thick, but in person it's a minor issue.

There's some slop on the black suit, but it's still such an improvement over some of the previous releases, like Dracula, that I have to give them props for heading in the right direction.

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde action figure by DST

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Articulation - **1/2
There's a lot of articulation up under that rubber jacket, but much of it ends up restricted.

The ball jointed neck has a little tilt action, but just a little. More would have made some of the potential poses with the lab equipment work a lot better.

The ball shoulders, cut biceps, pin elbows and pin wrists allow for lots of good arm poses.

The lower body articulation includes a cut waist, hinge hips, pin knees and pin ankles, but most of this is restricted. The long stiff coat makes it impossible for him to do much more than take a basic standing pose, but he does stand well on his own.

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde action figure by DST

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Accessories - ****
There's a ton of goodies here, all perfect for any mad scientist.

There's a small table designed to hold most of the extras, and it includes a small hole for the stand of the distillation flask. That flask is colored to appear as though it contains some Jekyll Juice, as is the small collection container. There's also a syringe colored the same way, but be very careful with it! The 'needle' is super tiny and thin, and you can break it simply removing it from the package. That's not how I broke it - mine broke off when the figure fell over holding the syringe. Let that be a lesson.

Other equipment includes a test tube rack full of tubes, a graduated cylinder, and a couple flasks.

There's also a small display stand with a couple rats included as part of the sculpt. Mad scientists never seem to have clean labs.

I already mentioned the quality of the second head sculpt, and including it really boosts the score in this category.

There's a pair of hairy hands too, sculpted in more monstrous poses. The head and hands are VERY difficult to swap - take my advice later in the review to avoid damage.

Both the good doctor and his beastly version liked to dress up and go out on the town, and there's a rubbery cape, top hat, and cane included for the dapper look. The cane fits great in the sculpted hands, but the hat can only fit on the doctor's normal head, not the monster. You can set it on top, but save the creature his dignity and please don't.

That's quite a few extras for the price, and you may want to pick up both this figure AND the Toys R Us version to get the extra body to display both the doctor and the monster on your shelf.

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde action figure by DST

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Fun Factor - ***
All men have two faces, a theme that's been played out on screen over and over, and with this figure your kids can play it out in the sandbox as well. The lab equipment adds a lot to this score, since it can work with many different figures and themes, but the hard-to-swap hands and heads pull him back down.

Value - ***
It seems so rare that any figure comes up with a better than average Value rating, but here's one that's well worth the $20 or so. With an extra head and a ton of lab equipment, you're getting your money's worth plus a little.

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde action figure by DST

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Things to Watch Out For -
I mentioned how hard the hands and heads are to swap, and you want to take some care. The problem with the hands is that they (and their pegs) will soften under hot water or hot air faster than the coat/arm. If you try to simply heat and pull, you'll tear the hand off the wrist peg.

I did heat them up, then I used a small pair of needle nose pliers to reach the actual wrist peg to pull it free.

And don't just force the second head on that peg - too much risk of damaging the peg or forcing it too far into the torso. Warm that head up first!

Don't forget about that small needle on the syringe - be sure you handle with care to avoid breaking it off.

Overall - ***1/2
While Sideshow gave us a lot of great Universal Monsters in the 8" series, the split personality of Jekyll and Hyde was skipped. That makes this figure one of the more important in the DST release, and I'm glad to see the quality in the accessories and paint take a step up.

I'm not quite sure what's up with the doctor's likeness, although I can still find Karloff in there. Clearly something is up, because the original photos showed a portrait that was much more accurate.

Still, I'm happy to add this guy to the shelf, and I'm going to buy a second Toys R Us version for that extra body. Both versions are good enough to earn a spot on the shelf.

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

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde action figure by DST

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Where to Buy 
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Entertainment Earth is at just $20.

- comes in at $21.

- has him for $22.

- is also at $22.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
I mentioned the earlier review of the Hunchback, and previous DST Universal Monsters include Frankenstein, his Bride, and Dracula, and the Creature, Wolfman and Mummy.

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

Discussion:
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Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde action figure by DST

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

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