Amok time produced 500 of each
of these in this initial production
run, which is a very low number by any standards. The SRP on each is
$60, although shopping around might shave off a few bucks. I have some
sponsor suggestions at the end of the review, as always.
Packaging - ***
The boxes are reminescent of
the old Sideshow fifth panel Universal
Monsters boxes. They've used graphics from the film as well as a poster
style design to give it a nice retro feel.
There are a few more
twisties than I like, and I'm not particularly fond of them packing the
figure with the display stand already around the waist. This
always wrinkles up the clothes, and you'll need to end up ironing them
later to get it out.
The head sculpt on Frank is top notch, even if my final score here
doesn't make it appear that way. The makeup effect in this film was
well before it's time, and is one of the more gruesome versions of
Frankenstein we've ever gotten. They've captured the look extremely
well, right down to the remaining bandages around his neck. And while
the remaining bulging eye appears on the left side of his face in the
poster artwork, it was actually on the right side in the film, just as
it is on the figure.
why does he get a lower score than my praise might indicate? It's the
hands, man. They've re-used the hands that the NOTLD zombie
(and probably a number of other figures will also have these hands),
and they really don't fit the character. Like Rondo or the Werewolf,
they really should have given Frank a specific hand sculpt that better
fit the character's malevolent intents.
The Werewolf has
excellent, hairy, threatening hand sculpts, which were obviously
necessary. But the head sculpt, while imposing, seems off to me.
of the problem is those ears. In the film, they were more
by the hair, and by the similar color. Here they stick out
the head quite a bit AND are a very distinct fleshtone. I'll
complain more about the paint in a minute, but in general those ears
tend to mess up the overall look.
The nose is also a bit too
small and too human-like. In the film, it was larger and more canine in
appearance. On the flip side, while he had some major choppers, I don't
recall them looking quite so false, as though they were about to fall
out if his head.
Still, it's a recognizable
sculpt of a very off beat, cult classic monster. It might not be
perfect, but it has it's charm.
Paint - Wolf ***; Frank
The paint issues I'll discuss are not related to quality. Everything is
painted the color they intended it to be painted, there are very clean
lines (especially on Frank's damaged face), there's a good use of
detail work to add realism, and there's no real slop anywhere.
that doesn't mean there aren't some issues. As I mentioned in
previous section, the Werewolf's ears are far too light, making them
much too obvious on his head. This is a great example of where better
paint could have helped improve a sculpting issue, but instead the
choice to go with an obvious skin tone only amplifies the dumbo look of
With Frank, there's only one
real paint problem, but
it's a huge one, one so big that he lost at least a full star in this
category because of it. The reused forearms and hands do not
match the rest of the body skin tone. And it's not even
This is such an obvious error, what with the bare arms, that it really
messes up what is otherwise a good looking figure.
For regular collectors of sixth scale figures, the underlying body
won't be anything unique. This body (and ones very much like it) have
been used over the last decade by a number of different companies.
I stripped Frank's shirt off to show you the articulation
explain later why he's still wearing his pants). The body is very much
out of date considering the improvements we've seen from companies like
Hot Toys, Medicom and Takara (and hopefully Sideshow in just a matter
of days), but considering the size of the company, as well as the very
low production runs, I can live with the use of a cheaper, older body.
I was able to get reasonably good poses out of them considering the
characters, and I didn't need to use the display stand to keep them
The only accessory either figure comes with is the display stand.
These are the usual style, with the movie logo on the base.
was plenty of potential for accessories with either of these
characters, but the most obvious one is a second normal Gary Conway
(the actor) head for Frankenstein. For those that haven't seen the
movie, this Frank was the usual monster, pieced together from various
dead people. But the gruesome face was due to the traffic
accident that the main 'donor' endured, and not the creation of the
overall monster. After the monster kills someone, Professor
Frankenstein decides he needs a new face, and has the monster kill a
teenager, and the graft his face onto the monsters disfigured body.
Both the monster and the teen were played by Gary Conway, so having a
normal head as an accessory would have made at lest some sense (unlike
the 'normal' Bill Heinzman head we got with the NOTLD figure).
opportunity is including the old movies themselves on DVD. If Kellogg's
can send me free DVD's for buying cereal, then the actual cost for
producing them must be pretty low these days. For folks that are
unfamiliar with the source material, including it with the figure could
have been a big selling point.
Outfit - ***
Neither of these figures are wearing particularly complicated uniforms.
Frank has his tight blue
t-shirt, which was designed to show off Conway's
(yea, people worked out back then too). I'm going from memory, but I
think the blue is right too. While the majority of the movie was in
black and white, the very end used color for impact, so there is
reference material out there.
The shirt is well done, with
edges and a good fit. Of course, the underlying body isn't as
beefy as Conway was, but it will have to do.
He also has on black
pants, black socks, and black shoes. Youve' seen these
and Amok is getting their money out of them, particularly those shoes.
I didn't have quite as much trouble with bowed soles on this pair (or
wolfie's), but there's still some deformation that makes it tough for
him to stand in deep poses.
A word of warning on those
planned on stripping down Frank to show you the body, since he has the
least amount of clothing and I figured it would be easy. Turns out, I
was wrong. Big surprise, eh?
The socks are glued to the
calves at three or four points around the leg. Really glued.
Really, REALLY glued. You'll have to probably cut them free
you want to remove them, and so I just gave you a shot of Frankie with
his shirt off. You get the idea.
The Werewolf has a bit
more complicated outfit, but there's still plenty of re-use. There's
those shoes and socks, as well as a blue version of the cuffed pants.
He's wearing a white shirt similar to the NOTLD zomibie, but not
identical. The collar isn't as oversized, but it does have
same real buttons.
Thankfully, neither the jacket
or the pants
have real buttons. There are small snaps instead, and the
has much better scaled fake buttons down the front. The jacket is a
smidge short at the waist and cuffs, but it's only a very minor nit.
The jacket has those cool knitted edges at the cuffs, collar
waist as well. It isn't a perfect rendition of the movie version, as
the stripes on the pockets look a bit too wide, and I believe there was
a white strip around the collar as well...and maybe the cuffs. But only
people that remember the film well - or google stills - will notice
these minor differences.
And yes, his socks are glued on
Fun Factor - **
While kids love monsters, I suspect that neither of these are likely to
speak to a generation raised on CGI. For those of us that
prefer makeup, they're ideal.
Value - **
The NOTLD zombie and Rondo Hatton were only $50, but these two troubled
teens have an SRP of $60. You can get them a bit cheaper than
that from my sponsors, and I do understand that the very low production
run effects the final price as well. But with the re-use of
things like the shoes, hands and bodies, as well as the lack of any
accessories, makes it tough to swallow the price increase.
Things To Watch Out For
As I mentioned earlier, I planned on stripping Frank down all the way
so you could see the body underneath. That hit a snag with
glued on socks, and trust me - they are REALLY glued on there.
if you cut them loose, you should still take a lot of care removing the
shoes. The ankles can come apart at the joint fairly easily, and the
shoes are on there very tight.
Overall - Werewolf ***;
The Werewolf has a good outfit, and the sculpt and paint are solid if
not outstanding. He really needs some accessories at this
point, but I'm cutting them a little slack due to the extremly low