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Hot Rod Herman and Lily - The Munsters
Diamond Select Toys

Hot Rod Munsters action figures by DST


Not all monsters in television and movies have been horrific. Some have been unintentionally hilarious, others designed for humor from the start.

One of the classic humor horror shows is the Munsters. The show only ran two years, from 1964 to 1966, and its ratings were hurt by another 60's classic, Batman. But the show did extremely well in syndication, and fostered later films, a spin-off show, comic books, and countless pop culture references.

While the show featured monstrous looking characters, the plots were generally standard family sitcom stuff. A case in point was "Hot Rod Herman", an episode in which Eddie, who believes his dad is the greatest driver in the world, signs Herman up for drag race. Herman can't let his son down, and sitcom hilarity ensues.

Diamond Select Toys has the license to produce figures based on the show, and have already done the family, including Herman, Lily, Grampa, Eddie and Marilyn. They are following that up with versions of Herman, Lily, Grampa and one of my favorites, Uncle Gilbert, all from the episode "Hot Rod Herman".

Tonight I'm covering Herman and Lily, and I'll follow up with the other two later this week. Like the other releases, there's actually two versions of these figures. There's a regular mass market retail version that's about $13, and a more expensive specialty retailer version (which is what I'm covering) that includes the pieces to build the staircase and Spot.

You can expect to pay around $20 for these versions, while the regular retailer versions are just $13.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Hot Rod Munsters action figures by DST
Hot Rod Munsters action figures by DST
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Hot Rod Munsters action figures by DST
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Hot Rod Munsters action figures by DST
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Hot Rod Munsters action figures by DST
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Hot Rod Munsters action figures by DST
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Hot Rod Munsters action figures by DST
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Hot Rod Munsters action figures by DST
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Hot Rod Munsters action figures by DST
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Hot Rod Munsters action figures by DST
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Hot Rod Munsters action figures by DST

Packaging - ***
DST has used their book shelf style packages here, which look great and allow for the large extra accessories.

I really like the use of photos from the show too, rather than simply using art. There's also nice graphics on the back showing the rest of the series and the BAF.

My only complaint is the number of twisties. When you have 7 or 8 to fight through, it can be pretty annoying.

Sculpting - Herman ***; Lily **1/2
These are 7" scale figures, with Herman coming in at a whopping 8 1/4", while Lily is just a little over 7".

I'm assuming both of these were done by DST regular Jean St. Jean, one of the best sculptors in the business today, particularly in this scale.

I think DST wanted a cartoony approach to these because of the humorous nature of the show. They aren't exact duplicates from the show, but rather slight caricatures.

In general, I'm fine with that, and I think they did a good job capturing Herman. I like the bulk and size of the figure, and the jacket has some very nice small detail work. The face is clearly Herman - no one will mistake him for anyone else, including the original Karloff Frankenstein Monster. This is all Fred Gwynne, and the goofy expression is just right.

I'm not as happy with Lily, but I wasn't happy with her the first time around either. This woman is pretty, but she's not Yvonne DeCarlo as Lily. Here's another example still. She's not way off in any single way, but there's enough subtle differences to throw off the overall appearance. Personally, I think it's in the internal scale - the size of the forehead, nose and eyes in relationship to each other is off.

I can appreciate how hard it is to capture a perfect likeness with a pretty woman. They don't have anything extreme to latch on to visually, and that can make the sculptors job that much more difficult.

Paint - Herman ***1/2; Lily ***
The paint work is solid, if a bit thick. We saw that with the first release too, and DST tends to go heavy with the washes on all their Universal Monsters as well.

It's reasonable on Herman, with some nice work on the lips, hair and eyes. The small details on the costume are nice, and the use of both matte and gloss finishes works pretty well. A more matte coverage on the shirt would have been smart, but that's a minor nit.

It's also worth noting that Herman has the 'Punk Rods' logo on the back of his jacket.

Lily is also solid work, but I'm not as thrilled with the heavy wash on the dress. While it's common to do that to give the white color some depth, I'm not digging it here. There's a few other issues, including the sloppy white line in her hair, and overall she's B work.

Articulation - Herman ***1/2; Lily **1/2
Lily is fairly articulated, but the long dress and long hair negates the usefulness of many of the joints.

The long hair takes away the ball jointed neck, and she can barely turn side to side.

The ball shoulders, cut biceps, pin elbows and cut forearms work pretty well, and do allow for multiple arm poses.

There is also a cut waist, and the legs have hinge hips, pin knees, cut thighs and pin ankles, but these are all tightly confined  by the dress. You can get the feet in the right spot to keep her standing, but there's no extreme stances happening.

Herman is much better. His ball jointed neck works fantastic, and the ball shoulders, cut biceps, pin elbows, and pin wrists allow for plenty of arm poses. There's a cut waist, hinge hips, cut thighs, pin knees, and pin ankles to round things out. All the joints are tight, and they are all very posable.

Accessories - ****
Here's where the specialty retail versions really shine. I love BAF's, or CAC's, or whatever you want to call it, and giving us enough extra pieces to build both the staircase AND Spot is a wonderful touch.

I'll cover the complete Spot BAF when I look at Grampa and Gilbert, but the addition of the handrails and posts with Lily, and the head of Spot, his flames, and a chunk of the stairs with Herman, really adds to the score in this category.

Herman also has his hat and goggles, both removable. They actually look pretty good on him as well, which was a pleasant surprise. He usually had the goggles up on the hat, although he did have them over his eyes as well. They work either way, or you can hang them down around his neck.

Lily has her unique umbrella, which fits nicely in her left hand, but is made from a rather soft plastic. I'm afraid it will wilt over time.

Both figures also have a small display base, minus any pegs. that is a hung of asphalt with the road line down the center. These stands are identical, and it would have been even nicer if they had unique shapes that line up together.

Fun Factor - Herman ***1/2; Lily ***
The show was never complicated or deep, but it was always fun. These figures are much the same, with some decent articulation and great accessories. If only we could get the dragster to go with them, but that's never going to happen.

Value - ***1/2
You're getting a ton of goodies here for around $20. Considering the price of most mass market toys - I just paid $17 each for much smaller Walking Dead figures with fewer accessories - these are a very solid deal.

The regular releases don't have as many extras, but at just $13 each they are an excellent bargain as well.

Things to Watch Out For -
Not a thing.

Overall - Herman ***1/2; Lily ***
There are a lot of older shows that are remembered fondly through rose colored glasses, and aren't nearly as good as people remember. But while the Munsters certainly wouldn't hold up against today's better sitcoms, it did have its moments, and was one of the better shows of the period.

I'm very happy with these figures overall. There's a few bumps here and there, and I do wish that Lily was a bit closer, but the overall quality is high and the BAF's have been very inventive and cool.

As I said earlier, I'll be covering the other two soon, as part of my October monster-fest!

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

Where to Buy -
Online options include these site sponsors:

- Big Bad Toy Store is at $22.

- Entertainment Earth has them for $22.

- Things From Another World has them for $22.50 each.

- or you can search ebay for a bargain.

Related Links -
I've covered the initial series, including Herman, Lily, Grampa, Eddie and Marilyn.

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

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Hot Rod Munsters action figures by DST


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

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