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Return of the Fly

The Fly is a classic horror flick, delving into the horrors of a sloppy lab experiment.  The story of the less than careful scientist who manages to merge himself with a fly while experimenting with a teleportation device was so popular in 1958, that one year later the sequel, Return of the Fly, was released.

15 years after his father turned himself into a bigger pest than usual, the son tries the same experiments.  Can you imagine his surprise when the same exact thing happens to him?  What are the odds?  I wonder if the two flies were related.

It wasn't just the fly that showed up in both films - Vincent Price lended his creepy talents to the films.  However, the second film was much lower budget than the first, even shot in black and white, rather than color.

But even with a lower budget, the human with a fly head looked much better in the second film.  It's larger, and more gruesome than the original film, and the effects down with the small fly with the human head are even better.

The theme was so popular that the 1986 remake was also fairly well received, and Mcfarlane Toys produced a Fly figure from that film several years ago as part of the Movie Maniacs line.

This sixth scale version of the original Return of the Fly monster is produced by Majestic Studios.  You can expect to pay $35 - $40, depending on the retailer.







Packaging - **1/2
The graphics are great, with well written text included on the back.  I would have prefered a fifth panel box, similar to Sideshow (and which Majestic did use for the Jeepers Creepers figure), and this isn't collector friendly packaging, since you'll have to destroy the insert to remove the figure.  Still, it's attractive and sturdy, so that's half the battle.

Sculpting - ***1/2
As I mentioned earlier, I prefer the Fly creature from the second film to the original, and I think it was a very smart choice to go with this version, even if the film wasn't quite as good.

The large head seems just about perfect in scale, and the detail work on the foot and hand is excellent.  The head sculpt is a little soft in detail, and the head is hollow of course, but overall I'm quite impressed.

The black, fuzzy, fly-like appearance of the forearm and chest is accomplished by using a black fuzzy material, and it works extremely well. But the coolest aspect of the figure itself is the fly hairs sticking out from the head, hand and foot.  These small hairs are done with a thing but stiff material, and while you know it's not a REAL fly, they feel pretty damn creepy nonetheless.

Paint - ***
There's good and bad when it comes to the paint operations.  The good is the green glow of the eyes, along with the use of both a flat back and a gloss black to give the head and appendages some extra detail they'd otherwise lack.

The bad news is simply that the head doesn't have quite as much variety in color that could have been possible.  The Fly from the show had some variations on the colors, especially around the mouth, that aren't here.

The colors are nice and consistent though, but there's no bleed or fuzzy edges since there's really just black.  The face work on the small fly is extremely good, with nice detail and clean lines, but the body suffers from a lack of color variety as well.

Articulation - ****
There's almost every joint here that you've come to expect from a great sixth scale figure.  While a couple were missing, the tightness of the joints and the great wrists boost this figure up to all four stars.

He has neck, chest, waist, ball jointed shoulders and hips, double jointed knees and elbows, ankles, cut thighs and similar wrists to Sideshow, which allow the hands to turn 360 degrees and move forward and backward.

The only joint really missing is the cut bicep, but I found very little that I couldn't do with the arms anyway.  The knees and hips were nice and tight, and he didn't have any trouble holding various poses with and without the base.

Accessories - ***
The Fly comes with two accessories - a display stand, and the small fly with the human head.

The display stand works great, and is very reminiscent of the stands that Sideshow used with their 8" Universal Monsters.  There's a broken flask on the floor, pouring a red liquid onto the stone floor, and a peg that you can use with his right (fly) foot.  While I didn't have any trouble standing the figure on it's own, the stand only makes that even easier.  It looks terrific, and fits the film and character perfectly.

The small fly has a sculpted human head and arm.  This fly is not sixth scale, but actual scale.  The sculpt is pretty good, although I don't remember him having this rather dopey look on his face.

Outfit - ***1/2
Okay, so it's just a guy in a suit, but the suit is very well done, right down to the metal belt buckle.

There's the white shirt, with a velcro closure below the chest, and full sleeves.  There's the black jacket and matching pants, extremely well tailored and looking sharp.  One foot has his shoe, while the belt fits nicely and has that great metal buckle.  The suit coat has snaps on the front with false buttons, and everything has great stitching and quality.

Value - ***
The sixth scale market seems pretty well set on the $30 - $40 range for most short run figures.   Sideshow is starting to bump that price up to $45, and occasionally Dragon and bbi do as well, but for the most part the range is the same.  Therefore, the expected price of around $35 or so for this figure isn't too far out of line.  With this level of detail and accessories, thirty bucks is just about right, but that extra five bucks isn't killer.

Overall - ***1/2
I was pleasantly surprised by how well done this figure is.  The photos I'd seen didn't really do it justice, and the final production figure turned out better than I had expected.  He looks great standing alongside the other classic monsters, and the scale is pretty good for the most part.  He's a little tall in comparison to some of the early Sideshow stuff, like the first anorexic Frankenstein, but overall he fits in well.  He's about the same at shoulder height, and while his noggin is huge, it's actually supposed to be just like that.

He'll go great with the rest of your monster display, and is certainly a well known and easily recognizable character that will round out the display.  This figure (and the Jeepers Creepers figure) are part of the Film Freaks line from Majestic, and I'm looking forward to see what other licenses they pick up in this series.

Where to Buy - 
These will be available at most comic shops, the Sam Goody family of stores - Samy Goody, Media Play, Suncoast - and Tower Records stores.

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Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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