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Uncle Gilbert, Spot and Grampa - The Munsters
Diamond Select Toys

Uncle Gilbert Munsters action figure by DST


Last week I looked at the new Hot Rod Herman and Lily Munster, based on their look from the classic episode "Hot Rod Herman". There's two more figures in this series - Grampa and Uncle Gilbert.

Grampa was the pit man, Herman's mechanic and number two for the big race. Dressed in a similar racing outfit, it's a classic look for the character.

But for me, it's Uncle Gilbert that is the highlight of this wave. Since the Munsters was produced by a Universal owned company, they had the ability to use the actual makeup style and characters from the classic Universal Monster films. My favorite from the old films was the Creature from the Black Lagoon, so the Munsters version of him - Uncle Gilbert, get it? - has been high on my list of wants for years.

Another terrific aspect of this second Munsters series is the inclusion of a BAF, which is really part build a figure, part build a diorama. If you pick up all four specialty retailer versions of the figures, you get the parts to build the staircase and Spot, Eddie's pet who lived there.

These specialty market versions will run you around $20 - $22 each, depending on the retailer. There are also regular editions with all the same accessories EXCEPT the staircase pieces, and they retail for just $13.
Click on the photo below for a life size version
Uncle Gilbert Munsters action figure by DST
Uncle Gilbert Munsters action figure by DST
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Uncle Gilbert Munsters action figure by DST
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Grampa Munsters action figure by DST
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Grampa Munsters action figure by DST
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Uncle Gilbert Munsters action figure by DST
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Grampa Munsters action figure by DST
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Uncle Gilbert Munsters action figure by DST
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Grampa Munsters action figure by DST
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Uncle Gilbert Munsters action figure by DST
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Uncle Gilbert Munsters action figure by DST

Packaging - ***
The now very standard book shelf packages look great, and are very nice for the MOCer. You can see the figure quite clearly, and the creature photo on the spline looks great. There's info on the rest of the series on the back as well, and while there's more twisties than I like, overall it's a solid design.

Sculpting - Gilbert ****; Grampa ***1/2
Both of these sculpts look terrific, but I'm going to naturally love Uncle Gilbert a tad more. Hey, it's the Creature!

That's not to take anything away from Grampa. I love the expression, and they've done a great job incorporating the hat into the head sculpt. There's some nice work on the hair as well, with very fine stranding.

The coat does stick out a bit too far over the shoulders, making it too obvious that the arms are not connected. The arms and shoulders don't blend well.

Uncle Gilbert has the classic Creature look, with a nice texture on the fishy skin. The coat blends a bit better with the arms than on Grampa. The hands and feet look great as well, and the overall appearance is striking.

These figures are done in an 8" scale, and Gilbert comes in at just that hieght. Grampa is a little shorter, as you'd expect. Check the group shot to see how the scale works between characters.

Paint - ***1/2
The paint work is very good, and that's due in large part to DST backing off on the extreme washes.

There's still some here, most notably on the white lab coat and white scarf. But even there it's fairly minor and appropriate.

Grampa's face is clean, with sharp eyes and a nice hairline. The striping of the finely sculpted hair looks good too, and while I think there could be some more small painted details, like the buttons on the jacket, the overall effort is well above average AND an improvement over the first series.

The skin of Gilbert has a slightly glossy wet look, and the eyes are very interesting. They are more than just glassy - they have that look that fish eyes have, more like jelly than just a wetness. In person, it's pretty impressive.

Like Grampa, he needs a few more paint details on the clothing and the hat brim is a little sloppy, but there's not a lot to complain about overall.

Articulation - ***
Both figures have solid articulation, but the long coats restrict a lot of it.

Both have ball jointed necks, ball shoulders and cut biceps, pin elbows, and pin wrists. This allows for some decent arm poses, and the tilt of the head gives some personality to any stance.

The legs have the same style of articulation as Herman, but with less mobility due to the coats. There's the hinge hips, cut thighs, pin knees and pin ankles, but all that really just allows you to get the sweet spot to keep them standing up straight.

Accessories - ****
Each figure has a couple of their own accessories, plus the extras necessary to build the staircase.

Uncle Gilbert just has his hat, although the scarf is removable if you pop the head off. The hat fits pretty well, and looks decent on his goofy shaped head. He has two of the critical pieces of the stairs themselves as well, the bottom and top.

Grampa has his goggles, plus a second right hand. The goggles fit nicely over his hat and eyes, and look great in place. The hat is NOT removable.

The right hand swaps pretty easily, or at least the hand comes off easily enough. Getting the extra hand back on can be tough, but with a little hot water, you should be able to do it.

This second hand is holding his stogie, and it actually looks like a cigar, not some weird stick.

Grampa also has the two large side sections of the staircase. Pop all these parts together with the parts you picked up with Herman and Lily, and you get the staircase diorama with Spot inside. Spot's mouth is articulated, and he includes two flames that can be placed inside his nostrils. The stairs open and close pretty cleanly too, and the scale of the stairs in relation to the figures is very good.

The paint and sculpt on this diorama is excellent, and it's now at the top of my list for best BAF of the year.

Fun Factor - ***
With the cool accessories and a classic look, these are actually solid toys. The coats restrict the articulation a bit, but they still can be a lot of fun.

Value - ***1/2
Figures in this scale are pretty far and few these days, and they rarely have this sort of cool accessories. Nobody loves paying twenty bucks for a figure, but when you get a great BAF like this, you are at least getting your money's worth.

And if you're not interested in the BAF, the regular release figures are just $13, which is a fantastic price for figures in this scale.

Things to Watch Out For -
When you're putting the staircase together, I'd suggest not doing the hand rails til last. That seemed to be the easiest way to get the various parts to snap together tightly.

Overall - ***1/2
This is a terrific set overall - I just wish we had the dragster in scale to go with them. Still, you put these four together on the shelf and everyone will recognize who they are and what episode they are from.

Uncle Gilbert is my particular favorite, and as a Creature fan I had to have him, whether or not I picked up the rest. This is a classic example of the character, and there really aren't that many unusual versions out there.

The real icing on the cake is the staircase and Spot BAF, a well designed, good looking diorama piece that works excellent with the earlier wave of family figures. Put Eddie next to the stairs with Spot's collar and chain, and you'll have a great display.

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

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 just covered the other two figures in this series, Hot Rod Herman and Lily. I've also covered the initial series, including Herman, Lily, Grampa, Eddie and Marilyn.

Discussion:
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Spot Munsters action figure by DST


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

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