Ms. Black has been in a fair number of horror flicks in her career, including the recent House of 1000 Corpses where she played Mother Firefly, but for most of us, the role as a young woman terrorized by a Zuni Fetish Warrior doll was the one we remember best.
Actually, it was the best of the three stories in the movie, and was extremely creepy for 70's television. Lots of youngsters spent a sleepless night after this movie first aired.
Majestic has just released their reproduction of the Zuni doll, done in 1:1 scale. Hey, he was a doll in the movie, so why not? He runs
(har har) for around $40.
Packaging - **1/2
I actually picked this guy up last summer at SDCC, where he was a con exclusive. The regular release is different - I believe it's just the glow in the dark eyes and teeth on the exclusive - but it's a very minor difference. The packaging is also very slightly different, with just a sticker to indicate it's exclusivity.
The rest of the box is fairly good, although not outstanding. It's sturdy, and huge - you'll be pretty surprised how big this guy is. The graphics are alright, but I would have liked more movie stills or actual shots of the original doll itself, along with some shots of Karen Black.
Sculpting - ***
First, I might need to explain a little about what this is supposed to be.
A fetish doll or carving is an object that the bearer believes harbors the
spirit of someone or something, and provides special protections or
assistance. They were often used for improving hunting or health, and made
a connection between our world and the spirit world. While just about
every tribe in the world had some version of fetish dolls, the Zuni versions are
perhaps the most famous.
This is a warrior, who's spirit is trapped within. We learn in the
movie that if you are foolish enough to remove the talisman around his waist, he
comes back, and he's pissed.
That explanation will help with the style of sculpt a little better.
This isn't supposed to be an accurate looking person, nor is it supposed to have
a lot of detail. It should look like a wooden statue sculpted very roughly
by ancient warriors with primitive tools. And in that regard, Majestic has
done an excellent job.
This is a softer, chunkier sculpt than most folks are used to these days,
because that's what it's trying to emulate. They do a fairly good job of
capturing the look and feel, but there's still something not quite right.
The likeness is very close though - I just watched the movie again recently - so
they aren't losing any points because of my perception.
However, they do lose a bit due to the inability of the figure to stand
without the included display stand. The rounded bottoms of the feet don't
allow him to stay up, and that's too bad.
The other negative is in the hand sculpts. They aren't designed to hold
any accessories, or allow you to do anything with the spear. The spear is
permanently attached to the left palm, and while I realize the realism of the
doll was important, I would have preferred hands in a position that could hold
the spear in various ways.
One thing that does work really well is the rooted hair. It's kinked
and very tight, and looks great.
Paint - ***1/2
The exclusive version has glow in the dark eyes and teeth, but otherwise looks
the same as the regular version.
The paint work follows along the same theme as the sculpt - ancient tribe
work, not modern machine. That doesn't mean it's sloppy, just basic.
The body is painted in a black/brown wash that's intended to give the plastic
a more wooden appearance. It works better than I had expected, and is one
of the nicest features of the figure.
Articulation - **
He was originally a solid wooden doll, but once Karen Black removed the
talisman, he got pretty damn active. This version has some well hidden
articulation, but not a whole lot.
There's a jaw joint, but the range of motion is pretty restricted.
There's also shoulders and hips, which allow for some very basic posing.
Accessories - **
There's really two accessories, at least of the kind that can be removed.
There's the included display stand, which will be pretty important, and the
talisman around his waist. While it is removable, I haven't removed
it. No particular reason, I just haven't had the chance yet.
The spear is NOT an accessory, as it is permanently attached to the left hand.
The spear itself is pretty cool, but I was a bit disappointed that it couldn't
The skirt is removable, but I don't advise it. This doll naked is only
slightly less scary than this doll alive.
Fun Factor - *
This figure isn't designed for play, but for display. And I think
Karen Black already showed us all what happens when you play with the Zuni
Warrior fetish doll.
Value - **
This is the one place that the figures take a hit. They are large rotocast figures, and we've started to get
accustomed to pretty good pricing on that type of figure. Sure, the 18" Hellboy was $40, but he was huge, had accessories, and looked absolutely amazing.
I wouldn't expect the Zuni Warrior to be $10 like a Toybiz rotocast figure, but $25 seems a lot more likely. I'm betting the rooted hair was a major expense, and I also suspect that the run size on this doll was pretty low. Still, you'll want to shop around if possible for the best price.