Sideshow Toy 12" Frankenstein

Two reviews this week - both Sideshow Toy products!  The company is branching into some new areas, and this 12" figure is the first for them in this format.  While he's technically 12", he's actually about 13", as you'd assume is appropriate for Frankenstein's Monster to be in scale with other figures.  Most of this additional height is provided by his neck and his shoes.

Once again, it appears that the only store carrying them is Toys R Us, or the Sideshow Toy site itself (  They are around $20 at Toys R Us, but I ended up buying mine directly for Sideshow for an extra fin because my TRU is notoriously slow on things.

Packaging - ***1/2
There's only one flaw with this terrific packaging - they bubble packed the accessories on to the back of the insert.  The graphics are from the original poster and movie stills, and is the finest packaging that Sideshow has produced for any of the Universal Monsters.  For the MIB folks, you can leave him in the package and still appreciate it his great looks, but it would have been nice if you could also open it up and not destroy the insert.  All Sideshow needs to do is take a clue from Dragon Models and use a plastic insert to hold the accessories, and this would packaging would be perfect.

Sculpting - ***1/2
Twice in one week, Oluf Hartvigson does it again.  The half-lidded expression captures the movie Monster with precision, and the sculpting on the accessories is also excellent.  After seeing this figure, I'm really looking forward to the Buffy and Dracula 12" figures we've been promised.

Outfit - ***
There really isn't much to screw up here - the colors are approximately correct, although that's kind of hard to tell since it was a b/w movie.  The stitching and cloth quality are good, but I am disappointed in the boots.  The design is good, but the material is very soft, and the boots don't work with the provided stand.

Articulation - ***
While they didn't quite produce Dragon quality packaging, they did produce Dragon quality articulation.  Double jointed knees and elbows, along with cut joints at the forearms, and wrist, ankle, thighs, neck, shoulders, and waist, make this a very well articulated monster.

While were on the subject of the body however, I have my only major complaints.  First, he should be a lot beefier.  This is Frankenstein's Monster for crying out loud - he looks like a high school basketball player!  They've added some padding to the back of his jacket to add some size there, but overall his torso is far too thin, and his legs too long.

My second complaint is his neck - they've added a half inch of height here, but if you move the jacket out of the way you realize his neck is way too long.  The head joint isn't particularly useful either, and I can't bring his head forward on the neck, causing him to have his jaw a little to far up in the air.

Value - ***
Twenty bucks for this quality of a 12" figure is a very good deal.  Not fantastic, but certainly a much better deal than 90% of the current 21st Century or Hasbro 12" figures.

Accessories - ****
The Monster comes with a small stand for one foot, manacles, daisies, and a lab jar with a human brain.  This is an example of perfect accessories - interesting, well sculpted, well designed, and appropriate.  The manacles even open and close reliably.  The only thing I'd change is use an actual chain between the manacles rather than the plastic version.  But that's a very minor complaint.

Overall - ***1/2
As you can see from the photo at the left, this figure isn't merely an improvement over the Hasbro version from a couple years ago; it's as if Hasbro had employed the same artists that rendered the early cave drawings.  While I would have prefered a bulkier body, the Sideshow version is still fantastic, and I'm very happy that they've moved into the 12" realm, a market that is currently booming.  My wallet isn't happy however, but my wallet is never happy these days.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford

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