12" Leatherface
Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Sideshow Toys excited collectors with their announcement this year that they'd be producing a series of 12" figures called Modern Horror.  Based on all your favorite slashers, the first four figures have now hit collector's paws.  The first two were released before Halloween - Freddy from the Nightmare On Elm Street films (reviewed here), and Jason from the Friday the 13th series (reviewed here).

The next two have just been released, and include Michael Myers from Halloween (reviewed next week), and tonight's review, Leatherface from the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  Leatherface, Jason and Freddy are already sold out at the Sideshow site, but I have some other suggestions at the end of the review for picking them up on-line.

Also available right now is the Furnace diorama to go along with Freddy (reviewed here), and they have pre-orders up for the new versions of Freddy and Jason from the Freddy Vs. Jason film.  The special versions with unique accessories (of which there were only 500) are already sold out, but the regular figures are still available.  They have been selling through extremely well for Sideshow though, so if you're really interested in these, I'd suggest pre-ordering from either Sideshow or your favorite retailer.

And if you prefer the new version of Leatherface from this fall's remake, don't fret - Sideshow is doing a more modern version as well.  You can check out the initial photos, but the preorders aren't up yet.

Packaging - ***1/2
The photo art on the modern horror boxes is great, and most amazing of all is that it's from the figures, not the film.  They do a great job with mood setting graphics, and decent text.  My only complaint with this box is that the included stand is bubble sealed against the insert, making it not quite collector friendly perfection.

Sculpting - ***1/2
The majority of the sculpting here is in the head sculpt.  And I have to say that I'm quite impressed with this figure.  The face looks very close to the source material, or at least as close as you can tell from the dark, quick cut scenes.  The work around the eyes and mouth was critical to giving the impression of a second skin over the face, and they pulled it off well for a single sculpted piece.

The sculpting on the hands is pretty standard for Sideshow, and they hold the nicely sculpted accessories just fine.

My only issue with the sculpt that pulls it down slightly is the mouth expression.  Remember, I said it is very close to the movie, not exact.  It may simply be seeing this in reality rather than on the big screen, but the outer mouth seems to be in too much of a wide grin.  It's quite possible that I'm just forgetting it, but I don't remember the character's mask having quite this wide of a mouth opening, or at least not in quite this expression.

A final area that did work quite well is the rooted hair.  It has just the right wild look, and actually looks better to me than the prototype did.

Paint - ***
The cleanliness and general quality of the paint application is very good, but there were a couple issues for me.

The best work here is around the mouth, eyes and stitches, where there's lots of detail and they captured the realism quite nicely.

The two areas that aren't quite as good is the skin tone of the mask, and the blood splatters.  No one seems to do blood quite as well as McToys, and it may also be the large scale of the figures - even the blood on McToys 12" and 18" figures doesn't look as good as the smaller figures.  The splatters work alright, but aren't exceptionally realistic.

The skin tone on the face also is a little off.  Compare the final product with the photo on the front of the box.  The version on the box looks more like dying skin, while the final product has a little too much wash.  Again, it's not terrible, but it does detract a little from the overall appearance.

Articulation - ***
This figure has all the ultra-cool Sideshow articulation - neck, ball jointed shoulders and hips, double jointed elbows and knees, cut biceps, cut forearms, cut thighs, ankles, and the special Sideshow wrists.  He can certainly hold as many poses as the actual actor ever could, and probably wouldn't be stupid enough to try to jump a barbwire fence with running chainsaw.

I did have a tough time with the ankles though.  Mine are quite loose, and that means that other than a standard standing pose, he has a hard time maintaining a pose for too long.  He may be a figure you find yourself using the included stand with.

Accessories - ***
There are two main accessories, plus the stand.  There's the required chainsaw, and the hammer he used in the film.

Both accessories look great, especially the chainsaw.  The blood splatters here work a little better than the did on the figure itself, and he can hold either quite nicely.

The handle on the chainsaw did break pretty quickly though, and at this price point, two accessories is a little light.

The stand looks good, and has the TCM logo on the base.  If you end up with weak ankles, you might find the need to use the stand, and it does work well.

Outfit - ***
The outfit is pretty basic, but works fine.  There's the shirt, tie, pants and butcher's apron.  All have blood splatters to some degree, and the tailoring and fit are excellent.  They've padded the front of the standard Sideshow body to give him some heft, but the arms look skinny when compared to the fatter body.  That's a flaw with the short sleeved shirt, but they were constrained somewhat by the most commonly recognized outfit.

Value - **1/2
I'm grading this at the standard Sideshow $40 price.  Get it down around $35 and that's a little better, and $30 and under and you can add another half star.  But forty is a fairly high price point, and while it is a licensed figure, it still is about $5 or so higher than I'd like.

Overall - ***
Of the four figures released so far, Leatherface falls somewhere in the middle of the pack.  He's not my favorite - that would be Freddy - nor is he my least favorite.  That would be poor Michael Myers, whose review is yet to come.  If you're a big fan of the original film, you'll want to pick this up though, and the set of figures really do look great together.  Add in the new versions of Freddy and Jason, and this will be a great display set.

Where to Buy - 
The Sideshow site is already sold out of these. On-line options include:

Aisle Sniper has Leatherface available right now for $35.

- Killer Toys has the Leatherface for $35 as well.

- Okay, so Red Planet Toys doesn't carry this particular figure, but if you're a sixth scale collector, you should check them out for Dragon, bbi and other stuff.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2003, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Hosted by 1 Hour