Universal Monsters Series 3

The third in the series of Universal Monsters figures produced by Sideshow toys contains three classics - The Invisible Man, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and The Metaluna Mutant (from This Island Earth).  Currently hitting Toys R Us stores, I picked these up on-line at the Toys R Us website.  They came packed very well, each one in its own box, with little damage to the cardbacks.
Sideshow Toys does it again - no, that's not quite right.  They've surpassed even their previous figures with this series!  These figures are beautiful, with some terrific sculpts, paintwork, articulation and even their quality has improved.

I was already looking forward to these, but when I opened the boxes up from Toys R Us today, they knocked me off my feet!

Packaging - ***1/2
More flamboyant than past attempts, the packages include a picture on the front of the original character, along with the movie title.  The back gives a brief description of the movie and the character as well.  On top of that, there's no tape or twisty ties - it looks like Sideshow has made some terrific improvements to the packaging!

Paint Application - ****
Smokin'!  Nice selections in colors, clean application - it all leads to the perfect match with the excellent sculpts.

Sculpting - ****
They've done a fantastic job on all three characters, truly capturing the look and feel.  In particular, the Metaluna Mutant is amazing, and the detail on the Invisible Man incredible.  I can't possibly say enough about the work on this series.

Articulation - ***1/2
I've picked on Sideshow in the past for two reasons - first, their articulation is often useless, since there are few poses you can put the figures in.  The second is on quality, with cheap joints being used at the elbows and wrists.

They've corrected the quality problem quite a bit - the elbow joints now use a pin that goes all the way through the arm, similar to the knees, and it feels like the wrists are much sturdier.  Also, for most of the joints there is actually a point, and although there are still a couple useless ones, overall they've really improved.

(below, the Hunchback with his accessories and without)



Accessories - ***
Probably the only weakness in this series, the accessories are not what they have been in the past.  While the Hunchback is good, with a sharp base, purple robe, crown and sceptre, the Mutant has only the base, which lacks in detail (as it probably should).  Also, the two 'handrails' behind the monster don't fit well into the holes in the base.  They are quite loose, and tend to lean because of it.  The books that come with the Invisible Man aren't bad, but not particularly exciting.  The additional head is terrific though, and helps make up for the other lackluster accessories. 

Overall - ****
I can't recommend these three figures enough.  If you've enjoyed the previous two series, they are an absolute must - even if you haven't they deserve a look.  Fans of classic horror films will be happy, and will be looking forward to series 4, due out in the fall.

For more info, check the Sideshow Toys website at

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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