King Kong!

If you look through my list of reviews over the last 8 months, you'll notice very few McFarlane figures.  Sure, there were the Austin Powers figures, but not much else.  I bought everything they produced at one point, but I began to get away from them as the Spawn lines got more repetitive and less unique.

However, they still do the finest movie tie-in figures out there, and the Movie Maniacs concept is an excellent one.  It looks like their choices are starting to get a little off the original intent - I certainly wouldn't classify Shaft or Edward Scissorhands in the same ballpark as Jason and Freddy - but it's nice to see a place where single figures that couldn't support an entire line by themselves have a chance to see the light of day.

King Kong is just such a figure.  Certainly, you couldn't do an entire line off that single movie, but by integrating him into the Movie Maniacs series, we've been afforded the chance to get a great figure of a great movie monster.

Sculpts - ***1/2
Excellent work - obviously McToys strong point.  They don't disappoint here either, with a overall sculpt that is very true to the source material.  The head sculpt is dead on, but don't overlook the excellent detail on the rest of the big ape's body.  The shackles themselves could have been a little more detailed I believe, but overall this is a perfect example at McFarlane sculptors at their best.  The real chains attached to each of the cuffs is also a very nice and much appreciated touch.  Also of note is the paint work on the eyes - they've used a glossy coat here, making them appear much more life like.


Packaging - **
Less than thrilling, to say the least.  Graphics aren't too exciting, and the packages don't appear to stand up to well to shelf wear.  Most I've seen are already damaged coming out of the cases.  Add to that the fact that the packaging engineer on this one went absolutely nuts on twisty ties and you've got a nightmare.  They didn't just use too many - they even glued many of them to the cardboard!  I have no idea why they would feel the need to glue these closed, but if you don't have a pair of wire cutters handy, expect to spend a lot of time freeing this guy.

Articulation - ***
This is an area where McFarlane is hit and miss.  Some figures have useful, ingenious articulation.  Others (can you say Alice Cooper?) aren't much more than a hunk of plastic.  Kong is somewhere in the middle.  He has seven points - neck, shoulders, one elbow (cut joint), waist and hips.  Having a cut joint on the other elbow, along with wrist articulation, would have really helped, but still, it's not bad.  As usual, the unique sculpt causes problems with the articulation - poor Kong can't raise his arms above his shoulders because they will run into his head.  But overall, this is fairly well articulated figure.

Accessories - ***
Fay Wray is one of the accessories, and if she was it they'd have scored mighty low in this category.  Last time I saw the movie, she was blonde - was there some sort of licensing issue, perhaps her estate is still in control of her likeness and didn't want this figure to appear like her?  I don't know, but since she's pretty much just a little piece of plastic without much personality, on her own it would have been a major disappointment.  Oh, and yes, it was in black and white, but trust me, she was a blonde. 

Ah, but she's not the only accessory.  We are also treated to a terrific base, again very true to the source material.  The base is extremely sturdy, well designed, and looks terrific.  Forget Miss Wray - the stand is the real beauty here.

Value - ***1/2
While we expect McToys to produce fantastic sculpts, an excellent value is not something I usually associate with them.  However, this time the do a terrific job.  This monster cost $12.99 at my local Toys R Us, and he is one hefty, well built chunk of monkey.  This figure is one of the very best values McFarlane has produced in a long time.

Overall - ***
This is the nicest figure McFarlane has produced in awhile, and perhaps the nicest so far in the Movie Maniacs line.  I was pleasantly surprised to see this level of quality and detail at this price point, and it has me anticipating the ultra cool Where the Wild Things Are figures even more!

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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