Universal Studios Monsters
Sideshow Toy
Included in set:
Dracula, Frankenstein, Vampyre, London After Midnight, The Wolfman, etc.

Sideshow Toy has quickly managed to carve themselves a market in creating collectibles based on movie licenses. One of the strengths of their growing collection is their 12 inch figure lines, especially the line based on Universal Studio Monsters. Scultped by a variety of artists, including Mat Falls, Oluf W. Hartvigson, and Philip Ramirez, this series shows off a great level of detail, style and quality in replicating the old monster classics.

The series includes such black-and-white horror classics as London after Midnight, Phantom of the Opera, Lugosi's Frankenstein, Chaney's Frankenstein, the Wolfman, and Shreck's Vampyre, to name a few. One of the crown jewels of the series has to be Bela Lugosi's Dracula, which is the first figure sanctioned by both Universal and the Lugosi's estate, and that doesn't happen too often. Among some of the more well-known names are other, less popular characters, such as Mask of the Red Death, Larry Talbot, Bela the Gypsy and Renfield.

I've seen the collectibles in both full color and in black-and-white renditions and both versions look excellent. The facial scultps are unbelievably well done and look amazingly close to the original actors. The costumes are painstakingly replicated and look marvelous. The full color costumes are quite nice, but I really was impressed by the faux "black-and-white" costumes, which are often done in grays, browns and blues washed out to look like they're straight from the big screen. Also, most of the collectibles come with a good degree of poseability. A lot of the figures have at least 20 points of articulation, so if you were to take them out of the box, you could pose them to mimick scenes from the films.

I will have to give Sideshow Toy credit - they've managed to come out of nowhere fast and create a series that movie fans should take note of. If you're a fan of the old horror films, you owe it to yourself to check these out. For more info, check out Sideshow Toy's website.

- - Kinderfeld

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