2011
14.10

Velcome to vhat’s sure to be a very morbid review. Please leave your torches and garlic at the door and enter, if you dare..

This is one of the TRU exclusive sets for the second wave of Universal Monsters Minimates. Only one wave will be released each year just in time for Halloween. While the other figures in this wave will be available at your LCS this set will only be available at Toys R Us.


Packaging

The packaging is the blister card pack showcasing the figures and accessories. The pack has an insert with the Universal Monster’s logo . The back shows the other figures available in the series with short bio of each of the two characters included. The TRU exclusive sticker is on the front.


The Figures

Frankenstein’s Monster

Based off Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein, the 1931 Universal Studios film stared Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s monster. There were quite a few changes/additions to the film (vs. what was in the book) and much of the modern “Frankenstein” lore comes based off this movie (such as the hunchback assistant and the now famous bolts on his neck). Both the original book and 1931 movie are great classics; if you haven’t read/seen them then you really should check them out.

Surprisingly these two characters are in the second wave of the Universal Monsters minimates instead of the first. They are without a doubt the two most famous of all the Universal Monsters (and monsters in general). Hopefully these heavy hitters will make this wave successful for DST/AA and we can look forward to wave 3 next year (oooooh Mummy!!!!!).

So on to the figure, Frankenstein’s monster. Now just to set things straight; Frankenstein is the name doctor that created the monster, not the actual monster. Like the figures from last year’s TRU exclusive Wolf Man & Creature from the Black Lagoon set this figure is done in various degrees of black and white shades just as you would have seen in the original film. Being a big fan of the B&W set from last year it is nice to see the tradition continue this wave too.

The monster’s head is all one sculpted piece. It is very well done with a tremendous amount of detail all around and good paint apps. Very recognizable and true to the original down to the raised sculpted brow and flat topped hair; you’ll even notice the little white patch on his left temple (from being grazed by an axe if I remember the movie correctly). So, looking at his head what famous feature is missing? The bolts! But wait, pop off his head and you’ll notice a couple of things. First off the peg hole is not as deep as standard figures so his head sits higher. Also there is a small plastic ring on the neck peg and that ring has what appear to be two little bumps on the side; could this be his bolts? Well they could be, but this little piece also acts as a spacer between the torso and the torso cover so the cover sits higher too. This look helps to extend his height but doesn’t make him appear too awkward or out of normal human proportions, he looks as he does in the movie just a very tall bulky person. I still miss seeing the bolts.

The torso cover is a very simple piece and matches nicely to the characters simple outfit design. Underneath is a black blank torso. The arms continue with the black color to the point just above his wrists, and then you see the dull grey look of his skin. The visual effect of this reinforces the monster’s height as it looks like he is wearing a small shirt for a figure his size. The legs continue with the black color as do his boots. The boots in particular are a new sculpted piece with the extra high base.

He doesn’t come with any accessories. For customizers he does have some potential. The boots are nice new piece. With a repaint he could easily become Solomon Grundy.

In conclusion, he’s very faithful to the original character. Nice design and attention to details.

MMC Score – 8 out of 10


 

Dracula

Dracula is perhaps the most famous of all the things that go bump in the night and this figure is based off the 1931 Universal film “Dracula” starring Bela Lugosi. For many Lugosi’s portrayal is widely regarded as the definitive Dracula and if you haven’t seen his slow …. spooky performance …. you are truly missing out.

What’s a vampire without his fangs? The face is done well with good details: distinct eyebrows, fangs sticking out; but what is with the complacent expression? This is Dracula, come on give us a little snarl.  I would have liked to see an alternate expression for him on the back of his head. The colors are again the shades of white and black (well mainly white and black). The face and hands are a bright pasty white which really looks good on him. The hairpiece works well too, with the pointy ears and slicked back look.

Dracula has a torso cover with attached cape; it’s a decent piece with good attention to details: his medallion, buttoned vest, folds in the cape; but even though it’s close to the main torso it makes his chest seem bulkier than needed. Had we just had the cape with the rest of the detail on his torso I think it would have looked better. That aside the cape part is really nice; it has a two-tone look with the black on the back with lighter grey shade underneath. This is a nice touch since you can see the figure better from the front without all the black colors blending together. It also is sculpted well at the shoulders to allow more arm movement. The rest of the figure: arms, legs, feet are a black blank.

He doesn’t come with any accessories. For customizing you got the torso cover and Drac’s head; I’m sure it’s a short easy step to other vampire customs (Eddie Munster can’t be far behind).

In conclusion, this is a good figure. A better expression would have made him stand out more, but overall I’m sure Lugosi would have been proud.

MMC Score – 7 out of 10

Review and pictures by Lurch77

Universal Monsters Minimates at Luke’s Toy Store

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User Rating for Minimate #1:
Rating: 8.8/10 (12 votes cast)
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User Rating for Minimate #2:
Rating: 9.2/10 (13 votes cast)
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