Category Archives: Action Figures

The First Officially Licensed Vampirella Figure is Coming

Executive Replicas Gives Us An Amazing 1:6 Scale Action Figure

Vampirella-Action-Figure

The rivers of Drakulon used to flow with blood, keeping the Vampiri a thriving race. Their world dying, Earthlings chanced to crash upon their planet, their veins rich with life-giving blood. Vampirella, the princess of Drakulon, piloted the crashed spaceship back to Earth, where she spends her life defending Earthlings from evil vampires, such as Dracula, who had migrated to Earth years before.

The epic story, created by our own Forrest J Ackerman for Warren Publishing in 1969,  has become ingrained in popular culture. Now, nearly 50 years later, Vampirella is so popular that Dynamite Entertainment with Executive Replicas and Phicen Ltd. are releasing this Vampirella Asian Version 1:6 Scale Action Figure. Measuring in at 12-inches tall, with all the sexy detail of Vampirella herself, this figure is amazing.  Officially called the Vampirella Again Version, you’ll notice her face has a distinctly Asian look and there’s no word on whether a caucasian version is planned in the future. Personally, I think she looks great and I’m perfectly okay with Vampi having an Asian look – all in all, she looks amazing!

First-ever officially licensed Vampirella action figure.

Vampirella Officially Licensed Action Figure

Details:

The Vampirella Asian Version 1:6 Scale Action Figure includes the following:

  • Height: 12 inches
  • Articulation: 26 points
  • Retail Price: $144.99
  • Available: July 2017 (Pre-orders open now at EntertainmentEarth)

It is every bit as enchanting as it needs to be to make her fans happy. Vampirella comes to life in her Phicen seamless body with stainless steel armature, in her one-piece bikini costume. She has three pairs of interchangeable hands, her knee-high boots, a removable cape, and more accessories. What really captured my attention is the seamless articulation, which is trademarked by Phicen.  Having 26 points of seamless articulation is stunning and goes a long way to explain the high retail price.

Gallery:

(click individual images for full size image)

Vampirella-Action-Figure-Feature-Image

Pre-orders are open now from Entertainment Earth

Check out more Executive Replicas products here.

Kenner’s Coolest Controversy: 1979 Alien Action Figure

Celebrate Alien Day With The Kenner 1979 Alien Action Figure

Kenner Alien Action Figure in Box 1979Kenner Alien Action Figure 1979 Box

So, 20th Century Fox has created a new Monster Kid holiday with the  first ever ALIEN DAY on April 26th, and it’s being billed as a global celebration of the ALIEN franchise. The day will be marked by all sorts of special festivities and product releases, not the least of which is a 20-city double feature re-release of ALIEN and ALIENS – at the screening of ALIENS at New York City venue The Town Hall, complete with a  Sigourney Weaver appearance.

I was 11 eleven years old when Alien hit the theaters and, still riding the Sci-Fi high of Star Wars two years earlier, I convinced my parents to let me and my little brother see the movie at the theater.  This was a big deal — I had never seen an R-rated movie and my Mom walked us to the ticket booth, bought our tickets and gave permission to the theater employee for us to see the movie.  Then she left…. Needless to say, Alien made a lasting impression on my brother and I!

It’s impossible to talk about Alien 1979 without spending some time on one of the most controversial – and coolest – monster toys of the 1970s.   Kenner was still riding high on their Star Wars license and decided to jump on the next big Sci-Fi franchise to come along.  There was only one problem: Alien was an R-rated movie and the creature was terrifying!

Here’s Kenner’s original TV commercial:

Despite Kenner’s best efforts, and a beautifully designed toy, sales were poor.  Parents thought it was too scary and raised a ruckus.   Kids, most of whom didn’t have parents like mine, couldn’t see the movie and thus weren’t bugging parents for the toy.  Most kids didn’t even know what the monster looked like.  The result; retail sales were bad and Kenner canceled the rest of the planned Alien lineup.

Kenner 1979 Alien Action Figure Face

Kenner Alien 1979 Action Figure Instructions

Collectors Notes

This action figure is a collector’s collectible.  The simple fact that this toy didn’t sell well means there are less available to collect.  Combine that with the fact the Alien franchise has continued to grow in popularity through the years and you get the perfect combination of high demand and low supply.  Scarcity is the main driver of price in collectibles and it is almost impossible to get one of these action figure in-box and good condition for below $1,000.  Not bad considering it cost $ in 1979.  Loose figures are much more common, but even they command $500+ in good condition,

Several of these toys – both boxed and loose – are currently available at eBay, Check out Current eBay auctions here.

2014 Gentle Giant Jumbo Alien

Gentle Giant released a 24″ Jumbo figure scaled off of the original 18″ figure Kenner for Christmas 2014.  The likeness and attention to detail are terrific, all the way down to the packaging:

Gentle Giant 24" Jumbo Alien Action Figure

With a retail price of $499, this isn’t a toy, but it is probably less expensive than a 1979 Kenner Alien in good condition!  You can still get the Gentle Giant figure at retail pricing at the usual places:  EntertainmentEarth.

I found one for $283 + shipping at Amazon which is as reasonably priced as I’ve seen in quite  a while.  Click here to see it on Amazon.

With Ridley Scott‘s Alien prequel Alien: Covenant  headed our way in the near future, there is little reason to believe the Kenner Alien action figure will do anything but continue to increase in demand and value over time.

Of course, commerce is the driving force behind our new favorite holiday, so there are a whole bunch of new collectibles headed our way on ALIEN DAY.

To see some of the new merchandise, check out EntertainmentEarth’s Alien store.

Resources:

FUNKO REACTION UNIVERSAL MONSTERS – RONDO AWARDS 2015 BEST TOY NOMINEE

Collecting the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category – Part 10

Funko ReAction Universal Monsters Collection

This is the final installment in my review of the 2014 nominees for the Best Toy, Model, Collectible category of the Rondo Hatton Horror Awards and we finish with the most classic of all monsters –the Funko ReAction Universal Monsters.Funko ReAction Universal Monsters

In 2013,  Funko and  Super 7 partnered to bring Kenner’s unreleased 1979 Alien prototypes to market.  It wasn’t long afterwards that Funko announced a full “ReAction” line of retro 3 ¾” action figures based on characters from 1980’s cult, sci-fi and horror cinema: Escape From New YorkBack to the FutureTerminator, a Rocketeer figure, iconic horror villains as well as the Universal Monsters.  These news collections were designed as an homage to classic Kenner Star Wars action figures of the 1970s and early 80s.

Controversy

The retro style has been a bit controversial as these figures have been panned by some for the lack of detailed likeness to the actors/character.  Funko even extended that feeling of “vintage-ness” through the packaging, which is the same size as the original Kenner packaging from the late ’70s /early ’80s. This has also met with some push-back by collectors who find the side-panel style packaging a challenge to display.

Reis O’Brien, Funko’s head designer of the ReAction line, explained the design inspiration for these figures in this quote from the FunkoFanatic Reaction Forum:

We did originally look towards the first run of Kenner Star Wars figures for inspiration, especially when we first got started, so that’s why you’ll see that our Terminator and Snake Plissken sort or mimic that “softness”, but as we went on, things got a little more detailed, a little closer to ROTJ figures, which you’ll see in the Universal Monsters and Horror lines. Basically, we think there’s a sweet spot somewhere in there that we keep trying to hit. But Kenner remains our main inspiration as opposed to, say, Remco or Mego. But they have their charm, too.

I buy that logic fully and think that they nailed the retro styling of the characters.  I particularly like the packaging, though finding them in pristine condition on store pegs has also been a frustration for collectors.

Funko ReAction-Universal Monsters Packaging Back of Card

There are a lot of great reviews on these figures already published and, frankly, from folks with greater expertise then me.  For your reading please, here’s a great review from one of my go-to resources for collectible toys,  Brian Heller at Plaid Stallions.

Here’s the Funko ReAction Universal Monsters collection, in order of theatrical appearance:

Funko ReAction Phantom of the Opera

Funky ReAction Phantom of the Opera

from The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

Funko ReAction Dracula

Funko ReAction Dracula

from Dracula (1931)

Funko ReAction Frankenstein's MonsterFunko ReAction Frankenstein’s Monster

from Frankenstein (1931)

Funko ReAction The Mummy

Funko ReAction The Mummy

from The Mummy (1932)

Funko ReAction The Invisible Man

Funko ReAction Invisible Man

from The Invisible Man (1933)

Funko ReAction Bride of Frankenstein

Funko ReAction Bride of Frankenstein

from The Bride of Frankenstein (1932)

Funko ReAction Wolf Man Funko ReAction Wolf Man

from The Wolf Man (1941)

Funko ReAction Creature from the Black Lagoon

Funko ReAction Creature from the Black Lagoon

from The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

Product Details

  • 3 ¾” action figures
  • Five points of articulation
  • bubble photo card
  • MSRP: $9.99 each

Chase Variants

Like all variants, forced scarcity is either the bane or the blessing of the completist collector.  The glow variants  were limited to one figure per every six cases and the clear Invisible Man was an Entertainment Earth exclusive.

Funko ReAction Glow VariantFunky ReAction Mummy Glow in the Dark

Funko-ReAction-Invisible-Man-Clear-Variant

Entertainment Earth exclusive                                    Invisible Man Transparent Variant

Funko ReAction Creature from the Black Lagoon

Creature from the Black Lagoon Glow Variant


Where to Buy Funko ReAction Universal Monsters Collection

These figures are available near and far, so the real goal is finding them at the best price.  They have been in the market long enough that they are widely available on secondary resale sites like eBay, but prices have increase because they are still available at retail prices in most stores.  This makes it a buyers market for these figures.

EntertainmentEarth

Amazon offers a full set of figures:

  •  8 figure set includes Dracula, Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Wolfman, Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Phantom of the Opera, Bride of Frankenstein, and the Invisible Man
  • Numerous sellers competing on price, with lowest being $75.48 shipping included ($9.44 per figure)

EBay

Good availability of the Mummy Glow-in-the-Dark Variant starting at $14.99

Best Price I’ve found on the Clear Invisible Man Variant — listed at $9.99 with 7 in stock

Lots of Glow Creature variant figures as well, starting at $19.99


Summary

While I appreciate that modern toy collectors have gotten used to incredible like-like sculpts, the fact that this line is inspired by 1970’s and 80’s toys is central to the design style.  My Han Solo figure from Kenner didn’t really look like Harrison Ford in 1978 and I didn’t care; I loved it completely and totally.

I think the ReACTION line would have missed the mark if the figures were too realistic.  They certainly wouldn’t have been as retro, so I’m fine with the less-then-realistic sculpts.  In short, I think Funko nailed these figures.

My favorites are pretty much in line with my favorite monsters; The Creature and The Wolf Man were the two “must-own” figures for me.  I was surprised by how much I liked the Invisible Man too.  So far, those are the only three I’ve purchased, but this review has me re-considering the variants, at lease for the Gillman and Invisible Man.

These are priced really well.  So well, in fact, that I got my kids a couple of the figures to open and —gasp– actually play with!

As a child of the 1970’s, who owned the original Kenner Star Wars figures, these bring back waves and waves of nostalgia.  As an adult  vintage monster toy collector, I love how these figures fit right into my collection.  I don’t tend to buy many modern monster toys or collectibles, simply because I focus my limited collecting budget on high-grade vintage pieces.

So thumbs up on the figures from me all the way around–design, price, packaging — Funko nailed it.  And with the recent announcement of the Jaws and Gremlins series, looks like we’ve got lots to look forward to from Funko ReAction.

Let me know your thoughts– do you like the retro style of the Funko ReAction Universal Monsters line or do you prefer the more sophisticated style of modern collectibles?

Distinctive Dummies Karloff Fu Manchu Figure– Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category

Collecting the Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy Category – Part 7

Distinctive Dummies Boris Karloff as Fu Manchu Mego-style Figure

This week’s entry in my continuing series profiling all the nominees in the 2015 Rondo Awards takes us out of the classic horror genre and into classic adventure with Boris Karloff as the notorious Dr. Fu Manchu.

Karloff Fu Manchu Distinctive Dummies Rondo Awards 2015 Best Toy nominee

 The first thing to note of this figure is it’s terrific resemblance to Boris in his role as Fu Manchu.  Compare the figure above to this image of Karloff as Dr. Fu Manchu that I found for sale on Amazon:

While I would like to have this figure with the infamous doctor’s smile on his face, I can’t find any real flaws in the sculpt.

Product Details:

  • Limited Edition:  100
  • 8″ Mego-style Figure
  • Individually had painted
  • Type S Bandless Body
  • Sculptor: Steve Thompson
  • Box art: Robert Aragon

The Boris Karloff Collection from Distinctive Dummies

This Fu Manchu figure is the third figure in the Boris Karloff series, which also includes:Distinctive Dummies Boris Karloff Series Fu Manchu, The Black Cat & The Raven

Here’s the company’s promo video with some fun clips from all these great Karloff films:

As of this writing, both the Black Cat and The Raven figures are still available at DistinctiveDummies.net 

About Distinctive Dummies

Distinctive Dummies creates numbered Limited Edition, retro styled 8″ inch action figures in the retro Mego-style.  The Mego Corporation was a toy company that dominated the action figure toy market during most of the 1970s. Responsible for such great 8″ Action Figures as The Mad Monsters, World Greatest Superheroes, Wizard of Oz and Planet of the Apes to name a few.  Distinctive Dummies also has a line of 12 inch figures.

 

Distinctive Dummies Facebook Page

About Mego

Distinctive Dummies makes Mego-style figures and, just in case anyone reading this is unfamiliar with Mego or the Mego style figure, it’s time to do your homework.  The first and last stop for all-things-Mego on the web is the site Megomuseum.com  — here’s a link to their post on the Boris Karloff as Fu Manchu figure.

The Mego Museum Facebook page is a great place to keep up on ‘real’ Mego figures as well as companies releasing new retro-style figures in the Mego tradition.

Where to Buy Distinctive Dummies Karloff Fu Manchu Figure

DistinctiveDummies.net

currently has all three figures available on their site for $80.

eBay

Current auctions for this toy on eBay


Summary

I’ve never really considered Fu Manchu movies to be in the horror genre, so I’m glad this one didn’t win the Best Toy/Model/Collectible category in this year’s Rondo Awards.  All three of the other figures in this collection from Distinctive Dummies are from truly classic horror films, and I could see myself voting for the Morgan figure in next year’s awards given the high quality and terrific likeness to Karloff that the previous three figures have had.

I grew up with Mego and they remain some of my favorite toys ever.  I’m glad to see so much activity from current companies making retro style figures in the Mego-style.  While these are clearly collectibles and not toys (I’m not giving my 8 year old son an $80 action figure anyway), the deep genre focus of these limited edition items are great for collectors of classic monsters.

Keep up the great work Distinctive Dummies and we’ll keep buying!