There are some announcements that catch you totally unprepared in this business. And often, in hindsight, you can’t believe you didn’t call it a mile away…
Mezco and the phrase “Silent Screamers” were once fairly synonymous. In fact, the first series of the Silent Screamers line might have been the first Mezco product I ever saw in person, although at that time they would have still been Aztech Toyz, if memory serves. “I picked up the Aztech Toyz Dr. Caligari at Suncoast today!” Might be one of the most 2000s sentences imaginable. Images of Honda Civics, red starter caps and Oakley wrap arounds ensue.
It’s pretty easy to look back at the Silent Screamers and Reel Horror lines and see them for the labors of love that they were. I remember the first time I saw the Golem figure at a record store and spent almost 10 minutes talking myself out of it. Because, really, it is a testament to the dedication they made them when they did. With other companies staying very much in the (then) recent 1980s/1990s sci-fi and horror properties, a new company taking on turn of the century horror characters had to be a risk.
Once you take that kind of history account, seeing Nosferatu offered for preorder in 2020 feels much more like a victory lap then a shot in the dark.
Mezco certainly treated Graf Orlok like a winner, with a t-shirt, film cell, and lunchbox presentation that makes it easy to dispel any inclinations that this was just an opportunity to cash in on a long-held license.
I never owned the original Nosferatu figures, cool looking as they were. I only remember for sure getting Cesare from Dr Caligari. Just as well, because I doubt even as charming a line as the original can stack up to this figure.
Graf Orlok comes in a tattered jacket and tights, with three heads that show an increasing menace over each one, and a set of curled and clawed hands. The base body might be at least similar to the “Star Trek body” as we’ve taken to calling it, which means the articulation box-ticking does great until the elbows, which we’ll get to. But using this more normal sized body, and then pairing it with elongated forearms and a crooked neck, makes for a silhouette that is almost unrecognizable from any other “human” figure of the same body you might own.
The headsculpts all have this magnificent pearled effect on the eyes, that make them feel beady and alive, and seem to follow your glance. The muted skin and clothing colors kind of surprised me in natural light, having more life then I expected.
And the base body serves Orlok very well in articulation. The double elbow situation is nicely subverted thanks to the range of that lengthy hinged forearm that can clear better than a 90-degree bend. The double torso allows for a good amount of sway and pivot, and the lower body is of course better than you’re going to need for a guy like this.
Orlok comes with an impressive array of accessories, starting with that massive coffin. You can’t blame all of us for taking pics of him peering from under the broken lid. It just looks so creepy. To join the sculpted rat nest inside, he has a handful of individually sculpted rodents, that really can be used anywhere. He also has a very nicely crafted keyring, and a gilded lantern. And he even gets a hat.
Honestly, when the Nosferatu preorder went up, I was interested, but not really excited. I’ve got Batmen and John Wick and ninjas that need shipping, and while I thought he looked great, I really considered passing. But thinking back to that old 2000 series one got me thinking, and I realized that I did regret not buying more of them at the time. And I would much rather buy them in One:12 than chase down the vintage. The possibility of seeing more of the Silent Screamers return in this line kinda makes this figure a necessity, if those hold any draw to you at all. Because the only thing that would make this Orlok figure better would be a Knock Renfield to go with him.