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NECA: Universal Monsters Frankenstein Review

I’m always interested when a company announces a new set of Universal Monster figures. I had a few of the Remco 3.75 inch figures when I was a kid and in the back of my mind I keep looking for a six inch scale set to fill that hole in my collection. This Monster is a little bigger than my preferred scale, but the promo pics looked so good I had to give this one a try. Let’s take a look!

I’m not a packaging guy, but this is pretty slick stuff. The vivid colors on the vintage poster art is perfect for a color version of the Monster and sets the mood along with some excellent photography on the sides, back and interior of the box. I wish I had that set. The nice thing about it is there’s a pretty clear picture of the set in the insert of the box that you could pull out and use for a backdrop.

The figure comes with three portraits, three sets of hands, manacles, and two flowers. The hands and heads swap really easily, but stay on securely. I’ve had a bunch of figures lately where the swappable parts were a pain (literally hurt my hand) to swap, so I appreciate the solid engineering and construction. The hands are a couple open, a couple grasping, and one flower picking hand and a gesturing hand.

The manacles have a metallic paint job with a nice rusty weathering that adds a great sense of realism. They don’t open and you can slide them onto the wrists when you swap hands.

The hands are nicely sculpted, though mine has some pretty crazy flash molding lines on the that flower holding hand. The flowers are tiny, well detailed, and fit perfectly in the grip hand. They are tiny little things, but I think it was a great call to include them as it brings home the real horror of the story.

The portraits are astounding. This is one of the best mass market representations of the Monster I’ve seen and feels like a miniature hot toys figure. I don’t have every inch of Karloff’s face memorized like some, but this totally feels right to me. The main calm face is just iconic and the other expressions convey so much emotion. I love the way the teeth are detailed in the portraits with open mouths and whatever the ink jet process they are using here is fantastic at shading and giving (un)life to the faces. A lot of time you see a pixelation with this stuff, but here it almost feels like a stippling paint technique to emphasize the recesses of the face.

They nailed the stature on this guy and the clothes have great realistic folds that work with the articulation points well. The articulation is also really good. I especially like the expressive tilt you can get from the ball and socket at the base of the neck and the head. The Monster has:

  • Swivel/hinge shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees and ankles.
  • Thigh swivels up near the hip joint
  • Ball and socket waist, mid-torso, neck, and head

He’s in the usual NECA movie figure seven inch scale and looks like he’ll work well with those types of figures. The paint is also very good on this figure. He’s cast mostly in black, but the outfit has subtle gray highlights that bring out that sweet sculpted detail and a little bit of dirty grime around the boots and lower legs. The skin is also a pretty subtle green and there is a grody gloss red on some of the wounds and a wash on the skin. I did notice he looks more green in some lighting conditions than others.

Overall, I’m really impressed with this figure and I’m looking forward to whatever is next in the line. I can’t recommend this one enough.