Creature From The Black Lagoon
Review by NekroDave
Sideshow Collectibles had already released many 12" classic monster figures but fans began to grow impatient waiting for the release of The Gill-Man. Frustration set in when the more human version of the character from the third movie in the trilogy, "The Creature Walks Among Us", was released. Though that is a nice toy in it's own right, fans clamored for the real thing. Well, it was well worth the wait! This is easily the crown jewel of the line and a wonderful rendition of arguably the most beloved (and certainly most collected) Universal Monster.
The toy features the basic skeleton of a regular 12" doll with a great deal of poseability. I count 15 points of articulation (ankles, knees, hips, waist, chest, wrists, elbows, shoulders and neck) but it somehow feels like more than that.
The head, hands and feet are all beautifully molded PVC with excellent painted detail on the tips of the claws. The rest of the body is covered with a 4 piece rubber suit. Both legs and abdomen are one piece and the torso another, with separate pieces for each arm. This both does a great job of replicating the original suit, as well as allowing the toy to be so poseable.
One of the best parts of it is a simple thing, but something that is too often overlooked on toys like this. In the event that you should pose the figure in such a way that the rubber suits is pulled away from the joints (the only place it even COULD happen here is the shoulders and it almost never does), Sideshow actually had the smarts to mold the body underneath in matching green so that you don't see it! I know that sounds like a no brainer, but it seems like something that isn't always done. Nothing looks worse than a nice toy ruined by a company cutting corners by not matching up the colors..properly... everywhere.
Perhaps the best idea Sideshow ever had though was for the packaging of the toys. Each of their 12" Monster figures comes in a large box with a full color reproduction of the original movie poster art on the front (with minor alterations such as logos, etc). Some of the original posters for these classic movies can cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to it's nice to be able to have the great images to dispaly, in addtion to the figure itself. I know I have bought some of them JUST to have the cover art!
The front of the box swings open to reveal the toy inside a clear plastic tray. The lid is secured to the box by a small piece of velcro and features pertinent movie credits printed on the inside. I think this is a really nice touch, giving due to the creators of these great movies, perhaps exposing them to a new generation of viewers. It's especially nice in this case that both Ricou Browning (as the underwater Gill-Man) and Ben Chapman (as the out of water Gill-Man) get their due, which they didn't at the time of the film's original release. I was fortunate enough to meet both at the 2003 Creaturefest and they seemed like nice guys.
Lastly, this toy also comes with a 1/6th scale fossilised "Creature hand", the same hand found in the movie that caused the expedition in search of the Creature. There was also a Black and White Silver Screen Edition of this toy. They were limited to 5,000 pieces for the regular and 500 for the SSE version.
This is a great toy, plain and simple. If you are a monster fan at all, you SHOULD own this. If you don't already have it, it will likely cost you more to get now than any other release in the series.
|Posted 17 October, 2006 - 18:27 by NekroDave|