Review by NekroDave
I never really thought about it until now, but I suppose people who aren't classic monster movie fans might get a bit confused when hearing about the characters from the 1932 Boris Karloff vehicle "The Mummy". The main character is of course the mummy himself, who's real name is "Imhotep", but when he's resurrected, he takes the name of Ardeth Bey and moves freely among the rest of the cast, until his true identity is revealed. So, "The Mummy", "Im-ho-tep" and "Ardeth Bey" are all the same person.
The figure is really well made like all the others in the line. The box art is great as usual showing Ardeth Bey poised above the character of Helen Grosvenor (played by Zita Johann), whom he believed to be the reincarnation of his lost love, the Princess Anck-es-en-Amon. A statue of the Egyptian god Anubis stands in the background. I love these box lids that have the vintage poster art on them. They make such great backgrounds for your monster setup.
Ok, so the box is great, but what about the figure? Well, like most toys, it's got it's good and bad points. The costume and accessories (a sacrificial dagger and the Scroll Of Thoth, with which one could raise the dead) are fantastic. The figure can even hold both of the accessories and the Scroll of Thoth can actually be untied and rolled out to admire all the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics which were meticulously recreated. The tarboosh is molded right onto the head and is not removable.
The figure looks just like Karloff did, but something about the paint job feels wrong. I know how the character in the movie looks eerily ancient but here his face looks absolutely petrified (and I mean that in a turned to stone kind of way). I don't really have a problem with that, but you can still see tiny areas of flesh tone peeking through and I feel like the black around the eyes looks a bit too exaggerated, which sort of makes it look "fake". I know that's probably a weird way to describe a toy, but I think if I saw someone who looked like this in real life, I would think "there's someone made up to look ancient" instead of "there's someone ancient". It looked great in the movie, but doesn't seem to work as well in color. Perhaps this figure would have benefited from a black and white "Silver Screen Edition", but one was never made as this was released towards the tail end of Sideshow's run of these 12" classic monsters.
With that said, if that's a problem at all, it's only a problem when you look at it up close. From a couple feet away or while mixed within a collection, the doll is fantastic. And it certainly adds a distinctive flavor to a monster room otherwise filled with your standard Frankensteins, Draculas, etc... I welcome any of the characters who are less seen in toy form.
Ardeth Bey comes with his own adjustable 12" doll stand and was limited to 3000 pieces. It's definitely a great figure for the monster collector and if the paint feels flawed at all, it's only because of the high standard already established by Sideshow's previous releases. But I don't think you'd be too disappointed to have this one in your collection!
|Posted 29 March, 2008 - 13:22 by NekroDave|