|Frankenstein 8 Inch Retro Action Figure - Mego Corporation (2018)|
To start off with, this is not a licensed "Universal Monsters" Frankenstein, but it's supposed to be a "generic" public-domain type Frankenstein, which is totally cool, as far as I am concerned. Mego did the same thing in the 1970s with their "Mad Monsters" series of figures, and I love those. But... yeah this totally IS the Universal Monsters Frankenstein, just without the neck-bolts. I'm actually kind of surprised that Mego's lawyers approved this (if they did), and I really hope they don't get sued by Universal Studios. Also, the sculpt, paint job, and costuming on the Wave 1 Dracula figure was phenomenal. The Wave 2 Frankenstein however, is not of the same level of quality. I still think it's a good figure, but it's not really the highlight of Wave 2 the same way Dracula was for Wave 1.
The face sculpt is actually the same sculpt that was used on the officially licensed Universal Monsters Retro Cloth Figure Frankenstein that Diamond Select and Emce Toys released in 2010. That's not really a surprise. Paul "Dr. Mego" Clarke of Emce Toys is also one of the people behind the relaunch of Mego, along with Marty Abrams, and they have been repurposing a lot of the Emce sculpts for this new line of Mego figures. The only difference in the sculpt is that the neck-bolts have been removed. But it has the same facial features, the same scars, the same flat head -- it is clearly still the Universal Monsters Frankenstein. The other difference is the coloring. The Emce Toys version was painted a grayish-green, where this one is molded in almost lime-green plastic. The original grayish-green actually did a better job of showing off the facial features. The facial features on this figure, with it's lighter green color, look softer and less defined, but I think that's all down to the color, not the actual sculpt.
There are a few other features missing form this newer figure. The 2010 version had black painted fingernails, and metal hinges on his wrists, while this one's hands and wrists are just solid lime green. Also, the 2010 version had a pair of awesome platform boots that really helped to nail that classic Frankenstein look. The new figure just has some standard issue Mego boots. These omissions may have been to make it visually distinct from the official Universal Monsters version, or maybe they were just cost-cutting measures.
Another strange thing is that the package features a black and white drawing of Boris Karloff as Frankenstein. The neck-bolts have been erased from the drawing, but it is still clearly, unmistakably Boris Karloff in his Universal Monsters makeup as Frankenstein. Again, I don't know why Mego would do that, because it seems like they are asking to be sued, by either Universal Studios or the Karloff estate. For the record, I don't want them to be sued, I love the new Mego Corporation, I'm just worried for them on this score. The back of the package features a "generic" painting of Frankenstein, with bolts in his forehead instead of his neck, I'm not sure why they didn't just use that art for the front.
Summing it up, my thoughts on this figure are that if you already own the 2010 DST/Emce Frankenstein, you probably don't need to buy this one. It's really just a downgraded version of that same figure. That is unless you're like me and are nuts for Frankenstein, in which case you will buy practically any Frankie figure. And honestly, this is a good figure on it's own merits, and especially for the low price of $12.99. If you don't already own the 2010 version, there is no reason why you should hesitate to pick this up if these type of figures are your bag. Good luck finding one, though. This figure is probably the hardest one to find from the Wave 2 Megos. It sold out on the Target website right away, and it took me nearly a month of constantly checking my local Target stores before I finally found one, AND it was the last one in the store, AND the card was damaged. You can find them on eBay, for 3 to 4 times as much money as what it sells for in the stores. But I wasn't willing to pay that.
Next up for Mego monster fans is Wave 3 of the figures, which have not OFFICIALLY been released yet, but are still popping up in the stores. Target is really bad on that front, these toys start to trickle out weeks before their street date, and then other times don't go up on the shelves until weeks after. Pretty much all you can do is buy what you can from Target.com, and then constantly check back in the stores to see if the ones that weren't available online have been stocked yet. Wave 3 features "The Screaming Werewolf" from the movie "Face of the Screaming Werewolf" which was a particularly bad movie, being made by editing together two unrelated Mexican monster movies, dubbing them in English, and combining them with some newly shot footage of American actors. The film was a mess, but it did feature horror icon Lon Chaney, Jr as the werewolf. I'll be looking for that one in my frequent trips to Target in the coming months or weeks.