Mummies


Universal Monsters
The Mummy – Imhotep
12 Inch Scale
By: Kenner/Hasbro
$20 (price varies)

Boris Karloff is very famous for his role in the 1932 horror film, The Mummy. Most people actually associate the character of the Mummy with Karloff, although he only played the role once. In the film, his Mummy, Imhotep, appears only briefly in the iconic bandages outfit. Instead Imhotep ditches his wrappings and has a rather ghastly face and typical Egyptian garb for the rest of the film.

In 1997 Kenner began producing Universal Monster figures in a 12 inch format. By this point, Hasbro had already bought out Kenner and while these were originally produced under the Kenner name, they’re clearly Hasbro figures (they use GI Joe molds). Originally only three figures were released as a set, this figure of the Mummy, a Frankenstein and a Wolf man. What made these figures particularly special was the fact that for the first time ever, they were licensed by Lon Chaney Jr. and Boris Karloff.

In 1998 the figures were re-released, this time in single boxes. More figures were added to the lineup and in 1999, even more characters were released, before the license ended. A Bela Lugosi Dracula figure was not made, because Bela’s estate and Universal weren’t getting along at the time, presumably. Lugosi’s always had issues with Universal and Dracula. However, this figure is the first official Karloff Mummy figure in decades.
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I am a sucker for all those magazines and cooking books near the registers of stores. Many of you just pass them up, and while I head to check out, my eyes always scan to see if I want one. Here’s what’s even worse. I never make anything out of them. If I don’t already have ideas for food in my head, then I only use other recipes to inspire me. So, I probably have like a bajillion dollars worth of cook books and magazines, and have only made 4 recipes from all them. I completely understand that there might be something totally wrong with me.

But, not this time! I picked up this Halloween book specifically to make something out it. I saw that this site had Mummies on it the other day, so why not make edible Mummies!?!

And, we are. Halloweenies with Mustard Dip.

This is probably the worst name ever for a recipe. Clever play on words? Maybe. But, do I want to eat something called “Halloweenies”? Not really. I cannot imagine someone saying to me, “Hey, grab yourself one of those Halloweenies.” And, my response? “Ohhh, yeah.”

Whatever.

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In the mid 1980’s Imperial toys held an impressive number of licenses. They had rights to most of the Universal Studios monsters, Godzilla and King Kong. What’s so interesting about that, is that Imperial did not make “good” toys. Sure it was the 80’s and toy sculpts weren’t perfect, but Imperial seemed particularly behind with the times. I can only assume that the licenses for these brands weren’t particularly expensive. How else can you explain a company with such inept toys holding the keys to so many brands?


In fact all of their Universal Monsters were particularly bad and it makes you wonder why they even bothered to license these toys. Most of these guys look vaguely like what they’re supposed to, but no better than say the Mego ripoff Dracula or Frankenstein. To the untrained eye, the Imperial Mummy would likely be the WORST of the Universal Monsters in terms of likeness… But tonight in the 31 Days of Halloween we actually pay tribute to the best of the Imperial Universal Monsters… The Mummy!


The first thing you have to realize to appreciate this Imperial Mummy figure is that it’s NOT supposed to be Boris Karloff’s Imhotep. It’s not even supposed to be Lon Chaney or Tom Tyler’s Kharis from the Mummy sequels. Instead, this is supposed to be the parody Mummy, “Klaris” from the Abbott & Costello film where they meet the Mummy.


Yes he does sort of look like Super Dave Osborne or some other stuntman after a bad accident…


But that’s how Klaris looked in the film. In fact Klaris, the so called “Prince of Evil” was actually played by stuntman Edwin Parker. Parker had previously been the stunt double for Chaney in the Mummy films when the action got too hot and heavy or when Chaney was too drunk to lumber around properly. In the Abbott and Costello film, he got his chance to star as the titular monster. Once you realize who this Imperial Mummy is supposed to be, it immediately makes all the difference.
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Doctor Whosday just a little bit late. It’s been a busy week, but I vow to get these Doctor Who reviews up as close to Tuesday as possible. Today we’re taking a look at a figure that’s very similar to one we’ve already reviewed, but the single card release is a bit different.


Doctor Who Classics Wave 2
Mummy Robot
5 Inch Scale
By: Character Options
$14.99

Although they appear as Mummies, the mummified beings in Doctor Who are not traditional Mummies. Instead of being mummified remains of a human or some other creature, they are actually wire robots in a mummy-like encasing.

The Osirian Service Robots were robots that were disguised as mummies and were used by such Osirians as Sutekh and Horus. After Scarman was killed by Sutekh in his tomb, a faithful follower brought the Mummies to Priory House in England in sarcophagi. They had been confined to a locked wing of the house but had been active for sometime.

The Mummies were powered by a cytronic particle accelerator which was in the shape of a pyramid and located on the back. They took voice commands from whoever they are programmed to obey. A special ring was used to activate them or countermand their orders. They were also extremely strong, being able to man handle humans around with ease and could easily strangle someone.

The Mummies appeared in a particularly fun Tom Baker 4th Doctor adventure known as the Pyramids of Mars. The evil Sutekh wants to take over and the Doctor must stop him. Not only are the Mummies uniquely recognizable, they also put a modern twist on an old favorite. In a scene right out of Scooby-Doo, the Doctor actually poses as one of the Mummies during the episode!

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Today we have a brand new review of some of the new Doctor Who Classics figures that are just now showing up. Today we’re taking a look at the 4th Doctor Adventure set. This item just came out this week here in the US and only showed up a few weeks ago in the UK. It’s made by Character Options and it’s distributed here in the United States by Underground Toys.

This is the first multipack adventure set for the Doctor Who Classics but one would assume that perhaps if sales are good with this future releases may come down the line. This set includes 4 figures and plenty of accessories. This box set contains three of the Doctor’s foes from the 4th Doctor Tom Baker era and includes the Doctor himself. It’s really a impressive piece and it’s definitely worth checking out.

Packaging:
The package here is similar to the ones used on the Classic Dalek sets as well as some of the sets in the actual current Doctor Who line from Character Options. It’s a full plastic encasement, with a removable top and bottom with a bubble shell inside. This is really nice for display and you could leave it just like that if you wanted to keep it MOC. I should note though that the canopic jar had bounced loose from mine when I opened it. Something to watch out for.

The back of the package has little bios for everyone but interestingly not the Fourth Doctor himself. It shows the figures whereas the front of the package shows pictures of the actual characters from the BBC program. Inside is a multitude of twist ties. Everything has about 4 twist ties on it, except the jar which is the one thing that popped loose during shipping. So I guess I’m glad CO uses so many twist ties.

A real bonus feature of the package is that you can repack the figures nice and snug into it. Simply put them back into the bubble shell and stick the bubble shell back into the container. I love that there is no wasted cardboard or plastic here. Of course you could just throw all this stuff away, but it’s very handy that it can also be used as a storage device.

Articulation:
Since we have four figures to cover, we’ll go step by step. Each figure has a different range of articulation which is sort of interesting. As time has went on Character Options has increased the level of articulation with each release of new Doctor Who toys. Most of the Doctor Who Classics line has the same articulation, but this would be a case where each figure has a varying level of articulation.

First up is the Fourth Doctor himself. I went over this figure’s articulation way back in March when I reviewed this figure but at the time I really didn’t know what I was doing, nor could I work my camera to take a decent picture, so we’ll re-review it here for more clarity.

The Fourth Doctor has the new standard of articulation which includes a cut neck, cut shoulders, hinge elbows, cut wrists, swivel arm battle grip, cut waist, the infamous Who Crotch(C) also known as hinge/swivel hips, swivel thighs and hinge knees. This is what most Doctor Who figures are articulated with now, but sometimes we see a bit of difference throughout. Some could make an argument that you need more articulation but I really don’t think so. Adding ball joints to this figure won’t improve him in being anymore “Doctor Who” than he already is. This ain’t Spider-man folks.

Next we have a Dalek. I’m not going to run down the Dalek’s articulation too much because I have a few more Dalek reviews coming and I hope you’ll refer to them for more detailed inside a Dalek analysis. In a nutshell though, the Dalek has limited articulation because of his design. He has a cut neck, a eye stalk that can move up and down as well as ball jointed arms. His legs are two wheels and one wheel with a 360 degree motion.

The Mummy is a brand new figure so it’s a bit of a shock to see that he has less articulation that many of the other figures. However I believe this is because they wanted to stay true to the design of the Mummy design. He has cut shoulders, hinge elbows, cut wrists, cut waist, swivel hinge thighs, hinge knees and cut feet.

Mummies from the episode Pyramids of Mars didn’t move very well. They lumbered around and these figures very much match that style. If they’d added ball joints or even a head joint it would have likely taken away from the design aesthetic. So in this case, less is more.

Finally we have a VOC Robot. We’ve already seen two previous VOC robot models released before so this figure is mostly a repaint from those previous ones. He has the exact same level of articulation as those figures had. Which includes a cut neck, cut shoulders, swivel arms, hinge elbows, swivel wrists, cut waist, cut legs, swivel thighs and hinge knees.

One of the interesting things about the VOC robots is that they don’t have the swivel/hinge legs and I’m not sure why that is.

Sculpt:
Again we’re reviewing four figures so I’ll take them one at a time. Starting with Tom Baker as the 4th Doctor. I loved this figure the last time I looked at him and I even gave him a F-bomb of goodness. Nothing has changed from that release to this one. Guess what? He’s still an incredible figure and my opinion of him really hasn’t changed either.

How can you not like this sculpt? It perfectly captures the look of the Fourth Doctor from his crazy afro hair to his somewhat frumpy outfit. The scarf is of course the biggest part of making a Fourth Doctor accurate and I am very pleased to say that they nailed it and knocked it right out of the park with the scarf.


You can remove the scarf, but why would you want to?

The head and scarf are removable. You have two heads to choose from. Tom Baker giving one of his crazy faces in his hat or a more serious Baker without the hat. Both looks are good. I had some issues removing the head a bit and it started to wear on the neck sculpt a bit but thankfully the scarf covers up any imperfections.

A lot of people questioned why we were getting another exact same Tom Baker figure in this set, but I think it makes perfect sense. The 4th Doctor was the hardest figure to get out of the first series of Classic Who figures and I paid over $20 for my first one alone. Getting him in this pack allows those who couldn’t chase him down or didn’t want to pay that price to have one. Plus it gives fans another figure to use the alternate head on. So if you only wanted one Fourth Doctor, it’s okay because you can now display one with each head without worrying about damaging the toy with the head swap.

Next we have the “suicide” Dalek from 1979’s Destiny of the Daleks. It’s interesting to me to think of this as a suicide bomber because up until the second Iraq war I would venture a guess that most people hadn’t ever even heard of a suicide bomber. This Dalek design is pretty plain and is a good version of the Daleks from that era. He’s become nicknamed the “Oscar Meyer Weiner Dalek” because the bombs on his torso look a bit like the infamous Weinermobile.

The actual sculpt itself is a repaint of the 1975 Genesis of the Daleks Dalek. That figure was first released in the Classic Dalek Collector’s Set 1. It’s a great mold of those style of Daleks but the light gray paint is pretty drab. In fact it’s pretty unimpressive in the paint sense which really isn’t a surprise because by that time many of the Daleks themselves didn’t look that good in the shows.


Anyone for a Dalek weiner?

The bombs appear to be sculpted on but I haven’t checked if they are just glued or if the mesh is actually a new mold with them. You’re not going to want to remove them unless you plan on damaging the Dalek itself though.

Next we have what many people would consider the “star” of the show, the Mummy. As I said before this comes from the 1975 serial entitled the Pyramids of Mars. SPOILER WARNING: This article contains mention of revelations from episodes made 30 years ago.

The Mummies in that episode are not real Mummies at all. They’re robots in mummification gear. This is why they don’t look like your traditional Mummy. I just recently watched this series of episodes again so they are very fresh in my mind and I must say these look IDENTICAL to their on-screen counterparts.

This figure has it all. From the little power device on the back of the Mummy to the odd shaped torso. What’s cool is, you can pretend that this is the Mummy or the 4th Doctor as he went in disguise as the Mummy in the episode. I have half a mind to take all the twist ties that came into this set and make the unmummified versions of the robots. If you decide to do this, I deserve credit!

The face sculpt is really striking and the paint work is top notch all over the Mummy. He has a great wash on him and his eye are is darker just like in the episodes. This is a really great figure and I suspect it’s the selling point to many people. I’m pleased to say that it lives up to expectations.

Finally we have the VOC Robot. As I said before we’ve seen two other releases of these guys but now we officially have all the versions of the VOC. These Robots were a strange looking bunch and they all had a shade of green about them. Sometimes it was tough to tell if certain robots were green or silver. There were at least a few 100% green robots and that’s what this VOC Robot depicts.

The sculpt is every bit as good as it was before and this time they upped the ante by including a removable “corpse marker” hand. In the episode the robots are killing people and when they kill them they place this red dot on them. The red dot is what the robots used to mark a broken robot, so now they’re using it to mark broken people. Very cool addition.

The figure itself is a repaint of the SV-7 Robot. There were minor differences on the lower arms of it and the D-84 and that’s how you can tell which version they used. It looks spectacular and it’s nice to have a full set of these guys now.

Overall the paint work on everyone is pretty sharp with only the 4th Doctor suffering a little with some scuffs and smudges here and there. Even so, most of those aren’t actually noticeable to the naked eye and tend to show up in the camera shots only. The quality control on these is pretty strong. The figures are made out of a sort of hard rubber plastic as opposed to the more traditional plastic we’re used to here in the states and they’re better off because of it.

Accessories:
Depending on how you look at it, each figure has a couple of accessories or the whole set has a plethora of accessories. It’s nice that these four packs include so much stuff because it makes you feel as though you’re getting a bit more bang for your buck.

The Fourth Doctor comes with his spare head, as well as a removable scarf. He also has his sonic screwdriver with him as well. I like that he includes all the same stuff that his single release did. In some of the other Doctor packs we’ve seen the 10th Doctor get shafted on his accessories so it’s very good that they’re all here.

There are also a bunch of VOC stickers. Be careful not to throw those away as they’re taped underneath the bubble shell. These VOC stickers indicate different numbers and while the original D-84 came with about 5 extra stickers, this one comes with a dozen or so. That way you can army build your robots and give them different numbers.

We also have the removable corpse marker hand. It takes a little pulling to get the VOC hand off and the other hand slides on easy. I tried to see if the SV-7 hand would pull off but I couldn’t get it out. I was afraid to pull too hard though, so you might be able to use this hand on other robot figures.

Finally we have the canopic jar with the thermos device thing inside of it. This all looks exactly as it did on the show and allows you to recreate the scene from the serial where the Doctor defuses it. There were several jars in the show but this is the actual one that he messed with. They all have hieroglyphics on them, including tiny ones on the inner piece.

Additional Notes:
I don’t think it’s any secret that I absolutely love the work that Character Options has done with the Doctor Who line, especially the classics stuff. It’s so cool to be able to have toys from the shows that were on the air 20, 30, 40 years ago. This set doesn’t do anything overly amazing, but it does provide you with a great little piece of the 4th Doctor’s history.

Underground Toys should be applauded as well for getting these figures to us people in the US.

Value:
Price always seem a bit subjective to me. At no less than $45 you know that this isn’t going to be rated as a super value. However as I said earlier I paid over $20 for the 4th Doctor alone, this could be considered quite the steal. Most Doctor Who Classics figures run about $12-$13 in the US when they’re first released. If you do the math there, this set is right about the perfect price. Of course shipping is always a factor as it’s pretty rare to find these in actual brick & mortar stores. Over in the UK I think this retails for a bit less and it’s more readily available so the value may as I said, be subjective. I’m pleased with the purchase.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 8
Sculpting – 8
Articulation – 7
Accessories – Extra Head, Extra Hand, Stickers, Sonic Screwdriver, Canopic Jar, Force Field Generator
Value – 8
Overall – 8 out of 10

You could easily bump this up to a 8.5 or even a 9 depending on how you feel about the stuff contained inside. I would say I personally find this set to be about perfect. Even though it’s somewhat a set with some reuse, it’s all very well implemented and I’ll never complain about having an extra Tom Baker around the house. It’s very obvious that Character Options puts a lot of love and attention into every toy they make for Doctor Who.

If you’re a fan of the Fourth Doctor this is the perfect set to get. Even if you already have a Tom you shouldn’t skip this one. If you’re new to Who, this would be the absolute best starter pack. I have some more Doctor Who stuff coming this week. If you enjoyed this review, have questions or corrections, leave a comment below. As always, if you Digg this article it’s a bonus entry into our September DCUC giveaway contest.