The Mummy (Toys R Us Exclusive)

October 9, 2010 | By | 3 Replies More


I have a thing for Mummies. I don’t know why. I’ve never seen a famous one up close. I’m not from Egypt.

That said, I think in my mind the “classic movie” Mummy is one of the most exotic monsters in terrestrial filmdom. I grew up in Northern Michigan with lots of snow, trees, and let’s say say less than tropical temperatures. I’m sure in to my young mind watching Creature Feature on a Saturday afternoon, Egypt was as exotic as a far away planet.

Really for the most part, The Mummy hasn’t got very much respect as far as films go. If you look at Vampires and Werewolves, they are the sexy beasts of movie monsters. They are the ones that a lot of people find scary because they are hidden among us.

The Creature (From the Black Lagoon) and The Mummy are in a different camp. They are things that are not part of the modern world, and as such they are unnatural things to be feared. They are also the ones that are harder to make Halloween costumes for kids.  So while the Fangs and Fur get a fair amount of press, we see little in the way of merchandising for the other two.

I know a number of people are not big fans of the recent remakes of the wrapped Egyptian. I’m in the other camp. I love them. Why? Because they were films that knew exactly what they were, which is an homage to classic horror films. Back in the Thirties when the Universal version was released, it was to make a buck and be popcorn entertainment. Not every flick had to be an epic with a lesson. The Mummy films to me serve to honor and remember their genre, much the same as Raiders of the Lost Ark did with vintage serials.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the 1932 film with Boris Karloff. That film is the one that would have been the one that captured the mind of the young boy staring out at fields of snow instead of sand. Which brings us to this review.

Appearance:

This is the Toys R Us Exclusive Mummy figure from Diamond Select. Part of their Universal Monsters series, this 8″ figure takes it’s likeness from the vintage Boris Karloff version of the character. There is an Entertainment Earth version of this figure that comes with a sarcophagus and folded arms, so I’m assuming the standing version is what makes it exclusive.

That being said I think it can always be a little dicey to create characters from black and white films. Either you make them in color or try and pull off the figure in black and white paint. In this case, they went the color route. It’s not a bad choice. There’s plenty of reference out there for what real mummies look like.

From a distance, the effect isn’t too bad. The wash highlights the wraps and the face detailing. However, up close the wash isn’t as appealing. It looks more like, well a brown paint wash. There’s also some odd black spots on the figure, they add to aging effect, but look more like an error. The most obvious one is on his back where a tramp stamp would be.

The paint on the hair is either too thick or the detail is lacking. The hair is a different color from the rest of the figure which makes it stand out, it probably should have been a bit more grey than khaki in my opinion.

The face is the one area where this figure really shines. You can really see the Boris Karloff in it. This is obviously not a generic mummy, but a figure based specifically on the Karloff version. I caught a view of this figure out of the corner of my eye and could see the Frankenstein in him. The nose and brows really have the look nailed down.

Where there was a fair amount of detail put into the face, the body seems rushed. The wrappings seem smudged or blurred up close in places. The texture on some of the legs seems really incomplete in some spots. I almost wonder if the back and chest look that way because they are covered in the sarcophagus version. In a few places in the back, it just looks like a rough clay sculpt.

The last bit of detail that is just a tad off is his ring. Will it is present, it’s monochromatic and lacking any of the scarab detail found in the screen version of the item.

Fun:

Alright, this is a $13 figure. I doubt very many folks are going to be unblistering this guy and handing him to a kid. Let’s be serious this figure is for collectors.

However, even a collector’s figure should have some fun points, shouldn’t it? It’s sold at Toys R Us, not Statues R Us. So there are 5 whopping points of articulation. I say 5, but I need to explain.

The head turns left and right and up and has front to back movement, as well. This if pretty limited by the wrapping at the neck, though with only 10 or 20 degrees of front to back movement. He can look almost straight ahead to almost a sorrowful head bow. (See comments bellow for a correction to this. E.N.)

The wrist have joints in them. These two joints seems to be hampered by the paint. I had a bad experience trying to turn a Pirates of the Caribbean figure’s hand that felt like these and twisted it off. They might turn, you might be able to work them loose, but I ain’t going to try.

Lastly are the two ball jointed shoulders. Again there seems to be a bit of a paint issue. Mine were sticky to start. They when I moved them out to his side, the joint became kind of loose and floppy and felt like I was going to pull away from the socket. You can even see the shoulder move away from the body slightly. The only way these  joints seem to work best is pressed in and used almost like cut joints.

So out of 5 of the joints, the head is the only one of them that seems to work great. I didn’t buy this figure to be able to pose him endlessly, but I still expect a little better quality work. Considering some of the other figures out there in the price range, better articulation is possible, use it.

There is an accessory with this figure, a base. While I had no problem getting him to stand on his own two feet a base like this is welcome for long term display. However, the base has similar issues to the figure. It looks pretty good from a distance, but up close it fails to impress. The sand detail looks malformed and under sculpted. There is a spot of paint was over part of the piece that looks dripped off one of the edges. The bigger issue is that it won’t sit flat. It has a warp to it that I can’t get flattened out. I’m not sure, but I suspect this is the reason I can’t get the figure to seat full on the pegs into the foot prints.

On the plus side there are some vaguely Egyptian looking details on the base. A broken piece of pottery, a scroll and a box. The box doesn’t open and only has some small sort of Anubis looking corner details. The scroll is a rubber piece, however it is a blank. A few hieroglyphics on this would have went a long way.

Overall:

Well, this is a tough one. I’m a fan of the character, so I’m grateful any version of the Im-Ho-Tep. On the other hand, as a figure opener, the articulation and portions of the sculpt are a bit of a let down.

I guess that would be how my recommendation would go. If you want a Nerd Hummel of Karloff’s Mummy to display, you’ll probably be happy with this guy. If you want a posable figure to do the Monster Mash with your superhero figures, this isn’t the figure for you.

After thinking back to the movie, I really respect what Sideshow did with their bust from this film. Where the Sarcophagus version is great for the wrapped version of The Mummy, it would have been great to see the standing version be Ardath Bey. The walking wrapped version isn’t in much of the film, and Bey is really the main version of the character in the 1932 version of the movie.

Engineernerd Score: 78/100

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  1. Engineernerd says:

    Fuzzy Blue Demon on The Fwoosh forums pointed out that the head is a cut joint. Picking the figure up again, lead me to discover that his head popped off easily due to the fact that it wasn’t seated completely, which gave the appearance of front to back movement.

    (I also manged to get the wrists to turn finally)

  2. Errex says:

    Nice figure and very thorough review. I think I have seen the original movie only once, and that not too long ago.

    The fisrt Mummy movie I saw was one from the late 60’s and early 70’s, from which all I can remember is that the titular monster liked to crush the heads of it’s victims barehanded.

    Sadly, my only other reference to mummies came from fantastically bad movies like “Pepito & Chabelo VS Los Monstruos” or “Santo VS Las Momias de Guanajuato”.

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