The “Dreadful Dracula” is such a harsh term but yet fitting. This wonderfully warped incarnation of the world’s formerly most famous vampire (kids these days, whatcha gonna do?) is a delightful representation of the character so long as your not looking for any particular likeness. First and foremost I must point out for those new to the 8inch action figure hobby, that while Classic TV Toys did reissue this figure it was indeed the Mego Corporation of legend and lore that made this monster happen way back in the mid 70’s. With that said this fellow is not an exact recreation but a nice approximation. Not perfect but a decent placeholder until you can score your very own original Mego Mad Monster version. With that in mind this (and other Classic TV Toys product) that will be featured on “The Wall” it is my intent to judge this toy only on its own merits. Because believe it or not true believers this fella does have some good points along with its outlandishly bad ones too. Now let’s get back to “The Wall”
Point #1. What it is.
Point #2. Where it came from.
Point #3. The Good.
If nothing else the guy looks like a lot of fun. The googly eyeballs, the stereotypical vampire costume and the cape that looks like one of those really cheap ones you get at Halloween for a buck, adds to this guys charm. For the price you can’t beat this placeholder.Plus having an extra carded to figure to build up your own “Wall” is kind of rewarding in itself. Sort of like putting your really cheap beer in a “Budweiser” koozie. Sure it doesn’t taste the same but to the casual looker you may not appear to be as broke as you really are. Wow, what a horrible analogy kids. Sorry about that.
Please drink responsibly.
Point #4. The Bad.
For this fellow I’m afraid the gloves must come off. Where I normally try to add a little extra rainbows and unicorns to every “Bad” section of “The Wall” this guy (and other CTVT figures) won’t get that treatment. The reason being why your old buddy Jimbo here is going all gangsta is that these guys have broke my number 1 rule: Toys must be durable.
I can’t stress enough how much it infuriates me when a toy breaks with minimal play. To see the joy in a child’s eye (or grown up child) get squashed when their new toy breaks with very little effort exerted on it. I’m talking regular play here. Not like the kid Sid in Toy Story. I’m referring to the normal kids and collectors who simply want to play or pose their new figure and the thing snaps, pops, breaks or tears virtually right out of the package.
The quality control on these figures is detestable. The figures were produced in India and I honestly don’ know what the standards are there and how much cheaper it is to have things outsourced to India versus China but I do know all involved in this production should truly be ashamed of themselves for bringing these to the U.S. market with an obvious lack of care for the consumer.
I’ll back off my soap box now but I will point to three very big problems that I have before I do. 1.) The plastic used for the bodies is cheap and breaks easy. 2.) The costume is far too tight but then again when the appendages break off they most likely will stay inside the confines of this tighter than spandex attire. and 3.) This particular figure shows how quality control is insanely lax from tip to top. You can clearly see the poor silk screening that was done on the red applications. Now excuse me while I catch my breath and talk myself back down. Sorry for the outburst but they had it coming.
Point #5. Why I like it.
After all that you the reader must wonder “How and the heck can Jim spin this back around?” And to you I say, it’s all about the land of make believe. This figure is on the wall because of his look. That’s it. Plus I do have a soft spot for bootlegs and knock offs because of their normally horrible quality. Like an underdog but really more like a dog that should be put to sleep.
Point #6. Why you should or shouldn’t get one.
Why you should:
It’s a great place holder so long as you can get him cheap. And by cheap I mean $5 tops. It does look cool for nostalgia sake and only if you intend to look at him and not pose or play with.
Why you shouldn’t:
Among the reasons listed above he main thing I can’t stress enough is that DO NOT buy this as a gift for a child unless you intend to replace the body with either a Cast-A-Way or Dr.Mego. The end result will most likely be that joy killing that I mentioned previously.
While this review seems more damning than condoning I’ll close with this: Get one as a place holder, not as a gift to play with. Don’t completely discount Classic TV Toys because they do have some nice accessory pieces for customs. Their figures however are simply too hit and miss to invest too much in. Surprisingly I have noticed that the reproduction series of Mad Monsters are selling considerably high on the secondary market. The only reason I can figure that is, is due to their scarcity these days. Or some people haven’t heard about the quality issues. I’ve heard that CTVT is going to do another run of these figures and if that is indeed the case I hope that they do so in a manner that is worthy of your and my dollars. Plus to release crappy toys such as this can do more damage than good when it comes to the 8 inch action figure market. Now shake off my negativity, break out your other “Re-Mego’s” and Go Play!
Jim Bumgardner is a 20 year veteran of the broadcast industry and currently serves as the news director for television station TKO 8 in Harrison, Arkansas. Jim is the father of two the husband of one and firm believer in the power of toys for both the mind, body and soul. You can contact Jim via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.jimsmegos.com
All images and products are the sole copyrighted property of it’s respective owners. Specialty photographs and graphic work used for this article were done by Jim at the TKO 8 Studios located at 500 N. Main St in Harrison, Arkansas. “Little Jim” was created by Dawn O’Connell of Little Buddies Action Figures. Learn more about getting your own Little Buddy at www.littlebuddiesactionfigures.com