Universal Monsters Action Figures

By: Karl Stern (@dragonkingkarl, @wiwcool, karl@whenitwascool.com)

The Universal horror movies were already over 40 years old by the time I was born but they still seemed like a staple of my childhood in the 1970s.  Maybe they were played in heavy rotation on television, I'm not sure, but I have always had a fondness for the classic Universal film monsters.  Over the last few years Funko has put out a collection of 3.75 inch Reaction branded action figures (which is my preferred scale for collecting) but even before that there were several companies and promotions that put out the famous monsters in action figure form.  Here is my collection.

From left to right:  The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Invisible Man, The Wolfman, Phantom of the Opera, Dracula (non-Reaction), The Mummy (glow-in-the-dark version previously covered here), Frankenstein (black-and-white variant), Frankenstein (non-Reaction translucent figure).

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The Creature from the Black Lagoon is one of my favorite of the Reaction action figures.  It is exceptionally detailed, especially for a retro style figure.  The Creature is probably my least favorite of the Universal Monster movies but the action figure is outstanding.

The Invisible Man is one of my favorite of the Universal Monster movies.  To me, it sold a character that, on the surface, isn't that frightening, as something pretty frightening.  I kind of wish the figure would have been cast in the clothing we originally see the Invisible Man wearing in the movie but I understand this is the more "iconic" of the looks.  Still, it's an action figure basically in pajamas.  I still think it's pretty cool.

The Wolfman is my least favorite of the Universal Monster movies and, likewise, probably my least favorite of the action figures.  I know The Wolfman is one of the more popular Universal characters it's just not mine.  Still, the action figure is a faithful representation of the character.

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The Phantom of the Opera action figure is really nice.  It even comes with an old school Kenner Darth Vader style vinyl cape.  The sculpting and the colors are really nice.  I was never a giant fan of the movie itself but this action figure makes me want to go back and re-watch it.

Dracula is probably my favorite of the Universal Monster movies and characters.  This figure is not a Reaction figure but is actually a random action figure I found at a flea market that I believe dates to the 1990s from some kind of fast food promotion.  It's obviously of lesser quality than the Reaction figures but still is in the 3.75 inch scale.

Frankenstein is probably my second favorite of the Universal Monsters characters behind Dracula.  The figure on the left is the black and white version (I could not find the regular version in the Toys 'R Us I was at) and it's really nice.  The translucent one on the right is from the same line as the Dracula figure above, some type of fast food promotional toy but in the 3.75 inch scale.

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