VAN HELSING Action Figures: 5" Monsters -

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  • Reviewed Format: 5" Action Figures
  • Manufacturer: JAKKS Pacific
  • Retail Price: $6.99 each

VAN HELSING Action Figures: 5" Monsters

Monster Mash for the 21st Century

By Scott Collura     May 07, 2004

The Dracula Beast figure from Jakks' VAN HELSING line.
© Jakks

It's par for the course these days that a big picture like VAN HELSING is accompanied by a ton of marketing tie-ins and offshoot products, just as it goes without saying that the coveted toy license for such a film is often split among several companies, with each focusing on a particular type of toy, be it statues, busts, maquettes, action figures, or what have you.

In the case of VAN HELSING, those who are less interested in display pieces and prefer to actually play with their toys are advised to check out JAKKS Pacific's line of 5" action figures. These suckers are all about playability, with 12-16 points of articulation each and cool "action" features which amp up their hands-on appeal.

The Frankenstein's Monster figure

You can see right into the head of VAN HELSING's Frankenstein's Monster.

actually clocks in at closer to 5 ½ inchesappropriately enough for such a hulkwhile his sculpt, paint job and head scan all do a solid job of conveying the look of the character from the film. The package promises "Twisting Torso Action!"press a button on ol' Frankie's back to achieve the effectbut even cooler is the fact that the Monster's skull cap pops off to reveal his transparent brain. Sweet... I mean, gross!

Next up is the Wolf Man, where you actually get one and a half figures for the price of one... Wolfie's

VAN HELSING's Wolf Man figure comes in two flavors: hairy and human.

human formbare-chested, mullet-cursed, and looking a bit like David Duchovnyis accompanied by a rubber "suit" of sorts that emulates his wolf form. There's a slit in the back of the suit that allows you to slip the human figure inside in order to "transform" him into the Wolf Man. This effect is aided, somewhat disappointingly, by submerging the wolf suit under warm water for a few seconds, causing the rubber to appear transparent. This, according to the directions, is supposed to reveal the human figure inside the wolf but it actually just looks kind of foggy. Woof.

Much more successful is the Dracula figure, which channels actor

VAN HELSING's Count as he appears in his human (but toothsome) form.

Richard Roxburgh's more or less human-looking incarnation of the famous Count. With mouth snarling and fangs glaring, he's a scary customer, though he manages to keep an impeccable wardrobe nonetheless: clad all in black, with gold trim, even Drac's ponytail seems royal. He also comes with a "Flying Action!" accessory.

Saving the most monstrous for last, we have the Dracula Beast (photo at top of article), which presumably is a less than human manifestation of the Count. At about 6 ½ inches tallwith a 12-inch wingspanthe Beast is certainly the biggest of the group. His paintjob is made up mainly of blacks and dark greys, which makes his wide-open and toothy pink mouth stand out quite clearly. But it's the huge wings that make this figure worthwhile: aside from their creepy appearance, if you squeeze the figure's legs together the wings flap! What will they think of next?

Also available from JAKKS are Van Helsing and Anna Valerious figures, plus deluxe playsets for Wolf Man, Dracula, Frankenstein, and Van Helsing. The company is also offering 12" figures from the film, a Castle Dracula playset, and last but not least, their own versions of the original Universal Classic Monsterswhich we hope to be reviewing here soon.


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