THE INVISIBLE MAN (2014)
A while back I reviewed the Rocketeer ReAction figure by Funko. The first series of ReAction figures was based on the movie ALIEN and from there Funko has branched out into all kinds of properties. The idea behind the line is to create fun retro toys that look like the figures we played with in the late 70s and early 80s. Appropriately, a bunch of the properties they’ve selected for the ReAction treatment are from that time period; such as the Goonies, Alien, Back to the Future, and Escape from New York. But they’ve also selected some contemporary properties, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, and some really old ones, like the Universal Monsters.
I really like the retro look of ReAction figures and I love the Universal Monsters so the pairing seemed a match made in heaven. When I first saw pictures of the figures online I was very tempted to buy them all. However, as neat as they are, ReAction figures are somewhat of a kitschy novelty and buying 8 retro monster figures seemed like overkill. Therefore I decided that when they became available in stores I would only buy my favorite monster, the Wolfman. Besides, I already have larger, highly detailed versions of many of the monsters (Wolfman, Creature, Frankenstein) and I even have fun, retro doll versions of many of them too (Dracula, the Mummy). But dammit, there’s just something uber-appealing about these simple, silly ReAction figures and once my local comic shop, Strange Adventures, actually stocked them and they were right in front of me I knew I needed them all.
Luckily, I had the strength to resist buying them all in one fell swoop. Strange had them priced at $13.99 which, while quite cheap when compared to many figures I collect, does add up quickly when you’re talking about 8 figures. I allowed myself 2 of them. I of course went with the Wolfman for my first pick and for my second pick I went with the Invisible Man. Now the bandaged guy in the sunglasses may seem like an unlikely pick when up against bigwigs like Dracula and Frankenstein but I already have figures of them and I wanted to add someone new to my collection. I didn’t previously have an action figure of the Invisible Man (though I could have easily pretended I did) and he was the most appealing of the characters that weren’t already represented on my shelves (Bride of Frankenstein and Phantom of the Opera being the others).
A big part of the appeal of these ReAction figures is their retro style packaging. So even though I’m a strong proponent of opening your toys I simply can’t bear to open these things. They look so great carded that I’ve been pinning them to my wall where they can be fully appreciated; but I’d be lying if I said there wasn’t a part of me that wanted to tear this bad-boy open and play with it (yes, I know that sounds weird coming from a grown man). So many toys I collect these days are geared towards collectors and are intended as display pieces. This figure is so simplistic (no accessories or easily breakable joint) that he looks like he would be a ton of fun to play with. If I owned this toy when I was 8 I’m sure he would have been in the bathtub and the sandbox and all over the place.
Despite the fact that he’s trapped in a plastic bubble prison I can still tell that the Invisible Man is the star of the Universal Monsters line. All of them are pretty great but this figure is straight pimping in his super suave smoking jacket. He’s like the Hugh Hefner of monsters. The sculpting and the paintjob are both top notch. The simple style of these figures is perfectly suited for the Invisible Man because there’s no actor’s likeness to capture like there is with Drac and Frank. This style has never been the best for capturing the look of real life people, just look at your old Star Wars toys.
This action figure is perfect for what it is. The packaging and figure are both great and together they make for an eye-catching conversation piece. Funko has done Claude Rains proud with this toy. 10 out of 10.