- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A look at some action figures from Diamond Select Toys & Collectibles devoted to the spirit of the Halloween season.

The Bride of Frankenstein (Diamond Select Toys, for ages 3 and older, $19.99) — Universal Monsters Series 3 Retro Cloth figures take serious toy collectors back to the 1970s when Mego dolls ruled the toy aisle.

With a slight resemblance to actress Elsa Lanchester, who portrayed the bride in the 1935 film, this 7-inch-tall uncooperative partner of the Frankenstein monster comes wrapped in beige cloth bandages and wearing a soft white gown.

Even with more than 14 points of articulation, it still takes some effort to get her standing up unassisted, but a balance can be is reached between her famed heavy hairdo and delicate body.

What also is worth noting is the collector-friendly clamshell packaging that easily allows an owner to pull the figure out or return her and the display card back to the case.

Additionally, the other series 3 figure, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, is equally impressive with his detailed fish-head sculpt; big, green scaly claws; and scaly, plastic breastplate.

The cloth costume does not fit well, however, and it looks as if the monster is wearing pajamas. I might have picked another legend to represent in the latest series, such as the Hunchback of Notre Dame or the Invisible Man, both of whom offer much better use of cloth garb.

X-Men vs. Brood (Diamond Select Toys and Art Asylum, for ages 3 and older, $10.99) — The 47th series of Marvel Minimates stars the famed mutant team battling the frightening “Alien”-like menace called the Brood (originally appearing in the comic Uncanny X-Men no. 155 in 1982).

These pint-size, blocky action figures have been a collectors’ favorite for years, thanks to the variety of interchangeable and removable parts and accessories.

Three two-packs celebrate the confrontation and include Rogue with Colossus, Longshot with Dazzler, and Wolverine with a Brood. Also look for a rare variant with a Wolverine infected by a Brood egg.

Officer Rick Grimes and One-Armed Zombie (Diamond Select Toys and Art Asylum, for ages 3 and older, $10.99) — “The Walking Dead Series 1” collection of Minimates gives fans of writer Robert Kirkman’s postapocalyptic opus a miniature way to appreciate both comic book and AMC television show.

This two-pack contains 2-inch-tall versions of both the famed zombie killer and a gruesome member of the undead, both loaded with interchangeable body parts and accessories to combine pieces and reconstruct each figure.

Rick comes with an ax, shotgun, rifle, pistol, weapon shoulder case, brown jacket, sheriff’s hat and extra hairdo. Also, he gets two extra arms colored with blue short sleeves for when the jacket and brown-sleeved arms are removed.

The zombie has half of a scalp and bony stump for an arm, but has an optional full arm with a bloody paint scheme to interchange with it.

Look for the other two-packs to add to a collection, including Dale and Female Zombie, Shane and Punk Zombie, Glenn and Nerd Zombie and the “must have” Guts Zombie and Burned Zombie.

The Mummy and Quasimodo (Diamond Select Toys and Art Asylum, for ages 3 and older, $7.49) — Diamond celebrates Universal Studios Monsters with not only plenty of larger action figures, but also a third series of Minimates.

This special two-pack, available only at Toys R Us stores, offers blocky, 2-inch-tall versions of Boris Karloff’s 1932 portrayal of resurrected Egyptian priest Imhotep and Lon Chaney’s 1923 creation of the Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Both arrive in a black-and-white color scheme, harkening back to the early days of horror cinema. Both are a fitting addition to any fanatic fan’s ever-growing collection of Minimates.

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