Ok, I think it’s been long enough that we can stand to come back to revisit LJN’s AD&D line on Vintage Vault. Today we’re checking out another one of the poseable monster figures. LJN only did two of these (I’m not counting Tiamat, because he’s in a class all by himself!) and we’ve already looked at the Dragonne, so today we’ll take a look at the Hook Horror! THE HORROR!!! Today’s going to be a bit of a quickie, as I have some drinking social obligations later on and since there isn’t a hell of a lot to him, Hook Horror is a figure that I can do justice in a pretty short amount of time.
No packaged shot, but like the Dragonne, this fellow came in a window box. It’s nothing spectacular, but it does show off the toy pretty well and has lots of fun AD&D information on the back panel. Since I don’t have the package, I had to resort to one of my dog eared Monster Manuals for this one. Apparently Hook Horror is a neutrally aligned aberration that tends to live in caves and possesses its own language to communicate with other Hook Horrors.
The figure is a pretty good representation of official TSR illustrations. He’s a hulking black and gray creature, which despite having an overall humanoid appearance, features birdlike feet and beaked head similar to a vulture. He’s got little upturned ears and, of course, his powerful arms terminate into giant hooks. LJN did a nice job sculpting this beastie, as there’s a lot of texturing, particularly on his back, and the muscles on his chest are nicely defined. The coloring is pretty simple, as most of the figure is molded in black plastic, with the hooks and ears molded in a softer, yellow plastic. There’s some grey paintwork at the ends of his arms and legs, and his beak and eyes are painted yellow.
Despite being one of the poseable monsters of the line, Hook Horror still doesn’t have a lot of articulation. His head turns from side to side and his arms rotate at the shoulders. The rest of him is just a statue. Some cuts in the hips would have been welcome.
And that’s all I’ve got on the Hook Horror. Told ya this would be a quickie. He’s not a bad figure when placed in the context of the line, but he doesn’t come close to the amazing work LJN did on the Dragonne. Still, he’s relatively cheap to buy, I replaced my broken original for about $12, so if you want, you can put together a whole herd of these things to fight your heroes and not have to empty the treasure chest to do it. They tend to turn up in good condition, with the two biggest problems being loose arms that won’t stay up and chipping on the yellow paint around the beak. As I mentioned when looking at the Dragonne, I’ve always been surprised LJN went with Hook Horror as being one of the only two poseable monsters in the line, rather than one of the more higher profile monsters, but then I’m reminded that many more were planned before the line was cancelled. And that was a real shame.