As many fools before me have learned, communing with The Elder Gods was a trap. Their immense power immediately overtook me and I became possessed by their will to do eeeeeeevil. As if in a trance, I found myself a good, sharp blade, testing it against my soft flesh. Ouch… crap, that really hurt! Um, I mean… Excellent! The implement would serve me well in performing the unspeakable deed. Without so much as a twinge of regret or sorrow, I set about the unholy business at hand. I inflicted the slices with ghastly precision and soon my act of desecration was complete. Yeah, I opened the toys… so let’s check them out and we’ll start with the hero of the piece… The Professor!
Let’s face it, a big part of Lovecraft’s appeal rests firmly in his strange, nightmare creatures, and between his writing and the art designs it has inspired, there’s enough material to produce waves of action figures. As a result, some might say, “with only four figures, why waste a slot on a regular old human?” Some might say that, but not me! You can’t have Lovecraft without the hapless protagonist who wanders into those dark corners best left unexplored, and you can’t have a great selection of figures without someone to fight the baddies. He may be terribly outnumbered here, but the gang at Warpo so wisely gave us an amalgamation of all of Lovecraft’s unhappy wanderers with The Professor.
The Prof is a turn-of-the-century scholar-adventurer with jacket, tie, high boots, hat, and dashing mustache. “I mustache you not to summon Cthulhu, my good sirs!” His accessories include a black revolver and a green Cthulhu idol. He may be retro, but there’s still some great detail in this mold, including the stitching and rumples of his jacket and a stiletto dagger strapped to his right boot! The paintwork is also quite good, with the only flaw on my figure being a bit of black spray on the left side of his face. I choose to believe that’s a powder burn sustained from his many battles with evil’s minions! Standard five-points of articulation apply and he can comfortably hold his revolver in his right hand and carry the Cthulhu idol in the crook of his left elbow. Very nice!
Next, we have one of The Deep Ones, minion of Dagon and ghastly dweller from the shores of Innsmouth. These things creeped me out as a kid because they were said to snatch people and uh… copulate with them to create unspeakable halfbreeds. Yikes! Everything about this figure came out splendidly. The design, including the fins, bloated neck, and hideous fish face is instantly iconic to me and the sculpt helps to carry the day. Despite the retro appearance, there’s plenty of great work to be seen here, like the muscles in the arms, the terrible claws, and the texture to the skin, and I love those blank soul-less eyes. The paintwork here is quite exceptional. The blueish tone used for the skin is great, but it’s the shading around the eyes and the light striping on the back that really drives it home.
Of course, you again get the standard five-points of articulation, although the way The Deep One’s head is shaped the neck cut basically just allows him tilting his head from side to side in a sort of adorable way. There’s a bit of pre-posing to the mold, which has one foot trailing behind the other and this stance nicely accentuates the odd structure of his legs and all without compromising on his ability to stand on his own. Deep One comes with a spear, that’s cast in green plastic, which he can comfortably hold in his right hand. At one point Warpo was offering a troop-building pack of these guys as an Add On to the kickstarter and right now I’m stabbing myself with the Sacred Dagger of Bokrug for not buying more Deep Ones when I had the chance. Yeah, money was too tight at the time, but that doesn’t help make me any less heartbroken that I don’t have a little army of these magnificent figures on my desk right now.
For the third figure (I’m not going in any particular order) we look to The Spawn of Cthulhu! This nasty piece of business is no doubt intended to be the star of the line and it shows. As one of Cthulhu’s lesser minions in humanoid form, this spawn is a bulky green monstrosity with a mass of tentacles for a mouth, the bulbous head of a squid, and a pair of black eyes with piercing red pupils. This minion of The Great One comes equipped with wings and a vestigial tail, all of which is sculpted in slightly softer plastic and pegged onto his back. If you prefer your Cthulhu Spawn wingless, you can just pluck them off, but why would you want to do that? I love the texture on this figure’s skin, including the bumpy warts all over his body and the veins running across his head. You get some really nice paintwork on this guy too, particularly where the green desolves into the yellow of his chest.
It goes without saying that the usual five-points of articulation apply and with the way The Spawn of Cthulhu’s arms are sculpted it makes them perfect for reaching out to grab his hapless victim. This fellow includes one accessory, which is an ancient looking leather bound book with sculpted tentacles running across it. Could it be The Necronomicon itself? I’d sure like to think so!
The last of the regular carded figures in this collection is The Cultist, and boy is this guy cool! He features sculpted robes with some somber decorations, including a heavy sculpted black chain holding on his robes. The figure features a hooded head with an eerie zombie-like face and blank white staring eyes. Easily my favorite thing about this figure is the way the sculpted robes remind me of the original Kenner Obi-Wan Kenobi figure, especially in the way that the legs are still given independent articulation. And speaking of Kenner Obi-Wan, The Cultist features the same style vinyl cape, which really hits on all of my nostalgia buttons. It’s such an obvious and wonderful callback and yet blended seemlessly into the design of the character. I don’t want to take anything away from any of the great figures in this line, but The Cultist is the single shining example of how this line is retro done right.
The Cultist also steals the show by having the most accessories. He comes with a staff and a dagger, both molded in green plastic, that instantly had me thinking of my Kelek figure from LJN’s old AD&D line. The dagger features a wavy kris-style blade and the staff is a gnarled piece with a Cthulhu themed head on it. You also get a Cthulhu mask, which fits perfectly into the hood and over the figure’s face. As with The Deep One, The Cultist was available as a multi-pack Add On and once again I hate myself for not finding the money to get more of these at the time, because they look absolutely great gathered together.
Having looked at the four main figures, all that’s left is to take a quick look at the two special stretch goal variants. The High Priest is a sensible repaint of The Cultist. He sports an extra-sinister set of black robes with the chain now painted silver. He comes with the same accessories as The Cultist only now cast in a brilliant green translucent plastic. This guy is going to look amazing leading my horde of Cultists. Oooooh, riiiiiight. I didn’t get any extra Cultists. I really hate myself right now.
And finally, we have The Spawn of Cthulhu recast in that same lovely green translucent plastic to create the very ominous Conjured Cthulhu. I’m not usually one of those collectors that goes crazy over clear plastic figures, but I have to admit that the mold works beautifully in this form and even comes with a spectral version of his book.
I know, for six little figures, I’ve droned on quite a bit, but it was necessary for me to truly express how excited I was about this Kickstarter and how impressed I am with how the folks at Warpo followed through with the finished product. The figures that I now hold in my hands totally live up to what I was expecting, and keep in mind that I pledged $120, so my expectations were fairly high. Indeed, the fact that I now wish I had thrown some more money into multiples of The Cultist and Deep Ones should say it all. This was a finely honed project from start to finish and I am so happy to have helped support it. It’s worth noting that these were available to purchase at Big Bad Toy Store as a set for $79.99 but that pre-order has already sold out, so I’m very happy to see that not only was the Kickstarter a roaring success, but the figures have performed well at retail too.
I’m still kind of hoping that these figures will somehow, someday get a wider release where I can pick up some more, but either way I’ll be anxiously looking forward to and putting aside some money for Warpo’s next project. Keep it coming!