Universal Monsters: Dracula by Jada

It’s October! And this year I’m going to make that mean something here at FFZ! Typically, I’m lucky if I can scrape up just one or two Horror themed reviews for Halloween, but this year, I’m going all in, putting Marvel Mondays on hold, and going All-Horror, All-The-Time for the rest of the month! I can’t over emphasize just how important horror cinema was to me growing up, and while I haven’t been the best of horror fans lately, I try to take the opportunity in October to go back and enjoy this rich and wonderful genre. Today, I’m beginning Halloween Horror Month with a look at one of Jada’s brand new 6-inch Scale Universal Monsters figures… It’s Dracula!

Surely the king of the Universal Monster family, or at least he’s the one with the most brains, this is old school Dracula through and through. The packaging is pretty standard stuff for the scale these days. You get a window that shows off the goods and wraps to the side panel and another up top to let some light in, just hopefully not sunlight, because Dracula don’t like that. Drac’s name is down below in a stylized font, while the line’s name up top is just kinda boring. The right side panel has a cool piece of character art, while the left just has some artsy-headshots of the characters. Moving on to the back we get a huge section of multi-lingual copy and a “Collect Them All” style spread of the four figures available in the line. And yes, the plan is to look at all of them this month!

Out of the box, Dracula is looking pretty solid and very iconic. He’s all dressed up, making him a very dapper Prince of Darkness. From the waist down, there’s not a lot of detail going on, although I do appreciate the use of high-gloss black for his well-polished shoes. The upper half consists of a black jacket, gray vest, white shirt, red cravat, and a gray bow tie. He has a medallion sculpted on his chest, which would look a lot nicer if they hadn’t flubbed half the paint. As a result, the bottom half is gold and the top half is white. Come on, guys. It’s dead center on the figure and immediately draws the eye. YOU HAVE TO DO BETTER! Oddly enough, just below that, the tiny individual buttons on his vest are immaculately painted, and overall the other paint lines look pretty clean and tight. All in all, I think the sculpting on the body is solid, if not exceptional.

The cape is softgoods, which was really the way to go here. It falls about the figure pretty well and is attached with two pins in the back, and an elastic strap across his neck. The outside is black and the inside lining is red, and it features his rather iconic high collar. The stitching running down the sides is a little obvious, but otherwise, I think they did a good job here. It’s designed to easy fold over his shoulders to get out of the way of his arms. It would have been cool to have some way to attach it to his wrists, for posing with his arms outstretched, but otherwise, I got no complaints.

You get two heads, one is a bit passive and the other is FEEDING TIME! They’re both decent, but I like the passive one better. Both heads look great in hand, but when I get in close I can see some splotchy paint. It’s actually kind of charming, as it looks a bit like they caked on a little too much makeup before filming. OK, I guess that’s only charming if you want to think of this as a figure of an actor playing Dracula and not the real thing. The skin has a grayish tone to it, which looks good, and he has some reddish purple shading around the eyes. The hair is sculpted and painted to look slicked back, and he has some sharp, high-arching eyebrows.

The second head shows Drac ready for business. He’s baring his fangs and he’s ready to get some of your sweet, sweet corpuscles. I like this sculpt overall, but I think the teeth could have used a little more detail.

There’s a second set of hands, which go well with the fanged head in an “I’m gonna getcha” kind of way.

In addition to the extra head and hands, Dracula comes with two accessories. You get a bat and a candle. The candle features a rather elaborate holder, which looks like it’s supposed to be some kind of lizard or just an anemic dragon. It can fit into the figure’s right hand quite well, and he looks great holding it.

As for the bat, I don’t think it’s supposed to be Dracula in his alternate form because the feet have rings to attach to Drac’s fingers so you can display him perched there. It’s a cool bonus, but the sculpt is very basic. Plus, if I get in close it kind of looks more like a chocolate bat than a real one.

Jada is not a company I have a lot of experience with, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect here. In over 10 years, I’ve only reviewed one of their products, and that was a set of AD&D Miniatures. Overall, I think this figure is a good effort. Indeed, apart from that one sloppy paint spot, I can’t really find a lot of fault in it. At the same time, there’s just nothing about it that strikes me as extraordinary. It probably doesn’t help that NECA is also currently working on their own set of Universal Monsters figures. I don’t think they’ve shown off Dracula yet, but they have released Frankenstein’s Monster. I’ll be checking out that figure sometime before we get to Halloween, and you can bet I’ll be comparing it to Jada’s own Frankenstein Monster.

3 comments on “Universal Monsters: Dracula by Jada

  1. Very cool! I really am tempted by this line. I imagine NECA’s Universal Monsters are going to be more expansive and blend better with the Diamond Select stuff but I like that these are well articulated, playable action figures. What would you compare the quality to? Mattel’s 6 inch stuff? Hasbro? Jakks? The only other Jada stuff I have are some of the DC and Streetfighter metal figures and a 2014 move RoboCop from years ago.

    It’ kind of exciting to see Jada, Jazwares, Lanard, and Jakks all offering 6 inch articulated figures at mass market. Maybe it’ll help keep Mattel and Hasbro on their toes and give them some healthy competition. Other than McFarlane, Mattel and Hasbro have been the only real producers of mass market 6 inch collectors figures for a few years.

    • I think it’s on par with earlier Marvel Legends. Overall quality if solid. Just tweak the paint a bit and they’re almost there. I’ve got Gillman coming probably today. Excited to check him out!

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