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Sea Creature

McFarlane's Monsters
by yo go re

McFarlane's Monsters was a mixed bag, ranging from the very good to the very bad. Very, very bad. With this track record, you're really taking a crapshoot any time you hand over the cash for one of the figures. I gambled on the Sea Creature, and came up... well, keep reading.

In general, the Monsters series was Todd's interpretation of the classic Universal Monsters; Dracula, the Wolf Man, and Frankenstein. And, in the case of the Sea Creature, the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

It's important to remember that these figures are inspired by the old movies; they're not intended to be straight representations. Thus, the Sea Creature doesn't look at all like the Gill-man - this fish is much more bestial.

Hunched over and baring his claws, the Sea Creature looks like a mutated crocodile. His skin is all scales and plates, with a few bony spikes jutting through. He's been lurking beneath the waves for a while now, as evidenced by the barnacles, starfish and seaweed clinging tenaciously to his carapace. He's got a nice dorsal ridge of fins, and a few flaps trailing down his side. There's blood spattered on his hands and feet (or flippers or whatever you want to call them). You can almost picture how this creature would move in the water, flexing and rocketing through the briny deep.

Sadly, "picture" it is all you can do. For once, it's not that there's too little of it. SC moves at the neck, waist, hips, shoulders, and has a bendy tail. Despite all that, he really only looks good in a limited selection of poses; his neck is articulated, but both sides of the joint are so very detailed that it only lines up one way; his shoulders are swivel/hinged, but he has no other movement in his arms and therefore can't swim; his swivel/hinge hips and balljointed waist, along with his naturally hunched stance, conspire to keep him falling over, a problem that not even a custom-drilled hole to allow for the use of a stand has suitably corrected. The Sea Creature just isn't fun.

In what was a nice move, the Sea Creature seems to have been molded almost exclusively from translucent plastic, which was then painted over. However, the clear bits were allowed to poke through in parts, so his fins look thin and flexible. This gives them a natural look that I wouldn't even have considered, but McToys recognized the potential.

The figure comes with three accessories; a long spear; a short, broken spear that fits into the scales on his back; and the decaying head of one of the fishermen who came after him, with a large fishing hook jammed through the base of his skull and out through his mouth. All three have real hemp cords twined around them, allowing this icthyological specimen to drag the trophies along.

Overall, the Sea Creature isn't a terribly bad figure. It's just that he's not terribly good, either. He looks great in the package (and he's incredibly hard to get out of it - all those spikes hurt!), which will be good for the MOC crowd, but I've had more problems than enjoyment with him. Still, he looks great and he's well designed, so he's swimming closer to the top of the barrel than the bottom.

-- 10/26/02

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