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Mummy Accessory Set

Universal Monsters
by yo go re

I got this set last year, but just never got around to reviewing it because it's, frankly, a bit underwhelming (spoilers for the rest of the review, I guess). But now I've got some more motivation to bring it out and set it up.

You'll recall that back when DST had the Universal Monsters license, they paired the Mummy with his sarcophagus as their deluxe release (the standard version didn't have the tomb, but did have more articulation). NECA's Mummy was too complex for them to do the same, which is why if you want somewhere for that Imhotep to slumber away the years, you have to buy this accessory set.

You don't really get a lot for the money, here. The sarcophagus itself, yes, and also a large golden chest. That's it. Two boxes and two lids. And a surprisingly thick cardboard backdrop. And NECA wanted how much for this?

Right from the start, this sarcophagus is a ton better than DST's. Well, that's not fair: it's more accurate, but that alone doesn't make it better. It's 9⅛" tall, 3¼" wide, and 3¾" deep when all put together. That's smaller in every dimension than the 2015 version, but its proportions are more like what was seen on the screen 90 years ago; it's not weirdly wide, it doesn't have a made-up stone base, and it does have room for the feet.

It's hard to find any color reference for the coffin, but the pattern painted on this one is way more accurate to the movie prop than any company has ever made before, and that includes things like Sideshow Toys and even more high-end prop replicas. I don't know how much of that can be chalked up to "Direction, Design, & Development" and how much is just "Paint," but NECA has made the most accurate Mummy sarcophagus that's ever been available to buy. The base color is gold, with various patterns in blue and red painted on: stripes, honeycombs, arrows, etc. There are made-up hieroglyphics down the center, and white for the eyes.

If you read our DST review, you know the several ways in which the sarcophagus was incorrect: the lid was solid rather than recessed, the pattern didn't continue down the sides, and there was no paint on the interior. This release corrects all of those! The hollow inside the lid should perhaps be a little more shallow, but at least it's there. And even if the tampo is a little thin and faded on one side, the hieroglyphics that kept the Mummy trapped are printed all the way around.

The golden box is less impressive. It's got a very intricate sculpt around all four sides, but it's easy to be overshadowed by a giant sarcophagus. This is actually something from the film, even if it's not super memorable. You know the "Egyptian Chest" NECA's Mummy came with? It was stored inside this one. That's it. Thanks to the big "clasp" on the front, getting the lid in place is a little tough, but that means it'll stay on securely.

The backdrop is a nice enough piece, presumably meant to be a section of tomb wall with various gods and other symbols (copied [and flipped] from a scene in the Book of the Dead papyrus) painted on it. It's 12" square when you unfold the sides, which is big enough to extend past the top of the set on display, but I'm doing it a disservice by reviewing it in between the two Figura Obscura gods and their artsy displays. This is meant to be a different kind of backdrop, and it achieves its own goals very decently.

So I looked it up, and insultingly, the SRP for this set was $40, which is five bucks more than the figures cost themselves. That's... no. Not good enough. Not for what we get. I know it's hard to choose anything that would really be "accurate" to the movie, since Karloff only appears as a mummy for a single scene, but if you want to charge this much, you have to put more in the box.

The Ultimate Mummy came out around the same as the Gargoyles figures, so it would have been nice if we got something similar to those figures' folded wings; like, yes, the Mummy figure is articulated well enough to cross its arms in front of its chest, but imagine if this accessory pack included a set of arms sculpted in that position that could be swapped into the shoulders. Or some canopic jars. Or a cat. Or a pile of sand. Or anything at all other than two boxes, two lids, and a piece of cardboard.

-- 06/09/24

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