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Movie Maniacs 4
by Shocka

McFarlane Toys has been after several good horror movie licenses for its infamous Movie Maniacs line of action figures; after the first two series included most of the most well-known slashers, they moved into the realm of "action maniacs," and the fans were not entirely pleased. The pace picked up last year, after the owner of McToys Todd McFarlane sided with horror-legend Clive Barker to create a new horrible mature-age line of figures called Tortured Souls, and somehow got the rights to one of Clive's best creations, the wonderfully horrific Candyman.

One of the most requested figures for the Movie Maniacs line, Candyman comes the film of the same name, based on the Barker short story The Forbidden. Candyman is a "Bloody Mary"-esque urban myth, wherein reciting the name "Candyman" five times before a mirror will lead the enormous hook-handed man to appear and kill you. Unfortunately, the myth is all too true for a town where a black slave fell in love with his master's daughter; the furious master got a lynch mob to tie him down, cut off his hand (thus the hook), cover him with honey and leave him to die from the hundreds of bees covering him, while the townspeople jeered him with a chant of "Candyman!" Such a horrible death left the spirit remorseful and unable to cross over, and it remained in the fears of the townspeople who all knew someone who knew someone who had been killed by the Candyman.

In the film, the Candyman is played by Tony Todd, the enormously charismatic man who makes the character as eerie and creepy as he is. The way he looks and speaks adds to the character, and this is translated over to the figure, which was featured in McToys' Movie Maniacs 4. The actual figure is based off the second Candyman sequel, Day of the Dead, which I haven't actually seen, but it's the same Candyman as in the first film, and that's the important part.

Candyman is 7" tall and a wonderful plastic representation of the legend. The facial sculpt of Tony Todd is dead on; the morose expression is true to life and realistic. He wears a replica trenchcoat, made of soft plastic, which can be opened up to reveal his hollowed out body cavity - he has exposed ribs and insides which are covered in blood and bees; a nice touch to the figure. The hook hand is well made and true to form and the overall impression of the figure from view is excellent. However, getting detailed, things aren't quite up to scratch.

First off, the paint application is a combination of the good and the bad. The paint applied to the face, insides, ribs, clothing and skin is all grand and top quality, as expected from McToys; however, the blood on the hook is unrealistic, which is very disappointing when compared to the blood on earlier Movie Maniacs. My favourite feature of the figure, the bee-covered ribcage, is decisively average due to the poor detail on the bees.

In all fairness, it's not easy to detail hundreds of tiny bees onto a 7" figure, but the promotional pictures looked a lot better than this does - the bees were tiny black things with paint applied to the abdomen and head - this looked great. The final product is just the original sculpted black things drybrushed with yellow, and it doesn't look nearly as good. From afar, it's ok, but it's just not up to the McToys' standard. Also, the intestines are splashed with blood, which doesn't look right. This is a shame, but it doesn't kill the figure.

Articulation is also average. Candyman has one major pose, and while it's not bad, he really can't do a lot. There're peg joints at the arms, wrists, neck and boots, and that's it. A joint at the elbows would have made him a lot more playable; then he could have actually hooked and gutted some of your other toys, but no. His head is always tilted, which looks nice in the one pose, but pithy if you want him to look serious while attacking; McToys should have done a balljointed neck like their newer figures

Overall, Candyman is an above-average figure, mostly due to the coolness of the character and the great likeness of Tony Todd. The opening trenchcoat was a neat idea, and it still stands; but it annoys me that the bees don't look as great as they should. The hook hand should have been painted better, but it can be fixed with a little repainting, so it isn't too much of an issue. Candyman comes in the standard Movie Maniacs package, with a nice detailed card on the other figures in the line, and also comes with the standard Movie Maniacs Marquee, which is different to that of the previous series, and not nearly as nice. I scrapped mine and used an old one with the original Candyman poster to better effect. Though I really could have done with more articulation, he's still decent figure, and I recommend him, especially to those who love the character.

-- 11/04/03

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