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Edward Scissorhands

Movie Maniacs 3
by yo go re

Let's just get this out of the way right at the start: Tim Burton and Johnny Depp just need to cut it out. In the past 10 years, they've made five films together that are all exactly the same: Johnny Depp is really pale and has weird hair, and basically plays Tim Burton's idea of what Tim Burton is. All of it in a vain attempt to recapture the magic of their first collaboration, Edward Scissorhands.

Drawing heavy influence from Universal's Frankenstein for its narrative structure, Edward Scissorhands is the tale of an automaton brought to life by a strange old inventor. But the inventor dies before he can finish his work, leaving Edward forever incomplete and not quite human. Most of the suburbanites who surround Edward shun him, except for one beautiful girl who can see the beauty inside him. Can you tell this movie was based on something Tim Burton created when he was a mopey teenager?

Eddie was released as part of Movie Maniacs 3, making him a contemporary of Ash, the Fly and Snake Plissken. So, yeah, around the time that Movie Maniacs was getting away from being all psycho killers and slashers. It also means I must have bought this figure in Boston, but I don't remember where. And if you know me and my memory for toy purchases, that's usual.

This movie was the one that changed Johnny Depp from a teenage heartthrob into a movie star - before this he was just the kid in 21 Jump Street. The likeness, if you can make it out behind that hair, is quite good. MM3 was the first series the Four Horsemen didn't work on, but whoever McFarlane had replace them did very well here. Even the scars are perfect!

[The figure was sculpted by Jean St.Jean, and the blades were fabricated by Sam Lute --ed.]

Now, about that hair. Edward has a huge, unruly mane that spread all over the place (just like Tim Burton's). There is absolutely no way to pull that kind of piece out of a steel mold - look at the way it twists and overlaps. A lesser company may have tried to work around that, to fake it, to find a way to force it to work in the traditional way. But McFarlane did what McFarlane used to do: he got creative. The hair is actually molded from numerous small chunks that are then assembled into the final piece. ToyFare took the head apart one time and counted: there are at least 11 different pieces of hair that combine into that huge mop, but it's hard to imagine anything doing it better.

The Edward Scissorhands costume was basically a lot of leather, with more straps and buckles than an entire team of X-Men. That means a lot of tiny details that need to be both sculpted and painted if they're going to be seen, but this figure delivers. There was an art show a few years ago showcased the work of Tim Burton, and the Edward Scissorhands costume they had on display was less accurate than this toy is. He has a giant belt around his waist, smaller ones on his chest, left leg and right boot. The design details are asymmetrical, making him look more piecemeal. The clothes are a mi of matte and gloss black, and all those buckles get silver of bronze paint apps to make them look real.

Edward Scissorhands would be nothing without his scissor hands, and the ones on this toy are awesome. All four "fingers" on each hand are individually articulated, and just like in the film, they're all unique kinds of blades. Other than those joints, Eddie has swivels at the gloves, biceps, left shoulder, neck, waist, hips and boots. Sad as it is, that makes him one of the most articulated Movie Maniacs ever. His left leg seems to be a little shorter than the right, so it's hard to find a completely stable pose for him - the fact that his feet are so close together doesn't help, either. Time to dig out the old McFarlane figure stands, it seems!

As far as accessories go, all we get is the marquee display all the MM figures came with back then. So, you know, nothing. Clearly a massive part of the budget was taken up by Edward's hands and his hair, but wouldn't he look neat standing next to some topiary? That'll be a project for the modelmakers out there.

I'm not sure I've ever actually seen Edward Scissorhands - just clips and homages. And yet, this figure is so well made and impressively detailed that it's nice to have him in the collection. Honestly, it's very surprising that McFarlane Toys never went back to the well, using the same head and hands to create a "white shirt" Edward in a future series. And while we're used to NECA one-upping Todd all the time, we're not sure there's any room for improvement on this one.

-- 10/31/12

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