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Premium Format Silver Screen Edition Dracula
Premium Format Silver Screen Edition Dracula
I bid you......Velllcome!
"There are far worse things awaiting man than death,"... the immortal words spoken by Bela Lugosi in the 1931 cinematic event known as Dracula, and so it was relived in my mind today when at my doorstep arrived the Sideshow Collectibles' Silver Screen Edition Dracula Premium Format Figure. A formidable cardboard box weighing in at about 12lbs, should some normal shipping ware and tear, but for the most part was wholly intact.
I opened the cardboard box and pulled out the figure packaging, which stands right at 23 inches tall and 13 inches at its widest point. The box is a graphical work of art in it self, with various poses and images of the figure that only seek to entice me to let the creature within it loose. There is a trick to Sideshow's Premium Format Figures that collector's must learn and that's sliding the package out of its decorative slip case. I have learned by pinching the sides of the case, and placing a foot on one end of the box, then gently pushing has freed it every time.
I must say opening a box containing a tribute to a film legend is somewhat overwhelming, and the smell of silicone packets, styrofoam, and polystone only heightened the experience. The solid black box acted very much like a coffin for Dracula. I opened the box to uncover a gray styrofoam inner packing. Before pulling the tape off that seals the foam halves together I noticed there was a small compartment on the outside, pulling it opened reveals what could only be the cape of the statue inside clear cellophane bag. I removed the tape and removed the top half of the styrofoam packing to only uncover yet more protecting packing in the form of tissue paper and foam. Dracula and his base were easily free from the styrofoam, no broken edges or missing pieces were present.
Sideshow has really set the bar on packing these high end figures. The work it takes to open this figure shows me that Sideshow cares and goes the extra mile for the presentation and consideration of the collector.
"To die...To be really dead....that must be glorious"
The amazing execution, design, and fabrication of Dracula is immediately evident once out in the open, clear of the package. Setting Dracula upon his base is no hard task. Three pegs protrude from the top of the dungeon laden surface. The two tallest pegs slide into the heels of Dracula and a smaller one a little in front of the left peg slides into the front left foot. These pegs are all one needs to get Dracula position just right. Dracula's hands were wrapped comfortably in foam and were easily freed by cutting the tape that holds them in place. After getting Dracula standing, I opened the packaging containing the cape. The cape had been folded for shipping, so a quick trip to the ironing board and the fold wrinkles were gone. Draping right over his shoulders and clasping by hook and chain, the cape is a stunning piece unto itself, and truly finishes this piece. Once positioned the first part of Dracula that catches you is the cold eyes. The sullen stare can be chilling if you let yourself sink into what the figure represents.
Dracula has, what I believe to be, the best portrait sculpt to come out of Sideshow to date. Andy Bergholtz was the sculptor who achieved the amazing likeness on the figure portrait first captured in the color edition of this same figure. Andy masterfully sculpted the deep set eyes, straight back hair, and Lugosi's characteristic nose. The attention given to the wrinkles in the brown, neck, and cheeks are captured very well. Andy also sculpted the highly detailed hands, of which the left wears the ring of the house of Dracula, and reflects the horrid, bent nature Bela Lugosi used in the film.
Dracula stands at just over 18 inches tall on base. The body is built on a very sturdy wire armature, and then surrounded heavy padding. Screen accurate clothing is made and suited upon the figure. This fabrication process was achieved by the talents of Sideshow's very own Greg Mowry. The wire armature allows the collector to position the arms, waist, and neck position of the figure to get the movie look they are seeking. Overall the figure design, the result of the collaboration of the Sideshow Figure Design Team, is amazing.
The base of the statue is representative of a dungeon floor. Cold, damp, and full of thousand year old dirt was the feeling I got from looking at it.
"I hope you will find this comfortable"
What sets Sideshow's Premium Format Figure apart from anything else in the industry is the amazing detail given to the real fabric clothing, detailed painting, and figure positioning. Sideshow spends endless hours pouring over the right fabric types that will re-create the look and feel of the character represented, in this case the Lugosi Dracula. As I have said the cape is stunning, however the suit, vest, and jewelry are held next to nothing in the sheer detail and accuracy they carry through. This figure represents the Silver Screen version of the figure, which are the colors that depict how Lugosi's Dracula originally appeared in all his glory in 1931. Bright whites and black material pull off an amazing feat of bring the figure the life.
The use of deep grays, white, and black paint give me the feeling that I am watching Dracula walk straight out of the movie screen. In my opinion this is the best representation of classic horror characters that contribute to the family of Universal Monsters.
Dracula is very easy to pose, and the wire armature helps to hold the pose of your choice. Note the pictures and you will see I chose a position of Lugosi pulling the cape back with his right hand and directing the unknowing Mina Seaward with his left. You can also turn Dracula very gently at the neck and waist to get him position in the stiff upright position Lugosi used in the movie.
"And now....I'll leave you"
Universal Monsters have been a mainstay at Sideshow Collectibles, from Dracula to the Invisible Man, they have sought to recreate in every aspect the base characters that have inspired the modern horror genre as we know it. The achievement in the Silver Screen Edition Dracula is representative of what I and many collectors have come to expect from Sideshow. Dracula is an amazing piece to say the least. From the skills offered by Andy Bergholtz on the sculpting, the abilities of Greg Mowry in the figure fabrication, and the cumulative efforts of the Figure Design Team, Dracula will not let you down. The SSE Dracula is not just a simple figure to be added to a collection, it is a museum quality piece of art. Art that can be admired not only by fans of classic horror, but anyone who can appreciate the time, skill, and effort it goes into creating an item like this. Dracula is a welcome addition to my collection, and will hold its own to anything that is added in the future.