Thursday, 29 December 2016

Funko Mystery Minis Horror Classics Series 3: Imhotep the Mummy

Just over two years ago, I reviewed the Mummy Funko POP – as we’re looking at the Mystery Mini today, I’ll take my intro from that article.

Boris Karloff – a horror legend if ever there was one. Almost 50 years after his death, the image of him as Frankenstein’s Monster continues to dominate popular culture. Universal must be making more on merchandise than they ever did on the movie itself, going off the sheer amount of stuff that’s been produced in the decades that have followed.

But Frankenstein’s Monster wasn’t the only role Karloff was famous for – another was Imhotep, the titular character of the Mummy. Released in 1932 to cash in on the craze for all things Egyptian following the 1922 discovery of King Tutankhamen’s tomb, The Mummy was an immediate hit. Imhotep never achieved quite the same iconic status as Frankenstein’s Monster, but he remains an important part of the movie monster pantheon. The character also got a revival of sorts in 1999, when a remake (or re-envisioning or reboot, whatever you’d prefer to call it) of The Mummy was released, and became a tremendous hit. 

The original is not a perfect film, but it evokes a dark mood that still manages to unsettle to this day. Almost as importantly, Boris Karloff’s makeup as the titular character in his coffin still holds up quite well – just look at the comparison here with a real mummy.  

Recap done. So how does the Mystery Mini stack up to the POP?

Well, like the POP, Imhotep has the issue that his design is not as interesting as some of his Universal Monsters contemporaries. For most of the movie he’s a guy in a fez with an eerily wrinkled face, and he’s only actually in his burial wrappings for a short period at the beginning of the movie. In this format, it translates to him being in off-white wrappings, while his face is grey, the only real colour coming from his bronze-gold scarab ring. The underlying sculpt is very good though, with lots of detail in the bandages, and brings the character’s features to the Mystery Mini format quite well.

As with the POP Funko would have been better investing in a dark brown or black wash to go over the bandages. This would have brought out the sculpted details much more, and also made him pop more visually. Additionally, they could have gone for a green-grey look to the flesh as well, as here.

The end result is an imperfect but still enjoyable figure. The Mummy is quite under-merchandised in comparison to some of his Universal brethren – though that may change on the back of the 2017 remake – and sometimes as a result you just have to accept that you will be getting a good piece of merchandise as opposed to a great one.

No comments:

Post a Comment