Arguably the most famous of the classic Universal Monsters, Lugosi's Dracula only appeared in two movies (and other places) and helped instill the seemingly endless fascination with vampires in popular culture. Along with zombies, it's a safe bet that in almost any genre show they're going to come across some sort of vampire thing. Maybe Greek Vampires. Maybe Space Vampires. Perhaps Salt Vampires. It's going to happen largely thanks to the surprisingly unnerving performance in the 1931 film. The figure does a good job of picking up many of the significant aspects of his costume, but does a rotten job on getting the head right. The back of the packaging is stamped with the Lugosi licensing logo, but (and this is important for those of you who bought figures in the 1990s and earlier) the Lugosi stamp of approval wasn't always there. Sometimes you have the character's license, but not the actor, and in this case the packaging says they have both. But that ain't Bela. Back in the 1980s, it could go either way, so let's say this was a conscious choice.
The thing that surprised me the most was just how much this figure was like the 1990s Burger King counterpart. Other than the head, cape, and skin tone, they're remarkably similar albeit clearly sculpted at different times by different people with different goals. The fast food Drac has zero similarity to the movie actor's head, and I guess if you put the two side by side little details like mouth lines and the widow's peak do seem to vaguely recall the legendary Lugosi. The head proportions don't match, but it's still quite expressive - this is an older guy, mouth agape with piercing eyes and fairly restrained deco for the face. The white teeth and dark inner maw feel like departures from how an old figure might look, but white fangs on white skin just wouldn't read well as a vampire - so it's a sensible choice.
Dracula's vinyl cape is just like that of the Phantom or Darth Vader, a tight fit that looks weird to modern eyes. As a kid I never much cared for the vinyl cape, but when trying to replicate a key look from 1978-1980 it's pretty essential. The outfit itself carries the same basic design elements that his suit seems contractually obligated to bring, resulting in a clean, consistent look among most Universal Dracula licensed toys.
As a decent forgery of a 1980s Dracula based on the 1931 design, this is good. The figure's joints are nice and tight, nothing falls apart, and the paint is even throughout. It's a little too good, feeling more like a lost prototype than an actual lost toy. I like it, I like their design choices by and large, but it would have been awesome to see a "ReAction" take on Bela's rounder head. As it stands, this is a fine Dracula figure and arguably one of the better (if not the best) in this scale, but if they felt like doing Dracula 2.0 tomorrow I'd probably throw down a few bucks for that too. For ten bucks, it's fun if you're a child of the 1970s or 1980s. I like it enough to figure out how to display it, which is pretty high praise for figures these days when (as our collections grow) storage seems to trump a lot of other considerations. Like enjoyment.
16bit.com is best not viewed in Apple's Safari browser, we don't know why. All material on this site copyright their respective copyright holders. All materials appear hear for informative and entertainment purposes. 16bit.com is not to be held responsible for anything, ever. Photos taken by the 16bit.com staff. Site design, graphics, writing, and whatnot credited on the credits page. Be cool-- don't steal. We know where you live and we'll break your friggin' legs.