Van Helsing from Diamond Select Toys' Universal Monsters Select line. While I've enjoyed a number of their Universal Monsters figures, Diamond's Van Helsing was a bit more interesting to me as he was a radical departure from their movie accurate line. Rather than a kind and pious older professor, Abraham Van Helsing has been re-imagined as grizzled monster slayer. Joining him now is Lucy Westenra, Lucy's best friend from Bram Stoker's Dracula. While Lucy has been depicted in a number of ways (or left out, or combined with Mina) in film over the decades, I can't remember one adaptation where she's a steampunk inspired monster slayer with an acid spewing backpack and the ability to turn into a vampire at will. That's what you get here, though. She's the latest in the Monster Hunter Select subset of the Universal Monsters line. Ready for a closer look at Ms. Westenra? Then join me after the break...
Height: 7 3/4 inches
Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, hinged knees, swivel thighs, H-hinged hips, ball jointed mid-torso, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, swivel/hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, and a balljointed head.
Accessories: Base, two interchangeable portraits, goggles, pistol, two knives, hood, and a neck peg.
Designed and sculpted by: Jean St. Jean
Non-Scalper Price: $23-$25 dollars
*While Diamond Select has been going back and adding great articulation to a number of the Universal Monsters they released earlier in this line, they got Lucy's articulation right the first time. She's incredibly fun to play with and pose. The amount of stuff she's carrying around inhibits her movement a bit but that's part of the drawback of carrying so much cool stuff around.
* Lucy is gorgeous and looks ready for battle. I love her headsculpt! She's got her hair tied back for battle and yet she's still had the chance to throw on some red lipstick because she wants to look good while out making the undead just plain dead.
* To further help deal with evil fiends Lucy comes packing heat: A double barreled pistol. The paint applications on this are rather intricate and it looks awesome in Lucy's hand or tucked down in the holster on her left hip. One of the hammers is cocked back while the other is in the normal position. Is Lucy preparing for battle or has she already fired a shot? You decide!
* The cool goggles on the vampire headsculpt are actually removable! I didn't notice it at first but not only can you pull them down to cover Lucy's vampire eyes but you can even remove them from the vampire headsculpt and place them on the human Lucy sculpt. That's where I've got them now; they offer some protection from the back spray of the acid gun she's using.
*Go to this link for a second. Notice something different? If you pay attention you'll notice that Lucy is pictured here with a long bronze sword standing atop a base with a cool, ruined arch. Those features are pictured on all of the product images, including on the package. Both of those are features that this figure doesn't have. The sword isn't a big deal because Lucy comes with some cooler weaponry now. The missing arch, though? That's a bit more problematic. While I didn't do that here, I have purchased action figures in the past solely because of the diorama and display base pieces they come with. When I first opened Lucy, I actually thought the arch was missing until I read on Diamond's Facebook that they changed the product after promo images and the packaging had been released. If you buy this online, there's no way you'd know what you were buying was different than what you'll receive without either reading one conversation on DST's Facebook page or reading a helpful review, such as mine!
* I mentioned this above but I decided to give it it's own spot on the negatives. So...why is Lucy's hair on the vampire head brown? I really did wonder if this was supposed to be Mina at first and thus this figure could serve as too different characters, but the facial features are exactly the same. Maybe Diamond Select was trying to really differentiate between Lucy and her vamp form. I don't know. The brown hair just really throws me off.
* Lucy's dual knives are really cool but she definitely has a bit of a tough time wielding them. They're a bit loose in her hands so you'll have to work to get them placed securely.
*Ummm...what exactly is this? It's a clear tube with a long, cylindrical shaft with two nubs on the end that looks like it's made of clear glass. After careful study I've decided that it's some kind of...test tube. Or maybe a toy rocket ship.
All kidding aside about what this looks like, it actually was stuck inside of the alternate vampire head in the package, perhaps to ensure it didn't role out of it's spot in the vacuformed plastic tray.
I've reviewed Van Helsing from this line along with two of the Universal Monsters: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Hunchback of Notre Dame.