Monday, April 29, 2024

Action Figure Review: Count Orlok from Nosferatu by NECA


   I'm really loving how NECA is going further and further back into the history of horror cinema and Count Orlok from F.W. Murnau's 1922 silent film Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror is an iconic character who is truly deserving of a figure of this quality. I don't exactly remember when I first watched Nosferatu, but I'm pretty sure I was in high school. My dad received a DVD player as a Christmas gift in 1999 and shortly afterwards I found a boxed set of silent horror films while out browsing for bargains. I think I was first introduced to Count Orlok and the film by the Are You Afraid of the Dark? episode. Looking back, it was probably "The Tale of the Midnight Madness" from 1993, an episode featuring a fictional film take on Nosferatu which has Count Orlok coming out of the screen. NECA has had a very solid run of the Universal Monsters, and while there are still plenty to do, I'm really excited that they're branching out more. Count Orlok isn't a Universal Monster but he'll display well with them. Of course he'll display well with the Phantom of the Opera and Lon Chaney from London After Midnight. I rewatched Nosferatu a few nights ago in preparation for this review and I'm still of the opinion that Max Schreck's Count Orlok is still one of the creepiest film characters ever to appear on screen. Over 100 years later and he's still just so incredibly disturbing and frightening. He's obviously the best part of the film and the reason it's still remembered today. Ready to check out NECA's Count Orlok? Then join me after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 7 1/2 inches

Articulation: Double swivel/hinge ankles, swivel/hinge knees, swivel thighs, balljointed hips, balljointed waist, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel/ hinge elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, balljointed neck, and a barbell jointed head.

Accessories: 8 interchangeable hands, 3 portraits, hat, bottle, quill, inkwell, letter, and keys. 

Non-Scalper Price: $35- $38 dollars

The Positives:

* Count Dracula is a pretty snappy dresser. Count Orlok... well, he does what he can. He's definitely wearing something that looks like what you might wear in the mid-19th century if you were going on a journey or a sea voyage: Black trousers, black boots with a bit of a heel, and a thigh-length coat. It's basic, it's utilitarian, and somehow Count Orlok makes it iconic. Some of that's due to his odd proportions. He's tall and slender with a very unsettling build. It's tough to put your finger on what makes him so off putting, but NECA nailed it well. The coat is a solid piece that rests over the body and it manages to be flexible enough so that the balljointed waist can be utilized a bit. There's not a lot of paint here but the jacket does have a bit of drybrushing in order for it to have a slightly weathered look. 

* NECA has included three portraits with Count Orlok, all of which give him a very different feel. The first one just captures the awkward look of the character quite well, presenting him in the most neutral pose of the set. His teeth and fangs are visible and he looks like he's just taking everything in or just being captured while biting someone. The work on the eyes is really impressive with quite a few colors in such a small space.

* The second portrait really shows of Nosferatu up to something sinister. He's looking to the side and has a bit of an evil grin on his face. He's clearly sneaking around, watching his evil machinations unfold as he plans to bring doom and plague to Wisborg.

* The final portrait as Nosferatu's ears close to his head as it's meant to be used with the included hat (which I'm getting to). He looks kind of grumpy here, as he's probably getting tired of dealing with Hutter trying to escape from his castle. 

* The included hat fits really well. It's a bit rubbery, so it easily fits on the figures head and stays in place securely, covering Count Orlok's ears and head. Orlok wears this early in the film when Hutter (also known as "not-Harker") visits Orlok's castle. At that point in the film the count is still trying to pretend that he's just a normal fellow. 

* Count Orlok comes with 8 swappable hands. I'm showing six here, as two are just a bit cooler and worth showing off on their own. He's got a tight right hand grip (for holding the bottle), a left hand fist with a slot in the top (presumably for holding a key), a right hand for holding the quill, a fully open left hand, a loose grip right hand, and a open palm, gesturing right hand. They swap easily (though a little heat wouldn't be the worst idea) and they look incredible. They're very well done and add so much character to different poses.

* Check out these creepy fingers! Not only are the fingers longer but the nails are longer, too. There are a few shots in the movie where Orlok's fingers seem to have grown, and I imagine these would be great for recreating scenes of his silhouette ascending the staircase, too. 

* There are two things I really like about Count Orlok's profile. First, they captured his weird build. His shoulders and upper back seem much too high while his head appears much too low. That's accurate and it really just makes him seem creepier. Secondly, the arms are articulated and have the sleeves of his coat sculpted as part of them, but they look pretty seamless with the rest of the coat on his torso. They fit really well with no distracting gap. 

* I was trying for the classic "creeping up the staircase" pose, so I didn't go with something super dynamic here. That being said, the articulation is quite good. Yes, the jacket covers the torso, but it has a very high cut in the back to still allow for some decent leg movement. Orlok isn't a ninja or anything, so you don't need crazy movement, but his arms and head/neck joint are very expressive. His elbows and wrists have an excellent range of motion, which makes for great poses. He's a very sturdy feeling figure and I never felt like anything was weak or fragile.

* Count Orlok includes a few interesting accessories, the first of which are the quill and inkwell he uses when signing the documents for purchasing the house across from Hutter. The quill has some great sculpting on the vanes and barbs of the feather and a paintjob that brings out the details nicely. The nib fits inside the inkwell, allowing it to stand upright. 

* The inkwell has a bit of errant ink spilled on the edge and some visible ink on the nib of the quill. Since Count Orlok has a hand designed allow him to properly hold the quill, you can have some fun with his. Authentic real estate document signing action!

* Knock (aka "totally nor Renfield") sends this mysterious document to Count Orlok. It looks pretty accurate to what we see in the film. It's a simple cardboard document but it is printed with detail on both sides. The film prop used Enochian language alongside the drawings and scribbles. 

* This weird wine bottle is very unique and definitely looks like what you'd imagine a German expressionist wine bottle might look like. 

* Count Orlok has a lot of doors to unlock, so he comes with plenty of keys. He has a metal keyring full of them and they come in all different shapes and sizes. 

   I was looking forward to this guy and I'm not disappointed. NECA almost always delivers stellar product and their take on Count Orlok from Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror is a winner. The body and headsculpts are excellent and my only really issues is that I would have liked another portrait and maybe a few rats; they're a huge part of the film and seem to follow Orlok. Interestingly, Super7 has their own version of Nosferatu currently available as well, but I just don't think it's nearly as impressive as NECA's. It's also about $15-$20 dollars more and comes with fewer accessories. I'm very excited that NECA is really doing more classic horror properties and I'd love to see figures from other silent horror classics or early horror icons. Count Orlok gets a Great and a 1/2 rating from me. He's creepy and has a wonderfully sinister presence on your shelf. Do you think we'll get an accessory pack for him, perhaps with his coffin, some rats, and another portrait or two? 

Looking for more of Count Orlok? I've also reviewed the Aztech Toys/ Art Asylum Graf Orlok from Silent Screamers.


  1. This guy still creeps me out.

    1. He is definitely an unsettling figure. Endearingly unsettling, I would suggest.


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