Friday, December 8, 2023

Action Figure Review: Annie Brackett from John Carpenter's Halloween by Plastic Meatball


   I'm back to moving through all of the random stuff I've picked up and today I'm checking out Annie Brackett from Plastic Meatball's John Carpenter's Halloween toyline. Plastic Meatball is a company started by some former Mattel employees (the name Plastic Meatball is a reference to an inhouse joke name for the red Mattel logo, looking like a meatball) who are creating vintage inspired action figures. It's an action figure subgenre that's become pretty popular and we've seen an array of companies like Funko, Super7, Amok Time, Warpo, and even Hasbro delve into it. John Carpenter's Halloween is one of my favorite movies. While I love horror, I'm not the biggest fan of slasher films and typically prefer more supernatural horror; I'm a huge John Carpenter fan (he's hands down my favorite director) and the film's plot, pacing, characterization, atmosphere, soundtrack, and the question of whether or not there is a supernatural explanation for Michael Myers just makes it such a well done, classic movie. I originally wanted to cover some of these figures during October but things got hectic. I really like that Plastic Meatball is offering more characters than just Michael, Loomis, and Laurie. Series one had Michael Myers, Laurie Strode, and Lynda Van Der Klok while this year's series 2 has Dr. Loomis, Sheriff Brackett, and Annie Brackett, along with variant figures The Shape (Blood Splatter) and Laurie Strode (Final Girl). Annie Brackett was played by Nancy Kyes/ Nancy Loomis and is Laurie's best friend. She's somewhat of a comic relief character but she is sadly killed by Michael Myers on Halloween night. Plastic Meatball must really love this license and knows that there are plenty of us out there who just adore Halloween as they've really delivered a fun retro inspired toyline with great packaging. ready to check out Annie Brackett? Then join me after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 3 3/4ths

Articulation: Swivel hips, swivel shoulders, and a swivel neck.

Accessories: Stack of books

Non-Scalper Price: $20 dollars

Little Known Fact: Annie kind of has a thing for Ben Tramer, too, but he's just not a fan of her famous chewing. 

The Packaging:

* It's pretty common for retro action styled figures to have great card art and packaging and Halloween is no exception. I love the art of the character and the orange and black color scheme. If you bought these and kept these on the cards, I wouldn't blame you in the least. Check out the little promotional image on the front for a free pumpkin stencil kit!

* The back of the card is genius and really feels like something from a vintage toy. You've got an image of the figure, an image of the character with a brief bio, cross sell art, and a "mail away" form for a Jack-O-Lite Pumpkin Stencils. Sadly, the offer is expired (December 31st, 1979 was the last day for the promotion), but you can still save up those Kill Points (the proof of purchase). Maybe they'll be a mail-away Annie figure in the outfit from when she's washing her clothes and gets stuck in the window of the Wallace's laundry room?

* Here's an up close shot of the Kill Point and even a suggested play pattern: "Carry your books, or use them as a weapon!" I love it. It really does feel like marketing copy from the late 1970s or 1980s. 

The Positives:

* Plastic Meatball has done a nice job of capturing a retro feel on these figures while not going full retro and making them look overly simplistic. The sculpting on Annie's outfit is pretty nice with some visible wrinkles, buttons, rolled up sleeves, other parts of her outfit. The paintwork is clean and she's quite colorful. I mean, yeah, she's just a plain looking woman, but this definitely isn't the kind of figure that any other company with the Halloween license has done, is it?

* The likeness is pretty good. I mean, yes, it looks like a 1980s action figure, but if you know it's a character from Halloween, you'd guess Annie. It's not as basic as the earliest Kenner Star Wars offerings; probably more like something from the ROTJ era. Her hair is spot on.

* Annie Brackett has the standard five points of articulation you'd expect and feels like a decent, sturdy figure. The plastic quality feels quite solid. Her left arm is a bit pre-posed so she can hold her books under her left shoulder and grasp the bottom of them with her hands. 

* Annie comes with two school books. They're together as one piece but they do have some paint applications, which really sets them apart from most vintage accessories. 

* I like the flares on Annie's jeans. Very groovy!

The Negatives:

* No, there's nothing wrong with Annie's jeans. I'm just aggravated that there aren't peg holes on the bottoms of her feet. I display my retro action figures in a group and not having a place for foot pegs means she's more likely to tumble over, taking other figures with her. You know it is. One figures tumbles and they go over like dominos. 

   These Halloween retro action figures are definitely tailored for a very specific market. I happen to be part of that very specific market, though, and I like them quite a bit. Annie might not be the most exciting figure out there, but she's also not a character I really ever expected to get an action figure of. Putting her alongside Laurie and Lynda with Michael in the background definitely makes for a cool display, however. These look great on the card and there's clearly a lot of thought and love put into them. Brackett gets a solid Good rating from me. 

This is the first figure of Annie Brackett I've reviewed.

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