Doll Digest

email john

Hugh Jackman as Van Helsing by Sideshow Collectibles

By John Medeiros

From the box text:" Deep in the mountains of Carpathia lies the mysterious and mythic land of Transylvania- a world where evil is ever-present, where danger rises as the sun sets, and where the monsters that inhabit man's deepest nightmares take form.

Innovative filmmaker Stephen Sommers who so imaginatively re-envisioned Universal's classic Mummy character in the worldwide blockbusters "The Mummy" and "The Mummy Returns" now widens his cinematic scope and multiplies his creative inspiration by breathing new life into the most time-honored pantheon of classic Universal Monsters and setting them in a stunning new world of fantastical reality. Sommers all-encompassing vision for a world as tangible, real and visceral as any caught in the stranglehold of inescapable evil blends the recognizable and the unimaginable into a vivid, epic backdrop for his tale of ultimate evil against a lone force of good: Van Helsing"

In the film "Dracula's original nemesis has evolved to become the world's most famous monster hunter. Working on behalf of a beneficent coalition out to rid the world of evil, Van Helsing is now charged with tracking and destroying the demons of the world in all their variety. Traveling to distant lands to vanquish his foes, Van Helsing discovers he has something in common with the creatures he hunts-eventually realizing he must confront the demons of his own past."

Not counting the actors in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Hugh Jackman may hold the distinction of being the actor who has the most action figures and dolls made in his likeness so far this century. With his dynamic performance as Wolverine in X-Men and X-Men United and now his turn as Van Helsing, there have been figures and dolls of all sizes.including a nice bobble-head of him as Wolverine along with figures from ToyBiz and Jakks Pacific. This new release by Sideshow collectibles is far and away the best so far. For close likeness and fine detail, this 12" fully articulated figure cannot be beat. It leaves the Jakks Pacific playline Van Helsing in the dust.

The sculpt by Oluf W. Hartvigson is superb and right on the money. Sideshow has always been known for really capturing the actors in their Hollywood figures and dolls, but this one sets a new benchmark. The paint detailing brings the sculpt to life with the determined and rugged look of the character. The molded hair looks convincing with color blending to add detail and realism.

The body is molded in medium flesh toned plastic and features 36 points of articulation and black gloved hands. He is jointed at the neck, shoulders, bicep, mid-forearm, wrists, chest, waist hips, thighs, knees, below the calf and ankles.

The film costume is faithfully recreated by Sideshow's designers. It includes charcoal gray riding trousers with patch and belt-loop detailing, working black leatherette belt, matching "leather" vest with hook and eye closure, built-in gray turtleneck shirt, long wool fringed scarf, tall weathered and highly detailed boots, molded black vinyl fedora and an incredible chestnut brown leather duster that is a miniature work of art. The tailoring and tiny details of this garment make it the centerpiece of the costume.

He comes with his trademark collapsible crossbow with highly detailed paint, two ornate pistols and a chain of spiritual protective charms. The Sideshow exclusive variation also includes two "Tojo" blades. No stand is included, something I miss.

Both versions are sold out at Sideshow but can be found on eBay and at specialty stores. SRP: $45.

Sideshow is releasing a 1/4 scale version of Hugh Jackman as Van Helsing this Fall so look for a review of it when it arrives at my door. The prototype shown at Toy Fair was spectacular, so I have high hopes for this one based on the production version of the 12" figure.