I’m taking us way back to about 1999. I’ve given a few good reviews at this point, and I thought I’d change it up. But to find something I could comfortably address the overwhelming negatives with, I had to go back about 20 years.
Why did I choose this Movie Maniacs Ghostface figure? Well, because this is probably one of the hands-down worst action figures I’ve ever purchased.
Way back when McFarlane Toys (also known as Spawn Toys) was known for their products breaking — a lot. I bought (and still have) several that I’ve fixed or stopped trying to fix and packed up. Back then, they used to take complaints and send out replacements. I’m not sure if that was behind the design on this figure, but if not, I can’t really understand what they were thinking.
Before Ghostface, their other figures featured several points of articulation and were a bit more actiony. Even though they left out leg articulation at the knees, the legs still looked more detailed (see: Leatherface, Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Eve). Their poses were more dynamic than some figures at the time. You had posing options with their other figures that were just not part of the Ghostface design.
The Movie Maniacs Ghostface has just two accessories – a knife and a cell phone. The knife looks perfectly sculpted from the movie. The phone? It’s a little lacking. While Ghostface can easily hold the knife in his closed right hand, his left hand has a post hole for the small post on the back of the cell phone. It’s just a peg that goes in a hole on a fully open hand.
The figure is literally sculpted just to be posed in one specific way. The seams line up, and that’s how they meant it to be displayed. The bits of his costume that are flowing are part of the figure’s arms and are just plastic. They don’t actually flow, and so it looks really odd trying to pose his arms in any other way than how it lines up.
The part that really gets me is that the bottom of the figure features feet that stop just above the ankle where they are made to turn back and forth. They really were only meant to be positioned one way in order to balance the figure while standing. If you look at the bottom of Ghostface, you’ll see that the bottom of the robe is completely sealed. There’s no detail up under where the legs should be.
The feet are not flat, and they are not sculpted in a way that you can quickly stabilize the figure by itself. I don’t remember if it came with a base; I don’t think it did, but I have a small base I use to keep him upright.
The best part about the figure is that it came with the mini-poster for the film. McFarlane eventually retired the full frame format to a base holder for the posters with no upper support. But Ghostface has the whole frame with no need to do anything to keep the poster straight or to put anything on the base to make it stand.
Admittedly, Ghostface isn’t the most detailed design for any character. You can’t really see his legs under the costume in the movie most of the time. You get a guy in a mask in a long hooded thin robe. Luckily, years later we got some Ghostface figures from NECA, and when comparing the two, you can see the potential that McFarlane missed.
Don’t get me wrong, the McFarlane Movie Maniacs Ghostface is a nice sculpt for the time. It’s a good representation of the character it is meant to represent. However, as action figures go, this is much more of a molded plastic toy. It’s the sort of thing you’d see coming from Hasbro for toddlers — if it weren’t for the character. If you compare this to other figures of the period, it’s really easy to see that this just doesn’t live up to its peers.
I still like the figure because, at the time, this was all we had. Ghostface and Scream are among my top list of favorite iconic horror characters and films. And hindsight is 20/20 and all that…though, even when I bought this figure, I remember being really disappointed with it.
You can still grab ol’ Ghostface for around $20 on eBay if you’re lucky, upwards of about $70 if you’re not. I would skip Amazon because you’ll be overcharged no matter what shape the figure is in.
As always, happy hunting!