I've previously written about my fondness for Living Dead Dolls, though that fondness is more of the detached, I'd-buy-more-of-these-if-I-was-half-my-age kind. The line consists of seemingly thousands of macabre horror dolls, who all somehow look like custom one-of-a-kind creations, even though they're mass produced and not very expensive.
The collection is sustained mostly through characters unique to it -- mainly exaggeratedly gothic kiddies in various states of decay. I probably would've only ever heard of them in passing, but their manufacturers, Mezco, sealed a couple of brilliant licensing deals that allowed characters recognizable to just about everyone to join the fray.
Like, for example, Jason Voorhees, who was immortalized in Living Dead Doll form back in 2006. Two years later, I found one for Leatherface. I still love them both, and they remain some of the few true "toys" that I make certain to have on display in the less-obviously junky parts of our apartment. They look expensive enough to warrant such treatment, and besides, I kind of enjoy the idea that they're watching Montel Williams's late night juicer infomercial right alongside me. If I'm gonna say awesome stuff like "oh how the Monty have fallen," I want an audience.
I guess I haven't been paying much attention, because Mezco has unleashed several more movie characters in Living Dead Doll form, each one more irresistible than the last. Today, the first of a few such additions get their Countdown treatment.
Meet Beetlejuice! Okay, so he's really "Betelgeuse," but I feel like it's acceptable for me to continue making this moniker-related faux pas if everyone else can. Since I enjoy building to a crescendo, it's possible that I picked the wrong Living Dead Doll to kick off this review series. I'm just not sure that any movie monster, even one I like more, is going to top this guy. If there was ever a character begging to be transformed into a baby-faced doll with a pouty expression, it's Beetlejuice.
Living Dead Doll boxes are so cool and displayable, collectors may have a hard time letting themselves open them. I've been there many times, and I understand the mentality. As anyone who ever owned Kenner's old "Dagobah Action Playset" can attest, sometimes kid shit just looks better in the box. It isn't true in this case, though. Save the box if you want, but don't keep Beetlejuice in there. He is simply too adorably creepy to not be allowed to breathe.
Wow, just wow. To be a ten-year-old with emotional problems is all I really want at the moment, because justification in carrying my Beetlejuice doll wherever I go seems completely mandatory. I soak in all the factors that make this thing great, and see that Beetlejuice has successfully evolved from "a doll" to "THE doll." You don't need to be such an enormous Beetlejuice fanatic that you still buy Zagnut bars just for the reference points alone to agree with me, either. Just look at the photo.
I don't know who designed Beetlejuice's Living Dead Doll, but they're a star and I owe them ribbons. Every detail is perfect. His hair is wild and two-toned, his eyes big and doe-like, and his mouth covered in yucky slimy spittle. His clothes aren't removable unless you want to ruin him, but they look like they are, and that counts for something.
Finally, despite being a baby-version of Beetlejuice, it's so film-faithful that they even remembered to give his sleeves a horizontal stripe pattern, in contrast with the rest of his suit's vertical stripes. Let any lingering concerns wash away: Beetlejuice's Living Dead Doll is stripe-accurate.
And so, my army of baby scary people grows. I see no reason to advertise this to Jason or Leatherface, but I like their new brother better. When there is only one red Fla-Vor-Ice left, it will be his.
Curious about the price? Yeah, me too. Everyone seems to sell Living Dead Dolls for a something different, but the safest answer is that they're around $30 each, all-in. Not cheap, but things that make you smile so hard that the corners of your lips bleed rarely are.
I'll get to the other Halloween-appropriate Living Dead Dolls much later in the Countdown. A few Google searches will give you a good guess of which characters they are, but spoiling surprises is something only a goat would do.
Are you one? And here I thought having a couple of readers from Guadeloupe was rad.Posted by Matt on 09/22/2010. E-mail me!