Silent Screamers Series 1 - Orlok, Renfield, & Caligari

Back before Mezco had established their Living Dead Dolls and Cinema of Fear lines they were known as "Aztech Toyz."  Aztech Toyz worked with Art Asylum to create various lines featuring Eddie (Iron Maiden,) Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie, and eventually a line of figures based on famous silent-era horror films.  Aztech Toyz would produce two series in their Silent Screamer line along with one gigantic deluxe figure.  Eventually Aztech disbanded and Mezco Toyz was created.

The Silent Screamers line would contain aspects which Mezco would eventually become known for; an exaggerated characture style, detailed sculpt, and top-notch paint applications.

The first series consisted of Graf Orlok and Knock Renfield (Nosferatu,) and Dr. Caligari and Cesare (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,) which I will be reviewing today with the exception of Cesare.  I got a great deal on ebay for these three.  When you add in shipping each averaged to around 6 bucks which was too good of a deal to pass up.

Upon arrival I'd forgotten just how cool the packaging was for these figures.  Each comes in a very big collector friendly package displaying the figure in it's entirety.  The design is exellent, so much so that I almost didn't want to open them up.

Each figure includes a number of accessories along with a big highly detailed base.  A few of the figures in the line had bases that could connect, if you purchased Graf and Knock you could create one big diorama.  The detail on each is exceptional!  With the Nosferatu set each rat has multiple washes to bring out the most minor of details.  The walls of the prison are dilapidated and grimy, a portion of the wall even has a bit of carved in graffiti.  Graf and Knock each included a few bug and rat accessories to accent the the diorama.

Dr. Caligari's base is a bit brighter with a colorful carnival/sideshow setting.  It's a much more simple setting, especially when compared to the piles of rats Graf stands upon, but it still manages to be pretty darn cool.

Onto the figures.  Each is highly detailed and sculpted in Mezco's usual exaggerated style.  Graf Orlok is very tall and lanky.  Due to his stance the base is required to keep him upright.  The sculpt on the face is great, and while it does resemble Max Shreck's incarnation of the vampire it also has a very rat-like appearance, especially with the eyes.  Knock Renfield is a bit shorter than the other figures in the line.  He's hunched over and covered in various spiders, worms, and maggots.  The expression on his face is one of sheer craziness, that coupled with a long ratty facial hair makes for a pretty insane looking toy.  These two figures have very basic articulation, with the Graf leading the pack in terms of number of poses you can get out of of the figure.

Caligari has the least amount of articulation but as far as sculpt goes I think he's my favorite.  He's big, fat, and ugly.  The hypnotist has a few chins, warts, and a ton of wrinkles.  His coat is a nice burgundy color with a dark wash bringing out the patchwork-like details.

Each figure includes a number of accessories.  I'd mentioned bugs and rats earlier, Renfield also includes shackles and a restraining mask while Caligari comes with a top hat, spectacles, and cane.

But that's not all, Graf and Caligari both have action features!  Caligari splits open to reveal that his body is actually in a straight jacket covered in tentacles and eyeballs.

While Graf probably has the coolest action feature ever included in a monster toy as his skin actually changes colors in sunlight to mimic burning.



Also included with each toy is a small clear trading card meant to mimic the look of a film cell.  A very nice touch!

The Silent Screamers line didn't last to long, but it managed hit a very strange middle ground.  Figures that are fun for kids, but also great for older collectors.  There's tons of detail, accessories, and action features that don't at all hinder the sculpt.  They're fun, which is something that's missing in a lot of today's more popular adult collectibles.  I can't wait to complete the series!

Also, it is worth mentioning that this first series had two variations.  They were available in color (what's pictured above) or with a sepia paint scheme (lots of yellows and browns.)  I decided to go with the color, but both are readily available on websites like ebay and amazon.

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