All hail Retro Month! Every February we look to be covering some of our past toys, those wonders that you haven't played with in a good while, or that you saw at the time and wanted, but didn't buy. Prepare to salivate while heading to eBay, you rabid slobs!
The Golem myth varies from source to source, but the gist remains the same: Rabbi Loew, of the 16th century city of Prague, was the creator of the enormous living statue, a menace born to protect the poor and oppressed Jewish population. The creature was taught knowledge over a period of time and eventually developed a human personality, which went to his head, causing him to rampage through the city and the Rabbi had to unmake his creation.
This tale has spawned plenty of interesting horror movies and stories, to which comes today's review - the huge Silent Screamer: Reel Masters Golem. This is a big toy, with an original sculpt based (loosely) on the 1920 film Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam incarnation of the living statue. Bound together from stone and rope, the Golem is sculpted accurately as a stone monster, standing over 11" tall. His sculpt is unique, as if carved and sculpted from real stone. The paint job, mostly greys and lighter highlights, is simple but justified.
The big beast is moderately articulated, which is a little disappointing from such a large figure. He sports neck, waist, arms and wrists, all peg-joints and most a little brittle to begin with. A bit of play and perhaps some time in the freezer gets him going, and his presence is very noticeable, especially for sheer size, though he could really do with some more articulation and detail.
More impressive are his two accessories;
the first is a book, perhaps something of Jewish symbolism as it has the Star of David on the top. Jewish Scripture, perhaps? It's a big accessory that looks like a real book - very nice. But more impressive is the gigantic base/backdrop included with the figure - an enormous recreation of a door (possibly the town gate?) and stone floor.
Coming in several pieces to fit in the box, the door snaps together beautifully to resemble a part of the Golem legend. It's about 18" tall with beautiful detailing all over - the wood looks real, as do the golden door handles and everything else. The stone floor is slightly sloppier but nice all the same, with realistic stone tiles and a fallen red rose (which I suspect also has a part in some version of the legend). All together, the dioramic effect is awesome - it's huge!
What more can I say about the Golem? The figure was part of the sadly short-lived Silent Screamers line, which combined artistic interpretation with some of the most fascinating creatures ever featured in silent film. It's a standalone piece not quite as cool or clever as some of the other figures, but its size and accessories make it worth tracking down, and I can't deny it looks awesome as the centerpiece on your shelf.
What other figures would you have wanted to see in the Silent Screamers/Reel Masters line if it had continued? Tell us on our message board, the Loafing Lounge.