Happy Halloween, Toyhounds!
For someone who absolutely loves horror films, it’s odd that I own precious few horror based toys and action figures. I’m not entirely sure why that is, but in the past it’s prevented me from doing much in the way of Halloween themed features. This year, however, I’m ready with a trio of retro-style figures based on my three favorite 80’s Slashers: Jason Vorhees, Freddy Krueger, and Michael Meyers. As sick as it may sound, I practically grew up with these guys. My parents were pretty cool about letting me watch horror films and by the time I was in my teens I had a nice collection of VHS horror flicks recorded off of Cinemax, HBO, or Showtime. My bread and butter were the films starring these three slashers. There are installments of Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street that I know my heart, and the same could be said for the first three Halloween films. I know, Meyers wasn’t in Season of the Witch, but I still really dig that flick!
And there they are as part of the ReAction Horror Series. Back in the day, Kenner planned on releasing a line of 3 3/4” figures based on the film, Alien, but they were never released. Was it because the larger alien figure didn’t sell well? Or did they come to their senses and realize that it wasn’t a movie suitable for children’s toys? Either way, the molds were eventually obtained by Super7 and released as a retro-styled “ReAction” line. The Alien figures were well received by collectors and now Funko is trying to ride that gravy train by releasing all sorts of licensed figures under the “ReAction” line. I’ve already looked at their Rockeer figure and have since stayed away. But when confronted with the three most notorious slashers from the 80’s, I couldn’t resist. Let’s start with Freddy Kreuger…
I like the artwork they went with for Freddy Kreuger. It’s a really nice promo shot with him clutching his left shoulder with his gloved hand. I don’t think they could have picked a better picture and the movie logo sure looks great on a vintage style card. Freddy comes in his bubble with his fedora trapped off to the side in a little bubble compartment to keep it from rattling around. My only complaint here is that the card arrived creased, but then if it hadn’t, I might have opted to keep all three of these sealed.
Yup, if Kenner produced a Freddy figure way back in 1984, I have to imagine that this is a pretty good representation of what it would look like. The figure hits all the right points from the slightly oversized head to the rigid 5-POA body. Yes, all three of these figures feature the same vintage style articulation. For a quick scale comparison, I included a shot of him terrorizing Kenner’s own Princess Leia in Hoth Outfit. Freddy’s a tiny bit taller than Leia, but then he was never a big guy so it seems about right.
If anything this mock up of Retro Freddy might look a little too good. The detail work on the face and glove are actually quite impressive for a figure of this type and the fact that the fedora is removable is a cool bonus, but if you ask Kenner Indiana Jones, he’d tell you that’s a feature that probably wouldn’t have made the cut back in the early 80’s. The pants and shoes are pretty basic stuff, but the sculpted texture on the sweater is nicely done and you even get some ragged areas along the waist. The paintwork is excellent, with clean lines on the red and green sweater stripes and you get some nice coppery paint on his glove. Speaking of which, the glove blades are soft plastic so I don’t have to worry about them snapping off like they did on my 3 3/4” Freddy figure from Mezco’s “Cinema of Fear” line. All in all, I label this figure as a win.
Next up is Michael Meyers and once again I think Funko did a great job choosing the still shot for the card art. You get Michael with his masked face, half in the shadow, and his butcher knife on full display. Halloween didn’t really have a very notable logo, so I don’t get the same sense of awe about seeing the title on the card here, but all in all I think this is a solid presentation. My figure has his head turned to the side but I’m not sure if they’re all packaged like that or not. He seems to have plenty of clearance in the bubble so I don’t see any reason for it. Also worth noting, while his butcher knife was taped to the side of the bubble, mine is rattling around loose inside. That was *excuse* reason enough for me to consider this an inferior packaged example and rip this guy open too.
Michael is a much simpler figure than Freddy, but I still think they nailed the character perfectly in this style. The head is still a bit oversized but the sculpting on the mask is almost too good for a retro-style figure like this. From the soulless black eyes to the expressionless white plastic, I would have absolutely no problem identifying who this was supposed to be, even if someone handed me just the head.
The body consists of just a blue jumpsuit with sculpted pockets on the chest, a cinched waist, a little wrinkling and not much else to speak of. The shoes do have sculpted laces and treads on the bottom. Like I said, it’s not as dynamic as Freddy, but it fits the character perfectly. You also get the tiny butcher knife, which Michael can hold perfectly in his right hand. What’s more, Michael is taller than Freddy and big enough to menace Kenner Leia. Ok, Funko… you’re two for two on these. Can you pull of a Triple Play? Let’s check in with Camp Crystal Lake’s favorite son and see…
Yes, last but not least is Jason Vorhees and the card for this one is a total winner. While Freddy has more personality, Jason and I have been late night buds for a lot longer. He got me through many nights of insomnia and the two of us have a special bond. The still shot of Jason and the familiar logo both look amazing on the card, even if it isn’t the look that the figure is based on. I’m pretty sure that shot of Jason is from Part VI: Jason Lives as the mask is lacking the chevrons on the cheeks, which are clearly depicted on the figure. I’ll be honest, the condition of the card on this one is perfect and Jason’s machete is still taped to the bubble. I really don’t want to open him, but since I opened the other two… it’s slashing time! Chh chh chh chh, Ha ha ha ha!
Like Michael Meyers, Jason is a pretty simple figure, but still manages to capture every thing there is about the character. In fact, he’s easily identifiable as from Part 3 because of his outfit and the aforementioned chevron marks on the mask’s cheeks. You get a green shirt with two sculpted pockets, gray trousers, and brown hiking boots. The mask has sculpted and painted straps permanently holding it onto the figure’s little bald and bulbous noggin. Adorable! Jason also clocks in at about the same height as Michael. Mr. Voorhees comes with his trusty machete, which he can hold loosely in his right hand and far more securely in his left.
I wasn’t overly impressed by the ReAction Rocketeer figure, but this trio of retro slashers has comfortably redeemed Funko’s efforts in my eyes. Don’t get me wrong, I think a lot of these ReAction figures look just plain awful, but these three figures are just plain awesome. For the most part they succeed in exactly what they intended to do: recreate hypothetical figures of serial killer maniacs for a parallel world where such things would be sold to kids. Hey, I had a poster of Freddy Krueger hanging on my wall, so there’s no question I would have bought this figure if it was available. At $10 a pop, I’m very happy I picked these up and they’ve actually given me the confidence I needed to try out some of their Universal Monsters. Hell, I may even try to get another set of these three to keep carded and hang on the wall.