That’s right, folks, it’s the week leading up to Halloween and I’m hitting y’all with a one-two punch of NECA horror goodness. Yesterday, I checked out their Ultimate Jason Voorhees from the third Friday the 13th flick, and today it’s Freddy’s turn from the third installment of A Nightmare on Elm Street! This release follows up on NECA’s 30th Anniversary Freddy, a fantastic figure that is in pretty hot demand these days. I ran really long yesterday, so I’ll try to control my excitement a bit better today.
Once again, the figure comes in a box, which looks like an engorged VHS tape sleeve, featuring that kick ass movie poster art on the front. One look at that artwork and I can practically hear Dokken wailing out their hard rock tribute to Freddy. The box looks fully enclosed, but the front flap opens to reveal a window and the figure. You also get the title on the side panels and this box looks great lined up with the previous Freddy release as well as the two Ultimate Jasons from Friday the 13th. While I can find something to love in every last one of the original ANEoS films, there’s no doubt that Dream Warriors is my favorite. The idea of misfit kids using their dream powers to fight Freddy is such a great premise and the fact that all these poor kids are locked in a hospital makes the whole thing all the scarier.
One might expect a heavy reuse from the last Freddy figure, but this is NECA and they understand that the devil is in the details. The legs are the same, the left hand is the same, but that’s about it. Freddy’s sporting a brand new sweater, tattered at the bottom edge, a little less grimy, and painted a slightly brighter red. The knitted texturing on this plastic garment is fantastic, and here we get the stripes painted on the sleeves all proper like. The boots are brand new sculpts as well.
The torso looks a wee bit more squared off on this figure, especially at the shoulders, and that’s probably because of the chest swap gimmick that I’ll get to in a bit. The articulation is identical to the 30th Freddy, with rotating hinges at the shoulders, elbows, knees, and ankles, and ball joints in the hips, waist, wrists, and neck.
Yes, even the famous glove is new, and what a fantastic piece of work it is! From the teeny rivets that hold on the fingers to some fantastic paint that recreates the heavily tarnished brass plate that the finger attaches to. The fingers are gesturing in an identical fashion as the 30th Freddy and the blades are bendy so you don’t have to worry about snapping them off.
The stock portrait offers a wicked smile, which is similar to one of the alternate heads that came with 30th Freddy, but it’s an entirely new sculpt that reflects the changes in the makeup for Dream Warriors. This is a bit more polished version, and it tends to be the one I remember most from the onslaught of Freddy merchandising that was all the craze in the latter half of the 80’s. The paint here is superb. Appropriately, it’s more glossy and redder than the previous version, which was more of a matte brown. I can remember having a framed poster of Krueger in my bedroom around the time I was 15 or so and this was definitely that look. The fedora is, of course, removable, and it too is a brand new sculpt.
The alternate, screaming head, features a light-piping effect in the forehead that shows the burning crucifix from when his remains were laid to rest in sanctified ground. The effect is pretty damn rad, and this is a great sculpt, but keep in mind the light-piping means that there’s a clear plastic spot on the back of his head to make it work.
Freddy doesn’t come with an overwhelming number of accessories, but some of these are truly substantial. First off you get the replica of the popsicle Elm Street house that Kristen was building in the beginning of the film. It’s one of the most memorable opening credit sequences for me of just about any 80’s horror flick that I can think of, but that might be because I’ve seen this film so many damn times. I also can’t tell you how many times I decided I was going to get a bunch of popsicle sticks and try to make this model. Yeah, that never happened.
Next up, is Philip’s puppet that turns into Freddy. This is a pretty simple piece with a little red plastic splotch of blood that plugs into his foot to help him stand. There’s some basic articulation in the shoulders, and the legs pull out of the hips pretty easily. And that brings me to my favorite dream sequence in the film…
Hey, Taryn… Let’s get high! The syringe fingers! These look absolutely great, but I had a hell of a time getting them on. The hands are pegged in with a pretty typical barbell peg system with ball joints at both ends. Detaching the stock hands left these pegs in the hands and not the wrists. I had to get a pair of needle nose pliers to get the pegs out and back into the wrists. Then I couldn’t get the syringe hands on, so I had to go into the sockets and clean them out a bit with a razor. It’s still really hard to get the gloved hand off without the peg staying in the hand, but eventually I did it. What a rush!
Possibly the coolest extra in the box, and the one that will likely get me to pony up for a second figure to have two to display, is the swap out “chest of souls.” The switch is done in the same way as NECA’s Ultimate T-1000. You just pry off the front of the torso and peg in the alternate piece. It’s a great looking sculpt and works really well. I hope we get another similar piece when and if NECA does The Dream Master Freddy, maybe with the arms coming out.
Besides being another fantastic release in NECA’s series of Ultimate action figures, Dream Warriors Freddy should be a welcome chance for people who missed out on 30th Anniversary version and aren’t willing to pay the $50+ that he’s going for these days. It’s every bit as great a figure and Freddy’s look in this film is probably more familiar and iconic to a lot of fans. At least that’s the case for me. Also, I think the accessories here are a lot more value added than what we got with the 30th Freddy. And speaking of value, Freddy goes for around $22 at most retailers, which is a damn amazing price for all your getting. I’ve now got two Freddys, two Jasons, and one Leatherface lined up on my NECA Ultimate shelf and I can’t wait to see what’s coming next!