Starz delivered on another superb season of Ash Vs Evil Dead this year and I continue to be amazed at not only how great the concept works as a series, but how far the creative team is willing to push it. Not to mention how attached I’ve become to Ash’s sidekicks. Of course, NECA is on the scene and delivering some figures from the series. I’ve already looked at Hero Ash and the Eligos Demon and today I’m wrapping up the initial wave with a look at Value Stop Ash!
The package is identical to what we saw with the previous figures in Wave 1. You get an attractive, collector friendly window box that shows off the goods and has some photos of the figure and accessories on the back. I’ve been hanging on to these boxes, at least for the time being, but chances are they will eventually have to go bye-bye to make room for more figures.
While Hero Ash was the iconic, chainsaw wielding, Deadite hunter, this version is the lowly retail stockboy. Here, Ash dons his company-approved red Value Mart button-down shirt, complete with pocket protector full of pens and his employee name badge. The detail on the name badge is particularly well done and you get all the meticulously sculpted wrinkles and stitching that we’re used to seeing on NECA’s plastic wardrobes. The articulation is identical to what we got with the Hero Ash figure, including those double rotating hinged elbows, which is a huge improvement over the single rotating hinges we usually get. Beyond that, Ash features rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the wrists, rotating hinges in the knees, and ball joints in the hips. The ankles feel like ball joints, there’s a ball joint in the waist, and another in the neck.
So, let’s deal with the elephant in the room. Somewhere along the way S-Mart got replaced by Value Stop. It’s a minor point, but I still would have loved to hear Ash spout out the motto, “Shop smart, Shop S-Mart” one more time. There’s no in-universe explanation for this, but apparently there were trademark issues, which probably involved not having the rights to the third Evil Dead film. I’d just like to think he got fired from S-Mart for lighting the place up with his boomstick and Value Stop was the next employer on his way down the ladder of retailers. Anyway, let’s get back to the figure.
Value Stop Ash includes two portraits and as you might expect from NECA, both are excellent. The first is a pretty neutral expression, or possibly one of slight befuddlement, which is appropriate most of the time for Ash. The heads included with Hero Ash were both on point, but I think this one tops them all in terms of overall quality of likeness. It really is superb.
The other head really works for me as either a screaming Ash or a laughing-his-ass off Ash, although as we’ll see in a minute the intent here was the former. Once again, this is a great likeness and the detail in the mouth, in particular, is fantastic right down to his tongue and upper dentures. And just to sweeten the pot, both of these heads are interchangeable with the heads that came with Hero Ash, and vice-versa, so while the overall appeal of this figure will likely not be as high as Hero Ash, you really are enhancing that figure by picking up this one. I particularly like the screaming head on Hero Ash.
While not really an accessory, Ash also features his wooden right hand and it is removable. As long as we’re talking hands, it’s worth noting that Ash’s left hand is the same one used on Hero Ash, so it is capable of holding the Boomstick that came with that figure, or any other weapons you may want to rob from NECA’s expansive arsenal of guns included with figures in this scale. It also works pretty well as a pointing hand.
“Looking for Tampons? They’re over in Aisle 4. Shop Smart, Value Stop!” Nope, just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
And yes, in case you were wondering, the chainsaw from Hero Ash can be used on Value Stop Ash. It’s just an easy pop-and-swap.
Ash comes with one accessory and that’s the possessed doll from the pilot episode. It’s crazy tiny, but nonetheless still remarkably well detailed and painted. It’s also designed to attack Ash’s face.
Getting this to work can be difficult. I think the doll’s hand are actually intended to grip him by the nostrils, but I couldn’t get her to stick. I was able to get her to grab his nose between her tiny arms. All it takes is a little patience. It’s a surprisingly fun accessory for such a tiny piece of plastic.
Value Stop Ash is another fantastic figure in NECA’s ever growing and always impressive stable of licensed action figures, but let’s lay cards on the table and concede that this one is for the die hard collectors out there. Most of the casual toy collectors (is there really such a thing?) are going to be happy with Hero Ash and leave it at that. In fact, I’m surprised that NECA didn’t make this one a two-pack just to make sure they could move an adequate number of Value Stop Ashes. Me? Oh, there was never any question that I needed both and if you’re on the fence, the extra heads really are worth having to get the most out of Hero Ash.