Do you remember the Great Mascot Wars of the 90’s? After SEGA’s Sonic The Hedgehog arrived on the scene to challenge Mario it seemed like every game publisher out there was hell bent on developing a new animal mascot with The ‘Tude©. A few of these turned out OK, most were terrible, but from the ashes a new champion was born. In 1996 developer Naughty Dog gave us Crash Bandicoot, which was published by Sony and soon became a mascot for the Sony PlayStation until eventually flying the coop and going multi-platform. I’m glad that he’s on multiple platforms now, I’m playing N-Sane Trilogy on my Nintendo Switch and enjoying it every bit as much as the originals, but if my interactions with idiots on Twitter are any indication, there are a lot of younger folks out there that aren’t even aware that Crash was such an important poster child for the PlayStation. Kinda sad.
And with his original three games now rebuilt from the ground up, along comes NECA to deliver some toys! This Crash figure is the first in a number of offerings NECA has revealed. Also recently shown off at SDCC were Crash with a jetpack and Crash with a hoverboard. But the first to arrive on the scene is plain old Crash. He comes in a sealed blister card, which isn’t collector friendly, but does offer up a nice whiff of plastic fumes when you break the seal. The packaging is colorful and there’s even a fun surprise folded up inside the insert. Let’s break this Bandicoot out and have a look!
Straight away, I’ve got to commend NECA on the sculpt. They really did a great job capturing Crash’s overall look and personality. A lot of the Mascots with Attitude came across as smug jerks to me, even Sonic, but I never got that feeling from Crash. OK, I mean the look he gives you when he’s about to mount the boar in Hog Wild is a little creepy, but overall I think this Bandicoot is a good guy and that really comes across in this figure. I think one of my favorite things here is the way they sculpted the fur, rather than just leaving him smooth. It definitely gets the point across that this figure is based more on the remake than the original games, but all in all I think it just makes for a better looking figure. The shorts are smooth with a sculpted waist tie, you can see his little white socks peaking out from the tops of his enormous sneakers, and the sneakers themselves are textured and have sculpted laces. His outfit is completed by a pair of finger-less gloves, complete with cut-outs on the backs of his hands, and sculpted stitching! This character has become so surprisingly iconic to me and this figure delivers on every bit of it.
Another thing that really stands out here is the coloring. Crash’s fur is comprised of multiple shades of orange from the bright yellow parts on his chest and and elbows to the darker shades on his shoulders and around his face. I can swear I remember reading an article in an old video game magazine saying something about how developers liked to use orange in their games because it looked particularly vibrant. True or not, it certainly looks great here in plastic. The blues of the pants have a nice glossy sheen to them and the paint lines are all neat and crisp, even on the shoe laces.
As far as the head goes, NECA totally nailed it. This portrait is all about the personality, and thanks to the ball jointed eyebrows, you can get some different expressions out of him. I want to say Palisades did this first with their Muppets line, but whatever the case it’s a really brilliant idea. I’ve definitely had some fun with it, and it’s just so cool to mess around with. His miss-matched pupils give him that slightly crazy look and his smile shows the delight and wonderment of a Bandicoot on a great adventure. Even his spiky fur mohawk looks great.
In addition to those eyebrows, Crash sports a decent amount of articulation throughout the rest of his body. NECA does love their rotating hinges, and here you get them in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, and knees. There’s a ball joint in the chest and neck, and ball joints in the hips as well.
As for accessories, Crash comes with a cardboard box that’s tucked between the folded inserts of the packaging. It’s pretty durable, significantly better than the ones that Jakks included with their World of Nintendo figures, and infinitely better than the tiny ones Hasbro included with their 4-inch Indiana Jones line. It tabs together well and it’s sturdy enough to hold Crash’s significant weight.
But… and here’s where the nitpicking begins, while the figure itself is fantastic, the package feels light on the accessories. Sure, Crash himself uses a lot of plastic, and I’m not expecting a bunch of stuff. It’s not the lack of a quantity of items, but rather the lack of a couple of key items. I really expected to get Aku Aku or even a foam peach and the lack of either really stings. With the follow up Crash variants being packed with jetpacks and hoverboards, this vanilla Crash release seemed like the best opportunity to get us those things. And I just don’t see how you can do a Crash Bandicoot figure without Aku Aku. If I were a betting man, I’d say they plan on releasing Aku Aku with Coco as an extra incentive for collectors to buy her. If that’s the case, I’m OK with it, because quite frankly I plan on being All-In on this line.
And the last thing I want to do is end this review on a negative, because I’m absolutely in love with this figure. The colors and sculpt come together in a way here that approaches Raziel, my favorite NECA video game figure of all time. But most of all, this release allows me to let go of one of my long-time holy grails, and that’s Resaurus’ Crash figures. For those that don’t remember, Resaurus was a toy company that cut their teeth on some great video game licenses like Duke Nukem, Sonic the Hedgehog, Quake, and Street Fighter. Their figures were great, but didn’t always age well, and most of mine wound up breaking. Resaurus’ Crash figures have become rather expensive on the secondary market, and while I look out for them, I never pulled the trigger. And now I don’t have to. My only hope is that NECA gets to a decent number of other characters. At the very least I’d love to get me Neo Cortex, Coco, Nitro Brio, and Tawna!