Halloween (2018): Ultimate Michael Myers by NECA

Since I’ve been back to semi-regular content, I’ve been trying to spread the love around to the offerings I collect from various toy companies that are piling up on the floor of my Toy Closet. I’ve also been trying to combine some reviews when possible to help me not be so far behind. This week, I thought a return to NECA was long overdue. I’ve got tons of new NECA figures to look at, so today let’s open up the Ultimate version of Michael Myersfrom the recent 2018 film. I had originally intended this to be a dual review of both Myers and Laurie Strode, but I found that I had a fair amount to say about each of these figures, so I’m breaking it up into two reviews, which will hopefully both post this week.

I’ve been a dedicated fan of NECA’s Ultimate line, so it should come as no surprise that I was beyond excited to get this figure. As always, these Ultimate releases come in what appear to be enclosed boxes, but actually have opening front flaps to show off the figure and accessories inside. The front panel looks fantastic, there are lots of pictures of the goodies inside, and the box is collector friendly. Yup, these are some of the few figures that I keep in their boxes, not only to keep all the accessories together, but also because NECA’s Ultimates look great lined up on bookshelves. And oooh, look at that sticker! There’s a flickering pumpkin inside!!! As for the film? I really enjoyed it. I don’t think it was mind-blowing, or in any way exceptional, but it was refreshing in its simplicity, especially when you consider what a shit-show the Halloween franchise had become. It’s been a long time since I cared about these movies, and I feel that the new one set things back on a positive track. So let’s get this box open and check out The Shape!

I have to imagine that even people who didn’t care for the movie, would still have to concede that Myers never looked better. And as usual, the same can be said of NECA’s version. Granted, from the neck down, this isn’t a terribly complex or flashy sculpt, it’s a just a dude in a boiler suit, but it’s still loaded with details. You get wrinkles and rumples, pockets, stitching, and all that jazz. Exciting? Maybe not, but it sure looks great, right down to the meticulously sculpted work boots.

The high collar of the suit gives way to the iconic mask and this portrait is fabulous. The expressionless visage of the Shatner mask has chiseled creases and wear making it look as frighting as ever. As time wore on, the mask began to take on more detail, which lends itself well to the HD age of film. I also really dig the way the shock of hair is swept back and the mask ends high enough so you can see Myers’ real neck protruding from it. And then you have what might be a sticking point for some classic Halloween fans, and that’s the eyes visible through the holes in the mask. There’s some wonderful depth here that really makes the mask feel like it was layered onto the head and there’s a face sculpt under there. And let’s not forget, this is Myers as he appears in the 2018 film. A film that dared show a glimpse of Myers unmasked.

But, let’s say you don’t like the visible eyes, and you just want a pair of vacant black pools where his peepers should be? That’s right, you get an alternate head to suit your preferences. It’s actually a completely different sculpt, with subtle changes in the mask itself, and the hair is a lot less unruly. And the eyes are actually still in there, they’ve just been painted over to make them harder to see. Normally, I would prefer the blacked out eyes, but to be honest, I think the first mask just looks loads better, and it’s probably the one I will go with for the display. It’s certainly the one I went with for a majority of the pictures in this review.

The articulation here is very good, and it even holds a few surprises in the elbows. NECA is usually content with giving their figures rotating hinges in the shoulders, but Myers here has double-rotating hinges! Yeah, they’ve done this before, and it’s nice to see them doing it again. It allows for a much tighter bend in the elbow, and overall better posing. As for the rest, the shoulders are rotating hinges, and the wrists are ball jointed… or so I thought! They’re actually pegs on tiny ball joints, similar to what we get with a lot of Sixth-Scale figures these days. Not bad! The legs have rotating hinges in the hips and knees, and the ankles have hinges and lateral rockers. I’m not sure what’s hiding under the rubber boiler suit in the torso, but it does feel like there’s some movement in there. Finally, he has a ball joint in the neck. Let’s move on to the accessories!

First off, Myers comes with a modest assortment of killing tools. These include a bloody hammer, a fireplace implement, and his rather iconic butcher knife. He also comes with extra hands to help him hold each of these. Actually, you get both a right and left accessory holding hand, so he can dual wield if you like. Extra weapons are always nice, but there’s only so much I can say about these. The very iconic butcher knife is my favorite. To me, it’s as much a part of Myers, as Jason Voorhees’ machete is to him, or Leatherface’s chainsaw is to that demented freak. As for the others, the poker is very thin and frail, and I probably won’t be pulling it out much just for fear of snapping it. The hammer is great, and I appreciate the bloody paint apps, but it’s still just a tiny hammer.

Myers also comes with a left hand with two of the fingers blown off. God bless ya, NECA. You really do think of everything!

Also included in the box is the severed head of the police officer from Laurie Strode’s protection detail that Myers decapitates. And wow is this a delightfully gruesome piece of work! I’d dare say that this is one of the most grizzly accessories I’ve seen included with a horror figure. I dig how it’s been hollowed out and carved up like a Jack-O-Lantern, complete with the eyes taken out. Yup, this is pure nightmare fuel cast into plastic and lovingly painted.

Next up is the grave-marker of Judith Myers, which is a nice addition to the little collection of headstones that NECA has been giving to us with some of their Ultimate horror figures. This one is very thin and lightweight, but it looks fine, and will make a nice addition to the display when off-set behind him on the shelf.

And finally, you get the accessory that’s so damn good, they had to call it out on the package with a sticker. At first, I assumed this would be the iconic Jack-O-Lantern from the credits, but in a really nice callback, it’s actually Vicky’s pumpkin with the heart-shaped eyes and nose. You know, the one that wound up in the fishtank! The lighting effect is activated by pushing down ont he top of the pumpkin and it really is superbly done.

Who doesn’t love Halloween in August, eh? Finally seeing Michael Myers done by NECA feels so right and this is yet another Ultimates release that they knocked right out of the park. The sculpt and articulation on the figure itself are both great, and the entire package is elevated by the wonderful accessories. There’s enough here for plenty of fun, as well as some great display options.¬†And to think, when I pre-ordered this figure, I imagined it was going to be the only Myers that we get out of NECA because of licensing issues. Of course, they have since shown off the Halloween II version of The Shape, and that one has me very excited. But hell, even if they couldn’t swing that deal, I still would have been perfectly happy with this figure representing Myers on my Slasher Shelf! And what could possibly be cooler than this? How about a figure of Laurie Strode from the 2018 movie as well? Yup, we got that too, and I hope to be back by the weekend to have a look at that figure!

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Marvel Legends: Captain Marvel (Starforce) by Hasbro

Hey hey, it’s another Marvel Monday, and today’s review is going to be kind of, sort of, random. I couldn’t get into the main stack of unopened Legends because there’s so much backlog piling up in my Toy Closet, but I do have a bag of more recent acquisitions on top. So, I reached my paw into that sack and pulled out the Starforce version of Captain Marvel as Vers. Yeah, that’ll work. Today has also reminded me that I have to start cataloging which Legends I have waiting to be opened, or I’m going to start buying doubles by mistake. Yeah, I have a problem.

I want to say this is a Target Exclusive, because that’s the only place I’ve seen it, but there’s no sticker or anything to call it out as such. It’s also not officially part of the Captain Marvel-inspired Kree Sentry Wave. But this package makes up for lacking a BAF part by cramming a whole bunch of extra goodies, as well as the ability to change it into an entirely different character! The package does identify her as Captain Marvel, rather than Vers/Minn-Erva, but at least it states she’s in her Starforce costume. Let’s take a look!

As Vers, we’ve pretty much seen this figure before. It is indeed a straight repaint of the Captain Marvel we saw in the Kree Sentry Wave. And that’s not a bad thing, because I love the suit design, and I particularly love all the sculpted detail that Hasbro put into it. From the panel lines to the details of the belt, and the starburst in the center of her chest, everything looks great and matches that hyper-detailed style that the MCU loves so much. And since the bodies are identical, I’ll just refer you back to my original review of Captain Marvel for the particulars on articulation.

Obviously, the big change here is the coloring, which eschews the red and blue for the Starforce green and black motif. I think it looked pretty great on Yon-Rogg and it looks really nice here as well. The metallic green paint looks incredibly sharp and has a beautiful sheen to it. It pairs with the black and silver trim and makes for a figure that really pops on the shelf. The paint lines on my figure are all pretty crisp, without any notable flubs to speak of. It is worth mentioning that the silver lines coming away from the starburst are painted to look thinner than on the Captain Marvel costume, which does set the two suit designs slightly apart. I’ll assume this was done on purpose, but to be honest, I’ve only seen this movie once, so I can’t remember all the particulars of this costume.

Vers comes with two heads, and yes they are the same two that came with the original release. The hooded portrait has been repainted to match the suit, and still features that faint smirk, as well as the sculpted shock of hair that forms her mohawk. Like the suit, there’s some fantastic detail sculpted into the helmet. The alternate unmasked head looks as good as ever. I think this figure would have been a worthwhile pick up as things go so far, but I haven’t even gotten into the extras. Let’s check out Minn-Erva.

As Minn-Erva, the figure offers a new head sculpt, an ammo strap, and a rifle. You also get two extra hands to hold the weapon, and these are definitely intended for Minn-Erva because the fingers are painted blue. The bandoleer strap rests on her left shoulder, has what I presume are some kind of power cartridges for the rifle, and it looks like it has either a holster for a pistol or a pouch to carry more stuff in. The sash is sculpted to blow a bit back, behind her head and shoulders. I wouldn’t say that these pieces totally transform the figure, but they do offer enough distinction to make it work as another character wearing a similar uniform.

The head sculpt is great, but also a bit perplexing. It doesn’t really look like they were going for the MCU version of the character. Maybe they didn’t get likeness rights, but it comes across looking like a modern version of the comic character. With that having been said, it’s a damn fine sculpt, I like the styling of the hair and the exposed area on the left side of the scalp line. The paint looks good, although there’s quite a bit of slop along the top edge of my figure’s mask. It’s not something I really notice with the figure in hand, but it does stand out in the close up shots.

Her other accessory is her Kree rifle and I dig it a lot, both in design and execution. It’s got a very slender and almost organic profile to it. And while it’s cast in a silver plastic, it does have some metallic blue paint applications to give it some more detail. It also has a scope sculpted onto the top. Minn-Erva can hold the weapon comfortably in her right hand and the trigger finger threads easily through the guard. Her other hand allows her to cradle the barrel or steady it for precision shooting.

It would have been really easy for Hasbro to just slap a repaint of the Captain Marvel figure into a box and call it a day, so it’s nice to see they didn’t take the lazy route here. In fairness, I probably would have picked this figure up even had that been the case, but I’m very happy to have the extra options. Some might take issue with the Minn-Erva head sculpt, but it still works well enough for me. And who knows? If this one turns up at a good enough price, I may eventually buy a second so I can display both characters on the shelf.

DC Gallery: Supergirl by Diamond Select

It does my heart good to be coming back with a third review this week. It makes me even happier to relive the old days with a DC Friday review! I’ve been trying to cut down on the number of Gallery statues I buy from DST, because they were getting out of hand, but this past month, they’ve released a bunch that I simply could not resist. Today, I’m opening up one of those, and it is indeed… Supergirl! In case you’re unfamiliar, these are roughly 9-inch scale, budget-priced PVC statues, and DST churns out a lot of them!

We’ve already seen Supergirl twice in the DC Gallery line, both of which were based off the animated Justice League Unlimited series, with one for regular release and one as an SDCC Exclusive. If you’ve been with me for the three dozen or so Gallery Statue reviews I’ve done here on FFZ, then you should be readily familiar with the packaging. These statues come in collector friendly window boxes, with windows on the front, top, and side panels. This particular box is a little larger than most of the Gallery statue boxes in order to incorporate the rather dynamic pose. The statue inside is nestled in a clear clamshell, letting you see what you’re getting from almost every angle. In this case, the box itself is nice and colorful, with some beautiful character art on the back (even if it doesn’t match the statue at all!) and her S-Shield printed on the back of the interior tray. All that is great because I am currently displaying these statues in their boxes. Let’s get Kara out of the box and check her out!

The statue comes out of the box all assembled and ready for display, and looking mighty fine! For the most part DST has been producing these statues with fairly static and reserved composition. That’s certainly not the case here, as Supergirl is seen bursting forth from a fiery explosion and ripping a chain in half. No doubt, an eeeevil chain! She has one leg drawn up at the knee with her other leg trailing down and touching the base. The pose shows off both her power and the grace of her curves beautifully. Straightaway, I’m going to say that this is one of my favorite poses this line has done, and it’s also one of the better poses I’ve seen on a Supergirl statue recently. It exhibits some great keneticism and excitement, and it just captures the character perfectly.

I’m also very fond of the costume style they chose here. She sports the blue long-sleeved crop-top and skirt, yellow belt, red boots, and the flowing red cape. As is routine for these statues, all of the details of the costume are incorporated into the sculpt, right down to some subtle wrinkles. This goes a long way to bring the costume to life and it often helps keep the paint in line too. And the coloring is also very much on point. The shades of red and blue go great together and include nice subtleties like a glossier finish on the boots and a matte finish on the cape. The S-Shields on both her chest and the back of her cape look nice and crisp. The skin tone is warm and even, but my one nit-pick would be that it’s a little too glossy for my taste. It’s not so bad under normal lighting, but my studio lights make her look like her skin is wet and glistening. Eh, maybe that’s not so bad.

I was a little unsure of this portrait from the initial solicitation shots, but I think it turned out quite good in person. Indeed, I like it even more than DC Collectibles’ Cover Girl version of Supergirl, and that one is no slouch either. The paint on the eyes and lips are sharp, and I like how her mouth is slightly parted to show that it took the tiniest bit of effort to rip apart that chain. The hair sculpt isn’t terribly dynamic, but it does kick off to the side a bit to offer a little windblown look. I’m not sure this portrait is based on any particular art, but she’s pretty and I think it’s an overall¬† good look for Kara.

Bases have not always been the best thing about DST’s Gallery statues. It’s not that a lot of them are bad, but they’re just kind of there. That’s sort of the case here. Supergirl’s base is serviceable and lends itself well to the action pose. I’m not one hundred percent sure what it’s supposed to be, but I’m assuming it’s just a ball of fire from an explosion. I suppose it could just as easily be a fiery comet or something. Not knowing what it is doesn’t really compliment the sculpt that much, but I’m willing to accept it as an abstract construct.

And before wrapping it up, I thought I’d toss in a shot of Gallery Supergirl alongside the previously mentioned Cover Girl Supergirl by DC Collectibles. Obviously, the costumes and styles are different, and this is a PVC statue as opposed to cold cast porcelain, but I think the Gallery statue holds up remarkably well against the competition. Plus, the PVC material is a lot more durable.

Once upon a time I used to call Kotobukiya’s Bishoujo line the best value in statue collecting. Well, two things have happened for me to revoke that praise. First, Koto has raised their prices a lot. Second, DST’s Gallery line has come along. And while the quality here isn’t on par with Koto’s, at around forty bucks, this is an extremely nice display piece for the money. A lot of thought went into the composition, the sculpt is excellent, and the paint only shows a few minor rough patches, which aren’t even worth it to me to complain about. As always, I would recommend buying these in person whenever possible, so you can scrutinize the paint you’re getting, but this one came to me in the mail, and I did just fine with what I got.