If you stopped by hoping for an action figure review of a Funnybook Character, GI Army Man, or Convertorobo Car, well… THOSE AREN’T SPOOKY! And spooky is what I’m all about right now as Halloween Horror Month grinds ever onward, crushing the bones of those who fall by the wayside into dust. Now, feel free to call foul as Gremlins is indeed a Christmas movie… nay, a Christmas Classic! Right up there with the likes of Die Hard. But it’s also a horror movie, and I’ve got a lot of Gremlins to look at, dammit, so I’m slipping them into this Action Figure Monster-Thon! Today I’m looking at both the regular vanilla Gremlin and the Gamer Gremlin!
You know the deal by now! NECA’s Ultimate figures come in boxes with front flaps that open to reveal a window to show off the figure inside. Regular Gremlin has a reproduction of the movie poster on the front, while Gamer Gremlin has the same, but with the obnoxious Gamer Gremlin bursting through and looking EXTREME!!! As indicated on the box, the Gamer Gremlin started out as a Gamestop Exclusive, but right now my Target has a few of them, so I guess he ain’t one no more! Man, it’s been too long since I last watched Gremlins. I should remedy that this month, but maybe I’ll wait until closer to Christmas. For now, I’ll just put on my Quarterflash LP and listen to Make it Shine.
It doesn’t matter which one I start with, because as near as I can tell they are both the same Gremlin figure, but with different accessories. Truth be told, I have a few of each and they’ve been mixed up so even I don’t know which is which anymore. The sculpt is excellent, with every inch of the figure covered in reptilian-like scales and texturing. The proportions look good, with the elongated arms and the stubby, canine-shaped back legs and dinosaur feet. I liked the homogeneous Gremlins design from the original film a lot more than the varied look featured in the second. I enjoy Gremlins 2 for what it is, but I don’t love it, and I’m not intending to collect any of The New Batch. The fact that they were just an army of identical beasties made them more like dealing with a swarm. It also lets me army build the hell out of them. The paintwork is solid enough, but I feel like they went a little heavy handed on the yellow stripes, but that’s just me nitpicking. The muted striping on the tail section looks rather cockroach like and delightfully icky.
The head is just about perfect, as far as I’m concerned. It captures all the personality of the original puppets, and I can’t even nitpick the paint here either. The eyes are incredibly lifelike, and I love the evil smile with the top row of teeth showing. The jaw is even hinged, and opening the mouth reveals the bottom row of choppers, as well as his tongue. One of my Gremlins’ jaws opens a little crooked, but it’s not a big deal.
The articulation is good on paper, but all of my Gremlins have at least one or two stuck joints. I haven’t given any of them a hot bubbly stove-top bath yet, but there are some joints here that I’m too nervous to give a workout until I can get around to that. I’ve owned enough NECA figures to know when a joint feels like it might rather snap than cooperate. He’s mostly loaded down with rotating hinges, and the ones in the arms work particularly well. I don’t have as much luck below the waist. The canine-like legs are difficult to work with by design, and these are where I’ve encountered most of my stuck joints. Still, they’re pretty easy to get standing in all sorts of poses, even if their feet aren’t always planted firmly on the ground. And heck, even the ears are articulated! OK, let’s check out some accessories!
The regular Gremlin comes with all sorts of bits and bobs from the film, and it all seems to be from the Bar Scene or the Theater Scene, and that makes sense, because these are where the Gremlins antics involved the most props. The frosty mug of beer looks great, and can be held quite convincingly in the left hand, and a little less so in the right. One of the cool things about it is you can take out the plastic beer and suds and have an empty glass. I know these are considered Adult Collectibles, but I’m still surprised, what with the way the world is today, that NECA was able to include an alcoholic beverage in with an action figure. But, it’s not like they’re promoting tobacco right?
Oh shit, he comes with a ciggy too! OK, I guess all bets are off! Beer and smokes for everyone! I heard that Amblin drew the line at including a gun, which may or may not be true. So that’s just the A and the T out of the ATF. Like Meatloaf sang, Two out of three ain’t bad. So, don’t be sad! Besides, I’ve got plenty of guns lying around to give them.
You also get a hand of playing cards, which are a bit more difficult to get them to hold, but with just a little patience and I was able to make it work. Moving on from the Bar, let’s check out the Theater stuff!
Everybody loves over-priced theater candy, right? The Gremlins sure do, because they didn’t pay for any of it. You get a packet of Brad Bites, which are basically off-brand Skittles, anda Doo-Dah Bar, which I think is an off-brand Baby Ruth Bar. Both are pretty cool, especially since I’m reviewing these figures at Halloween, so I can have them trick-or-treating for candy.
You also get an icy cold Cola to wash down the candy. I really dig that this is a cardboard cup. If you have a bunch like me, you even even crumple one of them to look like garbage.
Finally, you get a pair of paper popcorn bags to put on the Gremlins’ ears and a pair of old school 3D glasses. Yeah, these are pretty cheap accessories, but damn they look great and they are lots of fun. I wish other companies would get this creative with their action figure accessories every now and then. Let’s move on and see what Gamer Gremlin got!
Gamer Gremlin comes with the same paper cup of Cola, but he also comes with a big bucket of golden, buttery plastic popcorn! You can remove the popcorn piece to see that it has eye holes cut out so he can wear it as a creeper mask top hat. I don’t know why I love this so much, but I really do.
He also comes with a beanie hat and a pair of sunglasses. I dig the sunglasses, I’m not as keen on the hat. YES, I REALIZE HE SHOULD BE WEARING IT BACKWARDS!!! I put it on wrong, because I’m a stupid head and the Jameson told me to. It doesn’t matter which way it’s facing. I just don’t care for it. Fortunately, the rest of Gamer Gremlin’s stuff is pure gold.
As an Atari enthusiast, I was absolutely tickled to see him come with a little replica Atari controller as well as a copy of Gremlins in an homage to the game’s Atari 5200 box. I actually played this game most on my Commodore 64, but it’s a really fun and addictive game on any system. I don’t mind the Atari 2600 Gremlins game either, but that shit is crazy expensive and the fact that I no longer own that cartridge makes me sad. Anyway, the attention to detail on these two accessories is just wonderful.
And lastly, Gamer Gremlin comes with an homage to the old Coleco tabletop games. I’m pretty sure it was Coleco’s Donkey Kong in the movie, and I thought I remembered the Mogwai playing it, but like I said, it’s been forever since I watched it. Rather than face the full fury of Nintendo litigation, the game has been rebranded as The Fail Guy, but everything else about this little arcade machine is pretty damn spot on.
At one point I had seven of these little bastards, but I wound up trading a couple to a friend who couldn’t find them. Now, these guys are all over the place, and I’m constantly resisting the urge to pick up more when running into Target for something. I should probably just pour water on the ones I have! It doesn’t surprise me that I’m hooked on these, because when I was growing up I had that big Gremlin figure by LJN and I carried him around all over the place like a My Buddy doll. Needless to say, it’s great to have some Gremlins represented in my collection again. I still need to pick up Flasher Gremlin and the Caroling Gremlins eventually. When I come back after the weekend, we’ll check out one more Ultimate Gremlin… Stripe!