Evil Dead 2: Ash and Evil Ed (30th Anniversary Set) by NECA

What was an early birthday present back in August has now been sitting on my shelf for months waiting to be opened on the spookiest of weeks. And here we are! Believe me, there were plenty of times when I was tempted, especially when I was binge watching the third season of Ash Vs Evil Dead on Blu-Ray. The last time NECA dipped its toe into Classic Ash was back in 2016 with the release of Ultimate Ash from Evil Dead II. Now we get another version from the same flick, and this time he comes bundled with Deadite Ed Getley!

I’m sure I’ve gushed plenty in the past about my love for Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn, so I’ll spare you the repeat performance. Suffice it to say it’s been a favorite of mine ever since discovering it as a VHS rental back when I was a teenager. NECA is no stranger to the property, as they’ve produced lots of figures and merchandise from the films and TV Series. They also know how to do some killer presentation. This set comes in a big window box with a front flap showing some of the vintage poster art from the film and also the tagline, “Kiss Your Nerves Goodbye!” The package is totally collector friendly, which is great because there’s a bunch of stuff in this box to keep track of. Let’s start with Ash!

The previous Ultimate Ash from Evil Dead II depicted our hero from earlier in the movie, with his clothes still in tact and without his soon-to-be-favorite accessory. But this? This is Ash as I love him best. He’s in his full-on Deadite Hunting form from the second part of the movie and also from the beginning of Ash Vs The Army of Darkness. So iconic! Here he is with his shirt torn to shreds, his makeshift chest harness, his boomstick scabbard, and his chainsaw arm attachment. This is The Prophesied One!

As always, NECA did a beautiful job with the sculpt and attention to detail. From the waist down, he appears to be a straight re-use of the Ultimate Ash right down to the shredded left trouser leg. And there’s nothing wrong with that. The top half features a torn shirt that’s actually sculpted separately and attached to the figure. This not only adds a great deal of depth and credibility to the sculpt, but allows for the ball joint to be partially hidden by the shirt. Other nice touches include the immaculate stitch lines on the trousers, the carefully painted eyelets on the shotgun scabbard, and the blood splattered on the shirt. Rotating hinges give him some decent articulation, no surprises here, although I would have liked to be able to get a tighter bend in those elbows.

The chainsaw is also pitch-perfect when it comes to the sculpt and paint, but it does have a couple of drawbacks. First, the blade is super soft and bendy, which has not been a problem with my previous NECA Ash figures. Second, the peg that connects the chainsaw to the wrist stump is a pretty weak connection causing it to come off frequently, and I mean FREQUENTLY, when I’m posing him. I really wish they had used a ball joint for that connection point. But since the swivel is separate from the connecting peg, I may just wind up gluing that bad boy on him.

Ash comes with a whopping three heads! The first is a variant of the sort of surprised or scared-stupid look that came with EDII Ultimate Ash. The big difference here is a lot less blood on the forehead, but that’s not to say there isn’t a fair amount of blood here and there. Ash has taken a few blows to the face and it shows. The paint for his five-o-clock shadow is particularly well done. Is it a great likeness? Well, I think NECA’s younger versions of Bruce Campbell tend to have an element of caricature to them. Don’t get me wrong, the likeness is there, and it’s better at certain angles, but I don’t think it’s quite as good as what they did with older Ash from the TV Series.

Next up is a sort of neutral expression. I like the blood applications on this head a little better and the overall paint is fantastic.

And finally, you get the teeth-gritting “I’m sick of taking shit off these Deadites” expression. I think in terms of likeness, this one may be the weakest of the three, but given the way I’m likely to pose him, this one will probably get the bulk of the display time with my figure. I really do need to pick up some of those Head Display Stands that NECA does.

In addition to the chainsaw, Ash also comes with his sawed-off boomstick, which he can hold pretty well in his left hand. It is, however, a tight fit in that scabbard on his back. I’m hoping it stretches out a little over time. Moving on to Deadite Ed…

Or as he’s lovingly known as Evil Ed or how about just Edite? Whatever you want to call him, this is Annie Knowby’s significant other after who got possessed. From the neck down, he’s just a dude in khaki pants, loafers, and a striped dress shirt, oh yeah… and demon hands with creepy, spindly fingers.

But from the neck up he’s a whole lotta grusome. NECA went above and beyond recreating this portrait down to the finest details: The pupil-less eyes surrounded by blotchy purple skin, the wrinkled nose, the extended maw of a mouth overflowing with a mess of green teeth. Disgusting!

Evil Ed even has a hinged jaw so you could recreate him eating Bobby Joe’s hair! *Hair not included. What more could you ask for?

How about a second head that’s cut across the top to recreate Ash’s killing stroke? The top piece attaches well enough so that it looks like he just has a scar, but you can indeed pull it off to reveal his greasy green brains. COOL!

Ah, but we’re not done yet. You get a few more cool accessories in this box. First up is the Necronomicon Ex Mortis and this one one-ups the Book of the Dead that came with Ultimate Ash because it actually opens to show a couple of pages and holy shit, that’s going above and beyond! Seriously, it’s ridiculous how impressed I am by this!

Next, you get the very Gigeresque Kandarian Dagger! It’s pretty big for a dagger and the sculpt is packed with little details. Ash can hold it pretty well in his good hand.

And finally, the set includes the Deadite-possessed deer trophy! It’s a great bonus to beef up the value of the set, and the sculpt is superb, capturing all the personality of the outrageous puppet used in the film. I’m just sad because I have no idea how I’m going to display it. I’ll probably just try to find a panel of wood and blue-tack it to it, or maybe just attach it right to the back of the shelf where I wind up displaying these figures.

With the unfortunate demise of Ash Vs Evil Dead after just three seasons, it’s nice to know that NECA is still mining the classic movies to get Ash and the Deadites some love, and this set is indeed full of a lot of love. This will always be the most iconic look for Ash as far as I’m concerned and NECA did a fine job on him while still packing in a much-needed Deadite figure and some cool extras. I think this set retailed for around $45, but I’m not sure as it was a birthday gift, but if that was the MSRP then it was worth every damn penny. I can only hope that NECA isn’t going to let the Evil Dead license vanish into obscurity.

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Evil Dead 2: Ultimate Ash by NECA

It’s a truly great time to be an Evil Dead fan, but for reasons that I’m going to save for next Tuesday’s Feature. Today, I’ll just say it’s a great time to be a NECA fan, because they give us figures based off of cult classic movies, which most toy companies wouldn’t touch. I could say it’s because they’re too niche, but over the decades, Evil Dead has obviously fought its way into the pop culture hall of fame. The moment I saw Ash here show up on NECA’s Ebay Store, I started chanting, “I’m gonna get you… I’m gonna get you…”

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As always, NECA’s Ultimate figures come in beefy boxes illustrated with original movie poster or concept art. In this case, it’s that delightful skull with eyeballs that I associate with the original VHS tape that I had. I’m sure I’ve recounted my lifelong battle with insomnia here before. It started when I was a teenager and movies like this one often helped me get through those long and weary nights. It may sound odd, but it was like I could relate to the heroes in these horror flicks, as I too was trying to survive another night for the relief of dawn! Anyway, the box features an opening front flap and everything is collector friendly. There’s a ton of display options with this figure, so I’m just going to try to look at the accessories and extra parts by following Ashley throughout the course of the first half of the film or so.

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Ash comes straight out of the box already messed up, and I mean that in a good way. Let’s face it, it doesn’t take long for the Deadite shit to hit the fan in Evil Dead 2, and Ash here already has plenty of it all over him. He comes donning his familiar blue button down shirt, now smeared with white demon goo and given a very nice sheen of paint to make it look drenched.

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His pants and Timberlands are caked with mud and the stitching and texturing on the plastic fabric are amazingly realistic. They also did some particularly nice detail on the shredded left leg of his pants. No matter how many times I hold one of NECA’s figures, I’m always in awe of the love they put into every little detail. Just look at his boots. The laces and the treads are just fantastic. The body features what has become pretty standard articulation for this line, with rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles. The wrists are ball jointed, and you get ball joints in the waist and neck.

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The portrait features Ash with the bewildered and horrified expression that he has for a good deal of the movie. At least before he decides he isn’t going to take it anymore and starts kicking some ass. He has the bloody forehead from the wound that I believe was sustained when he went through the windshield of his car and hit a tree. Then again, he has so much blood on him at any given time, it could be from anything. It’s a great likeness to young Bruce Campbell, and while it is a very specific expression, I’d say it works for a good deal of poses and display options.

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Naturally, two of the most iconic props in the movie are included as accessories. Call it the Naturom Demonto, the Necronomicon Ex Mortis, or just the plain old Book of the Dead, it’s the book that started it all. While this little version is not bound in flesh and inked in blood, it comes straight from the Castle of Kandar and it’s a nice little reproduction for this scale. The other accessory here is Professor Knowby’s Panasonic tape recorder with the recording of the incantations. Recordings that you should never play, because then stuff like this happens…

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“Hello, Lover!” Yes, you get poor Linda’s head. She didn’t stand a chance in this film, as Ash was forced to decapitate her with a shovel a little more than five minutes in! How many movies can top that? On the other hand, Linda had more screen time after she was dead, and became a whole lot more interesting. The… um, head sculpt here is really well done, with some especially fine detail work and paint evident in the teeth. The neck stump is also fully detailed.

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Linda’s head is also present in the scene with one of the best/worst examples of ADR ever… “WORK SHED!” And yes, the work shed is the scene that introduces us to the iconic chainsaw, an accessory that is sadly absent from this box. But, I wouldn’t be surprised if something shows up next Tuesday to remedy that. Of course, at this point, Ash gives up the chainsaw anyway in favor of…

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The shotgun! “Old double-barrel, huh? Blow your butts to kingdom come! See if we don’t!” Only to drop it rather quickly, because he has more pressing matters at hand. HA! 

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Yes, next up, we have the possessed hand. Apparently all those bites from Linda didn’t do him any favors. The regular hand pops out at the wrist and you can pop in this one. “It went bad, so I had to lop it off at the wrist.” 

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The severed hand arm is replaced at the elbow, similar to NECA’s T-800’s damaged arm and features Ash’s stump wrapped in a dish rag and duct tape. This is a great looking piece, and it’ll likely be the way I display the figure most of the time.

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You also get a second possessed hand. Overturned bucket and copy of A Farewell to Arms, not included!

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Now, if I were to axe you what other accessories you want, what would you say? You in the back who said chainsaw… get the f’ck out. We already addressed that issue. No, it’s the hatchet and it’s covered in green Deadite goo.

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And last, but certainly not least, the set includes a second portrait for possessed Deadite Ash, and holy hell is it a great piece of work. In terms of overall detail and paintwork, I think it beats the regular portrait. Damn, I’m really tempted to pick up a second one of these figures now so that I can display both heads.

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Wow, this is a fun figure and certainly worthy of the “Ultimate” moniker. I know that quite a few people were pissed off that the chainsaw wasn’t included and I seem to recall Randy took a bit of heat about it on Twitter. In a perfect world, I would have loved to see it in there, but let’s face it, this isn’t the only Ash we’re going to be getting so there’s plenty of opportunities to get that particular accessory into the collection. One thing I’ve learned is that NECA is really good about planning these things out, and if one accessory had to be jettisoned to include some others, it meant that there was a plan for it later down the road. I’m fine with that, because I love everything we got in this box, and there’s nothing I would want to give up. And as I’ve hinted a couple of times, next Tuesday, I’m coming back with a look at my first pair of figures from the Ash Vs. Evil Dead series.