Flash Gordon (The Original Superheroes) by NECA

Growing up, Flash Gordon was a big deal to me. No, not the original serial! I’m old, but not that old. No, I’m partly talking about the 1980 Dino De Laurentiis movie masterpiece, but also the Filmation cartoon. The cartoon was absolutely amazing to me, and I loved how it was separated into Chapters, giving it a serialized flavor like the original. It didn’t hurt that it hit at the peak of Star Wars Mania, giving me a regular dose of fantasy space opera. The cartoon still holds up, and laid a lot of the foundation for Filmation’s subsequent He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon, and I think it’s worth checking out. Of course, all this is pertinent because NECA acquired some rights to the classic King Comics characters, and Flash happens to be one of them.

I’m pretty sure NECA started with figures from the Flash Gordon and the Defenders of the Earth cartoon, and I’ll get to those eventually, but I thought I’d start with what they’re calling The Original Superheroes. There are three numbered figures in this assortment: Flash, Ming the Merciless, and The Phantom. The figures come in attractive and collector friendly window boxes, which have some printed distress to reflect the age of the characters, and a slightly exaggerated half-tone printing to evoke the flavor of the old comic strip. To be clear, this Flash Gordon is not based on the Filmation cartoon, but the look is close enough to work for me.

Flash has had a number of difference comic costumes throughout the decades, but this one ranks in as among my favorites. It’s simple, but colorful, and pretty much the perfect look for a swashbuckling space hero. The bright red shirt is painted onto the figure buck, but features the row of sculpted gold discs around the wide collar. The dark blue trousers have gold stripes on the sides, and feature some nice highlights to give it that comic art flavor. And the costume is rounded out with a belt cinched over a padded yellow wrap. The belt has a permanent holster for Flash’s pistol, and a peg hole to attach the scabbard for his sword. Delete all but three of the collar discs, and the weapons, and you have a fine stand in for Filmation Flash.

You get two head sculpts, the first features the blue form fitting headgear, which frames his face, but allows his coif to fly free up top. This look is tied mostly to the comics, as I don’t recall him wearing it in the Filmation series. I like it enough to be torn on whether or not to use it as my default head for display.

The decision becomes more difficult considering how strong the portrait sans headgear is! This one is a direct hit on so many levels. The facial sculpt, dominant jawline, the paint details, the shadowing on the cheeks, and most of all the hair. It’s all superb, and normally I would be 100% for using this as my default display noggin, but I’m still probably going to go with the blue headgear, only for the sake of variety, as I can enjoy this portrait on my Defenders of the Earth Flash.

The package boasts 33 points of articulation, and this figure does indeed have some excellent poseability. It’s all very standard stuff, but most of the points feature an impressive range of motion. The arms ahve rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, double-hinged elbows, and hinged pegs for the wrists. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips, double-hinged knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge in the torso, and double ball joint in the neck. Oh yeah, he even has hinges in the feet! Flash comes with two sets of hands, consisting of one pair of fists, a right gun hand, and a left sword hand.

The sword is a real beauty, and it comes with a plastic scabbard, which offers a good fit for the blade. The sword has a straight silver blade with a gold and aqua blue hilt, and painted red jewels in the crossguard. The scabbard is painted in a brilliant blue with a gold throat and tip. The scabbard pegs onto the belt quite firmly, allowing it to swivel to accommodate different poses, and it stays put without popping off. There’s just something I love about space heroes wielding conventional swords, and I wish we’d see more of it. It makes a lot more sense to me to repel boarders in space with trusty old steel, than to be firing weapons that could damage ship consoles, or rupture the hull.

Flash’s pistol is also a little work of art. It’s not quite retro-chic, but it does have a nice shape and design, and it’s packed with a load of detail. The deco is similar to Flash’s trousers, with a dark blue/black finish and some lighter blue highlights.

You also get two effect parts for the pistol, one is a simple muzzle blast, while the other is a full on beam and a contact explosion at the end. Both are cast in translucent yellow plastic, and fit over the end of the gun. These are both great, but the full beam is just absolutely awesome. Indeed, this is probably one of my favorite effect parts in recent memory.

NECA really knew their audience when it comes to this figure and me, and if I were making a list of favorites for 2022, this figure would be high on that list right now. I was more excited to get this one in hand than almost anything else I can think of in recent memory. We’ve had some decent figures release now and then from the 1980 Film, but not a lot when it comes to the classic comic character or his early cartoon exploits. The figure is versatile enough for me to stand in as the Filmation Flash, but I think he works best leaping from the pages of the timeless funnybook. On that note, NECA did give us an SDCC variant of this figure on a Filmation style card, but I’m getting ahead of myself there. Next week, I’ll revisit this series with a look at Ming the Merciless!

Halloween II: Ultimate Michael Myers by NECA

Happy Halloween, Toyhounds! And what better way to celebrate than with a review of a Michael Myers figure, eh? I was really hoping to be able to do a look at NECA’s new Halloween Kills version of Michael, but I haven’t found it and I’m not even sure it’s officially out yet. Luckily, I was able to pluck the Halloween II version of Myers from my backlog… I mean.. I’ve been saving him for just this occasion! Yeah, that’s it!

And that’s works out well, considering yesterday was this film’s 40th Anniversary! Not to mention, that by every imaginable standard of measurement, Halloween II is an infinitely better movie than Halloween Kills. I enjoyed Kills, but when I saw it, I was digesting a 22oz steak and was well lubricated with alcohol, so I was in a very agreeable mood. But, as the direct follow up to Carpenter’s original, Halloween II was a great ride, and still has some of my favorite Myers moments. I still get chills every time he effortlessly walks through that plate glass door without even flinching. I actually did a re-watch of this flick last night and had a great time doing it. So, let me grab a few more Fun Size Snickers from the bowl by the front door and bust open this figure!

The film begins exactly where the first one ends, so we get more or less the same version of Michael for either movie. The one big difference here is the bullet holes where Loomis “SHOT HIM SIX TIMES… SIX TIMES!!!” The Shape dons his dark blue jumpsuit with all the little sculpted stitches that I’ve come to expect from NECA’s plastic tailors. And the rumples! Oh, the rumples! Someone at NECA is just a master at sculpting rumples and wrinkles in plastic clothing. He has a pair of matte black work boots, and his collar is worn up. The jumpsuit that covers the torso is cast in soft plastic and conceals the articulation there. Otherwise, you get plenty of rotating hinges, including doubles in the elbows, which is just fantastic for the stabbing!

You get a whopping three heads with this figure! The first is the standard mask and it looks amazing. This appears to be an actual mask that is permanently attached to the head, which gives the eyes a nice sense of depth, as does the way the neck of the mask sticks out over the figure’s actual neck. The texturing on the pale mask is masterfully done so as to look like vinyl and not real skin. The hair also appears to be sculpted separately, giving it a clean hairline. I really liked the look of the modern, damaged mask in Halloween Kills, but this original will always be my favorite.

The second head is the poor bastard who just happened to be out on Halloween night dressed just like Myers and wearing a similar mask. Loomis mistakes him for Myers, hounds him into the street, and a cop car plows right into him, setting him on fire. Boy, took about shit luck! This head is certainly not essential, but boy it’s a really nice bonus. The face sculpt appears to be the same, but it’s mostly left unpainted. There are no visible eyes in the eye holes, which makes it super creepy. The hair is newly sculpted to look more disheveled, and it’s painted blonde.

The final head features the bloody eyes from the end of the movie. After Myers stabs Loomis with his scalpel, Laurie Strode demonstrates an incredible degree of marksmanship by recovering a gun and putting a bullet straight into each of Michael’s peepers. Two shots and they’re both all net! There isn’t any damage to the mask at all. Wow! This appears to be the exact same sculpt as the regular head with the blood trails painted on. The eyes are still visible too, just painted red. Yeah, that bit could have been done better, but I’m not going to nitpick it. OK… let’s go to the accessories, and just like last time, we’ll go chronologically by kill!

Knife! Myers acquires this piece of kitchen cutlery early on in the film by letting himself into an old couple’s house. He then goes next door and puts it right into Alice’s chest. At this point, I own a surprising number of butcher knives in this scale, and this one actually stands out a bit. It’s got a cool serrated blade!

Claw Hammer! What happened to the kitchen knife? Who knows!?! I guess, Michael doesn’t like his act to get stale. He puts the claw end of this accessory right into the hospital security guard’s melon, and I’m pretty sure that’s the last we see of it.

Syringe! Oh boy this one makes me cringe. He sticks the syringe right into one of the hospital nurse’s temple and pumps air right into her brain. I really dig the work NECA did on this one. It’s possibly a little oversized, but I don’t think that could be helped. The transparent tube is cool, and the business end is nasty. There’s a hand that fits this accessory perfectly.

Scalpel! The final kill accessory is the scalpel he picks up, which is admittedly a pretty small and unimpressive piece. That’s not to say it isn’t a great sculpt, but you can only do so much with a scalpel. He does, however, come with a hand that is specifically designed to hold it, which is very nice. The scalpel is a must, since it’s featured in the end scene where he’s blind and slashing away at the air. That scene always gives me the willies.

The final accessory is not a weapon, but it is very much welcome! It’s the jack-o-lantern from the beginning that opens to reveal a skull inside. This is such a cool bonus accessory, and I love how meta it is. Too bad they couldn’t put a sound chip in there to play Carpenter’s chilling theme.

While NECA’s Jason releases may be a lot more prolific, I’m thrilled to have the two Michael Myers figures they released in my collection. The modern version is an excellent figure, but this one is the one that really hits the spot. I was pretty young when I saw Halloween and Halloween II for the first times and while these films are pretty tame by today’s standards, they scared the living shit out of me in ways that few films have since. And I still felt some of that impact while re-watching Halloween 2 last night. What else can be said, other than the folks at NECA clearly have a passion for these 80’s Slashers, and it comes across loud and clear in these figures.

And that brings this Halloween Horror Month to a close. It’s the first time in ten years that I attempted it, and it was a lot of fun. I hope you enjoyed it, and if you didn’t I hope you’ll be back as regular content resumes next week. Speaking of which, I am going to be at a Horror Movie Marathon today, so I’m not going to have time to complete a review for tomorrow. I will, however, be stopping by to post a little administrative business, and then I’ll be back on Wednesday to review something decidedly Un-Spooky!

Friday the 13th (Part VII: The New Blood) Ultimate Jason Voorhees by NECA

Halloween is on Sunday, so that would normally mean that today will be my last review for Halloween Horror Month, but since I missed Monday due to computer problems, I’ll have one more review for Halloween Day. In the meantime, it may be Friday the 29th, but I’m still busting out NECA’s most recent Jason Voorhees release for today’s review! Because of limited space, I’ve been pulling way back on my NECA purchases these days. But, I’m always ready to go back to Camp Crystal Lake, and the Jason I’m checking out today is extra special! Not only is it the first NECA Jason release since the licensing issues back in 2019, but it also happens to be Jason as he appeared in my favorite of all the Friday the 13th films! Yup, this may be my SEVENTH Jason figure from NECA, but never have I been more excited!

There’s nothing new about the packaging. You get what seems like an enclosed box with a J-hook, but the front flap opens to reveal a window. There are a lot of photos of the figure on the packaging and the front features the movie poster! I love this poster, as it’s not only a cool depiction of Jason versus his new adversary, but it also features the same model Buck hunting knife that I’ve had in my possession since I was a teenager! Anyway, The New Blood is my favorite flick in the franchise because it sees Jason finally meeting his match inTina, an ESPer-fueled avenging angel, making her a very interesting Final Girl!

The more zombified Jason gets the better I like it! By this flick, he’d already been killed, electrocuted back to life, and then trapped underwater and left to die again. Some folks seem to misremember his head getting destroyed by a boat motor, but that’s just mass hysteria. It never happened! If it did they would have included it in the recap at the beginning of this film, right? RIGHT??? This Jason is, however, quite messed up for having been down in that water for so long, and that’s why he’s my favorite design. His shredded clothing and badly decayed body gave NECA quite the canvas on which to work! Peeking through the holes in his wardrobe are patches of nasty old skin and even bones. The layering of soft plastic over sculpt creates a wonderful sense of depth and really sells it. There’s so much worth of praise here, but I think my favorite bit are the exposed bones displayed on his back! But really everything about this figure looks phenomenal! I love that they also included the broken length of chain still around his neck.

Jason comes with two heads and two hockey masks. The regular head has the mask held in place with rubbery straps, just like most of the previous releases. The lower left half of the mask has been chipped away to reveal a glimpse of the grim visage that hides behind it. The mask also has a chip in the top and some light scuffing, but otherwise it’s held together pretty well. It’s got a slightly glossy finish to it, which I dig a lot. The straps hold it nice and snug to the head, and the eye holes line up perfectly.

One of my favorite things about watching Friday the 13th films for the first time was always wondering what Jason was going to look like when he inevitably gets de-masked. And boy, this one did not disappoint! Like his body, Jason’s noggin is just some remnants of flesh hanging onto his partially revealed skull. He’s got one eye set deep into the right socket and he’s otherwise just a mess of teeth and beef jerky. It’s worth noting that this movie saw the debut of Kane Hodder as the Crystal Lake Slasher, and despite all that makeup, he got to do some wonderful emoting during his showdown with Tina. I just love the scenes where he is visibly pissed off and sick of her shit.

The second head and mask captures the moment of the big reveal, and holy shit it does it well. Tina uses her powers to tighten the straps of Jason’s mask until it cracks in half in what is easily the best Jason face reveal of the whole franchise. The mask accessory is cracked into two halves and held together by the strap, which pegs into the back of the head. The resulting effect is that it looks like it’s capturing the moment it splits apart and reveals Jason’s pissed off mug under it. The head sculpt shows Jason’s mouth agape in rage. I think my only nitpick about either of these heads is that the right eye should have been a tad more prominent, but otherwise, this is just an epic display! OK, you know the drill. Time to look at the killing implements, and as usual I’m going to take them in chronological order of their appearance. It’s worth noting that this film has a lot of weaponless deaths, which makes me wonder why Jason bothers arming himself anymore. I guess it’s just more fun that way!

Tent Spike! It was not only a makeshift weapon, but also part of Dr. Crews’ sick mind games with Tina. Jason makes a gift of the spike to Jane right through her head and then javelins it into Mikey as he’s running away. It’s a simple but bloody accessory!

Machete! Gotta have it… it’s Jason’s signature weapon! Jason picks up a machete from a couple of campers, but doesn’t even use it to kill them. The dude just gets a fist through the chest and his girlfriend gets bashed against a tree while still in her sleeping bag. I guess he does use it to cut his way into the tent. The machete makes another appearance later when he puts it right into David’s neck.

Wood Ax! I don’t even remember where Jason gets it, but he makes good use of it… twice! First, Russell gets ax to the face while his girlfriend is skinny dipping in the lake. Later, bitchy priss Melissa gets the same treatment right before the final showdown with Tina. NECA did a great job on this one. I dig how the wooden shaft gets bloodstained close to the blade. The blade itself also has a nice patina.

Sickle! Jason picks this up off the wall when he’s stalking Maddie in the barn. I think it was a barn. Maybe it was just a big toolshed. Either way, you probably don’t wanna hide from Jason in a room with a whole wall of killing implements. This was the only kill that really bothered me, because Maddie was one of the few likeable teens in this whole flick.

Butcher Knife! Jason borrows this from the kitchen when the reefer-fiend David is raiding the fridge.

Pole-Ax! I don’t know what else to call this thing, but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen them hanging in the aisles at Home Depot. It looks like it’s for cutting back trees or some shit. Either way, this kill is great, because Dr. Crews is literally clutching Tina’s Mom and holding her in place when Jason skewers her with this bad boy! And yes, that was Susan Blu, beloved cartoon voice actress that makes me scream, “ARCEE… NO!!!!” every time I see her get killed.

And last, but certainly not least… Motorized Trimmer! This is basically a circular saw at the end of a pole with a chainsaw motor on the other end. Egads, I love this scene! Dr. Crews is just leaning on a tree when he hears the weed-cutter motor turn over and there’s Jason ready to get busy with some yard work! Yeah, the kill itself was a bit anti-climactic, but the lead up was great. It’s worth noting that most of the kills in this flick are set up great, but pretty tame when it comes to the gore. It’s not until the bodies are found that we really see anything good. It’ll always be my one main gripe with this installment, but not enough to keep it from being in my top slot.

The marriage of NECA and Jason Voorhees continues to be one of my greatest joys of collecting. I want to go back in time and tell teenage me, watching these flicks on VHS late at night, that in the future Target will have a whole section devoted to 80’s Slasher action figures, and that I have eight incarnations of Jason standing proudly on my shelf. This version gave NECA a lot to work with and they totally hit it out of the park. Indeed, there’s just one issue I have with this release, and I don’t know how NECA dropped the ball on it. WHERE’S THE PARTY HORN THAT JASON STUCK IN KAREN’S EYEBALL??? Yeah, it would have been fun to get that in the box too, but all is forgiven! There’s still one of NECA’s Jason figures that I don’t have and that’s from the 2009 remake. I’ve only seen that movie once, but I remember actually liking it, so I’ll get to picking up that figure eventually.

Catch you folks on Halloween Day!

Gremlins: Ultimate Gremlin and Gamer Gremlin by NECA

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!

Child’s Play: Ultimate Chucky by NECA

Did you think that after Puppet Master, I was done talking about evil, murdering dolls? Well, think again! I can’t have a Halloween Horror Month without paying my respects to Child’s Play, now can I? And it’s a good thing because this figure has been kicking around here for ages waiting to be opened. I absolutely love Child’s Play, it was another one of those horror flicks that I was introduced to on Cable TV late one night and I regard it as a Modern Classic. I seem to recall liking the second one quite a bit too, but after that they started to blur together until I stopped watching them. Nope, I didn’t bother with the remake, and I haven’t really looked at that TV Series either.

Chucky comes in your typical NECA Ultimates box, which means it looks fully enclosed, but the front flap opens to reveal a window and the figure inside. The box plays off the the doll’s package design in the movie with the Good Guys logo and even challenges you to collect all the different Chucky accessory packs. Very cool! Like the Puppet Master figures, NECA went with an extra small figure here that kind of puts it in scale with the regular 7-inch line. I mentioned how I would have preferred the Puppet Master figures be 7-inches, but I think the smaller size works better for Chucky. It also allowed NECA to absolutely load him up with three extra heads and an obscene amount of murdering accessories.

NECA certainly did not let Chucky’s small size get in the way of pumping him full of a crazy amount of detail. He features his long sleeve striped shirt, overalls, and red sneakers. If I didn’t have the figure in hand, I would swear the overalls were soft goods, but nope they’re sculpted plastic! The rumples and stitching are just so damn convincing, and they are littered with printed images of the various Accessory Packs shown on the front of the box, from construction worker to cowboy and doctor. It looks like Chucky’s has more professions than Barbie! The striping on the shirt isn’t exactly crisp, but I think that lends to the idea that it’s supposed to be printed on fabric. The painted laces on the shoes, on the other hand, are pretty sharp. This is just a great looking figure!

As I mentioned earlier, you get a total of four heads for Chucky, each one sinking further into the realm of nightmare fuel. The first is his stock, straight out of the box, Good Guy noggin. They did a great job making this look like a lifeless doll head, with vacant, staring eyes, puffed out, pinchable cheeks, and a golly-gee-willikers pucker of a smile. The hair is sculpted into an immaculate bowl-cut, parted on the right side, and his eyebrows, lashes, and freckles are printed on in the most appropriately un-realistic fashion possible.

From there we go to the head with Charles Lee Ray’s personality poking out. It’s great how just a change in expression can bring the portrait to life. His once blank eyes are now bulging with villainy, his hair is a little mussed up, and he looks decidedly displeased with the world around him. It no longer looks like a doll, but a living psychopath!

From there we go to the damaged “OH, LAWD HE CRAZY” head, and this just a lovely work of art. Chucky’s got some really nasty gashes running up from his chin, across his mouth, right up his right eye, and forking into a puckering “V” on his forehead. Meanwhile another gash runs from above his left eye down to his nose, along with sutures holding it together at the top. His hair is now parted dead center at his widow’s peak, and he looks like he means to do a lot of harm.

And just when you think it couldn’t get any more horrific, here’s Chucky with half his face gone and advertising that there’s meat and gore inside, rather than plastic and sawdust. “The more time you spend in that body… the more human you become!” Hot damn, I love it! Let’s check out his accessories!

Chucky does love him some cutlery, and he comes with a nice assortment of it. He also comes with extra hands so he can wield these blades. You get a bowie knife, a butcher knife, a straight razor, and a dagger. Each of these are wonderful sculpts with detailed paint to their hilts. I have a passing curiosity as to whether that butcher knife is repacked from one of the Michael Myers figures, but knowing NECA it’s probably brand new.

The dagger is the one he’s chasing Andy with through the doll factory in Child’s Play 2. Chucky gets his hand ripped off, and using the dagger and some duct tape, he makes himself a blade hand. Naturally, NECA included a swap out arm with the blade attached! You gotta hand it to them, eh? “I hate kids!” Me too, Chucky. Me too!

Also included in the mix of knives is the VooDoo knife. This fearsome blade features VooDoo symbols on the hilt and blade. It’s good for VooDoo rituals, stabbings, but can it cut through a can and then slice through a ripe tomato like butter? It would have been cool to also get the VooDoo Doll he used on Dr. Death, but there are so many goodies in the box already, it’s hard to nitpick what’s not.

I mean, holy crap you even get the yardstick he beats the teacher to death with while she finger-paints on the desk with her own blood! “You’ve been very naughty, Miss Kettlewell!” And just look at! All the units of measurements are drawn on it in teeny tiny little numbers, and it even has The Good Guys logo!

What’s that? You want MORE? How about a baseball bat? Or the Good Guys claw hammer? Or the gun he used to take Mattson hostage in Childs Play 2, albeit ever so briefly. They’re all here! I do wish that he came with a hand that held the gun better. I can make it work, but it’s a little iffy.

Lastly, but easily one of the coolest accessories, is a scaled cardboard replica of the Good Guys box to put Chucky in! I almost missed it in the box, as it’s flattened out. It’s so damn cool, and the figure looks great displayed in it. It’s accurate right down to the tiny Play Partners Toys logo in the bottom corner.

Egads, this is an incredibly fun figure! There’s so much great stuff here to play with, and I’ve been tempted to pick up another if I come across it, just to display one in the Good Guys box. I remember having some trepidation over whether this figure was going to be worth it, as it’s so small and released all by itself, but those concerns vanished after just a short while of playing around with him. I think the three extra heads and assortment of accessories more than make up for the asking price, even if Chucky is rather small. I’ve still got quite a few horror flicks scheduled to watch this month, but I may just have to slip Childs Play and Childs Play 2 into that mix somewhere. It’s been too long, and playing with this figure has made me want to revisit them again!

Puppet Master: Ultimate Blade and Torch by NECA

FFZ Halloween Horror Month continues, and nobody is more surprised than me that I’ve been able to stick to it this long. But we’re only at the halfway mark and I’ve still got lots of spooky plastic to look at. Today I’m covering the second two-pack in NECA’s Ultimate Puppet Master figures with Blade and Torch.

I said my piece about the packaging last time, so I won’t dwell on it here. For the record, the last film in this series that I saw was Puppet Master 3, released in 1991. I thought I’d check in to see if I missed any and HOLY SHIT THEY’VE DONE LIKE TEN OF THESE GODDAMN MOVIES??? I was not expecting that! And that’s not counting a cross-over with Demonic Toys. Crap, where the hell have I been? I loved the first three, but even then the concept was getting a bit thin. I can’t imagine how bad it gets by the tenth movie. My Halloween horror movie schedule is all booked up for the month, but at some point I’ll check out some more of these. But I digress, let’s start with Torch!

Last time, I mentioned what a wonderful collection of designs they came up with for these demon puppets, and Torch is a shining example of that. I love everything about this little guy! He’s got a tan trench coat that looks like he should be reviewing troops on a muddy battlefield and a glimpse of blue trousers, which disappear into his high boots. His left hand is clad in a black glove, while his right arm terminates in a flamethrower nozzle. I really dig the texture they gave to the coat, and it still amazes me that they were able to pack so much great articulation into such a little figure. Heck, this guy has double rotating hinges in the elbows!

But the real star of this figure is undoubtedly the head sculpt. It’s like someone took a boiler plate and reforged it into a combination Prussian Helmet and Darth Vader mask. The top portion of the helmet has a blackened finish while the lower jaw is silver. There are individually painted silver rivets around the nose and lower edge, and he’s got freaking bullets for teeth. BULLETS FOR TEETH!!! The narrow slits that pass for eyes are painted to show flames burning inside the helmet.

Compared to the last two figures, Torch is rather light on the accessories. Indeed, he only comes with one flame effect part. But that’s fine, because Torch is kind of a one-trick pony and it allows him to do what he does best. The flame part tabs right into the nozzle at the end of his arm and it looks pretty good. He can also stand surprisingly well with it in place. Let’s move on to Blade!

If I recall correctly, Blade was kind of the leader of the bunch, and he features another really cool design. Clad in a black Gestapo-style trench coat and black fedora, he’s instantly menacing. His super thin frame adds to his creepiness and reinforces the fact that he’s just a puppet. He certainly looks more like a marionette than any of the others. And don’t offer to shake hands with him, because he hasn’t got any. His right arm terminates into a blade and his left arm into a fearsome hook. Blade takes a hit in the articulation, but he’s still pretty poseable. He is not, however, easy to keep standing.

The head sculpt is fantastic. It’s like a skull with lips, being vaguely cute and horrific at the same time. The large eyeholes have little blades sticking out of them, and he has stringy gray hair cascading down from under his fedora. The white face contrasts with the all black outfit nicely and I just couldn’t imagine that creepy grin being the last thing I saw.

You get a second head as well, which is just blood splattered and has the mouth closed all the way.

Blade only comes with one additional extra and that’s a blood splattered blade to swap out with his clean one. These two definitely got the short and of the stick when it comes to accessories, but I honestly can’t think of anything they could have added. Maybe a blood splattered hook too? Either way, it’s not like Blade can hold anything!

While I definitely dig Tunneler and Pinhead, I have to give the nod to this pair as my favorite of the two sets. Yeah, that’s mainly because Pinhead’s design is kind of boring compared to all these other guys. But even so, these are all really solid figures and I’m glad that NECA acquired the license and that I talked myself into getting them.

And while last time I lamented the fact that they weren’t bigger, I’m kind of digging the fact that their small size means they are releasing in two-packs. There are still some great puppets to be made, and I do hope that these are selling well enough for NECA to continue the line, because I’m all in! Don’t bother with the Dollman and Demonic Toys flicks though. I’ve never been able to make it through any of those movies.

Puppet Master: Ultimate Tunneler and Pinhead by NECA

Welcome back to FFZ’s Halloween Horror Month extravaganza with the sixth installment of plastic spookiness. Today I’m having a look at NECA’s recent series of murdering marionettes! I wish I could convey to you younger folks what it was like in the late 80’s to have crippling insomnia and Premium Cable TV. Well, actually, Cable TV was probably pretty lame compared to the awesome power of the Internet. But back then it was pretty new to me, and I still get nostalgic about sitting up late at night and watching the horror schlock cheesefest that was Cinemax until my insomnia would finally give up and let me go to sleep. Puppet Master was one of those series, and teenage me thought it was glorious! Needless to say, I was pretty excited when I saw NECA was doing these figures!

Evil comes in all sizes! It says so right on the package! This seemingly fully enclosed box looks similar to most NECA Ultimate figure packaging, but it actually opens in the middle to reveal not one but TWO windows showing the figures inside. It’s a nice homage to Andre Toulon’s carry case in the film. The scale here is a little wonky, as they are not 7-inch figures, nor are they really scaled for 7-inch figures. I think these would more be in line with Sixth-Scale, which makes them rather small, but not too small in my opinion. Let’s open them up and check them out, and I’ll start with Pinhead. We have such sights to show you! No, not THAT Pinhead!

This Pinhead! Pinhead is a fun design, but he is easily my least favorite of all of Toulon’s puppets. I mean, look at some of the other cool designs and then you’ve got this guy, which is essentially an oddly proportioned brute with a tiny head. Sorry, man. Someone has to come out on the bottom and you’re it. Still, NECA did a wonderful job with the sculpt and making the articulation work. Pinhead’s oversized upper body consists of a dirty brown turtleneck pullover, and his atrophied lower half is clad in blue trousers. His giant fists have fingerless gloves, sculpted to look like knitted material. Everything here looks great!

The head is so tiny, it almost needs to be seen in person to be believed. His knobby acorn of a noggin still manages to capture the look of his onscreen counterpart pretty well. I especially love how they gave him articulation at the top and bottom of the turtleneck.

As you might imagine, Pinhead is not a well-balanced figure and getting him to stand can be a bit of a frustrating chore. I don’t think I actually started crying until the seventeenth time he toppled over before I could snap the picture. Of course, that’s more a fault of the design than the figure. Still, his tiny feet are not equipped with any peg holes, so if you want this fella standing upright, you’d best use some kind of Figuarts-type stand. The articulation consists of lots of rotating hinges, and he is lots of fun to play around with.

Pinhead comes with two sets of hands, which includes a pair of fists and a pair of accessory holding hands. The left is designed to hold his poker, and the right holds his wrench. I remember his kill in the original movie with the poker, but I don’t recall the wrench. It’s been at least 10 years since I’ve seen it, and I might have to toss it into my October Viewing Schedule in order to remedy that. Both accessories are satisfyingly chunky and well done. I like that they painted the shaft and head of the poker different colors, and the weathered finish on the wrench looks great. OK… moving on to Tunneler!

Now this is one of the more creative designs I was talking about! I love Tunneler! He looks like a little toy soldier with a giant drill on the top of his head. The uniform looks a little more WWI than WWII to me, but the detail is great, including the painted gold stripes on the cuffs and breast pocket, the tiny individual buttons, the cinched belt, and the tiny medal pinned to the left side of his chest. Like Pinhead, we get a lot of rotating hinges here, and he’s a lot more of a balanced figure than his cohort.

You get two heads for Tunneler, and the only real differences are that his eyes are squinting in the second one, and his drill is all bloody. I think I recall this puppet having blinking eyes in the film, so this head makes for a nice detail to give to what would have otherwise just been a bloody variant. And YES! The drill bit does spin! Tunneler had one of my favorite kills in the first movie, where the chick is looking under the bed and he just comes charging at her head.

Tunneler comes with a bunch of cool stuff, including an extra right hand to help him hold some of it. First off, you get this adorable, tiny sub-machine gun. I don’t remember it in the movie, but I love it.

Next up, he comes with this little pick-axe.

And how about a pair of fishhooks, attached with a piece of string! Yeah, he got a lot of cool stuff, considering he already has a drill on his head. But that’s OK, because despite the last item being in his tray, I gave it to Pinhead!

It’s a bottle of the Elixir, which if I remember correctly was what gave the puppets life. Tunneler’s hands are too small to hold this, but Pinhead can hold it really well in his right hand. Maybe it was meant for him, but it just wouldn’t fit in his tray?

OK, now cards on the table, I do wish NECA had made these as 7-inch figures. Yeah, I already discussed this, they aren’t really 7-inch scale, so why not just make them bigger? I guess, it allowed them to do them as two-packs, and that’s fair enough. Honestly, the scale doesn’t hurt them at all, but I would have preferred them to be bigger. That having been said, I absolutely love how they turned out, and if you come back on Friday, I’ll have a look at Torch and Blade!

Universal Monsters: Ultimate Frankenstein’s Monster by NECA

My sincerest apologies to those of you who aren’t into horror, but I’ll be back to comic characters and transforming robots and all the other stuff in just a few weeks. For now, it’s the second week of my Halloween Horror Month and I ain’t done with The Universal Monsters just yet. After a week of looking at Jada’s efforts, it’s time to switch gears and check out NECA’s own version of Frankenstein’s Monster! And I’ll go ahead and do some comparisons throughout.

If you’re familiar with NECA’s Ultimates line, then the packaging here should be instantly familiar. Frank comes in what appears to be a fully enclosed box, but there’s actually a front flap secured with a little velcro. Opening it reveals a peek at the figure inside. While I wasn’t entirely sure whether or not Jada was up and up on all their likeness rights, there is no doubt at all, that NECA is offering the real deal here! You get a beautiful recreation of the movie poster on the front and they rightfully dub him The Monster in the bottom left corner. This figure was released in both Color and Black & White versions, and I’ll be looking at the Color Edition here today!

IT’S ALIVE!! ALIVE!!!! Well, he looks so damn good, he might as well be! Let’s be honest, NECA has their share of problems, but when the stars align just right, and the QC holds up and the joints don’t bust, you can count on them to produce an amazing looking action figure. And to be fair, I’ve had precious few issues with NECA’s stuff over the decades, and absolutely none with this figure here. Frank looks amazing, from the top of his flat head to the bottoms of his platform monster boots. If I’m being honest, I fell in love with this figure the moment I got him out of the box, and I’ve had a big dumb smile on my face the whole time.

As always, realism is the order of the day, and Frank’s suit fits the bill! It actually has less textured detail than Jada’s, but manages to look more convincing with it’s smoother finish. The jacket is cast in soft plastic with the sleeves sculpted as part of the arms. The jacket is fastened at the top two buttons, showing off the top of his black undershirt, and parting down below his trousers. You get some rumpling in the sleeves, and a lot more down in the trouser legs. The suit has mostly a matte finish, but there’s some gloss splashed here and there to give him a bit of a wet look in some areas. The coloring on the trousers and coat also match quite closely here. The sleeves are short, exposing part of his forearms and they have all the detail that I lamented was lacking in Jada’s release, including staples and sutures.

You get three heads here, and each and every one of them is a winner. The standard head is just Frank being Frank. His eyes are partially rolled up into his head, and he’s generally expressionless. Here is all the Karloff likeness that I couldn’t find in Jada’s figure, and I’m still not sure that’s what they were going for anyway. Whatever the case, this is a strikingly gorgeous sculpt with some absolutely amazing paintwork. Let’s talk about skin color! I’m no Frankenstein expert, but I do know that the makeup was tinted green, and as I understand it, that was to make it look gray and dead on B&W film. As such, NECA went with an approximation of what that would look like in color. It’s more yellow than gray, but the jaundiced hue works for me very well indeed. I also love the glossy red they used for his forehead wound.

The next head is kind of derpy and I mean that in every positive way, because I LOVE derpy Frank! Yes, this is actually designed to replicate his cheeky growl, and it’s a mighty fine effort, but frozen like this it takes on a whole different meaning. NECA’s wizards manage to keep the likeness there, and the mouth is just some fantastic sculpting!

And finally, you get grimacing Frank, and again I think this one is up for interpretation. I think they were going for angry or scared, but I think it looks more like a big dumb smile, which I really adore because it reflects the misunderstood tragedy of the character. This is also some wonderful execution, and again the depth and realism in the mouth is striking. I don’t think it’s like has been equaled at this scale by many other figure sculptors. Take it as you see it, but like the previous one, I think this head works for a couple different possibilities.

In terms of articulation, NECA’s Frank takes a step back from Jada’s, favoring rotating hinges in the elbows and knees, as opposed to double-hinges. In this case, I don’t mind. As I stated in the other review, I don’t need super-articulation out of my Monster figure, and this guy is capable of whatever pose I wanted to do with him. I will say that the elbow joints look a bit unnatural in some poses, but I guess those double hinges aren’t always attractive either. In the end it’s all compromise, but I’m happy with what we got here. The figure also comes with three sets of hands to change up for different poses. He has a relaxed pair, a grasping pair, and a pair to interact with his flowers.

Yes, flowers! Frank doesn’t come with a whole lot of accessories, but he does come with a trio of flowers to recreat the famous scene. The flowers are sculpted in two pieces, one pair and one individual and he can hold them quite well in his special hands. These are perhaps not the most exciting accessories, but I think they were essential part of the character’s true nature, when people weren’t antagonizing him.

You also get a set of manacles, as opposed to the two sets that came with Jada’s figure. These feature a shorter chain, and the cuffs do not open so you have to pop off the hands to put them on. Still, they look better and feel more substantial.

By every assessment, this is an excellent figure, and for fans of the original film, I think it’s a must own. Jada’s figure still has it’s merits, and I’m happy to have it in my collection, but it’s an entirely different take and comparing the two is like apples and oranges. For a while, I was actually going to pass on this release, since I’m trying to limit my acquisitions these days rather than expand into new areas, but once I saw that the line would be expanding, I jumped on board. I think you’d probably have to look to Mezco’s One:12 release to find a suitable rival, and considering the vast price difference, I think this one wins the day.

Halloween III: Season of the Witch Box Set by NECA

Happy Happy Halloween, folks! Well, for tomorrow anyway! This year, I was patient enough to put something away until October so I could have a special review for the occasion. And what better item than this celebration of the twisted novelty company, Silver Shamrock from Halloween III!! It’s well known that this flick did not get a lot of love when it was released, and that’s understandable, as it was an attempt to reboot The Shape’s own franchise into an anthology series, writing him out of it. As a teenage horror hound, I was obsessed with this movie when I first caught it on cable, because it was so damn dark, demented, and batshit crazy. It’s got stolen ancient ruins, an evil corporation, killer cyborgs, and Celtic magic amplified through modern technology! It plays out like part mystery-suspense thriller and part horror film, with a dash of sci-fi thrown in for good measure. And as much as I love Michael Myers, I still enjoy Season of the Witch more than probably two-thirds of the Halloween sequels. Of course fast forward to today and the movie has grown into its own and developed a decent cult following, but that’s a given because if it didn’t we wouldn’t be talking about Halloween III merch 38 years later. And who else to bring it to us but NECA. I’m still kicking myself for not picking up their Tom Atkins Night of the Creeps figure to stand in as Dr. Dan Challis and display with these guys. Maybe I can still pick it up on Ebay. HOW MUCH!?! Well, f’ck me!!!

NECA loves to wow collectors with presentation without going too over the top, and the packaging here does indeed wow me. This set really does feel like something that could have been offered as a special Convention Exclusive. The box has an illustrated sleeve with the film’s logo on the front and the Silver Shamrock logo on the back. There are also illustrations of The Big Three masks on the side panels. Otherwise what we get here is understated and all in black.

Pull off the sleeve to reveal the box inside and you get an advertisement for Silver Shamrock masks on the back, reenacted with the figures and accessories. This looks exactly like something you would find in the pages of Fangoria magazine back in the day. There’s even an order form to clip out! The front has a window that shows you the Trick-or-Treaters, each wearing one of The Big Three masks, and their accessories all laid out. I’m not sure whether NECA considers these part of their Retro-MEGO-Inspired line, as they are fully articulated bodies wearing softgoods clothing. but the packaging and wealth of extras make these feel more like their Ultimates series to me. I guess it doesn’t really matter either way. Let’s open this thing up and we’ll start with a look at The Witch!

The Witch is the most unique of the three as he’s wearing a sort of satanic gown. The body is covered in a black robe with a jagged cut at the bottom and cuffs of the sleeves. There’s a smock-like piece that covers from his neck down to his waist. This garment has orange borders and some orange ribbons tied just below his neck. The hood is sculpted in plastic, to show that it’s part of the mask, although it could be removed if you wanted to. The tailoring on the costume is very well done and it fits the figure well. The gown is a little snug, but I can still get some decent movement out of the figure beneath it. The ribbons are a bit much, and I may wind up retying them and snipping them down a bit. I really appreciate the work NECA put into sculpting the shoes, as each figure has different style shoes as a sort of reminder that these are kids wearing Halloween costumes.

As with all of the masks in this set, The Witch is a real work of art… warts and all! The sculpt and paint are everything I expect from NECA’s craftsmanship and attention to detail. I especially like the paint around the eyes that show a bit of the kid’s face and eyes behind the mask. Yeah, technically the hood part of the mask was actually fabric in the film, but I think they went the right direction going with plastic as it’s just easier to manage. Besides, it blends pretty well with the cloth outfit.

Next up is The Skeleton, wearing a black jumpsuit with a skeleton printed on it and a pair of sneakers! This little guy looks great! This figure really emphasizes what a great idea it was to go for softgoods outfits, as the effect really does look like a kid wearing a costume.  There are a few loose threads here and there, but otherwise the tailoring on the costume is excellent and the printed bones look especially nice.

The Skeleton mask is a beautiful sculpt with some crazy attention to detail. The cracks and fissures and pitting just goes to show you that Silver Shamrock made some great looking masks. I especially like the slit in the back allowing for it to be put on over the head. All three masks have the deadly Silver Shamrock tag, made with the shavings of ancient Celtic magic stone baked right in! It’s perfect for transmitting those child-killing techno-druid-magic signals! GOD I LOVE THIS MOVIE!!! I can’t help but admire how NECA was able to get such tiny printing on that tag and still have it be readable. If I were to make a little gripe, it would be that I’m pretty sure when Dr. Challis is captured and has the mask on him you could see his eyes through the holes, but here you can’t.

And last up is the Jack O’Lantern (or is that Jack O’Lantern Witch?) and he’s always been my favorite of the three masks. I would have killed to own a replica of this one when I was a teenager. Of course, now I’m grown up and they are available, but I’ve yet to pull the trigger. Maybe someday! This costume is basically the Skeleton jumpsuit without the skeleton printed on it, but once again we get a different pair of shoes  Yeah, of all three costumes, this is kind of the laziest, but at least the kid added a hat for good measure.

Yup, the Silver Shamrock mask was just the pumpkin, but later in the movie we saw an enterprising young trick-or-treater add the witch hat, so you can go either way since the hat is removable and simply pegs into the stem on top of the mask. From behind we can see the Silver Shamrock tag, but what’s this? They cheaped out and didn’t add the slit in the back like they did on the Skeleton mask? Nope, they got it right. That slit wasn’t on this mask in the movie. I do wish they had included the pirate hat that we saw one kid wearing on top of this mask in the flick, but now I’m just getting greedy.

Each of the figures comes with their own Trick-Or-Treat bag. If we’re going by the Ad on the back of the box, Skeleton gets a fancy printed one, while the other two just get paper bags. The printed one is laminated, while the other two feel like real paper bags. It helps to crinkle them up a bit to make them look more authentic. With a little patience, they can hold them fairly well. Of course, this year, Halloween is more about tricks than treats, because when the kids gather around their TV’s to watch The Big Giveaway with their masks on, their little heads collapse into nests of snakes and bugs! Naturally, NECA included alternate heads to depict this horror!

JESUS CHRIST!!! If these aren’t pushing the limits for toys… Oh, that’s right I mean Adult Collectibles! The masks all show evidence of deteriorating with strategically placed snakes coming out of mouths and eyeholes. What’s really creepy with these is if you look close enough you can see the kids eyes behind at least one of the eyeholes. It’s grizzly stuff!

NECA also included a television with a lenticular sticker on the screen that alternates between The Magic Pumpkin and the Silver Shamrock logo. If you have a keen eye, you can see that this is a repaint of the television included with their Nightmare on Elm Street accessory set from the “Welcome to Prime Time, Bitch!” scene. I never did pick that set up, because we didn’t have any figures of the victims to display with it, but either way, this was a clever bit of recycling on NECA’s part and it’s a great looking piece. Each figure also comes with a second pair of hands made to grasp at their heads in pain as they die horribly. FUN!

If you can’t tell, I really love this set, and I appreciate NECA for giving us stuff like this. Again, we’re talking about a cult movie from nearly four decades ago, and here we are getting action figures from it. NECA is one of the very few companies out there doing this on a grand scale. I personally haven’t seen this set in a Target or a Walmart (maybe it was a little too much for them), but the point is that a lot of their similar products are hitting big box retailers and that’s a wonderful thing. With that having been said, it gives me a heavy heart that I’ve been unintentionally neglecting NECA reviews around these parts. This is my first NECA review since early July, and I was shocked to see that I’ve only had three NECA reviews this entire year. It’s not that I’m not buying the figures, but with only three reviews a week and so much to look at, NECA has sadly been overlooked lately. I’ve got to fix that, and start giving them their due!

Aliens Vs Predator Arcade: Chrysalis Alien by NECA

With only time for three reviews a week, my backlog continues to pile up and stretch way back into last year. One of the areas of my collection reviews that has suffered most is NECA, and I really feel like I need to throw them some extra love in the coming weeks. Way back in January I had a look at their Arachnoid Alien and Razor Claws Alien from Capcom’s 1994 Alien Vs. Predator arcade game. But there was one alien missing! At the time I couldn’t find the Chrysalis Alien anywhere, but just when I had given up all hope I spied him out of the corner of my eye while I was making a cat food run to Target. So let’s finish off this Xeno Trio and open him up today!

The packaging is right in line with what we saw last time. You get a collector friendly window box with a personalized portrait on the front. The interior tray is printed as a pixelated image to reference the video game… how cool is that? Yup, I love the colors and presentation here, but I simply do not have the space to line these boxes up on a shelf, so this box is going to have to go bye-bye once I get Mr. Chrysalis out of his tray.

If you read my previous review then you know I really liked Razor Claws and Arachnid, and yet it’s still easy for me to see why Chrysalis was the hardest to find. He really is that good! Even on a shelf of Xenos, his design stands out thanks to the armor-like carapace on his head and forearms. His body is a grayish-blue color with a nice black wash to bring out all that amazing detail in his exoskeleton. And despite the unique features, the rib-cage and the exposed ribbed panels on his legs and torso all perfectly evoke the Giger design that runs through every type of Xeno. This guy is also distinctive for not having some variation of those tubular protrusions coming off his back, instead it’s shrouded in two plates of reinforced exoskeleton. I find myself getting lost in this fella’s anatomy, turning the figure over in my hands, and marveling at the beautiful sculpting.

Chrysalis’ meat-hooks may not be as pronounced as Razor Claw’s, but he still features some sharp bone-colored claws, as well as raptor-like talons on his toes, and a scythe-shaped blade at the end of his long tail. Those bone-like guards on his forearms look to be perfect for deflecting Yautjan blades and his claws seem adept at ripping Predators and humans to shreds. His articulation includes the usual collection of rotating hinges, which make him an agile hunter, even if he can’t exactly roll up into a ball for the goofy spin-attack he employs in the game. His long tail includes a wire so it can be bent in various configurations, and while the tail can come in handy to support him in some extreme poses, he’s surprisingly well balanced on his own two feet. I didn’t have to use a stand for any of my shots.

The head sculpt is quite familiar, even if it is partially hidden under that impressive bone dome. The carapace features a raised crest running down the center like a spine and a mass on the front, which is probably perfect for ramming his pray. As always, he sports a toothy grimace, the jaw is articulated, and there is a secondary mouth in there that can be pulled out. I love all the sinews and details NECA sculpts into the Xeno mouths, and this fella is no different.

The Chrysalis Alien makes a fine addition to this amazing threesome of Aliens. It’s fun to just line them up on the shelf and explore all the little differences between them and see just how diverse Xenomorph anatomy can get. I’ve always been a fan of NECA’s video game figures, but since a number of them tend to be simple repaints, I have to pass them over because I can’t spare the space for repaints.  But here, it’s cool to see them craft three new Xenos around their appearances in this token-munching coin-op, and even cooler that they matched them up with three Predators from the game as well. And yes, I hope to be swinging back around to check out those Preds in the next week or so. Not to mention the human characters from the game as well.