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.

Spider-Man Homecoming: Quarter-Scale Spider-Man by NECA

I decided to spend one more Marvel Monday on something else before returning to my Marvel Legends backlog, and today we’re going BIG! I love NECA’s Quarter-Scale figures, but they don’t love me back. Or more accurately, they don’t respect my available space. These figures are often amazing, but they need so much room to display, and that’s something that’s in constant short supply in the toy warehouse that I call a home. And so I swore off collecting this line a while back, and I probably swore it off again two or three more times since. I was good for a while, but then I found an amazing deal on the Quarter-Scale Homecoming Spider-Man and all bets were off. “Space be damned!” I shouted! “Get into my shopping cart, you magnificent wall-crawler!” And that brings us to today’s review!

These figures come in huge window boxes with lots of colorful artwork on the panels. They show off the figure very well, so if you’re buying one at a brick-and-mortar store you can really scrutinize the paint on the one your selecting. The packaging also does a great job of concealing the extras, which are trapped under a bubble inside the side panels of the inner tray. These are also the only aspect of the box that’s not collector friendly, but if you tear up the sides to get at them, it really doesn’t show and the figure will still display just fine in the box with the extra pieces rattling around on the bottom. And just to put the size of these Quarter-Scale figures into proper perspective, here’s a quick shot of this figure beside Hasbro’s 6-inch Marvel Legends Homecoming Spider-Man figure.

Yeah, he’s big! And with great size comes great heft. A lot of the so called “Big Figs” I have seen put out by other companies tend to be mostly hollow, but NECA’s are mostly solid chunks of plastic. As a result, this figure weighs a lot and feels so satisfyingly solid in hand. You could use it as a club and seriously hurt some. So please don’t do that!

It’s safe to say that I was a big fan of Homecoming, but even more so I absolutely loved the design of this suit. It manages to look fresh and new while still evoking a sense of the classic Spider-Man I know and love. Every bit of the figure’s surface is covered with a basketball-like texture, you get some raised panel lines in the blue sections, and the red sections have the sculpted and painted web pattern running throughout.  The black bands on the tops of the boots and the shoulders are sculpted, as are the black frames on his forearms that support his web shooters. I also absolutely love the detail in the black strips on his waist where he stores his extra cartridges of web fluid. The tiny sculpted spidey logo on his chest is the only thing I’m cool on when it comes to this design. I wish that was a bit bigger, but that’s not the figure’s fault. Happily, he does have a much bigger emblem on his back, which looks great in red against the blue background..

You get two head sculpts with the figure, one masked and one partially unmasked. I will mostly be displaying him with the masked head, but it’s nice to have options. The The masked head features regular wide open eyes and the unmasked has narrower eyes, but these are interchangeable between the two. You just plug them out of the head and peg them into the other. It’s not a huge difference, but I like that NECA incorporated that ability to swap them out.

While other companies are content to do their “Big Figs” with five points of articulation, and sometimes less, NECA really loads these things up. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, double-hinges in the elbows, hinged pegs in the wrists, and swivels in the biceps. The legs have heavy ratchet joints in the hips to help Spidey stand in even wide stances, the knees have rotating hinges on top and an extra hinge below. There are no thigh swivels, but the upper knee joint and hip joints take care of that. The ankles have rotating hinges and the feet are hinged. There’s a well concealed swivel in the waist, a not-so-well concealed ab crunch hinge, and the neck has ball joints on the bottom where it meets the body and the top where it meets the head. In short, this guy may be big, but he’s loads of fun to play around with.

Spidey comes with a bunch of extra hands. Actually, these sets of hands pretty much account for nearly all his accessories. You get some relaxed hands, some hands with splayed fingers, some fists, some THWIP hands, and web-holding hands, which are basically fists with a hole running through the fingers. NECA did a beautiful job recreating the web-shooters on each of these hands.

The other accessories consist of two strands of webbing and these are the only disappointing thing about the figure. These thin wire-like strands are stiff with a frayed end. These are supposed to stick into the hole in the web shooter, but they don’t stay put very well at all. And even when they do there’s not a lot to do with them, so I only bothered to include one picture to show how it works. I think a better way to go here would have been have a pair of hands with a plastic web permanently attached. It’s not like this hefty boi was going to be swinging on webs anyway.

NECA’s Quarter-Scale figures tend to run from around $80 all the way up to $125, depending on where you look and how much in demand they are. I wound up getting Spider-Man for $75 and I even had a Gift Card, so he was basically free. These figures can be a real bitch to collect unless you have tons of space, but they’re a fantastic way to express your undying love for that one character you want showcased in your collection. I’ve had this fella sitting on the corner of my desk and he gets plenty of attention when visitors come round. The main reason I picked this one up was because I missed out on the Hot Toys version of this Spider-Man, so this big guy is kind of like a consolation prize for me. And not a bad one at that! He may not reach the levels of craftsmanship of a Hot Toys figure, but he sure makes a statement and he’s a lot more fun to play with. And as much as I love him, I am now once again swearing off buying any more of these. For reals this time. NO MORE!

Spyro The Dragon by NECA

Good morning Toyhounds, and welcome to FigureFan Zero’s 10 Year Anniversary. Yup, I’ve managed to crap out ten years of this bullshit, amounting to something like 2,400 reviews. I chewed on the idea of doing something special for the occasion, and I decided that I’d be better off just working on getting my normal content up and running again as best as I can, so I’ll spare you all me waxing poetic about the fact that my stupid toy blog has run for this long. Maybe I’ll get inspired to do something celebratory before the end of the month, but for now I’ll just shut up about it and get on with today’s review!

And so long as we’re talking anniversaries, let me point out that one of the many tough points about getting old is seeing games that I played as an adult getting re-released as HD remastered nostalgia. Case in point: Spyro The Dragon was released for the original Sony PlayStation in 1997 when I was 25. It was one of the first PSX games I played that felt like they nailed fluid platforming in a 3D world. On top of that, it felt like playing a cartoon, the musical score was breathtaking, and Spyro would take on the role of a Sony Mascot until, like a certain Bandicoot, the franchise eventually landed on all the platforms and ultimately Spyro got ground up by the Skylanders juggernaut. Well, one of the good things of games being re-released is we get a second chance at merch, and NECA has stepped up to the plate with a Spyro action figure.

Spyro comes in a big and beefy sealed clamshell, which means that unless you’re deft with a razor blade, the packaging really isn’t collector friendly. On the other hand, it also means when you make your first incision you will be rewarded with that heady smell of concentrated plastic. So good! The bubble inserts feature some colorful graphics and you do get a great look at the figure, well except for his feet. And before I start taking a look at the figure overall, we’re going to start there with…

FEET! Let’s talk about feet! A whole hell of a lot (maybe all) of these figures shipped with the feet assembled wrong, meaning the fronts are on the backs and the backs are on the fronts. Oh, NECA! Now, if you are intimately familiar with Spyro, you may know that he has four toes on his front paws and three on the backs. Apart from that, you’d really have to look hard to notice the mistake. Indeed, it almost kinda makes sense that the larger feet would be on the back legs and the smaller on the front, but if you look close you can see the diameter of the ankle on the foot doesn’t match that of the upper leg. Nonetheless, the feet on my figure are switched, and I’m not really sure if they ever actually corrected the mistake during production. Swapping the feet is supposed to be pretty easy by applying some heat, but I’m a firm believer in looking at figures the way they come to me, so I’ll be making that swap later on down the road. When I do get around to it, I’ll be happy to follow up this review with an addendum. OK, with that out of the way, let’s take a look at the figure as a whole.

In terms of sculpt, NECA absolutely nailed Spyro’s adorable-with-attitude look. I love this character design so much, and a lot of that probably goes back to my fondness as a kid for a certain purple Disney dragon named Figment. Spyro’s skin is covered with a scaly texture and topped off with craggy scales, all of which are part of the sculpt. His chest is segmented with deep cuts, his tail terminates with a yellow swirl, and his wings have a slightly angular nature that reflects the mating of the HD look with the polygonal origins of the character.

That same angular nature applies to Spyro’s head sculpt, and I couldn’t be more pleased with how well the sculpting wizards at NECA captured Spyro’s portrait. His crooked brow hangs heavy over his large, perfectly printed eyes. His broad smile contributes to an overall mischievous visage, punctuated by two tiny nostrils. Meanwhile the top of his head is adorned with his two goat-like horns and a mowawk running down between them.

And the colors! Oh, the colors! The deep purple has some subtle gradations to show the darker purple of the craggy scales. It all pops so beautifully against the bright yellow of his belly and tail. But for me the real eye candy here is the yellow with orange shading in the wings and mohawk. It’s sumptuous and captures the coloring in the original art so perfectly.

The figure takes a bit of a hit in the articulation, and that’s not for lack of trying. The body itself has what appear to be ball joints in the neck, mid section, base of the tail, and three more in the tail itself. That allows for some nice subtle movements in the body and helps the figure go from standing to flying poses. The legs only rotating hinges where they connect to the body and no mid-point hinges. What’s more those upper leg joints are a bit restrictive. The ankle joints mostly just want to swivel. I suspect there are hinges up there too, but mine don’t want to move like that. I guess I’ll find out when I eventually swap the paws. Finally, you get rotating hinges at the base of the wings and a ball joint in the neck. Like I said, there’s plenty to work with here, but in the end, I found that there was only so much I could do with this little guy.

It’s never a good thing when a toy comes to me wrong right out of the box, and having to take the time to fix something I just paid for is never fun. But even with the assembly misstep (HA!), Spyro here has a lot going for him. NECA managed to nail both the sculpt and coloring and deliver a wonderful representation of this spunky little dragon in action figure form. The articulation is there in spirit, but he wasn’t quite as much fun to play around with as I hoped he would be. That’s not such a big deal when he looks so good on the shelf, but it’s still something I need to call out. I also wish that they had given us some kind of flight stand with him. A translucent post and base would have been really cool. A clip might not work as well to support his weight, but they could have put a peg hole in his belly and included a plug to cover it up for when he’s not in flight. Nonetheless, I’m happy to have this guy standing on the shelf next to my Bandicoots.

Aliens Vs Predator Arcade: Arachnoid Alien and Razor Claws Alien by NECA

My Toy Closet has become something like an archaeological dig these days. So much so that I’ve really pulled way back on what I’m buying and trying to take the time to unearth the unopened treasures that lie under the levels of cardboard strata. This past weekend I unearthed a particularly interesting box of NECA goodies, a lot of which center around Capcom’s 1994 beat-em-up classic, Aliens Vs. Predator. In an effort to clear out this box, I’m going to try to check some of this stuff out each week until I get to the end. There are eight figures in the series total and today I’m starting with two of the three Aliens released from the game.

And here’s Arachnoid and Razor Claws in their boxes. You’ll notice that Chrysalis Alien is unaccounted for and that’s because I haven’t been able to find him at Target, or online for a decent price. I may wind up over-paying for him at some point, but for now let’s just have a look at this gruesome duo. They come in collector-friendly window boxes, which I dig a lot more than the sealed clamshells. I’m going to start with Arachnid!

So, this guy reminds me a lot of the Xeno Warrior from Aliens, but with enough key differences to set him apart. I believe it’s a new sculpt, but I don’t own all the NECA Xenos, so I won’t stake my (admittedly next to worthless) reputation on that. As with all of NECA’s Aliens, there is some absolutely amazing detail work in this sculpt, which really brings out the Giger flavor in the design. Why he’s called an Arachnoid, I don’t know because there really aren’t any arachnid influences that I can see. He does have fairly typical arms and legs, the usual exposed rib-cage, and a pretty basic segmented tail. This fellow only has four of the stalks protruding from his back and he has bone-like loops hanging off his forearms. The coloring features a very pale blue with a black wash to pick out all that lovely detail.

The head sculpt features the usual elongated head. The cranium is overall pretty smooth, but it does feature a spiked ridge running down the center. The front half is blue, while the back half is decidedly cockroach colored. The mandibles are the usual mess of sinew webbing and the jaw opens to reveal the secondary mouth, which can extend out past the jaws.

I dig this guy a lot, but if you’re looking for something vastly different than the regular Xeno’s I don’t know if this one will scratch your itch. He’s definitely got a lot of unique stuff going on, but I really had to compare him to my Alien and Aliens Xenos to pick out all the differences. Still, I’m sure the die-hard fans out there will spot the differences a lot easier than me. The coloring adds to his distinctive look, and helps makes him stand out as a video game character. With all that having been said, he takes second place in this pair to my favorite…

 

 

Razor Claws is just so damn awesome on every level.  He features a completely different body sculpt, with a lot more sharp detail, particularly in the legs. The structure of the torso still shows off the rib-cage, but with an entirely unique structure. Of course, the biggest differences here are found int he giant razor clawed hands and the tail, which possesses a cycle-like blade at the end. This fellow still only has four tubes coming off his back, but these are longer and taper to points at the ends. He’s also missing those extra toes that the Arachnoid has, and he has pretty powerful looking talons jutting out from the front of his feet. The coloring here is also gorgeous. He has a reddish and almost pink finish and just like his comrade, the black wash brings out all the exquisite detail in the sculpt.

The head is also completely different, with a totally smooth cranium, tusk like horns protruding from his chin, and the same articulated jaw with the secondary mouth that extends outward. The cranial plate is somewhat translucent so you can just make out some of the detail that’s going on underneath it. Overall, it’s a simpler styled head than the Arachnoid, but my personal taste makes it my favorite of the two.

And I can say that pretty much about the entire figure. Not only does this Xeno look a lot more distinctive than his Arachnoid brother, but he also looks like an absolute killing machine. Between those shredding claws and that extra blade on his tail, this fellow looks like he’s just designed to leap on Colonial Marines and eviscerate them in a matter of seconds. Plus, there’s just something about the coloring that really does it for me.

I’m always looking to add some new Xenomorphs to my collection, so even if I wasn’t a fan of the quarter-munching arcade game, I would have still been all over these. But the fact that they are realistic interpretations of the 16-bit pixelated game characters makes them all the more sweeter. And even if you aren’t looking to collect all the Arcade figures, I think these fellas would be right at home in any NECA Aliens collection. They look fantastic together, and I just know I’m going to wind up dropping a lot of money to pick up the last one and complete the set. Next week, I hope to be back to check out the Predators in this line!