RoboCop Vs Terminator: Future RoboCop by NECA

Wow, was it really over a month ago since I looked at NECA’s EndoCop and Terminator Dog from Dark Horse’s RoboCop Vs Terminator comic? I’m pretty sure I promised back then that I’d be back with a look at this Future RoboCop the following week, but things appear to have gotten away from me. Nonetheless, when I was picking up in the Toy Closet the other day, this guy fell off a stack and hit me in the head. It was clearly the Universe’s way of reminding me to make good on my promise. And finding a new NECA figure to open makes every day better! So let’s check him out!

If you were here for the EndoCop review, then you’ll know exactly what to expect from this packaging. The figure comes in a window box, but it has a hinged front flap that secures with the premium goodness of velcro. It’s also the same style packaging that NECA uses for their Ultimate figures and I hate it because it’s so nice and I can’t throw it out and it takes up so much space and oh my god, I have so many shelves of these things! Naturally, it’s all collector friendly, although I would recommend a modicum of care when removing Robo from the tray, as his legs pass through holes in it and he’s got those somewhat fragile pistons down there. The artwork on the box is superb as it looks like it’s straight out of the comic. It also compliments the artwork on the EndoCop box perfectly. The photos, on the other hand, are pretty awful. I don’t know what happened here, but most of the official promo shots of this figure look really rough and rushed. I’m glad I didn’t let that influence my decision to purchase it. Oh yeah, the lettering on the front flap is printed in rich foil blue and red and it looks super spiffy. The whole presentation is just a wonderful send up to the comic and a perfect example of how NECA pours their collective heart and soul into these projects.

And here he is out of the box and ready for action! Far in the future, Alex Murphy’s consciousness hides within Skynet’s artificial intelligence until the time is right to fabricate himself a new body. Augmented by Terminator technology and a new battle frame, RoboCop allies itself with the human resistance to take out Skynet and prevent the annihilation of mankind. At least that’s how I remember it. It’s been a while since I read this comic. As you can probably tell, there are a lot of parts shared between this figure and the EndoCop, indeed the bulk of the figure is very much the same, but there are also some cool new bits here as well. From the waist down the only thing that I can see different is the little device coming off of his right hip. I have no idea what this is, but I really hope someone can enlighten me. At first, I thought it might be a gun, but it doesn’t pivot into what would resemble a firing position. The torso is the same as the EndoCop’s and includes the fortified pistons and shoulder plates.

The right arm is the same, but his lower left arm has been replaced with what looks like a rocket launcher. The sculpt still features all the great little touches like the OCP branding on the leg and helmet, the working pistons on his lower legs and the backs of his upper arms, the thruster modules attached to the outsides of his lower legs, and the detail in the right hand is extremely intricate.

The head appears to be the same sculpt that NECA used for their regular RoboCop figures. The only major difference here is that the chin guard is painted silver instead of black. And speaking of paint, it looks great all over the figure. NECA did make use of some blue highlights here and there, and at first I thought this was to recreate that blue-purple hue the suit sometimes showed on screen. It sort of works at some angles, but it looks a bit obvious if you get in close. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that they were probably going for more of a comic coloring effect here, and if that’s the case… well, bravo!

From the back, we can see the biggest change on the figure in the form of his massive backpack-o-death. This thing is like a Swiss Army Knife of Mutual Assured Destruction. It’s got missiles, rockets, and something that looks like an anti-tank gun. Sadly none of these pieces are removable and are for display only, but holy crap does it look cool!

Future Robo does, however, have a mini-gun mounted behind his right shoulder that can be deployed for attack. I dig this thing a lot and it gives me a bit of a Predator feel. But lets not get them or the Aliens involved. This crossover is mind-bending enough.

And when a back full of ICBMs and mini-guns can’t get the job done, or just for old times’ sake, Future Robo also still comes with his trusty Auto-9 pistol. This looks like the exact same accessory that came with the EndoCop. It’s a decent enough sculpt, but it feels a little too flat and two-dimensional. The right hand can hold it perfectly and you can even thread the trigger finger through the guard.

After playing around with the EndoCop, I was pretty excited to get my hands on this figure and I have to say I am not disappointed. This line is so damn fun and it’s making me want to go back and pick up the RoboCop video game figures that NECA did a while back. I think if there are any fan complaints here, it’ll be that Future Robo and the EndoCop share so many parts, but you won’t hear me griping about it. They’re both accurate to the comic designs, and the ability to share so many parts is probably what allowed this project to happen, because I fear these figures will have a rather niche audience. To be honest, at this point I’ll take any new RoboCop figures that NECA is willing to produce. I just wish they could get some likeness rights and do an unmasked Murphy in this scale.

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Alien: Lambert in Compression Suit by NECA

The folks at NECA are damn busy people trying to give the proper love to a lot of different franchises. That’s why I can forgive them for taking so long in getting back to releasing figures the original Alien film. I also get that a lot of this has to do with what likeness rights they can and cannot secure and other behind-the-scenes stuff. But I do love Alien and I was always hoping they’d come back to filling out the roster of the Nostromo crew. On the downside, there’s still no Brett or Parker, but hey look… It’s Lambert!

Yes, Joan Lambert, navigator on board the Nostromo and one of the crewmembers chosen to accompany the ill-fated survey of planet LV-426. She made out a lot better than Kane on the survey, but the Xenomorph later punched her ticket back on the ship, and off-camera no less! NECA has been sticking to the sealed clamshell packaging for the regular releases in their Aliens and Predator lines. And I’m cool with that. They may not be collector friendly, but they do give up that wonderful rush of pure plastic fumes when I cut into them.

Lambert is the fourth figure based on the Compression Suit body sculpt. We got both Ripley, Dallas, and Kane from the original film and later Amanda Ripley from the game Alien Isolation. Hey, it’s an amazing sculpt, so I don’t mind that NECA dipped their bucket into this well more than a few times. Of course, each of the suits featured their own unique deco, and Lambert’s may feature my favorite coloring of the bunch.

Indeed, even now I still found myself lost in all the rich details of this sculpt upon opening her up. High points include the ornamentation on the shoulders, the quilting on the mid-section and upper arms, the lacings on the elbows and knees, and the the pads that are strapped onto the lower legs. Extra props go out for the little things, like the painted patch on her left ass-cheek and the personalized strip across her chest. I also love the green-coppery patina that they gave to the parts that are supposed to be metal. The suits look old and well-worn, and that really adds to their character. Indeed, the entire design of the suit looks like just the kind of DIY patch job that a commercial towing vessel might use. It’s both wildly imaginative and hideously practical and it gave NECA an opportunity to run wild with the detail.

Lambert comes with two heads, which is pretty cool considering Kane only came with the Facehugger head, something I’m still a little bit miffed about. Anyway, this is a pretty solid likeness to the Veronica Cartwright.

The alternate head features her with a horrified look and I think this sculpt is downright amazing. I would imagine that it’s hard enough to do decent likenesses, but when you toss in rather extreme expressions, it seems like it would be a lot tougher. Either way, NECA nailed this one perfectly, and I like that it also features her wearing the hood for the suit, while the other one just had her sculpted hair. Another cool detail is that her hood is completely different than the tanker-style cap on the Dallas figure. NECA just loves all those little details!

The helmet is identical to the Kane’s and comes apart into two halves. To put it on, you just pop the head, put on the lower piece, reattach the head and snap on the top piece. The sculpt here is every bit as impressive as the rest of the suit with all sorts of little controls and bits and bobs littered around it. The oxygen tank/backpack includes some detailed paint apps as well, and I love the two furnace-style knobs stuck onto the back. There are two tubes coming off the top of the tanks, which plug into the slots on the helmet.

Articulation on the figure is great on paper, with rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles. There’s also a ball joint under the chest and in the neck. The sculpt, however, does impede a lot of movement. For example, there’s virtually no range of motion for the bend in the elbows, but the suits didn’t look terribly agile, so I’m fine with that.

Lambert comes with two accessories, and they are the same ones that came with Dallas and Kane. First up is the pistol. I’ve said it before, I absolutely love this design. Like most everything else in the Nostromo equipment lockers, this looks like a wonderful patch job. At the core it looks like a traditional 20th Century handgun grip and trigger assembly, but with a cylindrical body and a cone for the laser emitter. There’s a scope mounted on top, and what looks like a laser scope slung underneith, because who doesn’t need a laser scope for their laser gun! There’s some great diamond texturing and I can even make out the detail in the brackets that hold the extra bits on. Lambert’s right hand is sculpted to hold the gun. Oh yeah, and I still think the loop holster is a rubbish design, though. It’s tough to get the gun to hang in it, and if I needed to fast draw that weapon I’d probably be dead by the time I got it out.

The flashlight is just a box with a light emitter on the end and something protruding out of the back. The left hand is sculpted to work really well with the carry strap.

Lambert is an excellent addition to the Nostromo crew and another way to showcase this fantastic suit sculpt. And NECA, if you want to get your money’s worth out of the likeness rights here, I’d be happy to pick up Lambert in her regular jumpsuit as well. I was able to grab Lambert for about $20 and I’m still hunting for the two Xenomorphs that make up the other two-thirds of this assortment. And yes, I’m still going to hold out hope that some day we’ll get a Brett and Parker two-pack, but until then, it’s nice to have the LZ-426 survey team complete.

Nightmare on Elm Street (Freddy’s Revenge) Ultimate Freddy Krueger by NECA

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 is a weird movie. It has some really cool imagery that makes it worth watching, but it comes from that transitional period where ANoES was taking its first step into becoming a franchise. A lot of it makes no sense. It’s nowhere near as scary or impactful as the original, and it doesn’t have the charm or personality of the later installments. It does have a psychotic exploding parakeet, so there’s that. It is undoubtedly the one movie in the franchise that I revisit the least, but as an Elm Street movie it still has some merit. And no, the remake doesn’t count, BECAUSE I HAVE NEVER REVISITED IT! Of course, when it comes to buying action figures, none of this matters to me. As long as NECA keeps putting out horror icons of the 80’s, I will keep supporting them. And that goes double for Freddy. I’m always ready for Freddy.

This is a the third time NECA has awarded Freddy the Ultimate release treatment. The first was the 30th Anniversary figure and the second was from Part 3: The Dream Warriors. The figure comes in a premium window box with a front flap that covers the window and is secured by velcro. And yes, when you hear that velcro tear, you know this is premium packaging. The front has some fantastic poster art for the flick, the back panel has some shots of the contents, and the whole thing feels like an oversized VHS sleeve. In this case, it’s extra over-sized, because Freddy comes with a couple of buddies. But I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Let’s start with Freddy.

So, this is largely the same body sculpt as we saw for the Dream Warriors release. The biggest difference being that figure’s torso was designed so you could take off the front and swap it out with the exposed chest showing the faces of his victims. I thought that gimmick was well worthy of having some seams on the shoulders and down the sides, but if that bothered you, here’s the same body without the seams. Beyond that, the paint on this Freddy’s sweater is a little darker and dirtier, which is keeping with the darker look of the film. Conversely, he is easily distinguished from the 30th Anniversary figure as that one did not have the striping on the sweater sleeves. It’s worth noting how the sculpted sweater looks great, with a realistic knitted texture and some nice tattering at the edges. Beyond that from the waist down this release appears to be identical to Dream Warriors Freddy, with the same wonderful attention to detail in the boots.

You get three different heads and the fedora is a separate piece so he can wear it no matter what head you’re using. The stock head is probably my favorite. It’s a good pissed off look for Freddy with some beautiful attention to detail in the burned skin. That goes for all these heads. The teeth are appropriately nasty, and the whole thing has a juicy, glossy finish. Yum!

The next head is probably my least favorite of the three, but it certainly isn’t bad. He has a snarling expression that shows more teeth, but this time the teeth are painted really dark, like Freddy’s been drinking a toner cartridge. The eyes are a bit more sloppy on this one too.

And finally, we get all out raging Freddy, and the more I look at it this one, it may be tied with the first as my favorite. They really did a beautiful job with his open mouth and the tongue sticking out. You can make out the bottom row of teeth in there too. Superb! It’s worth noting that I found the heads very easy to pop and swap on this figure. That hasn’t always been the case with this Ultimate line.

Freddy also includes two bladed right hands, one with the blades coming out of his fingers, and the other with the more traditional glove. Yeah, I definitely prefer the gloved hand. The glove is Freddy’s trademark, and if he can just grow the blades out of his fingers, why does he need it? So, it’s a nice extra, but not something I’m going to be using a lot. The blades on both hands are a little bendy and don’t always look straight, but I’ll take that over the hard plastic ones that Mezco used on their 3 3/4-inch Freddy a while back. The blades on mine snapped off almost instantly and there’s no worries about that happening here.

Of course, same body means the same articulation, and in this case that’s not a bad thing. Freddy features rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles. The neck is ball jointed, and there’s a ball joint hidden under his sweater just above the waist.

In addition to the heads and hands, Freddy comes with a flaming effect part to attach to his back and recreate one of the iconic scenes from the film. It’s OK. The piece is designed to attach to Freddy’s back with a magnet, but it just barely holds in place. It also makes Freddy very back heavy. It looks pretty cool, and I give NECA props for including it, but I can’t see me displaying him with this piece a lot. Maybe if I eventually do a full display of Freddys I’ll throw it on him just to distinguish him from the others. Personally, I liked the smaller accessories that came with the other two releases better than this. But that’s fine, because this box also has a couple of other cool extras…

HOLY SHIT! So, what makes the box extra big is the inclusion of the two Demon Dogs that make a very brief appearance in the film and do absolutely nothing of consequence but add to the creep factor. Here’s a fun fact about me, I have a thing about human-faced dogs that started way back when I saw the Invasion of the Body Snatchers remake as a kid and I flipped out. Seriously, my parents had to calm me down, as I was crying and just mumbling, “Why?” a lot. Funny, but now that I think about it that Man-Dog didn’t really do anything in the film other than show up. What’s with all the human-faced dog cameos??? Anyway, as an adult, terror gave way to fascination. So that’s one reason why I love these extras, but the other is that NECA had the passion to make them and add them to this box.

And these things are seriously disturbing. The faces are disgusting with some kind of lesions or growths or pustules or some goddamn shit all over them. GAH! I can’t believe I had to use the word pustules in an action figure review. Anyway, they share the same canine bodies with sculpted fur and some nice brown paint applications around the feet and chests. The collars are different and the only articulation here is at the head where they can tilt their heads like when a dog hears a funny sound. These are amazing bonuses and well worthy of the little bit of extra charge on this one. Still, I’ve got to admit I’m glad I keep these figures in their boxes, because I don’t need this pair staring at me from the shelves all day.

Most companies would see an opportunity to release a bunch of different versions of the same character as a way to cheap out and grab some extra cash. But NECA always goes that extra mile with these things, and this Freddy’s Revenge version of the “Bastard Son of 100 Maniacs” is a fine example of that. It’s also the reason why I’ll keep buying as many Freddy figures as NECA is willing to pump out. I’m rather obsessed with the idea of having one from each movie. Of course, this one is also a must-have pick up if you missed out on the others and want an excellent Freddy for your shelf. I may not love the film, but I do absolutely love this figure.

RoboCop Vs Terminator: Endocop and Terminator Dog by NECA

I know, most of you came here to see a Transformers Thursday review, but until the new wave of Hasbro’s official convertorobots starts showing up, TF Thursday will have to go on hiatus. I do need to get caught up on my Masterpiece figures, so maybe I’ll add one of them to the collection this month. In the meantime, we’re almost two months into the new year and I still haven’t done a NECA review. And with all the cool shit they showed off at Toy Fair, I do believe I had better get cracking on getting caught up. So let’s remedy that today by checking out the recently released Endocop and Terminator Dog from the RoboCop Vs Terminator comic by Dark Horse!

Holy shit, look at that snazzy packaging!!! I gotta be honest, there could be nothing in that box and I would probably have still bought it. The artwork is fantastic and the logo is printed in a brilliantly reflective foil lettering that screams, “I’M COOL, BUY ME!!!!” Granted, I don’t think I’ve read this comic more than a couple times since it came out. I remember being pretty stoked at finding all four issues at a used book store on the way home from one of my classes one day. I remember tearing into it and being so intrigued by the cross-over and digging the time travel elements, but it just wasn’t something I went back to a lot. Nowadays, when I think of RvT, I tend to think of the video game more then anything else. But that going to stop me from enjoying these figures.

I don’t know if this technically counts as one of NECA’s Ultimate Series releases, but the packaging is very similar, complete with the folding front flap covering the window. The presentation is top notch and everything is collector friendly and that’s a good thing, because while I toss most of my action figure packages, I like to keep all these NECA boxes lined up on my shelves for easy access. The packaging also showcases Future RoboCop as coming soon and indeed, he’s already here! Inside the box, Endocop comes on a tray with the Termitator Dog (T-Dog, hereafter) positioned in front of his legs. Let’s start with Endocop!

The Endocop looks like a kitbash, and that’s totally appropriate since these guys are basically RoboCop’s own design augmented by Terminator parts. And so it’s only natural that NECA raided the cupboard for some parts for this figure. The torso and legs are taken from their regular RoboCop figure, with the biggest change being the rocket boosters added to his lower legs. The chest might be knew, as this one looks a little smaller than the one on my original figure. Either way, you still get all that amazing detail in the sculpt, right down to the OCP logos and the working pistons that connect his legs to his ankles. The silver paint job is a little more dynamic than the original RoboCop release as well. It has some blue spray here and there to simulate that blue-purple sheen that the costume had when seen under just the right lighting. The pelvis is also painted silver here instead of black.

The new arms are patterned after the Terminator Endoskeleton designs. I’m pretty sure these are newly sculpted parts, because they’re a lot beefier and a lot less fragile than the arms on my most recent NECA Endoskeleton. Most notably, the shoulders are much bigger and more pronounced. The arms also include some articulated pistons in the biceps, which are cool enough that they justify the lack of a bicep swivel. Every time I play around with my Endoskeleton I get worried I’m going to break something, but Endocop presents no such worries. He’s a solid dude!

The head sculpt is brand new and it is creepy as all hell. It’s basically Robo’s helmet, but with the grim visage of the lower half of an Endoskeleton’s face where Murphy’s face should be. Here’s where I let you all in on a little secret. Robots with real human looking teeth really freak me the hell out. You ever see those dolls dentists practice on? I’m talking nightmare fuel! Anyway, I really dig the extra parts fitted to the torso to help support the arms. These include some discs where the shoulders attach, and the pistons that sword of resemble a human clavicle. Very cool!

The Endocop comes with Murphy’s Auto-9 pistol, which fits quite well into the right hand, and the trigger finger is soft enough so that it can go through the trigger guard. I’m having a lot of trouble keeping track of some of the story elements from this comic, and I can’t for the life of me remember why Murphy would replicate his gun for his Endocops, but whatever. Keep in mind, since this figure uses the earlier RoboCop release, it does not include the spring-loaded leg holster, so there isn’t anywhere to put the gun when he isn’t holding it. That’s probably for the best as that thing was really crazy fragile. All in all, I think NECA did a beautiful job with this figure, and while it does reuse some parts, they still went the extra mile to make the figure feel fresh and new. It would have been a worthy pick up all by himself, and that brings us to the awesome bonus. The T-Dog!

While I was pretty excited about getting The Endocop, The T-Dog was a case of love at first sight. He was the first to come out of the box and I’d say the Endocop didn’t come out until about twenty minutes later because I was busy playing with my new killer robot dog. This sculpt is absolutely magnificent and I found myself just turning the figure over in my hands so that I could drink it in from every angle. Make no mistake, this is a full-fledged figure and not some pack-in accessory. Indeed, I could have seen any number of toy companies stamping out a mostly static PVC piece for this dog, maybe giving it rotation at the tops of the legs, and calling it a day. But NECA just poured the love into this killer mutt. Besides the exquisite sculpt, the articulation goes above and beyond. The legs feature four points each, including ball joints in the feet. You also get a few points of articulation in the body, two points in the neck, and a hinged jaw.

Look at that face! The piercing red eyes and realistically painted teeth make him all the more terrifying! Remember what I said about robots with human teeth? Well apparently it goes for robots with animal teeth too. The T-Dog is no little lap dog either. If you stand him up on his hind legs he’s as tall as the Endocop. He’s also very sturdy and has a nice heft to him. The paint finish is a little less dynamic than The Endocop’s, but it looks like real metal with a little wash to give it a worn patina.

As a two-pack, this release set me back a little more than the usual NECA boxed figure. I was able to get it for $35 from one of the major online retailers, and I’m guessing that’s about what the MSRP is. Considering that the single packed figures go for $22-25 these days, I think this is a pretty good deal. And as excited as I was to get it, this set impressed me even more once I had the figures out and in hand. From the art direction on the box to the little touches of detail on the figures, this is yet another love letter to the fans, and I love NECA for that. So much so, that I can see picking up a second one of these is in my future. And speaking of future, I’ll have a review of the RvT Future RoboCop coming up either next week or the week after.

FigureFan’s Favorites 2017, Part 1

Welcome, Toyhounds, to the first part of my Favorites from 2017 and I’m not really here. In fact, I’m probably out on my patio smoking a cigar and getting caught up on my stack of comics. If you’re confused about why you’re reading some kind of canned bullshit and not an actual review, I’ll refer you back to yesterday’s post where I explain everything. If you’re up to speed, then we’re going to dive right in to my first five favorite additions to my collection from 2017. These are in no particular order, so let’s go…

DC “Designer Series” Frank Cho Wonder Woman Sixth-Scale Statue by DC Collectibles: There was never any doubt that I’d have a statue from DC Collectibles on my Favorites list this year, because I picked up some great ones. But which one to choose? I waited a long time to get a version of Adam Hughes Wonder Woman in my collection and she turned out great. Likewise both the Babs Tarr Batgirl and the Deluxe Harley Quinn Bombshell were superb releases. In the end, I went with Frank Cho’s Wonder Woman because it’s just such a wonderful representation of the character, and it is executed flawlessly. I love the costume design, the paintwork is nearly perfect, and I really dig the materials DCC is using for flesh tones on these pieces. Cho’s Wonder Woman is not only my favorite DC Statue pick up in 2017, she may very well be my favorite statue of all my collection.

Transformers “Titans Return” Jumpstarters by Hasbro: This is only the second item on my list, and I’m already cheating by giving one slot to two figures. But that’s OK, because I couldn’t break up the Titans Return Jumpstarters by showing preferential treatment to one and ignore the other. If I wanted to really cheat, I could have taken up a lot more spots on my Favorites List just from Titans Return alone, so getting me down to just two was quite the achievement of willpower. It’s no secret that I loved this line, and there were a lot of figures that could have landed on this list, but in the end I had to go with Topspin and Twin Twist as my favorites. Not only are these great figures, not only are they superb updates to their G1 toys, but the fact that we got official Jumpstarters from Hasbro still boggles my mind. These are so good, that I ended up selling off my far more expensive third party Jumpstarters.

Ghostbusters Firehouse by Playmobil: If you had told me a few years ago that we’d be getting a Ghostbusters Firehouse playset in 2017, I’d have called you a raving lunatic and poked out one of your eyes as a lesson not to f*ck with me. And yet here it is! What’s even more baffling is the fact that it came from Playmobil. Now, I may be a little biased, because PlaymoSpace and Playmobil Pirates were my jam growing up, but even if I wasn’t already sold on the brand, I probably would have jumped at this. With their track record for going nuts on parts and accessories, and their easy to customize figure buck, Playmobil turned out to be the perfect fit in this otherwise unthinkable union. Yes, I could have just as easily listed the Ecto-1 here, but c’mon… this is the freaking Firehouse! And Playmobil did a beautiful job with it. It’s almost a pity this set didn’t come out closer to Christmas, because it would have been a perfect review for Christmas Morning!

Epic Marvel Quarter Scale Deadpool by NECA: I’ve been trying to stay away from NECA’s Quarter Scale figures. They’re amazing figures and very reasonably priced, but I really don’t have the space for them. Nonetheless, there are some releases that are no-brainers, and when they first revealed Deadpool, I knew I had to make an exception. And I’m glad I did! This figure truly lives up to the name Epic. The sculpt is phenomenal, the accessory count is over-the-top, and despite being such a big figure, he is loads of fun to play with. NECA absolutely surpassed themselves with this figure and it is some of the best work I’ve seen out of anyone all year long.

Star Wars Rogue One TIE Striker by Hasbro: I’m probably as surprised as you are to see this on the list, but this toy just impressed the hell out of me. I wasn’t expecting much, and I didn’t even buy it until it hit deep clearance. Star Wars vehicles aren’t what they used to be, but this one feels like it belongs among the best of them. Sure, I could have done without the Nerf gimmick, but apart from that this is a quality toy and a cool design from what has become one of my favorite Star Wars movies of all time.

And that’s it for my First Five Favorites of 2017. Come on back tomorrow and I’ll wrap up my list of the good stuff!

Terminator 2 “Judgement Day” 3D: T-800 by NECA

I’m a little pressed for time today, so I’m checking out something from my pile of new arrivals, that should be quick and easy. It’s NECA’s T-800 from Terminator 2 “Judgement Day” 3D!!! What does the 3D have to do with it? Nothing really, but it was a great excuse to get this figure back on the pegs again. Or at least most of it.

The T-800 comes in an attractive and collector friendly window box, which features that iconic shot of The Terminator on the motorcycle in the front and lots of photos of the figure on the back. You also get a cool flame motif on the insert behind the tray. And yes, the package is indeed branded to match the 3D re-release of the film. If the figure looks familiar, this is essentially a minor repaint and re-issue of the Ultimate T-800, released back in 2015. What’s different? Let’s open him up and find out!

So, as far as the figure goes, this is the same sculpt as the Ultimate T-800, which I reviewed a couple of years back. It features the T-800 in his motorcycle jacket, leather pants, and black boots. Yes, there’s a whole lot of black in this outfit! The biggest difference between the two figures is the color of the shirt. The Ultimate had a gray shirt and this one has a black one. This version also isn’t wearing gloves, doesn’t have the bandoleer strap of grenade rounds, and the pants have more of a leathery sheen to them. Both jackets have the bullet holes in the front and in the back. Obviously, the articulation is the same, and I’ll refer you back to my review of the Ultimate for the rundown of the points.

This version comes with two heads: One with sunglasses and one without. They appear to be the same sculpts as the heads that came with the Ultimate T-800, although I think the paint on these are a little better. The Ultimate also came with a third damaged head, and this one does not.

This T-800 does come with the M1887 lever-action shotgun. It’s the same accessory that we got with the Ultimate. It was great then and it’s still great here. His right hand is perfectly sculpted to hold it and he can cradle the front in his left hand.

And he also comes with the automatic pistol. It has a painted silver finish. And that’s it for the guns. Absent is of course the M79 grenade launcher and the minigun that came with the Ultimate version. But, you do get one accessory that’s exclusive to this release.

And yes, it is indeed a cardboard flower box. It’s also the best damn 7-inch scale cardboard flower box I’ve ever seen and it’s just big enough to conceal the shotgun inside. Look, I’m not going to say this one accessory is worth buying the figure again, but it sure does let you recreate one of the coolest scenes in the whole damn movie.

As I mentioned on the outset, this release is really just a great opportunity to pick up the T-800 if you missed out on the Ultimate version and don’t want to pay the $50-60 that it seems to be going for these days. Sure, it’s a stripped down release, but it’s still a great figure and a worthy addition to any action figure collection. I think it’s MSRP is around $20, which granted isn’t a lot less than the Ultimate version released at, but I was able to pick mine up for a couple dollars under that. Truth be told, there are so many different display options for the Ultimate version, it doesn’t hurt to have a second one on hand to display with that extra head or different weapon load out. And I’m always happy to throw my support at NECA.

Predator: Jungle Extraction Dutch by NECA

The sci-fi/action classic Predator turned thirty this year and NECA (who else?) was on the scene with an impressive wave of action figures to celebrate the film’s anniversary. Included in the assortment were no less than four versions of Major Alan “Dutch” Schaefer (five if you count the convention exclusive!). Sadly, I didn’t have the budget or space to go all in on this wave, seriously even I have to draw the line somewhere, but I did grab two of the four retail release Dutch figures when they went up for pre-order, and I’m finally getting around to open one of these today!

The packaging isn’t quite as snazzy as NECA’s Ultimate figures, but it’s still plenty nice. Dutch comes in a collector friendly window box that shows off the figure beautifully, has a great shot of him on the back, and features 30th Anniversary logos on the side panels as well as the figure’s name. In this case “Jungle Extraction” version depicts Dutch early in the film and at the beginning of the mission to rescue the “Cabinet Minister” from the guerrilla camp. The figure and gear are laid out on a clear plastic tray with a printed insert showing the jungle viewed through the Predator’s thermavision.

Aliens and Predators may be NECA’s bread and butter, but Arnold Schwarzenegger is their jam, and this figure shows it. Dutch comes sporting his full fatigues, which include camo pants, a long-sleeved, button-down shirt, and a tactical vest. The open vest on the collar is sculpted to look like the shirt is actually a separate piece and you can see a bit of his darker green t-shirt peaking out. As I would expect from NECA, every little pocket, rumple, and stitch is meticulously detailed on this outfit, from the edges on his collar and the grenades on his vest, down to the laces on his boots.

Dutch’s outfit includes a functional holster for his sidearm and sheath for his combat knife, as well as a scabbard for his machete. The holster has a retaining strap, as well as a sculpted pouch for an extra magazine. The knife sheath has a sculpted pouch for a sharpening rod. The detail on these is uncanny, right down to the stitching along the edges.

As for the portrait, well like I said earlier, NECA knows Arnold. They’ve sculpted him young and old, and everything in between and so naturally this is a great likeness. I’m not usually a big fan of this glossy, unpainted plastic for the head sculpts, but I don’t mind it so much here. It looks like he’s sweating his ass off, and that’s appropriate for the jungle setting. Otherwise, there’s plenty of detail in the facial features, as well as his stubble, and yes they even sculpted the cigar into his mouth. Lovely! The paint on the hairline is nice and clean and the camo striping on his face looks great.

The articulation is the usual NECA fare with rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles. There’s a ball joint in the waist and another in the neck. I would have liked a little more range of motion in those elbows, but what we got is still plenty good.

As for weapons, let’s start small and work our way up. He comes with two knives, the smaller combat knife and the larger machete type. Both are beautifully sculpted with detailed hilts and silver painted blades. Neither of his hands are really designed to hold them, but I was actually surprised at how well they each looked in his gun hand with the trigger finger over the guard. Yes, they’re rather loose in his grip, but it works.

Next up, Dutch comes with his Desert Eagle. I just re-watched my Blu-Ray of Predator a few days ago and was surprised to find that Dutch never actually drew his sidearm at all in the film. He eventually loses it after he’s forced to take a swim. This is a pretty good sculpt, with both black and gray paint.

And last, but certainly not least is the AR-15 fitted with an M203 grenade launcher. Just like NECA knows their way around Arnold, they also know their way around weaponry and as a result this is a beautiful scaled recreation of the weapon carried by Dutch in the film. It has a bit of weathering to the finish and it includes a soft plastic carry strap so you can sling it over his shoulder.

Dutch set me back about $25, which is a little more than usual for a regular NECA release, but a lot of retailers were really pushing to sell these as a complete assortment and goosing the price on the individuals just a tad. That’s OK. Considering all the craftsmanship and attention to detail that went into this figure, I’m perfectly happy with what I paid. You simply can’t go wrong picking up 80’s inspired action figures from the wizards at NECA and when the subject is Arnold Schwarzenegger, you know you’re going to be in for a treat. Indeed, I’m even starting to eye up the other two Dutch figures that I left on the table. But now I’m getting ahead of myself. In a week or so, I’ll double back and take a look at the Jungle Patrol Dutch!

Aliens: Deluxe Alien Queen by NECA

Work for me in September is going to be a nightmare, so I’m trying to get to at least a few of the bigger things on my review list before I get really pinched for time. One of those things that’s been sitting around here for a while has been NECA’s Alien Queen. Originally released for the 35th Anniversary, this lady was re-issued this year to meet a high demand after the initial production had long since sold out. Just give me a few ticks to convert my sad little photo staging area into something bigger and we can get started…

This is a big box! The deco is dark and creepy and offers a window that gives you a peek at the horror inside. Part of that horror consists of the approximately 10,000 twist-ties that you have to undo to get The Xeno Queen off the tray. Otherwise, everything here is collector friendly, but I dread ever having to get this monstrosity back onto that tray, as it’ll have to be in just the right pose. In the end, I will likely get rid of the tray and flatten the box like I do for some of my statue window boxes. I should also note that the Queen requires some assembly and sadly there’s no instruction sheet to show you how. All you really need to do is attach the six spikes on her back, but I had to go through quite a few pictures before I figured out the proper way to do it.

Here she is all set up, and she is indeed a magnificent bitch. I know I sometimes throw the term “work of art” around when discussing NECA’s stuff, and I try not to do it as hyperbole. I’m certainly not engaging in that here when I say, this figure is a piece of art, plain and simple. Seriously, this is something that I would just set up on a roman column stand in entrance hall for people who visit to admire the craftsmanship that went into it. A lot of my Alien figures go into totes, because I don’t have the space to display them, but this was a case where I made room in my den the moment I opened her up. I also poured myself a nice tall glass of Jameson and just sat there sipping and marveling at what a beautiful hung of plastic she is. I know I’m gushing here, but I think it’s justified. Ah, but I’m getting ahead of myself, so let’s step back a bit.

The Alien Queen ain’t called a Deluxe figure for nothing. She measures in at about fifteen inches tall and over thirty inches long, which means she dwarfs NECA’s impressively large Alien Warrior figures. Indeed, as big as the box is, it still doesn’t quite convey the size of her once she’s set up. And on that note, she does come with a display stand to keep her standing, since the Queen’s posture isn’t something that could support itself otherwise in most poses. The base of the stand is clear plastic, with a metal rod that connects to a clear plastic circular clasp. The stand doesn’t appear to be designed for any specific area, but I find that just cradling her abdomen in the clasp works perfectly. With that having been said…

If you rear her up on her legs and use the tail as a support, she not only gets frighteningly taller, but can actually stand on her own. I’m still going to opt to use the stand for stability, because I fear if this gal takes a shelf dive, she may not survive it because of her disproportional weight.

One of the cool things about owning this figure is it really gives me a sense of what this beast truly looks like. That’s something I could never really work out from watching the film, because everything is so dark. She stands on two hind legs, almost like a T-Rex and features two pairs of arms: One large pair connecting at the “shoulders” and the other smaller pair connecting under the belly. Lady Xeno boasts a total of 30 points of articulation, consisting of a plethora of ball joints and rotating hinges, which allow for some pretty good variations for display. The sculpt is bewilderingly complex, and I’d expect nothing less from one of NECA’s Xenomorphs. Still, here there’s a lot more surface area to work with and so many little details on display. And as great as the sculpt is, the Xeno-bitch has got the painted chops to back it up. Here are some highlights…

These external rib-like bones, which run along the neck are painted in gold, making them stand out beautifully against the rest of blue and black body. As you can see, even on the undercarriage, there’s hardly a place on this figure without some sculpted detail.

I really dig the contours of the legs as well as the cut outs. Again, you get some nice gold-brown paint along the edges and some more on the blades that come off the backs of the knees. On the insides of the legs you get some exposed segmented tube-like structures running through the inside. She also features silver paint on her claws and all of her finger and toe joints.

The tail is constructed of the typical bendy plastic that NECA has been using in all its Xenos. There’s a swivel cut at the base, but below that you can bend it into all sorts of configurations and it will stay put. Each of the segments are beautifully detailed and painted.

The large plate that makes up the top of Queen Xeno’s head is as long as your average Alien figure. The interior triangle on the top side is sculpted to look like some kind of leathery skin stretched between the exoskeletal framework. Even the underside of this large plate is beautifully detailed and fully sculpted. You really need to get in there to see any of this clearly, which makes it all the more impressive that NECA made a point of adding this detail.

The spikes that need to be attached are simple ball and socket connections. They can be a little tough to get in and every now and then one of them will pop out when I’m handling her, but for the most part they stay in fairly well. Each of these pieces is not only ball jointed, but also hinged, giving them a surprising degree of individual posability.

The head is appropriately terrifying and the teeth are absolutely fantastic. They’re sculpted in a clear plastic with a greenish tint, along with the sinews that connect the jaw on the sides. The jaw is fully articulated and you get two secondary mouth pieces, one that fits inside the closed mouth and one that extends outward.

As mentioned, this is a re-issue of the original figure. I believe the figure is identical, but I think the package is new. It’s a testament to the popularity of this piece that NECA had to go into production again, as the original sold out everywhere fairly quickly and began demanding stupid crazy prices. Not that the figure itself was ever cheap. I pre-ordered mine at around $120. It’s a testament to how much I love this design and what NECA did with it, that I was so willing to drop that money on a creature from a movie that I wouldn’t call one of my favorites, but I do really love the franchise as a whole, and simply had to have this magnificently ugly bitch on my shelf. The only downside? I think I pretty much have to buy the Power Loader now to display with her.

Heroes of the Storm: Sylvanas (Warcraft) by NECA

Last week, I started looking at the last wave of NECA’s wonderful Heroes of the Storm line with the Orc Warchief Thrall. Today, I’m pressing on by opening up Sylvanas. It’s the last Warcraft-based figure in the line, and that makes me a very sad little Murloc.

Ah, but check it out! It’s the sexy and deadly Ranger-General of Silvermoon, Sylvanas Windrunner, now known as the Banshee Queen of the Forsaken. Give me a moment to unsheathe my Sin’dorei Warblade, slice open her sealed prison and release her. ACK! I HAVE UNLEASHED THE NOXIOUS PLASTIC GASSES!!!

Once again, NECA really knows their way around the Warcraft aesthetic and have done a beautiful job bringing this figure to life. She’s their first female from the Warcraft universe and still manages to retain her shapely form while including the jagged and somewhat bulky armor that is so popular in the realm. Sylvanas features beautifully sculpted armored boots, gauntlets, and shoulders, with some added plates on her thighs and to cover her blood elf bewbs. Her midriff and ample cleavage are, of course, exposed, because who would ever take advantage of that in battle?

As with Thrall, the illusion of layered gear on this figure is very well done. The armor pieces are all part of the sculpt, but thanks to the carefully detailed underlying clothes and the sculpted straps and buckles, I could almost be convinced that she’s actually wearing the armor. The attention to detail in the shoulders is particularly exquisite. All the armor pieces have that wonderful hammered metal finish, the reinforced borders harbor tiny nicks and dents from battle, and the shoulders are adorned with spikes, sculpted feathers and tiny skulls.

From the back, Sylvanas sports a purple fabric cape, which shows some considerable wear. She also has a quiver, which also has its share of nicks and scrapes from use. The quiver is designed to hold the loose arrows she comes with, but I’ve only been able to get two in there at a time. I’m not sure what’s going on down inside that thing, but the arrows are fragile and I don’t want to force them.

The paintwork on this figure is a real treat and is all about the contrasting of the drab brown and black of the trousers, boots, and straps with the beautiful metallic purple of the armor plates and the soft matte blue of Sylvanas’ skin.

NECA did a bang up job on the portrait here. Sylvanas is wearing a sculpted hood with slits for her long and elegant ears to protrude through. Her wispy eyebrow extends out over her right eye, but her left eyebrow is concealed. Bits of her hair peek out from the hood to frame her face. Her eyes are beautifully painted, but they can be tough to see under normal conditions, because the hood casts a shadow over the top part of her beautiful face.

Sylvanas sports many conventional points of articulation, some of which are at odds with her sculpting and character design. Y’all know how much NECA loves their rotating hinges, and this figure has them in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles. She also has a ball joint under her chest and in her neck. The shoulder armor pieces are flexible, so you can manipulate them to allow her shoulders to move a bit more than you might expect, but maybe not as much as you might like. She also has swivels in her biceps, and mine look like they’ve been pulled a bit, as there’s a noticeable gap. It’s tough to see, since they’re buried under the shoulder armor, but I worry a bit that they may get floppy over time.

As for accessories, Sylvanas comes with her bow, Deathwhisper, which is a damn beautiful sculpt. It includes a lovely organic shape, as well as a shield attached to the center. The underlying bow is brown with bulked out pieces painted in silver and metallic purple to match Sylvanas’ armor. It also includes a real string. It’s a little tough to get her to hold it. I actually had to razor apart her fingers, so that I could wrap her hand around the grip, but once it’s in hand it stays put. Also included are her three loose arrows, which I mentioned earlier.

The articulation allows for her to knock an arrow and get ready to fire, but she can’t really pull back on the string very far. I actually think this may not be so much a restriction of the articulation, but more because the bow is strung tight, and there isn’t much elasticity to allow it to be pulled back. Now, with that having been said, I was still able to get some nice poses of her leading up to taking a shot.

Sylvanas also comes with an effect part for one of her skills, Wailing Arrow. This is a great looking piece, but I was totally stumped as to how it’s intended to be used. I was ultimately able to wedge it in between the shield and her grip to make it look like it’s being fired, but I tend to think it was just included as a bonus and not to be used with the bow in any specific way. I’d say this was a pretty big oversight, but at least I was able to get it to work.

And so, it is with a heavy heart that I end this review, knowing that there will be no more Warcraft figures from NECA. Boo! It’s especially painful because Sylvanas really is a great little figure and I wanted to see so much more out of this line. Which begs the question, where did the license go? Well, I know Blizzard struck a deal with Max Factory to produce Overwatch Figmas, but I don’t know why that would necessarily preclude NECA from continuing with this line. But, them’s the breaks and I really have to learn to be thankful for what I have, rather than what else could have been. Besides, I still have one more figure (from the Starcraft franchise) in this line to check out, and I’ll swing back to him in a couple of weeks.

Heroes of the Storm: Thrall (Warcraft) by NECA

After being locked into Marvel Legends reviews for over a week, it’s nice to stretch my legs and write about something different. I have piles of stuff to choose from, but ultimately I decided to go with NECA’s Heroes of the Storm line, because the final wave is out and I want to both celebrate this line and sob mournfully because it’s going away. This last assortment includes two figures from Warcraft and one from Starcraft.  And, today I decided to open up Thrall, Warchief of The Horde!

Because who rolls Alliance, amiriiiight? Well, I did once just to see how the other half lives, but most my time in WoW, I was Horde through and through. As usual, the figure comes in a sealed clamshell, which means it is not collector friendly, but it will give you a delightful plastic fume high when you open it. Just a reminder, I’ve never played Heroes of the Storm, but I have played the games that it draws its characters from. In this case the hundreds of hours I spent playing World of Warcraft served as a buttress to my life when I needed it the most. I also really love the aesthetic, characters, and lore. Oh, and it ran pretty well on the shitty laptop that I had at the time. Previously, Warcraft characters have included Stitches, Arthas, and Illidan Stormrage. It’s about time Orgrimmar was represented. What about Stormwind? Pahleeeez!

Mmmhmmm… NECA gives good Orc! Despite already putting out three Warcraft figures in this line, this is NECA’s first crack at one of the Orcs. I wasn’t worried, because they have proven that they have the Warcraft aesthetic down pat and Thrall here is yet another example of that. Just look at the love and detail poured into this sculpt. The figure feels so layered, as if all that armor could be removed, even though it’s mostly part of the buck. Each of the heavy armor plates are thoroughly convincing, with hammered finishes, sculpted rivets, and a gorgeously worn bronze paint making up the reinforced weathered edges. This is some incredible work!

Thrall features raised Horde emblems sculpted into his large disc belt buckle as well as the plates on his gauntlets. The furry fringe on his boots and gauntlets have that distinctive angular flavor to them that comes out in the games’ Toons. The cloth sash has subtle sculpted wrinkles, which are beautifully brought out with a paint wash, and I love the sculpted feathers, which give the outfit a tribal motif. Behind those heavy plates on his legs, you can make out a cross-thatched pattern to the underlying suit, as well as the sculpted straps and painted buckles that are meant to be holding them on.

And those shoulders! Warcraft is infamous for its ridiculously proportioned shoulders and Thrall here is displaying the latest in Horde shoulder fashion. You get more of that wonderful hammered texture in the panels, laid into the bulky bronze frames with chunky spikes protruding outward. As for the portrait…  Those narrow eyes, the protruding tusks, those sharp ears, no doubt a handsome devil like Thrall has all the She-Orcs of Grommash Hold under his spell. I really dig his incredibly long braided hair as well. These are cast in fairly flexible plastic, and spill down the front along either side of his neck. I also love the color paint they used for his orc flesh. It’s a fairly bright green that contrasts beautifully with the armor.

With plenty of rotating hinges throughout the figure, Thrall features a respectable amount of articulation and all of those points do the best they can against a design that is not by nature intended to be limber. The shoulders threatened to be the biggest impediment, but they are designed to be flexible and lift up to allow for a fairly good range of arm movement. The elbows are a lot more restrictive. Still, all in all I’m quite pleased with the posability in this figure.

Thrall includes one accessory, and that’s Doomhammer. The hammer actually comes in two pieces, allowing you to pass the shaft of the handle up through the bottom of his closed right grip and then peg in the head of the hammer. It works well and gives him an infallible grasp on the weapon. Although, he can actually hold it in his left hand as well, just not as securely. It’s a heavy and bulky chunk of plastic, with all the same great level of paint and detail that is exhibited in the figure. And damn does it look great in his hand!

At this point it’s safe to say that, Blizzard’s art design and NECA go together like PB&J, which makes it all the sadder that this line is dying and NECA isn’t going to be doing Overwatch figures. Yeah, I was really hoping for that to happen. But rather than end this review under a cloud of doom and gloom, let’s just revel in what we’ve got. Thrall is a fantastic figure, which exhibits all the passion and craftsmanship that NECA pours into the licenses they work on. The coloring and complexity of sculpt bring this figure to life and make him look like he just stepped off the screen. He’ll likely be spending a while sitting on my desk, so that I can keep glancing over and admiring him, before joining his friends on the shelf. Thrall is available now at NECA retailers for around twenty bucks.