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!