Predator: “Concrete Jungle” Scarface by NECA

I’m slowly getting caught up on my NECA reviews, and that’s a good thing because I have a bunch more figures coming in the next week or so that will start filling up the hopper again. Today I’m checking out Scarface from the game Concrete Jungle. I originally played it on the PlayStation 2, but a little while ago I picked up a copy for the Xbox, since my OG Xbox is now rigged for HD. Alas, my poor old girl died on me shortly afterwards and I’ve only recently been able to do the surgery required to get her running again. If I’m being honest, Concrete Jungle is a decent game, but not a great one, although I’ll confess that I’ve enjoyed playing it a lot more than I enjoyed watching any of the films that followed after Predator 2.

I don’t know if NECA classifies this figure as one of their Ultimate releases, but the packaging suggests that it is. You get an extra thick window box with a folding front flap, and there are a lot of goodies inside. The box has plenty of pictures of the figure and accessories and, unlike NECA’s regular Predators, this packaging is totally collector friendly. Let the gushing begin!

Getting Scarface out of the box, I’m immediately greeted by a sense of awe that I rarely encounter with figures in this price range. Seriously! He’s big, he’s beefy, and he’s absolutely gorgeous. Sure, NECA knows their way around a Predator better than anyone other than Stan Winston. They’ve been sculpting these deadly interstellar hunters for ages now and they bring with it a passion that can be seen in the craftsmanship. Scarface features the same familiar body type as previous releases, with the creepy yellow-and-black skin and all kitted out with a sculpted body net. The outfit, on the other hand, is new and distinctive among previous Predator releases, and almost has a medieval flavor to it. For starters, you get some ragged chain-mail protecting the upper part of his torso and his groin. Segmented plate armor covers his shoulders, arms, hips, and lower legs. All of the plate armor is sculpted with pitting and wear, making it look like this dude has seen some major action in his day and the paint is totally convincing as weathered metal.

Some nice extra touches to the outfit include two human skulls, one mounted on his right shoulder and the other used as a belt-buckle. Both are missing their lower jaws and feature a realistic bone finish with a wash to bring out all the details. Additionally, he has a traditional bone sash hanging off his right shoulder and crossing his chest. Scarface also likes his spikes, as his armor is literally studded with them. He’s got some real sharp ones on his right shoulder, hip plates, and knee guards, and some more blunt and knobby ones running around his belt. He ties the outfit together with a ragged brown sash that obscures some of the chain-mail protecting his unmentionables.

As is often the case with NECA’s Predators, Scarface comes with both a masked and unmasked head, and both of these are works of art. The mask is a lot more intricate than what we saw on the City and Jungle Hunters. The configuration of the forehead is similar, but Scarface again sports some spikes on a short ridge that rises up from between his eyes. The almond-shaped eyes are black and soul-less as ever, but the biggest difference here comes in all the detail in the area that covers his mandibles, which looks damn cool and adds to the intimidation factor of the mask. The surface of the mask features the same worn and pitted look as the rest of his armor, and as always, I’m impressed by the individually sculpted dreadlocks. The final touch comes with the splash of red paint that covers the damaged side of his face.

A simple pop-and-swap gets you the unmasked look, and once again I’m faced with the impossible decision of which way to display this figure. Scarface’s naked visage features his mandibles open in full, bloodcurdling scream, allowing for quite the view of his alien oral cavity. Above, you can see his yellow, beady right eye as well as the vacant socket to the left where his horrific wound was suffered, granting him his nickname. I really need to invest in one of those packs of head stands that NECA has on the market, because not displaying both of these noggins is nothing short of a crime. Let’s move on to Scarface’s various instruments of killing…

No Predator feels complete without a shoulder-mounted plasmacaster, and Scarface’s is quite a doozy. The entire assembly tabs easily into the notches on his back and the weapon itself has a track that allows it to be slid forward and hinged into a firing position. NECA did not include a firing effect part with this figure, and I can’t say as I really miss it. If you absolutely must have one, you might be able to borrow from one of the previous releases. As usual, it’s a tight fit between the weapon and the head, but I’m used to that by now.

Next up, Scarface comes with this speargun. I’m pretty sure a version of this thing was seen in Predator 2, but it was really given its due in the Predator video games. The Concrete Jungle version is a bit more compact, not quite a rifle and not quite a pistol. I really dig the design of this thing, and the right hand is sculpted to hold it quite well.

Scarface also comes with this rather distinctive curved sword to hold in his left hand. The handle works so that it is above the blade, allowing for slashing moves with the serrated edge that rests past his elbow as well as downward swipes with the hooked edge that protrudes past his wrist. The exotic shape of the blade reminds me a bit of the Klingon swords from Star Trek and that’s not a bad thing. It’s a very utilitarian looking weapon, without any real ornamentation, save for the artistic curves of the blade.

And for added slicing, dicing, and skewering, Scarface has the retractable blades on his right gauntlet that we’ve seen with most previous Predators. As usual, these don’t actually retract into the gauntlet, but rather tab into the slots when you want to display him with them deployed. There’s also an open right hand that can be swapped out for when he’s not holding his spear gun.

And last, but not least, Scarface includes the opening wrist computer on his left gauntlet. The hinges on this one are a lot sturdier than they’ve been on some previous releases.

Generally speaking, I’ve been pretty good at resisting going nuts with NECA’s Predators line. It’s not that I don’t want to own them all, but I’m at that stage with my collecting, where I really have to think about how much space I have and how deep I want to go into any particular line. So far, I’ve restricted myself mostly to the boxed releases, and one or two of the carded ones. Whatever the case, I’m so very happy I decided to pick up Scarface, because he is a stand-out figure in a line populated almost entirely by stand-out figures. NECA worked their magic with this design and created a masterpiece of a figure that is far better than the rather average game deserved. I’ve had this one sitting around waiting to be opened for a while now, and I was actually surprised to see that he’s still available at the original MSRP of about $25, give or take a little, depending on where you find him. In terms of iconic designs, I’d say that the City and/or Jungle Predators are still the must-haves for any collection, but beyond that, you can’t go wrong picking up this bad boy. He’s quite simply a stunning figure.

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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.

Friday the 13th (The Final Chapter): Ultimate Jason Voorhees by NECA

NECA has been killing it (HA!) with their Ultimate line of action figures, each one curated from some of the most iconic horror, sci-fi, and action films of the 80’s. Among them has been their love letters to a personal favorite franchise of mine, Friday the 13th. This is Jason Voorhees’ third outing in the Ultimate line, preceded by versions from Part VI and Part III. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’ll refer you back to the first review if you want a little taste of how much these films have meant to me growing up. As for now, let’s dig right in!

I’ve reviewed at least a dozen of these Ultimate figures, and if you’ve been on board for any of them then you should be familiar with the packaging. You get a collector friendly window box with a front flap, poster art from the film on the front, and artwork on the side panels to identify the figure. As for the film, The Final Chapter was the fourth installment in the series, and there wasn’t an ounce of truth to the title. But I didn’t care. This one is one of my favorites. From the moment the title collided with Jason’s mask and exploded right in my face, I just knew this one isn’t f’cking around.

I was excited to get this version, as it’s probably my most iconic version of the scourge of Crystal Lake. As expected, this Jason shares a lot of parts with the Part VI figure, as that version wears the same outfit and just accessorizes with a belt of killing tools and some work gloves. With that having been said, the clothes on this version are painted with a gloss that makes him look wet and the pants don’t have the ragged edges around the ankle cuffs that the version from Part VI has. So, there are some changes here to make him unique, but the underlying body is mostly the same.

With the same body comes the same articulation. Jason sports rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, knees, and ankles. You also get a ball joint in the neck and swivel in the waist. That’s a lot of points for this lumbering killer, and probably far more than he needs. Then again, more is always better than less.

And that brings us to the noggins. Yes, you get two swappable heads with this figure, and both of them feature removable masks. One of the biggest improvements NECA made from that initial Part VI release was actually putting eye holes in the hockey mask, rather than just sculpting them and painting them black. The two masks that come with the figure are virtually identical, with just some natural variations in paint that are bound to happen. I’d dare say, the extra mask was really unnecessary, as one will fit over either head, but it’s still nice to have. And I can’t say enough good things about the masks. They are perfect little replicas of the one worn in the movie. The detail and paint are just off the charts and the way they fit the heads with actual straps is particularly nice.

The standard unmasked head is a work art as well. I mean, damn, just look at all that detail! The twisted flesh, the jumble of teeth, this is fantastic portrait just brimming with love and affection. What’s more the paint work really backs it up. You get some wonderful variations of brown, and just the right of that glossy wet look around the lips. Jason’s face might be a train-wreck, but NECA elevated it to a masterpiece in plastic.

The alternate head is designed with a gash that will fit one of the weapons to recreate Tommy’s “killing” blow at the end of the flick. He did it with Rob’s machete, but as you can see in the above shot, it works with the cleaver as well. This head sculpt features the mouth slightly more open and the left eye closed. Magnificent! And speaking of cleavers… let’s move on to the accessories!

NECA usually does a great job of including the more memorable weapons from the film. In this case, you also get an extra right hand with a different style grip. Here are the cleaver and butcher knife, both appropriately smeared with blood. It’s hard to pinpoint which kills were done with the knife, but I’m pretty sure he used it to stab Samantha through the bottom of the raft and later Teddy Bear got it right through the movie screen. Jason buried the cleaver right into Dead F’ck’s face, but not before…

Nailing his hand to the kitchen counter with this corkscrew! Why am I so pleased that I own a 7-inch scale bloody corkscrew murder weapon? I don’t know, but I think it’s awesome that this is one of the accessories. Knives and cleavers are all well and good, but NECA knows that when Jason gets creative, you’ve got to include that shit in the box! I might point out here, that the killing tool from one of the best kills in the film isn’t in the box. I’m talking about Paul getting the harpoon right in the worst spot imaginable. On the other hand, the Jason from Part III comes with a harpoon gun, so you can always borrow his. Mixing and matching accessories is one of the cool things about owning a bunch of these Jasons. Anyway, back to the accessories…

The bone saw! When Jason woke up at the hospital morgue, he must have felt like a kid in a candy store. So many great toys to choose from! First he cops a feel on a pretty nurse and then he uses the bone saw on morgue attendant, Axel’s neck before finishing the job by twisting his head all the way around. Let’s take a moment and give a thought for poor Axel. He loved his exercise videos and had one of the best swearing fits ever committed to film.

And that brings us to the Axe, which was used to pretty great effect as Sarah was running to escape through the front door of the cabin and Jason threw it right through the door and into her chest. I know Jason’s been perfecting his game up to this point, but even for him, that was an impressive throw. It’s worth noting that this axe is different than the one that came with Part III Jason.

And finally, we have Rob’s machete. Rob came up to Crystal Lake specifically to hunt Jason for killing his sister and he brought along his trusty machete. I like that it’s kind of ironic that the machete in this film belongs to someone else and Jason doesn’t really use it. It’s also fitting that it’s the weapon Tommy uses to strike that impressive blow right to the side of Jason’s face after his sister knocks his mask off.

Before wrapping things up, Jason does come with one final accessory and that’s his mother’s gravestone. We see this pretty early on as the carload of teenagers pulls over to check their map. It doesn’t really hold any other significance in the film, but it’s a really cool piece and I’m glad NECA included it. Especially since now we have gravestones for both Jason and his mom.

If you’re already collecting the many Jasons of this line, The Final Chapter Voorhees should not disappoint. It’s a great looking figure with solid articulation and a gaggle of extras to play around with. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a single Jason for your shelf and you’re not interested in grabbing them all, this one is a pretty good choice. It would be tough for me to pick a favorite of the bunch, but this one is definitely an iconic look. Ultimate Part IV Jason retails for between $20 and $25 depending where you buy him, and as always, that’s a damn good deal for what you’re getting. NECA has already hinted that they’re hard at work on the next one, and I hope they keep going until we get them all. And maybe an accessory pack, like they did with their Aliens and Predators lines.

Predator: Ultimate Jungle Hunter by NECA

It wasn’t too long ago that I checked out the aptly named, Ultimate City Hunter from NECA. Yes, the Ultimate Pred from the second movie was actually released first, and now hot on its heels comes the Jungle Hunter from the original flick. I need not gas on about how much I’m in love with NECA’s Ultimate figures. To the uninitiated, these are basically characters that NECA has released before, but now they’re given the utmost attention when it comes to articulation, accessories, and overall presentation. They’re not only wonderful action figures, but the line touches on all those wonderful nuggets of cinematic nostalgia from my youth. Needless to say I am super excited to dive right in and check this ugly sunovabitch out!

If you’re like me and already own City Hunter, you’ll be happy to know that Jungle Hunter’s package pairs up with it perfectly on the shelf. Hell, it pairs up beautifully with all the other Ultimate figures on my shelf from Terminator to Commando, to the slew of 80’s horror figures. Seeing these boxes all lined up is a beautiful thing and it reminds me of the VHS cassette cabinet that I had in my room with all the same titles on the spines. The package consists of a seemingly enclosed box with an opening front flap that reveals a window and allows for a good look at the figure inside. You get the Predator title running down both side panels and a whole mess of pictures of the figure on the back. Of course, everything is collector friendly and the only thing standing between me and my new Predator is a piece of cello tape and some twisty-ties.

Jungle Hunter comes out of the box with his shoulder cannon off, but I’m starting out with it attached to the figure and with the masked head on. Remember how I gushed over the City Hunter? Well, all that gushing goes for this guy too! The detail on display here is just crazy. I adore the creepy plastic they use for the Predator skin and how convincing the body net looks, even though it’s sculpted as part of the buck. I also love that I’m getting high off the fumes of this fellow even though he wasn’t sealed in a clam shell. Despite seeing both Predator and Predator 2 more times than I can imagine, I was never really aware of how many differences there were between the Preds until I had these figures in hand to compare. In fact, it’s worth noting that I’m hard pressed to find any parts shared between this guy and the City Hunter.

Some of the wonderful details on this Pred include the leather loin cloth, the beautiful pitting in the leg and thigh armor, the alien carvings in his belt buckle, and the strings of bones that hang off of his shoulders. Oh, and let’s not forget the sculpted sandals. Am I the only one who thinks that Preds wearing sandals is weird? Well, this one does so I should probably just get over it. Where was I? Oh yeah… the details! So good! I know I use the phrase “work of art” a lot when I talk about NECA stuff, and here’s yet another example where it’s appropriate. I can just get lost in every little loving detail that NECA put into this figure. If you want better than this, you’re going to have to go to Sixth-Scale and shell out a whole lot more money. Or maybe just go for one of NECA’s Quarter-Scale Predators.

The shoulder cannon is a lot beefier than what we saw on the City Hunter and it is a beautiful piece. It tabs in at the shoulder and again in the back, making it pretty easy to put on and take off. It also holds in place quite well. I love the segmented armor running down the back of it like a crustacean shell. The piece also mates nicely with the armor sculpted into his left arm as well as the hoses. It all makes him look more formidable, and yet a little more primitive, than his urban-hunting successor. The hoses have a habit of pulling out when I’m posing this guy, as you may notice in some of the pictures, but they can be stuck right back into place.

NECA included an effect part that pegs into the shoulder cannon. It looks OK, but the added weight is too much for that little ball joint to take, so it doesn’t really work that well. I can usually get it to sit right for a little while, but then it just droops. I guess it’s the thought that counts.

The masked head is a lot cleaner than the pitted and weathered City Hunter’s mask, although it does have a few painted blast marks and some light scratching and scarring. I really like the detail in the laser tracker just above the right eye slit. But in the end, it’s the dreadlocks that impress me the most with this head. Each one is individually sculpted and painted and boy do they look great. And while I do enjoy the masked head a lot, it’s hard to go with it when the other display option is this…

Fantastic! Once again, I’ve got to say how great this plastic is. It’s very glossy, giving the Pred a slimy look and it takes the coloring very well. The sculpting on the mandibles is beautifully done and again we get the individually sculpted and painted dreads hanging off the back. The deep set piercing eyes, which are practically buried under that prominent brow are also superbly executed.

In addition to the shoulder cannon, Jungle Hunter includes the retractable blades on his right gauntlet and the self-destruct computer on his left gauntlet. Once again, both of these are completely different sculpts from City Hunter.

Probably my favorite extra included in the box is the mask, which obviously doesn’t fit over the face, but allows you to display him as if he’s taking it off for that memorable moment in the film. It’s especially nice if your torn between displaying him masked or unmasked, because it gives you the best of both worlds without having to buy a second figure.

And finally, you get some trophies! The skull with spine is the same piece included with City Hunter, only this time without the gore. You also get an extra skull. Jungle Hunter also comes with an extra set of hands, which are designed to hold the spine.

Is it any surprise that City Hunter turned out so fabulously? Well, it shouldn’t be, because NECA has been working their magic on Predators for what seems like forever now and they know their stuff. Their regular release Predators are fantastic in their own right, so it’s only natural for me to have high expectations from the Ultimate Preds, and all those expectations have been fulfilled here. It’s the crazy level of detail and all the differences between the City and Jungle Hunters that make me want to start collecting NECA’s regular Predator line. And yet it’s still something I’m trying to resist. Both my wallet and limited space do not need me to dive down that rabbit hole. Now, I’m just counting the days until the re-releases of Dutch come out, so I’ll have someone for Jungle Hunter to fight. Sadly, still no Lt. Mike Harrington figures on the horizon, but a fella can still hope.

Predator 2: Ultimate City Hunter by NECA

It’s been a couple of months since I last checked in with NECA’s amazing line of Ultimate figures, and that just won’t do! Luckily, I happen to have their Ultimate City Hunter from Predator 2 hanging around and waiting to be opened. I should first go on record by saying that I really dig this movie a lot. Taking the franchise out of the jungle and into the city was a great idea, and Danny Glover was a great choice as the lead. It wasn’t just more of the same, but rather felt like something new and different. And so, while I’m not really collecting NECA’s regular Predator line, I am all-in on the Ultimate figures, and I was really excited to get this one.

The Ultimate line’s packaging features beautifully illustrated boxes with a front flap that opens to reveal a window and the figure inside. There are some great pictures of the figure in action, and the name of the franchise is printed on the side panel, so you can line these boxes up on the shelf as if they were chunky VHS tape sleeves. Everything is collector friendly, so let’s carefully take this guy out and start with a look at the figure itself.

NECA has been doing Predators in this scale for what seems like forever, so it should be no surprise that they’ve nailed the sculpt. Indeed, I think you’d be hard pressed to find another figure in this scale that has more loving attention to detail and is this screen accurate to its source material. I’m sure a veteran Predator collector could point out some parts reuse on this guy, but the only other Predator I own is from the Aliens Vs. Predator 2-pack, so this is all new to me. I don’t know what flavor plastic they use for the skin, but it’s incredible stuff. It has a glossy and almost translucent sheen about it that takes the various painted skin patterns and makes it look real and it also contrasts beautifully with the pitted and ancient looking armor pieces. The net body suit is part of the sculpt as well, and he even has that bone handbag-looking thing hanging off his side. Anyone know what that is?

From the back, you can get a better look at some of that armor detail. Again, the pitting and wear in the sculpt, along with the aged patina, really sells these plastic parts as well-worn metal. As for the rest of the detail, just check out the intricate scaled pattern in his right shoulder guard, or the medical kit pod on the center of his back. Oh, and see that track running down from his left shoulder. Is something missing there? Well, I’ll get to that in a bit.

The helmeted head is equally fantastic. It looks like it’s made out of hammered copper, thanks to the intricate pitting in the sculpt and the beautiful paint wash. The dreadlocks spill out the back and sides, and each one is an individual piece with its own unique detail and paintwork. Now, as much as I love and respect the amount of work that went into this masked head, this is the last time you’re going to see it on the figure in this review, and that’s for two reasons. First, the ball joint piece has a habit of coming out inside the head and is a bitch to get out. This makes swapping the heads a pain in the ass. Second, the unmasked head is so damn great that I want to keep it on the figure all the time.

Because just look at it! I can never decide whether the markings on the Predator’s head reminds me of a snake or a cockroach, but either way it’s deliciously repulsive and recreated here just perfectly. The beady little eyes can just barely be seen under the pronounced brow ridge, and those mandibles? If those aren’t a work of art, then I don’t know what is. He may be one ugly sonofabitch, but I’m most definitely in love with every bit of this portrait.

This line has been a champion of solid articulation and City Hunter is no different. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, swivels in the biceps, and double hinged elbows. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips and ankles, swivels at the hips, and double hinged knees. There’s a ball joint in the torso and another in the neck. Not bad!

Before moving on to the accessories, City Hunter has a few tricks up his sleeves… literally! His right gauntlet features a twin set of vicious looking blades with some nasty serrated edges. These will extend a little bit just by pulling them out. These are also among the many aspects of the figure that I would recommend being careful with. They are fairly rigid and probably pretty easy to chip or crack.

His left gauntlet features his self-destruct computer, which hinges open and shows the alien characters on the displays. The hinge on this device is another part of the figure that feels extremely delicate. It’s also an area that I find myself gripping when changing the right hand, which is probably not the best of ideas. Of course, as a release in the Ultimate line, The City Hunter comes with a ton of stuff and a bunch of extra hands to interact with all the accessories. But before I go on, I do have to circle back to that empty track on my figure’s left shoulder. Unfortunately, my City Hunter came without his shoulder cannon. I have been able to rectify that with a replacement from the retailer, but it hasn’t arrived yet, and I firmly believe in pressing on with the review based on how the figure arrived. When the replacement does arrive, I’ll update this review appropriately. Now, let’s get to what my figure did come with.

First off, he comes with his spear, in both its retracted and deployed forms. The retracted spear can be clipped to his back, which points to one of the many things I love about this figure, that being his ability to carry all his weapons at once. He also comes with left and right hands designed to hold the weapon. I’m glad they went with two different pieces, rather than try to make the spear telescope. This route allowed for better sculpts of both and probably a much sturdier extended spear.

Next, he comes with his Net Launcher. This piece can be pegged into his lower left leg for storage. He also comes with a left hand specifically designed to hold it. The fingers are flat and they go right into the groove on the back.

The Smart Disk, or Glaive, can be stored on his right hip, and it’s a damned fine sculpt, complete with little gears on the back and finger holds.`

The final weapon in City Hunter’s arsenal is the retractable laser on his left gauntlet. You get two covers for this, one that pegs in flush with the gauntlet to depict it closed and another that depicts it deployed and ready to fire. As subtle as it is, I think it’s fantastic that NECA included these little pieces. It really shows how much thought and love goes into designing these figures and what kinds of extra features they can include.

The last accessory isn’t a weapon, but rather a trophy in the form of a skull and spine. This is a brilliant sculpt, especially for this scale, and the paint features a grisly red wash that suggests it’s a fresh kill. This piece looks so great, it really makes me want to go back and pick up the Predator accessory kit that NECA released a little while back.

It’s a remarkable thing that NECA can keep the prices of these Ultimate figures just under the $25 mark. The sculpt and paint are incredible and they really pack a crazy amount of stuff into the box. Granted, my figure was missing one of those extras, but it was easy to resolve, as I’m getting a second figure as a replacement and I’ll happily use the extra one to display the masked head. If picking up this figure has a downside for me, it’s that it really makes me want to start collecting more of NECA’s lovely Predators. It’s an urge that I’m trying to stave off, because there are so many of them and the last thing I need is another line to collect. hopefully, I can last at least until the Ultimate Jungle Hunter comes out. What’s that? It came out yesterday? Dammit!

Terminator 2 Judgement Day: Ultimate T-1000 (Motorcycle Cop) by NECA

It’s always a great day when a new one of these NECA “Ultimate” figures arrives on my doorstep. Today, I’m opening up the fourth figure in this series from Terminator 2, which also happens to be the second release of the T-1000 from that film (check out the first release here!). This time he appears in his motorcycle cop disguise with a bevy of accessories, some old and some new. I’m always thrilled to pick up another figure from this movie, because it was so groundbreaking and I think it stands as one of the best Summer Sci-Fi-Action flicks of all time. Hell, I can still remember how pumped I was coming out of the theater after seeing it for the first time!

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I’ve gushed on and on (and on!) about how much I love the packaging for this line. The figure comes in a collector friendly box with a front flap secured by velcro. Open it up to reveal a window that offers a great look at the contents. As always, the box evokes the feel of a VHS tape in its sleeve, only a lot more chunkier. NECA also does a wonderful job of matching up these packages, so they look great all lined up on the shelf together.

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And here’s why they call these “Ultimate” figures. As you can see from the tray, you get a lot of stuff. The other great thing about these figures is they really serve to enhance each other. Having either one of these T-1000’s is cool enough, but if you own both of them, you can mix and match parts to recreate whatever you want.

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But make no mistake, this isn’t some minor variant release. With the exception of the belt and maybe the pelvis, this body is an entirely new sculpt. The torso features a motorcycle jacket that is brimming with detail. Besides the usual stitching, pockets, and wrinkles, you get some meticulously detailed shoulder patches and a tiny, but beautiful, badge. I’m really blown away by how much attention NECA spent on this jacket. The trousers feature piping on the sides and he’s wearing tall boots. Finally, the familiar belt features a sculpted walkie-talkie, handcuff pouch, two magazine pouches, and a working holster for his pistol.

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The stock head features the helmet and sunglasses. This noggin looks amazing, and I particularly love the glossy paintwork on the helmet itself.

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In addition to the helmeted head, you get two more portraits. One is just a standard one with a fantastic sculpt of Robert Patrick’s “determined to kill you” mug. It’s very similar to the one that came with the last T-1000 and I’m honestly not sure if it’s the same sculpt or not. This one seems to have more of an intense stare, I’m talking crazy peepers! But that could just be the paint. Either way, the likeness is fantastic and it’s an amazing piece of work.

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The other is a nice compliment to the “zipping up” head that came with the previous release. Here the head is totally blown apart and the effect is fantastic. Some may remember that I had a tough time swapping the heads on the first T-1000 because of a super tight fit. I’m happy to say that these go on and off very easily. And if you’re keeping score at home…

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That’s a total of six Robert Patrick heads so far, assuming you own both releases. That’s a lot of Robert Patrick!!

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The articulation here is pretty standard for the line. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and the elbows, and the hands are attached with ball joints. The legs feature rotating hinges in the hips and knees, with the knee joints actually being slightly below the knee to conceal the joints in the boots. The ankles are hinged and feature lateral rockers. There’s a ball joint in the waist and another at the base of the neck. OK… let’s talk accessories!

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For starters, you get two guns. The first is the same service pistol, which I believe is a Beretta 92FS, that came with the original release. You also get a pair of gun-holding hands and the gun will fit in the holster on his belt. The other is the H&K sub-machine gun that the T-1000 used during the motorcycle chase.

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In addition to the relaxed hands and gun-holding hands, you also get a pair of the extended metal finger hands. These are the same ones that came with the last T-100 release, with one a little longer than the other.

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Finally, you get the sword arm, which attaches at the shoulder. I really like how they did this piece, since despite it morphing from the jacketed arm, it still works and looks just fine on the first release.

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It’s impossible for me to end any review of a NECA “Ultimate” figure without remarking on what a great value these are. If you’re lucky enough to have a TRU or an FYE in your area, you should be able to grab these for about $22-25. And when you consider the attention to detail and craftsmanship that goes into these releases, that’s one of the best deals going in the action figure aisles today. Not to mention all the extras and the premium packaging. What’s even better is that NECA isn’t done with this film yet. They’ve already teased another T-800 release, this time with the flower box and shotgun from the beginning of the film. Just keep making them, NECA, and I’ll keep buying them!

Nightmare on Elm Street (Dream Warriors) Ultimate Freddy Krueger by NECA

That’s right, folks, it’s the week leading up to Halloween and I’m hitting y’all with a one-two punch of NECA horror goodness. Yesterday, I checked out their Ultimate Jason Voorhees from the third Friday the 13th flick, and today it’s Freddy’s turn from the third installment of A Nightmare on Elm Street! This release follows up on NECA’s 30th Anniversary Freddy, a fantastic figure that is in pretty hot demand these days. I ran really long yesterday, so I’ll try to control my excitement a bit better today.

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Once again, the figure comes in a box, which looks like an engorged VHS tape sleeve, featuring that kick ass movie poster art on the front. One look at that artwork and I can practically hear Dokken wailing out their hard rock tribute to Freddy. The box looks fully enclosed, but the front flap opens to reveal a window and the figure. You also get the title on the side panels and this box looks great lined up with the previous Freddy release as well as the two Ultimate Jasons from Friday the 13th. While I can find something to love in every last one of the original ANEoS films, there’s no doubt that Dream Warriors is my favorite. The idea of misfit kids using their dream powers to fight Freddy is such a great premise and the fact that all these poor kids are locked in a hospital makes the whole thing all the scarier.

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One might expect a heavy reuse from the last Freddy figure, but this is NECA and they understand that the devil is in the details. The legs are the same, the left hand is the same, but that’s about it. Freddy’s sporting a brand new sweater, tattered at the bottom edge, a little less grimy, and painted a slightly brighter red. The knitted texturing on this plastic garment is fantastic, and here we get the stripes painted on the sleeves all proper like. The boots are brand new sculpts as well.

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The torso looks a wee bit more squared off on this figure, especially at the shoulders, and that’s probably because of the chest swap gimmick that I’ll get to in a bit. The articulation is identical to the 30th Freddy, with rotating hinges at the shoulders, elbows, knees, and ankles, and ball joints in the hips, waist, wrists, and neck.

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Yes, even the famous glove is new, and what a fantastic piece of work it is! From the teeny rivets that hold on the fingers to some fantastic paint that recreates the heavily tarnished brass plate that the finger attaches to. The fingers are gesturing in an identical fashion as the 30th Freddy and the blades are bendy so you don’t have to worry about snapping them off.

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The stock portrait offers a wicked smile, which is similar to one of the alternate heads that came with 30th Freddy, but it’s an entirely new sculpt that reflects the changes in the makeup for Dream Warriors. This is a bit more polished version, and it tends to be the one I remember most from the onslaught of Freddy merchandising that was all the craze in the latter half of the 80’s. The paint here is superb. Appropriately, it’s more glossy and redder than the previous version, which was more of a matte brown. I can remember having a framed poster of Krueger in my bedroom around the time I was 15 or so and this was definitely that look. The fedora is, of course, removable, and it too is a brand new sculpt.

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The alternate, screaming head, features a light-piping effect in the forehead that shows the burning crucifix from when his remains were laid to rest in sanctified ground. The effect is pretty damn rad, and this is a great sculpt, but keep in mind the light-piping means that there’s a clear plastic spot on the back of his head to make it work.

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Freddy doesn’t come with an overwhelming number of accessories, but some of these are truly substantial. First off you get the replica of the popsicle Elm Street house that Kristen was building in the beginning of the film. It’s one of the most memorable opening credit sequences for me of just about any 80’s horror flick that I can think of, but that might be because I’ve seen this film so many damn times. I also can’t tell you how many times I decided I was going to get a bunch of popsicle sticks and try to make this model. Yeah, that never happened.

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Next up, is Philip’s puppet that turns into Freddy. This is a pretty simple piece with a little red plastic splotch of blood that plugs into his foot to help him stand. There’s some basic articulation in the shoulders, and the legs pull out of the hips pretty easily. And that brings me to my favorite dream sequence in the film…

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Hey, Taryn… Let’s get high! The syringe fingers! These look absolutely great, but I had a hell of a time getting them on. The hands are pegged in with a pretty typical barbell peg system with ball joints at both ends. Detaching the stock hands left these pegs in the hands and not the wrists. I had to get a pair of needle nose pliers to get the pegs out and back into the wrists. Then I couldn’t get the syringe hands on, so I had to go into the sockets and clean them out a bit with a razor. It’s still really hard to get the gloved hand off without the peg staying in the hand, but eventually I did it. What a rush!

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Possibly the coolest extra in the box, and the one that will likely get me to pony up for a second figure to have two to display, is the swap out “chest of souls.” The switch is done in the same way as NECA’s Ultimate T-1000. You just pry off the front of the torso and peg in the alternate piece. It’s a great looking sculpt and works really well. I hope we get another similar piece when and if NECA does The Dream Master Freddy, maybe with the arms coming out.

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Besides being another fantastic release in NECA’s series of Ultimate action figures, Dream Warriors Freddy should be a welcome chance for people who missed out on 30th Anniversary version and aren’t willing to pay the $50+ that he’s going for these days. It’s every bit as great a figure and Freddy’s look in this film is probably more familiar and iconic to a lot of fans. At least that’s the case for me. Also, I think the accessories here are a lot more value added than what we got with the 30th Freddy. And speaking of value, Freddy goes for around $22 at most retailers, which is a damn amazing price for all your getting. I’ve now got two Freddys, two Jasons, and one Leatherface lined up on my NECA Ultimate shelf and I can’t wait to see what’s coming next!

Friday the 13th (Part III): Ultimate Jason Voorhees by NECA

Halloween is rapidly approaching, and while I don’t usually go in for holiday themed features, it’s nice to have some new horror figures from NECA to look at in the week leading up to the big day. Today I’m checking out the latest release in their “Ultimate” line. We already got Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th, Part VI, and now we’re going back to Part III with a brand new version of Crystal Lake’s favorite son. I have to say, I was beyond excited to get this figure in hand, so I’ll warn you now, I’m going to go really long today. It’s because I love Friday the 13th just that much… and it’s almost Halloween! So consider this both a love letter to this figure and the movie!

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Jason comes in what looks like a glorious, bloated VHS sleeve and this time we get some lenticular 3D art on the front as a nod back to the one and only 3D installment of the franchise. Talk about going all out! You rock, NECA! Even if you didn’t see this film with a pair of red and blue glasses in theaters back in the day, it’s pretty easy to tell it was shot in 3D because half the movie consists of people gratuitously sticking things into the camera. Tent poles, Yo-Yo’s, pitchforks, plucked out eyeballs! Anyway, the lenticular art doesn’t photograph very well, so you’ll just have to take my word that this looks great in person. The front flap is secured by velcro and opens to reveal a window showing the figure and all those lovely extra bits inside from the film. Part III is no doubt a solid entry, even if it doesn’t rank at the top of my favorite entries in the franchise. It does, however, give us the first appearance of Jason in his iconic hockey mask, so it is most certainly an important installment. As always, the packaging here is collector friendly and these Ultimate boxes look amazing when all lined up on the shelf.

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Part III may not be my favorite, but I still love it, and this is one of Jason’s looks that I know best. It might just because I’ve seen the film so many times, but this real classic stuff. Jason comes wearing his shabby button down shirt, faded trousers, and black boots. I know I say it just about every time, but I really dig how much work NECA puts into sculpting the clothing. The shirt is all wrinkled, you can see the stitching on the pockets, and I love the way the top button is pulling a bit. An equally fine attention to detail has gone into the trousers and boots. You get some gnarly blood stains on Jason’s neck and another splotch on his right knee and various splashes on his shirt.

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Also, check out the build on this guy… it’s perfect. He even has that slight hunchback, just like Richard Booker in costume. If I were just in the same room with this guy, I’d probably shit my pants. And as for articulation, you get rotating hinges all around, as well as ball joints in the waist and neck. OK, let’s took heads!

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That’s right, heads… plural. It wouldn’t be an Ultimate release if you didn’t get at least one extra noggin in there, right? The stock head features Jason’s (or should I say Shelly’s) inaugural hockey mask, notably different than the one that came with the Part VI version. Here you get the extra two triangles painted on the cheeks and the silver fixtures down near the jaw. Also, if you go back and read my review of the last Ultimate Jason, I was a little bummed the eye holes were painted and not actual holes. Well, that’s fixed here and it looks great! And yup, the mask is still an actual mask that comes off the figure.

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Hello, gorgeous! Ahh, it’s good to see Jason looking so young and fresh and less corpsy. This is his early days, and I always thought his misshapen mug that we see here was a lot scarier than when he went full on zombie. This is a fantastic sculpt right down to the droopy right eye and the slack jaw. The top of his lumpy head even has a mark where the strap from the mask is starting to cut into his flesh. It’s got a phenomenal paint job too, complete with a wash to show off all those grody features.

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The second head is from after Jason took a direct hit from an axe in the final chase. There’s a cut mark in the top edge of the mask, and a gnarly gash in his head underneath as well as a lot of added blood. What I love about this piece is that it isn’t just the same head with some damage added. It’s an entirely new head sculpt that really showcases those wonderful teeth. Fantastic! Extra heads are all well and good, but Jason needs him some killing tools, and here too NECA really delivered. Let’s go through them in the chronological kill order from the film. To the pitchfork!

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OK, so it’s not the first kills in the film. Those go to a cleaver and a knitting needle. The needle would have been a boring accessory, and I can always borrow the cleaver from NECA’s Ultimate Leatherface. Jason used the pitchfork to kill Fox, that lovely Biker chick in the tight pants, off screen, before sticking it into Loco, one of the other bikers’, gut. That barn was just full of all sorts of fun toys for a maniac killer. Anyway, this is a pretty simple farm implement, but it looks great in Jason’s hands.

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The wrench is hard to spot in the film. I’ve seen this flick more times than I can count, and I still couldn’t place it when I saw the accessory. Naturally, that meant I had to bust out my copy and scrutinize it. Turns out Jason uses it to finish off his Biker Gang Killing Trifecta in the barn by bludgeoning gang leader Ali with it until he’s dead… or is he? I always thought he just used the machete for that, because Ali picked it up and had a go at Jason with it just seconds before.

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A couple kills later and we have the harpoon gun, a great detailed sculpt, nicely painted, and that tip is actually sharp! This is about as sophisticated as Jason gets. Actually, I tell a lie. Later he kills a hippie with electricity. But still, the harpoon gun is probably the most memorable weapon kill in the whole flick. Not only does he score a pretty amazing shot right through Vera’s eye at quite a distance, but I feel like the whole 3D gimmick was built around this one epic kill. I also love how Jason drops it afterwards and struts off the pier. It’s also worth noting that this his first on screen kill wearing Shelly’s hockey mask. You don’t see his face until the end, but up until now he’s been killing without a mask on.

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Next up, the machete. Old reliable. Easily Jason’s most iconic weapon. There’s not much to say about this baby, other than Jason first uses it to chop through Mr. Handstand from the groin down. Next, Jason kills his poor girlfriend… on a hammock… while reading a copy of Fangoria!!! That’s cold, Jason. COLD! I always thought he did this with the machete, but I’ll come back to that in a few ticks. And I thought I really knew this movie! See how much I take for granted?

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Wanna play some poker? Jason used this little number to run through the hippie’s girlfriend. He got it fresh from the fire and it was burning hot too. I’m surprised NECA didn’t put a little orange paint on the tip to make it look like it’s glowing. They usually don’t miss little details like that. OK, now I’m nitpicking.

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It’s the final stretch and out comes the axe. They were teasing the axe earlier in the barn with the hippie couple, but it turns out to be Jason’s weapon of choice for the final hunt, although he alternates this one with the machete.

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And here’s the knife! I always just assumed that this was the combat knife from the poster, but that’s a combat knife and this is more of a steak knife. It’s a subtle and understated weapon, but it’s got a good presence in the film. It actually turns out to be what Jason used to kill hammock girl, because later on, Chris pulls it out of the back of her corpse and goes slashy-apeshit on Jason with it. She gets a couple good stabs in before he pulls it out of his leg and throws it her head. Sure, he misses, but a hardcore move all the same.

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I would be remiss if I didn’t show off one of my absolute favorite things about this figure. Yes, you can simulate the axe hit and holy shit do I love that. I have two of the Part VI Jason for multiple display options, and I’ll likely do the same for this guy. So good!

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And so that’s the weapon run down! With only a couple missing, this is an impressive inventory and rounds out what is already a truly amazing figure. When NECA made this guy, I doubt they could have guessed it would mean as much to anyone as it does to me, but he is instantly among one of my favorite figures this year. The amount of nostalgia that I have wrapped up in this figure surprised even me. It just transports me right back to those long insomnia-plagued nights when I watched these movies over and over again. I’m sincerely hoping that NECA is going to run through all the Jasons, because as long as they keep making them, I’ll keep buying them!

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Friday the 13th, Part III… IN 3-D!!!

A New Dimension in Terror!

Evil Dead 2: Ultimate Ash by NECA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Terminator: Ultimate T-800 (Police Station Assault) by NECA

Even as I finished the feature for the last Ultimate T-800 figure, I knew he’d be back. And sure enough, here I am ready to open up a another Ultimate T-800 from NECA. Today’s release is the third T-800 in this series and the second from the original movie. I already looked at the version from the “Tech Noir” Nightclub and today I’m checking out what in my mind is the most iconic version of this time-travelling killer cyborg… The “Police Station Assault” T-800!

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I think “Police Station Assault” is the official name for this figure, but it doesn’t appear anywhere on the box. As always, the Ultimate figures come in window boxes with a front flap secured by velcro. These look like over-sized VHS tape sleeves and this one features some artwork on the front that I don’t recall ever seeing before. It looks like lesser seen promotional artwork for the film. The last release snagged the art from the poster I know best, so it’s nice that they tried to mix things up a bit with this package art. The side panels feature the title of the film along with a very 80’s style grid pattern, this time in blue. Obviously, everything is collector friendly and there’s even a J-hook on top if you want to hang it on the wall or a peg.

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Like I said earlier, this is the iconic version of the T-800 to me. Leather jacket, sunglasses, a cold and calculating killing machine wrapped up in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s body. If you own the “Tech Noir” version, you’ll surely recognize some of the parts here. From the waist down this version is lifted directly from the previous release with just some natural paint variation to mark any differences. The leather jacket is new and packs some crazy detail. The collar and lapels are popped a bit to give the figure some lovely depth and it features the usual action figure jacket trickery where the jacket is sculpted as a vest and the sleeves are sculpted as the arms. Besides the detailed stitching and realistic texture of worn leather, you get some sharp silver paint apps on the zippers and buckles of the jacket and the same on the biker boots. The sculptors at NECA have become wizards at rendering clothing in plastic, and nowhere is that more evident than here.

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The front and back of the jacket feature bullet holes too, with some bloody paint apps around the holes.

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The previous two Ultimate T-800’s each came with three separate head sculpts, and NECA isn’t breaking with tradition here. This release comes out of the box with the classic head with shades. It’s another great likeness and the big glasses hide the fact that by this point in the movie, he’s had his eyebrows singed off.

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The second head is sans glasses and eyebrows, and features the damage to his left eye. The organic part of the eye and and surrounding tissue has been blown away and you can see his mechanical eye showing through. This effect is so beautifully done, thanks to a solid sculpt and some great paintwork.

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Last up, we have the severely damaged head. In addition to the exposed left eye, you can now see the inner workings of the skull where his left cheek has been blown off. Part of the skull plate is showing and there are abrasions on the right side of the face. Again, this is fantastic sculpting and paintwork on display here. I will note this third head was a bitch to get on. I had to go in with a razor and clean away some of the plastic before getting it to fit right. In addition to the three heads, the T-800 comes with an extra set of battle damaged hands. All four hands are designed to work with the guns.

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If you’re keeping score at home, we now have six portraits of the T-800 from the first film!

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The articulation here is identical to the “Tech Noir” T-800. The points are all there and it looks fine on paper, but there are a few instances where I wish there was a better range of motion. Here’s what you get: Rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, hips, knees, and ankles. The wrists are ball jointed, as is the neck. The legs swivel at the hips and have swivel cuts at the tops of the boots. Finally, you get a ball joint just above the waist. Once again, the elbows barely give 90-degrees, so getting him to hold a weapon raised and close to his shoulder isn’t going to happen. I have been able to get him to hold the shotgun in both hands, but it involves exploiting the fact that his right elbow is pegged in and has a little play.

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Of course, we can’t do a T-800 figure review without talking about guns. This fella comes with three of them. First you get the dinky little Smith & Wesson Model 15. It has a chromed finish and painted natural wood grips. It also looks comically small in the T-800’s hands. That’s not a criticism of the accessory, it’s a nice piece and it appears to be scaled correctly. It’s just a little understated for what I want in my T-800 figure displays.

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OK, now we’re talking. Next up is the SPAS-12 shotgun. Another fine sculpt cast in the sexy tactical matte black finish and with some lovely details.

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Lastly, we get the AR-18 with folded stock and magazines taped together. This is another excellent sculpt also cast all in black matte plastic, but it is also a little bendy, particularly at the end of the muzzle.

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As mentioned earlier, both his hands can hold the weapons, so you can have him dual wielding for maximum effect as he cuts his way through the police station in what was one of the more intense scenes from the film.

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Now here’s the tough question. You’re in the market for a T-800 figure from the first film. Which one do you get? Well, this is certainly the definitive look for him as far as I’m concerned. And I’ll go ahead and say the two damaged heads in this box work very strongly in its favor. On the other hand, the “Tech Noir” figure includes the clean portrait from the beginning of the movie, as well as the swap-out damaged arm and three unique weapons. There’s no way I could choose, but my guess is that this one is going to be the one that appeals to most casual collectors. The Ultimate figures have been creeping up a bit in price by a few dollars, but this one still retails for under $25 and that’s a damn fine bargain for the craftsmanship and extras that went into this figure. Keep the Terminator figures coming, NECA, and I’ll keep buying them!