Soon Forget: NECA's unreleased prototypes

This is the latest in a series (of indefinite length and regularity) of blog posts memorializing cancelled toys. Our subject today is a bit different.

A few weeks ago, NECA tweeted the following:

They've given a few clues already - not a Gremlin, not Shredder, way older than Prometheus and with way better sales potential - so today, let's look at the things they've shown over the years that have never been released.

Luckily for us, it was just a while ago that NECA had a contest on Twitter where the winner had to name unreleased prototypes. Here's the list they came up with:

  • O-Ren
  • Shredder
  • Samara
  • Xerxes
  • Frank n Furter
  • Riff Raff
  • Zombie Ed
  • Bob Marley
  • 7 (from the movie 9)
  • Hellraiser Engineer

We'll start with those, even the ones they've already disavowed.

O-Ren Ishii was famously cancelled because Lucy Liu didn't approve the likeness:

Shredder (and the other Foot figures) fell victim to Playmates' unwillingness to play nice with others:

Samara, with her two interchangeable display bases, was never released because NECA couldn't secure international distribution rights (but according to Jean St.Jean, it got as far as being tooled):

Xerxes was solicited in Previews, but orders were apparently too low:

Frank and Riff Raff we've discussed before:

Rocky Horror

Zombie Ed had his molds stolen:

The same might have happened with Bob Marley, who was never officially released, but is still available from many Chinese sellers:

7 missed out when her movie under-performed (though it still would have been better to get her than the character we did get, 1):

The Hellraiser Engineer was sculpted by Rudy Garcia, and was going to come in a two-pack with Kirsty Cotton, but the line petered out before it could be released:

But those are just the ones from that list. There are plenty of others, though, like these extra Labyrinth goblins:

Or this Devil May Cry Dante that was well under way when Capcom suddenly pulled out:

And let's not forget this highly articulated Kratos:

And just because, here are the Gremlins we're still waiting for, including the cocoon, the Female Gremlin, and the Melting Witch Gremlin:

And the Prometheus figures of Shaw and Fifield, which were cancelled because of slow sales (aka people were tired of buying Engineers):

That's a lot of figures has tried to make over the years, but has been unable to. It's likely that this is an average number of failed licenses for any toy company, but that the difference is NECA actually talks to its fans and shows these things off rather than hiding them away.

What do you think the unreleased figure will be?

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27 Responses to Soon Forget: NECA's unreleased prototypes

  1. Monkey Boy says:

    Where did they say it's not a gremlin? Other than saying it had sales potential...there are only so many NECA figures that have been prototypes and not released. I feel like we're missing an obvious one. Someone guessed O-ren which I doubt since Kill Bill is Diamond's thing now.

    *nevermind* just saw the no gremlin response. my guess, then, would be frank-n-furter. it's the only one i could see of that group having the mass appeal they mentioned.

    • yo go re says:

      I really can't see Frank having more sales potential than Prometheus. To me, sure, but to average people walking down the aisle? Also, not exactly "way older" (unless he meant the property, and not their prototype)...

      • Monkey Boy says:

        what's to say he didn't mean the property? and at least according to NECA, Prometheus had like NO sales potential. Rocky Horror is like THE cult movie, a frank n further figure would attract people who don't even buy action figures. i mean, i don't want one, but there are people who definitely do.

  2. Gengis says:

    Shredder or Frank N Furter, there's also a number of Borderlands figure that weren't released.

  3. victor von doombot says:

    It's not Booker DeWitt?

  4. BanzaiBoB says:

    >7 (from the movie 9)

    I wish... but pretty unlikely...

  5. PresidentJuggernaut says:

    At first I was intrigued and excited about the mystery unreleased figure.But now that all the possibilities are being pointed out, I don't think I'm going to want it. The only one I would have been interested in buying was Shredder. And it's not him.

    • Monkey Boy says:

      yeah, i'd have been interested if it was ANYTHING gremlins. but since it's not shredder, gremlins, and likely not o-ren or zombie ed (minimal appeal there) i'm not sure i'll be interested.

      • yo go re says:

        Those aren't all the possibilities. Those are the prototypes they've shown off in the past, but were then unable to make - all they said this time was that it was something they made "years ago," not that it was something they ever showed us. There's every possibility that whatever figure it is is one we were completely unaware they'd ever worked on.

        For instance, they still have the Terminator license. Imagine if they'd played around with doing an "exploded" T-1000, but never got it to a point where they were comfortable showing it off. It would still be something they prototyped years ago, but not on the list...

  6. Bigbot says:

    I'm going to guess (or hope for) that highly articulated Kratos

  7. Rapol says:

    I want Dante from DMC (the first game???) I remember they made prototype back then.

  8. yo go re says:

    Newest updates:

    It's not Samara.
    It'll be revealed at new York Comic Con.

    So just a week or so until we get the reveal. Place your bets, place your bets!

  9. OAFE says:

    Hint: "It goes back nearly 7 years"

  10. OAFE says:

    "It's male and well armed."

    • Bigbot says:

      Intriguing. Now I'm wondering if it's Agent 47. Doesn't really make much sense though since the newest game is already at the $20 price tag.

  11. Monkey Boy says:

    It's Dante, I guess. From Devil May Cry. Meh.

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