NECA is pretty much the most "exciting" company rolling out toys these days, at least for my general tastes in action figures. The figures aren't always (or rarely, even) perfect but the quality of licenses and sculpts set them apart from everyone else these days so it's hard to not love them. And now, thanks for my massive backlog of purchases, we get to dedicate an entire week to just a whole bunch of NECA goodness!
NECA - A Nightmare on Elm Street: Ultimate Freddy Krueger
I really love/d NECA's Nightmare on Elm Street line and felt comfortably done with it, though this figure was an inevitability given the constant complaining from some about those figure having no leg articulation. This guy takes the ANoES 1 figure from Series 1 and replaces the extend-o arms with a new closed-mouth head, an alternate bleeding left hand, a skin mask and a haunted phone - all very cool, very fun additions! But the real reason we're all here is what's in his pants - articulation! The original figures have ball-and-socket waist and ankle joints but this figure adds in hinge-peg balljoints at the hips and knees. They are great additions but there is something slightly "cartoonish" about their sculpt though it does reasonably match the more "cartoonish" look of the first movie's makeup. I'm glad to get a second Freddy from the first movie, too, so that now I have have those extend-o arms and the awesome faceless head up on display. I do much, much, much prefer Freddy's make-up from the later movies so I might just do a leg-swap with this guy to add some more 'life' to those neater figures.
NECA - A Nightmare on Elm Street: 8-bit Freddy Krueger
The second figure in NECA's new mainstay of 8-bit/Video Game repaints, this guy long eluded me but is, at last, mine. While I have been increasingly bummed by the overly blue look of the "line" Freddy's bright, warm colors didn't look too good in photos to me, but in hand... I LOVE him! He's cast in vibrant red plastic that is actually painted red on top of that to take the sheen off and it's stellar! The figure is the "Dream Warriors" Freddy from Series 3 but he's got the ANoES 1 torso-sweater instead of the "chest of souls" one from that figure. I got this toy to complete the set but in person he looks so great he might actually be my favorite one in it!
NECA - Alien: Kane
The sculpt is immaculate and the paint is fan-freakin'-tastic! The closest thing to a "weak" point is the articulation, which is limited due to the costume design and the discs are cast in black but painted yellow and that paint flakes off immediately - but these are in NO way deal-breakers! In lieu of a likeness (John Hurt notoriously refuses) we get Kane with his facehugger - a logical and reasonable solution. The figure comes with three accessories: a gun, a flashlight and his helmet. The helmet is actually two pieces which makes getting it on and posing the head much easier than anticipated. There is a rubber loop on the belt that I presume is for an accessory but neither seem to fit it nor have I seen it acknowledged anywhere else, so I'm at a loss. The only real problem with the figure is that his hands are cast in a very rigid plastic and I can't get him to hold the gun, and the flash light hangs loosely. Considering the hugged face, it's not the end of the world for posing, though. I love the look of this guy in the package so much I got a second to keep carded, and I'm a little tempted to get a couple more to headswap with Dallas and Lambert (if they make her) since this yellow suit looks the best (and let's face it, the lighting is so dim in the movie you can't even tell the jumpsuits are all the same greyish yellow color).
NECA - Aliens: Bishop
Biiiiiiishop! Who doesn't love the franchise's favorite android!? The figure turned out quite well overall, though he is oddly short when stood next to other NECA figures... is Henrikson a tiny man? They also gave him a rubber jumpsuit cover over internal torso articulation which seems like an odd choice. I presume it's for aesthetic reasons but I'm not too sure it works for me. He comes with a flashlight, Hudson's knife and an alternate right hand to hold the knife... but no alternate left hand with splayed fingers!? That seems like a pretty big oversight to me. Regardless, he's still quite a nice figure and makes me even more eager for Ripley and lament-ful for no more Marines.
NECA - Batman (1989): Batman
I mean... come on. What can I say about this figure that hasn't already been said. In many ways it's a dream come true. In effect it's a scaled down version of the Quarter Scale Keaton so he has the same excellent attention to details, the same semi-restricted articulated and the same weird belly flap. He comes with two pairs of hands (fists and grips) plus a batarang and his grapple gun. He can hold the gun very snugly but the batarang not so much, or at all. Still though, the closest thing to a problem I have with the figure is the simple cloth cape, which feels and looks, to be honest, cheap. As much as it pains me to say it, the 4" Mattel figure is superior to this one in that regard. Were this any other figure these issues might lessen my opinion of it more, but I'm just so elated to have this toy in this scale and of this quality that, indeed, I bought three!
NECA - Batman (1989): 8-bit Batman
An excellent pseudo loophole that opened the door for the blu-ray promo figure above to happen. This guy is identical to that figure save but for his paint and cape color - and, boy, do I love his coloring! As I mentioned earlier the whole blue-scale of the 8-bit collection has been growing a bit too overwhelming but the dominant purples here look great and stand out well enough that he feels diverse and unique on the shelf!
NECA - Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Luca
How could NECA possibly top the greatness that is Maurice? Do a gorilla!!! This is yet another phenomenal sculpt with great paint. The articulation is plentiful but restricted by the sculpt though you can still get a couple fun poses out of him. He also comes with two heads which, combined with his scale-matching to Godzilla, make him a great pseudo King Kong, means he's been impossible to find. I've seen about 20+ Series 2 Caesars, only this one Luca and absolutely 0 Kobas which has been a damn shame since I definitely want another Luca and would love the Series 2 Koba, but dems da shakes, I suppose.
NECA - Godzilla: Godzilla 1985
I understand that NECA is being forced to follow a style guide for the packaging artwork but I wish they could at least pack the figures facing alternate directions because I passed this guy up for about a month thinking I already had him - thus are the substantive suit differences to a casual fan... When first revealed this guy had a shockingly poor head but they jumped right on that and fixed him up something pretty. Perhaps its my demographic, but this iteration is pretty the "signature" Godzilla in my mind and he turned great. I do wish these figures were a bit greener, as is they read pretty darn black, but he does get a nice dark green drybrush to bring out the details. And detailed he is! It makes me further lament the comparably "soft sculpt" of the 2014 figure.
NECA - Planet of the Apes: Dr. Zaius II
I get the "name value" of doing this guy in Series 2 but in all honesty he just looks too similar to the figure from Series 1 to get excited about him. Once you stand the two figures side by side there are almost no similarities but on pegs... "yep, Zaius in an orange box wearing an orange suit - check." Interestingly he has an all-new head and the sculpt is absolutely stellar but the hair is sculpted on rather than being a separate piece. It took FOREVER to find one with decent paint since the hair color is just loosely drybrushed on and typically coats the forehead. I dig this line a lot, and I want it to succeed, but this figure does kind of encapsulate the problem with it... most of the differences are relatively subtle so burnout or confusion is easy. It's really a damn shame Heston's estate charges so much for likeness rights because this line really could use one or two Taylors.
NECA - Planet of the Apes: General Ursus
This guy is hands-down the coolest figure in the line yet! He's got such a cool costume and the sculpt here is some of NECA's best work! The paint and articulation are equally strong plus he comes with alternate pointing and trigger-ing right hands, a pistol and a machine gun! I'm pretty tempted to get a second one to help the line and cause he's so damn neat. I just love the segmented armor and that helmet is super cool!
NECA - Planet of the Apes: Gorilla Soldier 2-Pack
This Toys R Us exclusive set features two Gorilla Soldiers that are the same as the single carded one except that these guys lack the bandolier and have a new head sculpt. The new head is nice and each fella gets a different skin tone to help diversify the ramble, and in lieu of the bandolier they get nifty (though un-opening) backpacks. Accessory-wise, they're loaded: 2 clubs (sans rings), 2 snare poles, 2 alternate right hands for holding those poles, plus a rifle and a machine gun. Not bad! The snare poles are particularly cool and feature proper string attached to a sliding piece to allow the loop to grow and contract (if only they had a human to ensnare...). The rifle is all-new, too, and has a retractable bayonet! The big frustration here, though, is that their hands are nearly impossible to swap-out, in fact I broke one of their backpacks in the process by having to manhandle them too hard. Otherwise, it's a great set and a welcome addition for a battle-builder such as your humble reviewist.
NECA - Predator 2: Elder Predator v2
Oh man I've been waiting a looong time for this figure! Elder P is my favorite Predator design so I was very happy when the first version came out but I ended up buying three different ones only to have both forearms snap off at the elbow right out of the package! I've been sitting on the last one ("just in case") with the intent to get the new one and return him but then I read Monkey Boy's review and seeing how relatively different the two figures looked next to each other... well I figure I'll keep both and just glue v1's arms on. I love the new, more detailed head of v2 but definitely prefer the "brighter" color scheme of v1, plus I think it's damn novel and darn awesome attention-to-detail that NECA has made both "screen accurate" versions (from an admittedly cobbled together scene/costume). As a result of that, I can't imagine he's an unwelcome addition to any Predator collector's collection whose been following along on this crazy "every conceivable version" line of theirs.
NECA - Predator 2: Trophy Wall
I finally tracked down the Trophy Wall at long last! Now I can put those skulls I've been amassing, and the skull-pack, to good use! The first, second and third thing I noticed about this piece is that's it's really damn heavy! For low-run reasons they cast it in resin and my god, man, it's hefty! The three walls are all one piece with the "desk" glued on. The seven skull-pegs are plastic and we have to insert those manually but they do include instructions for what goes where (though no guide on skull placement save but for a couple small photos on the box). Also included is the biggest skull from the wall/movie. It's a big, cool piece that fits in very nicely with the other skulls and set itself! I'm very pleased NECA found a way to get this diorama out, though I'd be lying if I didn't admit it really makes me want a Harrigan figure now.
NECA - Robocop vs. Terminator: Flamethrower Robocop
Well this figure is... in the effort to be objective, yes it is very wonderfully painted. I dig the multi-tone blues on the front and purples on the back. Not only do they look great, they, along with the black "undersuit," help differentiate this guy from the previous 8-bit Robocop. He comes with that awful spring-loaded thigh holster with removable gun (and yes, it's still a real sonuvabitch to close) but the real star is the flamethrower - a giant canon shooting four fireballs. It looks great solo or in "firing" mode. The fireballs and "flame igniter" come separate in the package, however there's no instructions so it takes a bit of trial and error to figure out how they go in(the igniter slides into the grooves at the center of the barrel and the flames plug in to either side of the barrel). This figure has one major flaw that is so brazen it can only be chalked up to brazen "f**k you"-ness from NECA. He gets an all new right hand not only cast in rubber but with an inexplicably huge hole dug-out in the palm... WHAT. THE. HELL. So first off, the rubber can't handle the weight of the gun in any capacity and, second off, the huge hollow-ness in the palm quite literally leaves the handle hanging, also giving it no support. So not only is this just inconceivably poor design, it also results in falling guns and... a broken fireball rod! Huzzah! Awesome! Great! You did it! Wonderful! Seriously... what the hell happened here!?
NECA - Robocop vs. Terminator: Rocket Launcher Robocop
This figure was my most anticipated one in the series and I had planned on getting two, but the colors were much more muted than I'd expected so I only got the one. In retrospect, however, I do wish I'd gotten another since he's really grown on me (and comes with two guns). The translucent fire is just cool as heck; it's sculpted very well and looks excellent on him. The paint is simple, though in a complicated way. I like the "reflection" of the fire on his head, though the colors are dull and the "reflection strips" are a bit too separated. He comes with a big cannon, different that the flame thrower, which has a winged rocket on a removable blast effect that plugs into the barrel. I love these gun effects and they further highlight how badly we need muzzle flashes for the Aliens pulse rifles. The figure is the same as the Battle Damaged Robocop which offers some nice, subtle differences to the Flame Thrower Robocop. I'll also note this guy has his right hand cast in the normal, hard plastic and there is zero issue with him holding his cannon (or even the Flame Thrower) - parumph! He also comes with a weird little laser gun that looks pretty cool and, fortunately, fits well into F.T.R.'s shitty rubber hand, so at least that guy can be useful in some capacity.
NECA - Robocop vs. Terminator: Heavy Gunner Endoskeleton
This is a really fun release for the Endoskeleton. It appears to be the same, impressive figure NECA's released several times before but with a new, much improved/more-accurate head sculpt. The figure is a fabrication marvel, all the pistons and hinges work meaning it's a very impressive figure to fiddle with. However, the toy-ish-ness was a bit overlooked in the design process meaning it can be tough to get him posed, balanced and holding weapons. This version comes with a Minigun that rests on a tripod and has a belt connected to a backpack which plugs into the Endo's back. The real trick here is getting the Endo to hold the gun and to keep the gun balanced on the tripod. A failed attempt let me with a broken-off handle (so that's two-for-two on my Endoskeleton Minigun breakages as the same thing happened to me with the plasma Minigun since these guys' hands can't hold for s...tuff). I subsequently found that with some effort you can jam the tripod's cupped stalk firmly enough into the recessed part of the Minigun to keep it in place, but it still doesn't really answer "why not peg/hole?" The colors are dark so I didn't notice until photography time but even the tripod gets a bit of the video game color treatment, so that is some pretty cool attention to detail. Somehow I missed out on the TRU exclusive Blue and Orange Endoskeleton two-pack, but I really hope I can track it done eventually to complete the army.
NECA - Robocop vs. Terminator: Plasma Rifle T-800
This ended up the weakest figure in the batch unfortunately. He's not bad, he's just so simple as compared to the others. The paint is fine, but basic and to be frank, just isn't that terribly exciting. Speaking of the colors, which Robocop vs Terminator game are these figures from? In all my Google-Image searching I can't find screengrabs that match the coloring of these figures. At any rate, this Arnold is basically a kitbash of several of the previous T-800s but it's a good combo that makes for a look that is, at least mentally, pretty iconic for the character. The figure is a reminder, though, of how rough no/limited leg articulation can be since any warping in the solid legs can lead to problems with standing, which is what this guy is giving me. At least the Freddys had balljointed ankles so they could compensate for almost any angle of warping but this guy's swivel joints are proving a bit frustrating for me. Despite his issues, though, I still like him - especially as part of this series/collection/display!