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by yo go re

Tips on the care and feeding of young Mogwai:

Keep them out of light, especially sunlight.

Don't ever get them wet. Keep them away from water.

But the most important thing, the thing you must never forget... no matter how much they cry, no matter how much they beg, never, never feed them after midnight!

You just know, in a horror movie, when someone lays down rules for how to stay safe, those rules are toast. Of course, setting them up early allows the audience's unease to build, as they see the rules being broken one by one.

For our younger readers, no, this isn't a Furby - it's Gizmo, the cute little fuzzball who, like Ralph Nader, inadvertently released horrible destruction on the world. This is the creature that, minus those rules up there, will turn into green fangy death for all it meets. Good for us that he's made of plastic then, isn't it?

Of course, I always wondered why that old Chinese guy kept a pet that could kill him if he forgot to change the clocks for Daylight Savings Time.

And while I'm on it, "don't feed them after midnight?" Why? Midnight where? When can you start feeding them again? Can they stay up late on their birthday? What if there's no school tomorrow? Grah! Too many plot holes!

Gizmo's sculpt is definitely good - all the strands of his fur have been duplicated well, and the bare parts - ears, eyes, mouth, hands and feet - look appropriately fleshy. The paint job is pretty good, but the white used on the majority of his body doesn't match up with the white on his little legs, so they look out of place.

Gizmo moves at the neck, shoulders, wrists and waist. He comes with a pair of 3D glasses that don't actually attach to the figure in any way, as well as three "Mogwai balls." The little offshoots are just as detailed as their progenitor, and painted nicely, but they're made of a very soft, spongy rubber that makes them feel a little more biological. Nice.

At 4" tall, Gizmo shows part of the problem with this line - while the Gremlins aren't in scale with any other figures, they're also not in scale with themselves: Giz is about half the size that he'd be in "real life," while the three Gremlins are about one-third their full size. So if you're planning on getting a full set, don't plan on integrating it. Even with itself.

In general, NECA's Gremlins are great toys - they're certainly better than the vast majority of McToys' Movie Maniacs, but they're not perfect. I don't think Gizmo is a "must have" by any means, but he's not awful, either. Still, it might be worth waiting for Series 2's "Rambo" Gizmo to face off against the giant evil Spider-Gremlin.

-- 10/08/03

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