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by yo go re

Better keep this figure away from your Prometheus toys.

Frozen in stone by day, flesh and blood winger warriors by night. Awakening after a thousand years, a band of powerful gargoyles find themselves transported to a time and place not their own - New York City. Here, the misunderstood creatures battle modern-day barbarians and struggle to understand their strange new world. Gargoyles - the legend begins.

That's great and all, but come on, NECA: when you do the other figures, give us text about the characters, not the property.

Gargoyles changed the way cartoon series are made. Released in 1994 by Disney, the show was aimed at an older audience than the rest of the "Disney Afternoon," it featured darker subject matter and some intense violence, and had ongoing storyarcs rather than one-off episodes that could be watched in any order (in part because the characters changed and grew as different events happened to them). It relied heavily on literary references, especially Shakespeare, and was one of the first shows to introduce anime styling to mainstream audiences. The cartoon has always been a little more niche than some others, but the fanbase is wildly dedicated, which is likely why NECA picked up the license.

Being a cartoon riding in the wake of Batman the Animated Series, Gargoyles had a clean, smooth design aesthetic, which was reflected in the old toys. NECA (specifically, Djordje Djokovic) has opted for a more detailed sculpt, turning what was once cartoony into something more realistic. Goliath has thick, heavy muscles that strain beneath the surface, and his patagia - aka, the "membrane-y" parts of his wings - have a noticable vascular system running through the leathery skin. His only clothing is a loose loincloth held on by a thick belt with an enormous buckle. His claws (and the spikes on his elbows) are surprisingly sharp: I legitimately hurt myself by holding things wrong when I was first getting the joints moving.

Gargoyles, as a race, are mostly humanoid but still have some distinctly inhuman anatomy. For one thing, big wings coming out of their shoulders. They can't fly, just glide, but that's more than you can do, smarty! Goliath has a barbell neck, swivel/​hinge joints where the wings meet the body, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, a balljointed torso, swivel waist (maybe a balljoint? It was kind of stuck on mine, and so far I've only been able to free up the ability to turn, not tilt), balljointed hips, swivel thighs, swivel/hinge knees, swivel/​hinge ankles, and swivel/hinge toes. Remember, gargoyles are digitigrade, walking on their toes instead of flat feet, which is why that sharp heel spike is halfway up the leg. They've also got tails, which for this toy is a bendy piece that plugs in via a swivel/hinge joint. The wing joints are supremely stiff, making cracking noises with every move; but then, the wings themselves are made from a stiff, brittle-feeling plastic (like another wing designed for gliding we could mention), so maybe that's a necessity.

Goliath comes with two heads: the first calm, if stern and brooding beneath those heavy, horned brows, and the second absolutely furious, with the mouth open in a snarl and the eyes are blank (they glow white in the cartoon, but that's beyond the scope of this toy). Another way you can tell Gargoyles was a '90s cartoon is that Goliath is rocking a pretty mighty mullet, with the "business up front" being a smooth flat top and the "party in the back" portion reaching all the way to his waist.

An alternate head isn't his only accessory. Not even his only bonus bodypart. The hands he has on in the package have his three fingers splayed to claw at an enemy or climb a sheer wall, but you can replace those with fists or left hand with the fingers closer together for holding. What can he hold? A brown book with sketchy writing on its open pages. Presumably he's reading Dostoevsky. [Yeah? Who's it by? --ed.] And then finally, a simple green pepper, a food Goliath would not have gotten to experience in 10th century Scotland. Jalapeño!

You know what he doesn't have, though? Alternate wings. The gargoyles can fold their wings around their shoulders like a cape, but this figure's only got the huge ones spread wide. Gargoyles are larger than humans, and Goliath is the largest among them; the toy is done in NECA's usual 7" scale, but that only means that's what size any humans will be if the line lives long enough to see them made - Goliath breaks the 7" mark even if you have him posed in an appropriate squat, so he's over 8" if you stand him straight up. That means the box he's in is even larger than average, but still there's no spare room for extra wings in there. But don't worry - NECA's already said they're making Bronx, and he'll come with a relaxed pair Goliath. NECA's plan has always been to include extras meant for the large figures in the box with the small figures, both to make their cost worth it and to make sure our displays have plenty of options.

NECA's already announced a Thailog (the evil clone of Goliath), which will help them cover costs by reusing molds, but we wouldn't be surprised if they made a version that's molded in speckled grey plastic to represent his stone form as well. That would work for all the gargoyles, honestly. In addition to Bronx, NECA's shown images of Demona and Hudson, so that takes care of the first five figures. Judging by Goliath, we're really in for a great line!

-- 10/31/21

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