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by Shocka

Finally delivered to us by NECA Toys, there's been plenty of controversy over this figure. Originally owned by Disney, the Pinhead character property and likeness has never been available for an action figure, supposedly because Disney didn't want to be affiliated with a combination of the gruesome Hellraiser character and toys. Or so was said by McFarlane Toys, who attempted to include Pinhead in their Movie Maniacs line for many years, forever unable to ever get the rights to the character.

A blow for McToys came when this series, Hellraiser, was announced by the National Entertainment Collectibles Association (makers of the upcoming Gremlins action figure line and the popular Head Knockers toys), including the figure; the fan demand for this figure is staggering, with many horror fans rating the character as being up there with icons Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger.

Despite this copyright struggle and the current fan complaints that Pinhead didn't end up as part of the popular Movie Maniacs line, I'm here to say that Reel Toys' Pinhead is a fine figure and will not disappoint.

Dark Prince of Pain, Angel of Suffering, Leviathan's Lord of the Damned. In the first World War, Captain Elliot Spencer witnessed many atrocities, his appetites were indulged, but it was through the Lament Configuration and the order of the gash that a world of experience beyond limits would open up to him and eventually become his domain. Now with his crown of golden pins embedded deep into his skull, he walks the corridors of hell and the nightmares and fantasies of the living.

Pinhead stands nearly 7" tall, perfectly in scale with Movie Maniacs. The detail is excellent; Pinhead is mostly simple, sculpted with flowing black leather over half of the figure. However, he is surprisingly well done all around: his face and head sculpt is obviously the most acknowledged part of the figure, so we'll look at that first.

His facial likeness is almost perfect, staring forward looking partly evil and partly depressed, as you'd expect of a tortured soul whose head is impaled with lots of pins. The pins are very nicely done, tiny and sculpted superbly onto the figure. They're really really small and somewhat fragile (some of them are bent, so pick wisely at the store) but virtually perfect for the figure. Some collectors have removed the plastic pins and replaced them with real metal ones, but I'm happy with Pinhead just the way he is.

His belly button is pierced to hold a belt of three bloodied tools, and his hands are sculpted to hold both of his accessories and are nicely (freshly) bloodied. There's really nothing to complain about on Pinhead; even his leather top is beautifully detailed with the patterns and colors accurate to the costume. McToys couldn't have done a better job on the Dark Prince of Pain's sculpt.

There are some complaints about the paint and accessories, however. Pinhead's paint apps are quite good - his leather is blackened and drybrushed to nice effect, and his flesh is a very pale and dead-looking blue, however his torn and bloody chest is a little unrealistic. Compared to the Tortured Souls figures, it doesn't quite look as nasty as it could - McToys got the bleeding look down pat, where NECA might need some work. There's also some slight overspray on his head, mostly where the lines are sculpted, but for the most it's not noticeable.

The accessories are cool - Pinhead includes a miniature Lament Configuration (aka "puzzle box"), a bloodied dismemberment tool, and a nifty base - there's just not enough of them. The Lament Configuration is small and fits into Pinhead's hand, although the use of a sticker for the sides is a little discouraging - it'd look more authentic if it was sculpted and painted, but that may be asking too much from an accessory this small. The bladed tool is nice, with a nice sculpt and an effective blood splatter, very similar to the tools on his belt. However, the tools on his belt aren't removable, an annoying fact which shouldn't have been overlooked - it would have been easy to make them removable so Pinhead can hold each of them, or have them all hanging from his belt.

The final accessory is a base, one side of the Lament Configuration, including an accurate, intricate sculpt and peg to hold Pinhead's foot. In addition, collecting all six of the Hellraiser figures from Series One allows collectors to have their own Lament Configuration - all of the bases fit together. It's a wise move from NECA, who are promising something similar in the second series.

Pinhead is moderately articulated, no better or worse than any of the Movie Maniacs (prior to Series VI, at least). He has shoulders, elbows, wrists, waist and an unusable neck joint (turning his head can damage the pins), leaving him without too many poses. This isn't really a problem, since Pinhead never really moved in the films, aside from walking around threatening and tearing people to pieces, so the Marvel Legends treatment isn't necessary. He can hold both of his accessories in his hands and looks excellent on display.

Overall, Pinhead is an excellent figure that shows great promise for the first series and all upcoming offerings. It's pleasing that Pinhead fits right in with the Movie Maniacs series, or as part of his own collection of Cenobites, and he'll certainly please fans of the series as well as horror collectors. Whether McToys would have made a better figure than NECA is up for debate, but I'm very satisfied with the figure, and give it a big thumbs up.

-- 06/23/03

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