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by yo go re

It's been a hot minute since NECA started this line, but at last we're seeing some more releases!

(Sorry, Thailog, I'm sure someone who's not me is real thrilled to get you.)

The text on the back of the box is, sadly, the same as Goliath's - just generic copy about the franchise, not about the specific character. So we're going to grab the 1995 Skybox trading card for you:

Demona, Goliath's former love and now his sworn enemy, lives for vengeance. She will do anything it takes to fulfill her mission - the destruction of humanity. This is where Demona and Goliath disagree. Strongly. Demona is not afraid to use the latest technology to achieve her goals, and even though she hates humans, she'll work with Xanatos if it helps her cause.

With motivations inspired by Marvel Comics' Magneto (ie, her willingness to defend her kind at all costs, and her belief that destroying all humans is the best way to do that), Demona is one of those people who are their own biggest problem; she distrusts mankind and refuses to make amends with her old clan, but hates being alone and lets her isolation only make her angrier. Even when her issues are laid out plainly for her to see (in "City of Stone, Part Four") she still refuses her part and continues to blame others.

The cartoon was calculated to cash in on the success of Fox's Batman: The Animated Series, so the character designs were very sleek and minimalist. NECA's toys are slightly untooned, with Djordje Djokovic delivering a sculpt that features recognizable musculature, not just vaguely defined shapes. Now, obviously Demona isn't as explosively jacked as Goliath was, but this is still more "realistic" than "animated." The band around her left arm is sculpted on, while the anklet on her right leg and even her earrings are real metal. Prepare to be really impressed by the texture on her clothes, though: she may just wear a shredded top and a loincloth, but the sculpt makes it look like real fabric, something rough like burlap. The texture is only on the outside, but were you really planning to peer up her skirt?

Her hair is done as a series of chunky spikes, which is an effort to duplicate the cartoon's design in this more realistic style, not a suggestion that she "really" has big thick clumps like this. Her hair spills down to the small of her back, which causes an issue: it's shaped to bow out slightly, so it can fit over the wings when you've plugged them in, but the wings are still thicker than that; thus, even though the hair is molded from flexible PVC, it constantly makes her head tip forward. You could make the excuse that she's looking down at humans, who would be shorter than her, but what if you want to have her interacting with Goliath? Beyond the balljoint for the head, she's got swivel/hinge shoulders and wings, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, a balljointed chest, balljointed hips, swivel thighs, double knees, swivel/hinge ankles, and hinged toes.

Rather than using all the plastic needed to make an alternate head, NECA's kept it simple by just making swappable faceplates. The one she has straight out of the box is a sinister smirk, while the second has her fangs bared in a snarl and her eyes glowing red. Perfect! The face pieces include her ears and her golden tiara thing, so they look seamless when you get them in place.

Though Gargoyles was set in the real, modern-day world, having a handful of characters with access to ultra-high tech meant it was possible for Demona to constantly be running around with crazy sci-fi weapons, and this set includes two of them: one with a large barrel, like a bazooka, the other a massive rifle with a narrow, conical barrel, likely for firing lasers. They both capture the cartoon's art style, because they're both directly from the show: she used the bazooka on Goliath in "Awakening, Part Five" and the particle beam cannon several times, but only colored like this in "Reawakening."

Also, she gets the Grimorum Arcanorum, the spellbook that caused so much trouble in the series (including freezing the Wyvern Clan in stone for a thousand years). It's got a great leather-and-metal texture and a raised symbol on the front cover. If you undo the latch, both halves of the book are hinged, meaning you can open it to see the spells scrawled inside. This is way better than most action figure book accessories! It's even sculpted with a page torn out of it, a perfect detail and truly astounding they'd remember to include it. The figure comes with three pairs of hands: fully open, holding, or fists.

Gargoyles are larger than humans, so while this figure is in a 7" scale, she'll reach the 7½" mark even if you've got her with her knees bent in the way of the gargoyles' natural stance. Each of her wings is 9" from shoulder to tip, and the joints that allow them to move are exceedingly stiff - it sounds like they're snapping when you move them. They're made from a very stiff ABS, verging on brittle. It's the same stuff DaVinci's Flying Machine was made from, which kind of makes sense since they're both designed for gliding! Like Goliath, she doesn't include a pair of folded wings, but also like Goliath, she'll probably get a pair included with some future release.

At this point, NECA's showed off the entire main Gargoyle clan, but we really hope the line isn't going to stop there. Kenner did a line in the '90s and focused on goofy variations rather than giving us any of the show's cool villains, like (tv stars turned villains) The Pack or (Demona's longtime nemesis) the Hunter. There's so much that could be done, and every new release makes us excited to see it.

-- 01/08/23

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