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Jason Voorhees (Battle Damaged)

Friday the 13th Part 3
by yo go re

I'm not a big fan of horror movies. I've never seen any Nightmare on Elm Street, Hellraiser or Texas Chainsaw Massacre films, but thanks to the concerted effort of various toy companies, I have a sizeable collection of related toys. The newest member of this club is Jason Voorhees.

An idyllic summer turns into a nightmare or unspeakable terror for yet another group of naive counselors. Ignoring Camp Crystal Lake's bloody legacy, one by one they fall victim to the maniacal Jason who stalks them at every turn...

Considering how iconic Jason Voorhees is, it's frankly quite amazing that it took three films for him to finally get to that identifiable look. Heck, even Ash only took one and a half movies to lock his pieces in place. These days every detail of a villain is worked out and refined before the first frame is shot; it's the only way to get the T-shirts to Hot Topic on time! But with the Friday the 13th series, you've got his mom, a burlap sack, and then finally the version of the character you remember - and yet absolutely nothing says "psycho killer" to pop culture like a hockey mask. That's power!

This figure is based on Friday the 13th, Part 3, which I'm sure of because the packaging says so. I also know that Part 3 was originally in 3D, because that's just what you did back then. The entirety of what I know about Jason Voorhees comes from the Movie Maniacs figure, so that design must be taken from a later film than this, because his skin is less decayed and his clothes are less tattered. Jason is basically just wearing a button-up shirt and some work pants, and though they're ill-fitting, they're otherwise perfectly fine.

While the legs and arms are solid, sculpted pieces, the portion of the shirt over the torso and the pants on the pelvis are soft PVC shells that float above the molded plastic beneath. If we had to guess (and we do, because we don't want to bother NECA with every little question that crosses our minds), the top is done this way so they can reuse the torso with a more torn-up shirt (a la Ash), and the pants were done to better hide the hip articulation. Success all around!

There are two variants of Jason available: one normal, and one "battle damaged." It's nothing major - just a little bit of blood on his neck and the front of his clothes - but the battle-damaged one is a better choice if you're only planning to get one of them. See, during the film's climactic fight, Jason takes an axe to the face; this figure gets a small notch in his mask to simulate that, which gives the design a little more spice, you know?

Jason's mask is actually based on a Detroit Red Wings goalie mask, enlarged and redesigned to be unique. The mask on this figure is removable, and unlike McFarlane's version, you don't have to modify the figure to make that happen. The head beneath is all lumpy and, on the battle damaged version, smeared with blood. His mouth is slightly open too, showing off his pretty teeth.

The figure stands 7⅜" tall, and has a balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders and elbows, balljointed wrists, balljointed torso, swivel waist, swivel/hinge hips and knees, and balljointed ankles. It's a great selection of joints, particularly since my last Jason only had 10 POA. He can do pretty much anything you'd want a Jason to do, and he looks lovely doing it. Remember, Jason is an implacable man type of villain, so he just kind of plods around - you don't need any high-action poses.

Jason comes with his trademark machete, but beyond that you'll get a different accessory depending on which version of Jason you buy: the normal one comes with a harpoon gun (the weapon he used in his first kill while wearing the mask), while the variant has an axe. Remember how it was an axe that was used against him? And remember how the variant's hockey mask has a small notch in the top? You can probably guess where this is going. Yes, you can actually embed the axe in his forehead and it will stay there pretty well. See? We told you the battle damaged version was the better choice.

There's not much left to say about this figure. NECA did their usual excellent job, so he's fun to have even if you don't know the source material. It's less stylized than Mezco's version, for the people who didn't like that. NECA has a Final Chapter version coming out sometime in the future, and it will probably use a lot of this same sculpt, but why wait? Right now, this is the best Jason toy there's ever been.

-- 10/06/12

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