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Flasher Gremlin

by yo go re

It was months ago that Rustin and Monkey Boy found NECA's Gremlins, while my Toys Я Us still hasn't gotten them in. They got the Mogwais, but not the adult monsters. I go to four TRUs regularly, and none of them have the figures, so either they were never stocked, or Toys Я Us severely underestimated the demand for these guys. Sadly, my money's on the former, since I eventually found them at a Suncoast across the street from TRU.

The first series of full-grown Gremlins comprises three figures, but since Monkey Boy has already reviewed Daffy and George, that leaves me with just the Flasher Gremlin to review.

Gremlins 2 is more irreverent than the original, which is why you can have a Gremlin in a trenchcoat flashing his non-existent genitals at Phoebe Cates, and why she can then punt him across the room. But that gag was based on a similar event in the first film, where an entirely different Gremlin also wore a trenchcoat and also flashed Phoebe Cates. Ha! Ha! Ha! Parallel structure.

This figure is definitely based on Gremlins 2, not Gremlins - you can tell because it directly copies the pose from the film, right down to the particular folds in the coat. Instead of making a softgoods coat, NECA opted to make it from PVC, but chose a formula that's fairly flexible. Thus, the coat can have a fully detailed sculpt, yet still move with the figure. Well, move slightly: in order to make the pose as screen-accurate as possible, the sides of the coat are permanently attached to the pre-bent sleeves. So while you can move him a little bit, don't expect a Trenchcoat Thing level of poseability.

If you're patient and careful, you can work the coat off the figure, revealing the "plain" body beneath. Right now we're not sure whether NECA has plans for a vanilla Gremlin, so that's a nice bonus. Interestingly, the torso isn't the same used for the others in this series: you can tell because it's lacking the little paunch that George had. There must be some plans for reuse though, because the back of the figure is fully detailed in both sculpt and paint. This will also give you full access to his articulation - balljointed neck, wrists, hips and ankles, peg-and-hinge shoulders and elbows, and hinged knees.

The head is taken from NECA's first go-round with the Gremlins license, where it originated with Brain Gremlin. It's not immediately recognizable, thanks to the completely different paint apps: Brain was brown, tan and orange, while Flasher is the traditional green and yellow; it's only the shapes that give the connection away.

In addition to the coat, the Flasher has two accessories: a pair of dark glasses (which help conceal his similarities to Brain) and a cigarette, part of NECA's new "let's create cool accessories that you'll lose forever if you accidentally bump your display shelf" initiative (cf. George's cigar). The cigarette is a simple stick, painted grey at one end and orange at the other. You can fit it into his mouth, wedged between the teeth, but be careful - we weren't joking when we said it was easy to lose. The Flasher in the original Gremlins also wore sunglasses and smoked, so this figure can still be a stand-in for whichever movie you want.

The Flasher Gremlin is a lot of fun. Sure, he's not a "name" character like George and Daffy, but he still presents one of the more memorable moments in the film - in both films, really. His coat may not be as flexible as we would have liked, but neither is it a hard plastic shell that will forever hold him in just a single pose. It may even be worth buying two, just so you can have a generic Gremlins 2 Gremlin. All three figures in this series are fun, I just hope Series 2 is easier to find. Please?

-- 04/07/12

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